Just want to add my thanks for this thread, and to share a funny story. Basically I've mainly done landscape and nature, and pretty much stuck to auto settings on the cameras and always natural light. I think my strengths are mainly in composition, but a really decent understanding of lighting - and how to use your primary weapon, I mean tool - the camera to really work *with* the light - there is a *lot* left for me to learn! Anyhow, this year I've decided I want to do far more people shoots. I've only just done an intro course in LightRoom, went to a workshop on outdoor natural light portraiture this week and been shooting music gigs weekly for a while. Last week was my first shoot with a model I haven't known personally (ie, only friends and family to date), just to see how we work together, but she was keen on underwater and I just love the style. So here I am looking for tips for your first underwater fashion shoot. Let me tell you, our morning was anything but the controlled setups described here.
I was shooting with a D800 and bought a dicapac bag for it. Tested that out all ok but using it in the water is a different matter. We chose an ocean pool. I knew I wouldn't be getting the stunning black backgrounds shown in this thread and figured we should try and work with what we've got - natural rock background and ideally looking up at the surface of the water from below. We got there before sunrise and took a few land shots in the morning light before hopping in. It had to be high tide, didn't it? The waves were crashing over the rock wall throwing us to and fro. Water clarity of course was never going to be brilliant, but you work with what you can get. I took note of using short lens length, but I only have a 28-70. Of course, at 28 the lens is extended so far out from the camera that the front of the housing kept pushing it back in, putting me at 35 or worse, 50. Very hard to get full body shots like that. What I hadn't anticipated is that actually hitting the shutter button through the bag is not so simple - you lose all tactile feedback from the camera when you're clicking through plastic. And it was basically impossible to turn the lens back toward 28.
Another issue was simply getting down low in the water. She managed it, but I really struggled. The camera bag itself, having air in it, didn't really want to sink. So my choices were to hold the camera underwater and shoot blind or try and get under there. Even when I was in the water I couldn't really see the live view screen - remember the water is gushing back and forth from the waves, also pushing us toward and away from each other like sea grass.. Pot luck with focusing, especially when you can't feel the shutter button!
At the end we were ready to dry off and get warm again - I got out of the pool and then an almighty wave lifted her fully out of the pool and onto the ledge like a mearmaid washing up... before all that water decided to lift her up again and plunk her backwards into the pool. It was kind of funny at the time (we did both laugh) though the blood on her knee from a tiny cut was definitely visible afterward.
Anyhow, we had some fun. Brought along a long flowing dress and sparkly necklace. We definitely learned from the process and had a good laugh. Our next underwater (yes, she still wants to shoot!) will still be an ocean pool but we'll make sure it's either one not affected by high tide, or I'll check the tide charts this time!
Hey, please don't go too hard on me for the shoot not going anything like planned.. I feel pretty bad about her scratch too.. but what can I say? You have to start somewhere. And thankfully there seems to be a *huge* forum here. I am totally sold on underwater and I had been thinking fashion was where I wanted to go. I love the children/baby shots earlier in this thread too and definitely want to explore that. And yes, I've started browsing for a new lens