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Underwater portrait lighting


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#1 Heather

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:53 AM

Hi,
I'm looking to find a solution for getting better images in indoor pools. Previously I've done some portraits in outdoor pools with 5d & 17-40mm lens in an Ikelite housing and DS160 substrobe - best results backlit or side lit by the sun and my DS160 fill in flash. That was outdoors in Turkey, but now I'm indoors in the UK (not quite the same lighting!!) Since I have a lot of gear at the moment I can't afford another DS160 and looking at my options.
I've thought about buying a wide angle dive torch (the LED C4) and placing out of the pool to replicate the sun; shinning towards my subject in the pool (?) I've thought about buying a 2nd hand strobe to do similar, but may only be able to afford the DS51 - would it be strong enough? and can I sync it?
Indoors I get better results when close too (obviously) and with the substrobe not quite direct, but most are too dark. I've yet to test again & I'm going to try a white sheet backdrop (best I can use to get a plan background that may brighten and show no grubby tiles!) and see if I can get someone to hold the strobe further away and up from the camera. I'd like to use a pool with more natural light coming though a window; firstly it's finding one available to rent and secondly it's not so bright light at this time of year! I know I really need another DS160 but can anyone advise something for me to try, buy or use that's not too expensive?
Any advice appreciated; thanks, Heather

Edited by Heather, 12 December 2011 - 04:55 AM.


#2 Graggs

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:17 PM

I've thought about buying a wide angle dive torch (the LED C4) and placing out of the pool to replicate the sun; shinning towards my subject in the pool (?) I've thought about buying a 2nd hand strobe to do similar, but may only be able to afford the DS51 - would it be strong enough? and can I sync it?
Indoors I get better results when close too (obviously) and with the substrobe not quite direct, but most are too dark. I've yet to test again & I'm going to try a white sheet backdrop (best I can use to get a plan background that may brighten and show no grubby tiles!) and see if I can get someone to hold the strobe further away and up from the camera. I'd like to use a pool with more natural light coming though a window; firstly it's finding one available to rent and secondly it's not so bright light at this time of year! I know I really need another DS160 but can anyone advise something for me to try, buy or use that's not too expensive?
Any advice appreciated; thanks, Heather


Hi Heather
Please don't go buying LED torches, they are not your friend here.Equally, even a monster strobe is not going to give you that Turkey sun effect you crave, but a second strobe just out of shot may help.
I'm not sure where in the UK you are, but you would do well to speak to Steve at Ocean Optics (Basildon)....firstly, he will give you much better advice than me, but importantly, they have a tank (pool) with an artificial sun.
Syncing a second strobe shouldn't be a problem by the way....Steve can also give you some very good advice about strobes.
Good luck
Graggs

Edited by Graggs, 12 December 2011 - 01:18 PM.


#3 Heather

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:55 PM

Hi Graggs,
Thanks for the info, I'll call Steve for a chat tomorrow and I'll stop looking at LED torches!
I think I need to save for another strobe if I'm to take this seriously!
No I'm not local to Basildon - I'm near Manchester; shame as the pool with artificial sunlight sounds great!
Thanks again, Heather

#4 ladybird

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:36 PM

Hi Graggs,
Thanks for the info, I'll call Steve for a chat tomorrow and I'll stop looking at LED torches!
I think I need to save for another strobe if I'm to take this seriously!
No I'm not local to Basildon - I'm near Manchester; shame as the pool with artificial sunlight sounds great!
Thanks again, Heather


I did some u/w portraits for a dance school here in cold, dark Canada last month. I used three SB800s in an umbrella stand on deck set to SU and my on camera DS125 set them off. I liked that I wasn't plugged into any electrical outlets and the backlighting added a nice effect... if you search this forum you'll find more info on how to do it.
Here's another site for you http://apnewton.blog...01_archive.html
_DSC1038.JPG
Have fun!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
><///°> * <°\\\><

#5 Heather

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:24 AM

Ladybird thank you for the info and great shot! I'm quite jealous of the fact you can fire your SB800's from your camera & DS125: I have a canon 580exII speedlite, but it won't fire from my underwater gear with my 5d II (or I don't think it will from what I've read.) I also have Bowens Gemini Kit but don't want to electrocute anyone (or myself!)
I came across the blog you mention; it's good to know that an extra long cable can be used and I like the idea of using the gorillapod!
Buying a 2nd underwater strobe is the way forward by the looks of things (and selling my Bowens kit to pay for it!)
Thanks again, Heather

#6 Heather

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:31 AM

I've also spoken to Steve at Ocean Optics and he was very helpful! He told me about quite a few lighting set-ups and techniques, as well as gave me some useful people to contact in my area. Like I said above I think I'll be selling my Bowens kit to buy a second UW strobe, meanwhile I'll see what I can get out of one light in the indoor pools.
Heather

Edited by Heather, 13 December 2011 - 04:32 AM.


#7 Photobebe

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:09 AM

Hi,

I am also interested in indoor pool portrait lighting, I am trying to shoot babies in the indoor pool, I have used 4000 led UW constant light for the first time (I have borrowed) but it wasn't enough light, it wasn't enough sharp.
Next time I have used Multi blitz outside the pool and my Speedlite 580 inside, but the result was even worst, the little particles were seen, and still no sharpness and clarity...
I want to buy some lighting equipment for my UW photography, but still don't know what is the best? there is a possibility to buy UW strobe, and two multi blitz heads outside the pool, or it is better to buy two constant lamps from outside the pool and I have speedlite already for underwater light?
Also I have question about post processing , is there any tricks or tips for UW photography post processing? I am working with Aperture 3, maybe there is some presets?


Thanks in advance

Bebe