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How to get those beautiful reflections in the pool.


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#1 DerekB

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:28 PM

I am mainly a free-dive photographer, Since I've started in the photography program I have been trying to do more of the assignments and artsy work underwater.
The end of my first year in school is coming up. I would like to do an underwater Model shoot in a local pool. The type of image where it looks like the model is standing or falling into the water ( really she is floating up towards the surface.) And a few with the 50mm of just the portrait with reflections.

Here is a sketch of my two portraits I want to do.

( suppose to be sideways 90*, model is wearing face jewels)
Posted Image


Asian or AA model to look like a tribal goddess coming out of the water ( really she is underwater)

Posted Image


But How do I do this?

My inventory includes:
t2i in a nauticam housing.
50mm lens with flat port / 10-22 with dome port.
ys110a strobe with fiber optic cable
ys-27 dx with fiber optic cable but can also be slaved off camera

I was also thinking about making a skrim for the strobes off camera. As well as placing 1000watt work light above water. Is this needed?

Edited by DerekB, 28 February 2011 - 05:30 PM.


#2 Cal

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:27 AM

"How do I do this?"

Do you mean lighting wise or model placement ? Your drawings show you have a good grasp of what your trying to achieve.

Before anything make sure you get your model to practice good breath control. I get my models to breath out and sink to the bottom. we do this for 15 minutes before we even shoot. Get the models to keep the eyes closed if they arent 100% perfect at opening there eyes..... I cant stress this enough. Look and make sure the model isnt 'puffing' there cheeks out when breath holding. it ruins shots.

Dont get stressed.

enjoy the shoot and have fun and you'll get great shots.

Tell your model to be patient with herself. this is really important. so many models get frustrated as its very difficult.

Do you have a background in mind?

Shot 1) Place one light above water aiming down at the back of the models head and one underwater aiming up to illuminate her face. Then use an aperture high enough to ensure good DOF. Use the 22mm with the dome port for the face shots. Dont worry about the 50mm. Just get as close as possible. Just keep a really close eye on your histogram. Dont blow out your shots and ensure you cover all the mid tones and you'll have a good base for post production.


Posted Image

2) have the model put her legs over the edge of the pool and lean back in the water until shes flat against the pool wall. then just use the same lighting as above. splash and ripple the water to distort the above light for cool lightings effects.

Posted Image

Dont worry about the 1000 watt work light - its just extra hassle and will make very little difference.

Cheers

Cal

www.calmerophotography.com
http://www.calmero.com.au/ - Creative Underwater Photography

#3 DerekB

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 07:26 PM

"How do I do this?"

Do you mean lighting wise or model placement ? Your drawings show you have a good grasp of what your trying to achieve.

Before anything make sure you get your model to practice good breath control. I get my models to breath out and sink to the bottom. we do this for 15 minutes before we even shoot. Get the models to keep the eyes closed if they arent 100% perfect at opening there eyes..... I cant stress this enough. Look and make sure the model isnt 'puffing' there cheeks out when breath holding. it ruins shots.

Dont get stressed.

enjoy the shoot and have fun and you'll get great shots.

Tell your model to be patient with herself. this is really important. so many models get frustrated as its very difficult.

Do you have a background in mind?

Shot 1) Place one light above water aiming down at the back of the models head and one underwater aiming up to illuminate her face. Then use an aperture high enough to ensure good DOF. Use the 22mm with the dome port for the face shots. Dont worry about the 50mm. Just get as close as possible. Just keep a really close eye on your histogram. Dont blow out your shots and ensure you cover all the mid tones and you'll have a good base for post production.


Posted Image

2) have the model put her legs over the edge of the pool and lean back in the water until shes flat against the pool wall. then just use the same lighting as above. splash and ripple the water to distort the above light for cool lightings effects.

Posted Image

Dont worry about the 1000 watt work light - its just extra hassle and will make very little difference.

Cheers

Cal

www.calmerophotography.com


Cal, Thanks for the great info. I know you know what your doing so your advice is greatly appreciated.
I am planning on using some black curtains I had sown together weighted in the center and bottom with dive weights sown in.

My main question was how do I get the reflection. Is it the light placement ( on the floor, angling towards the model, bouncing of her to the surface.) Or is it the position of the camera to the model and surface reflection? We learned in lighting class about the " incident of refraction is equal to the incident of action" But this was for the use of metallic objects like spoons. I'm totally at loss when it comes to applying this underwater.


You mentioned having a strobe out of the water? I assumed this would be like trying to look through a window at night, If its dark outside you see yourself, if there is a light on outside then I only see what is outside.

#4 Ron Kruger

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 07:51 PM

That's a cool technique and results, Cal. So much of this sight is about which equipment to buy, but I really got something out of this and will try to apply a version of it to what I do. So far, I've been able to get reflections with ambiant light, and that simply depends upon the angle of the light.

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#5 Cal

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 05:03 AM

Ron- Cheers.

Derek- Oh gotcha!

Your just wondering how you actually get the reflection in the first place?

Its actually really easy. Sink gently underwater then look at the surface at a 45 degree angle. Put your hand out and touch the surface gently and it should form a mirror image. Its all about the angle your looking at the surface at - not about lighting. You can get great reflections in broad daylight or very little light at all.

Go try this in your bath tub for practice

Posted Image

also, with your SHOT 1, the model is going to find that really hard to sit still enough for the reflection to be even close to accurate. If your dead set on this shot then shoot it in really shallow water where she can stand OR get her to creatively hang her legs out of the pool and use her stomach muscles to keep still. You need to keep really still as well as the slightest movement can affect the reflection.

aslo, no scuba units or anything. just breath hold.

Use grease based makeup.

Cheers
http://www.calmero.com.au/ - Creative Underwater Photography

#6 Cal

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 05:05 AM

just check the image again - for the love of all things holy dont use dimontes....they'll come off in 30 seconds and stress everybody out.

Also, Getting a good make up artist (MUA) will greatly improve your shots. Possibly spend some $$ on this. $150 max for an average pro, $50 for a student.
http://www.calmero.com.au/ - Creative Underwater Photography

#7 Ron Kruger

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:00 AM

Cal, I am very impressed with our images, especially the black isolation. Are you doing this at night with only artificial light to illuminate the subject?

#8 DerekB

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 06:37 PM

Cal, thanks. I have done underwater images in the past. Mostly at depths of 60-100 ft on a breath hold. I can't believe that people would actually use scuba in a pool!

Thanks for info on creating a reflection sounds easy enough!

I was surprised to find my school while offering a fashion program does not offer any MUA. So looks like I will have to nuck up and rent one, adding to the many things.

#9 Cal

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:39 PM

Before renting one - check www.modelmayhem.com for a freebie. most MUA's will do underwater for free.

Ron - Thanks! Yeah thats pretty much it.
http://www.calmero.com.au/ - Creative Underwater Photography

#10 gbrandon

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:51 PM

Cal, thanks. I have done underwater images in the past. Mostly at depths of 60-100 ft on a breath hold. I can't believe that people would actually use scuba in a pool!


Yeah, and more than a few have died using scuba in a pool. Crazy eh? People getting their scuba cert almost always use a pool.