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Boat Water Entry with Camera Gear Methods


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#1 shawngir

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 07:50 AM

I was thinking about this the other day and got me wondering what are the common methods that people use for entering the water for a photo shot.  

 

I figure the common method would be enter the water without your gear and have some one on the boat pass you gear.  

 

Is there anyone do entries with their gear?  If so what method do you use to protect your gear?



#2 MortenHansen

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:30 AM

Hi Shawn,
 
I would say that it depends on the type of boat you are diving from, the type of camera and the conditions of the sea. 
 
Different boats, different entries, most common being giant stride and back-roll. 
 
If I have a small compact camera with no strobe, and the boat has a nice platform for a giant stride then sometimes I simply do a giant stride into the water with my camera in my left hand with my arm stretched above my head, that way the camera doesn't get a hard hit from the water (actually it almost stays dry if you do a proper giant stride). If you do this with a weight-belt full of lead, you might loose your belt. I dive with very little weight so this method works for me.
 
If you can only do a backroll then it depends on your dive-gear as well, I would not hold a camera to my chest while doing a backroll if i have lots of metal buckles etc in the front that can scratch the housing. 
 
I have a large pocket on my wetsuit thigh, big enough for a small compact, sometimes i just put it in there and leave it there until I need it/if I need it. 
 
Conditions of the sea, if you've got a nice current running then you might want to do a negative entry (then i simply leave my camera on the boat and enjoy playing around in the current). If thats not an option for you then you need to get creative, from a dinghy you could lay down on the inflated tube with your head toward the bow, camera in hand, and roll in, I would however not do a traditional back-roll with a DSLR setup as you might scratch your dome or you wont be able to hold on to your mask (keep your dome-cover on either way). 
 
DSLR, I would never jump in with mine, jump in, let someone pass you down the camera, make sure they know where to hold on or your sync cables might get torn off! 
 
Thats my opinion on the matter, hope it helps! :) 

Edited by MortenHansen, 25 April 2013 - 08:32 AM.


#3 E_viking

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:57 AM

I personally always avoid jumping in with the Camera. In my opinion it is a big risk of flooding the Camera. I do not really know if there is a real issue or not, but I try to avoid the risk. Better safe than sorry!

 

Some people are doing a giant stride with the DSLR straigth above the Head. with straight arms. Full BCD and not too much weights. It should pretty much stay dry that way, but ...

If it is a Zodiac and you do a negative entry. I sit on the corner somewhere already putting the Camera in the water.  Then doing the roll backwaters holding the Camera on arms length. It might sound a bit odd, but it works after a bit of practice. I learned the technique on a trip to Mozambique.

 

 

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#4 shawngir

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:01 PM

Thanks guys!  I always have gone with  the hand off route.  It's nice to know other divers like this practice too.  The main reason that I was asking is because I saw TV show where the camera guy was always entering with camera in hand.  Wasn't sure that was the common practice.

 

Erik, I really like your method with the Zodiac.  I should learn how to use this method.  



#5 E_viking

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:29 PM

I am of the opinion that entering with the Camera in hand is asking for floody hell to happen. Not necessarily immediately, but sooner or later.

 

Zodiac method: tuck in the Strobe arms . So, you don't twist your arm :lightbulb:  It is actually easier than it sounds!

 

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#6 DamonA

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:10 PM

I put the camera in the water snapped off to a line, hanging down 5m.  I go in rolling back and go straight to my camera.



#7 Eddcar

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:21 PM

I've own 3 different camera housing with different setups will use different methods, also depends on how the DM and boat staff's help and agree to MortenHansen that there are different other conditions that affects how to enter with gear.
 
With a small DC with no strobe I hold with one hand pressing on the belt either jump into or roll into the sea.
With strobes I normally try to ask boat staff to help pass it to me once I'm OK in the water.
 
If sea condition required immediate decent after jump in that I would make sure the gear set is hooked onto my BCD and still hold the set with one hand against my body and with other hand pressing the mask and jump or roll in.  Of course a dive check to make sure the weight of the gear set is just slightly negative is important.


Edited by Eddcar, 25 April 2013 - 11:34 PM.


#8 tdpriest

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 02:45 AM

Handing-off the gear is best, but it's not always possible in a current. Rolling in with the camera held in both hands in front of your jacket, trying to hold it above your nose so that it enters the water last reduces the shock to the o-rings. This also works when jumping in, but it's hard to hold the camera up above your head...

 

... I haven't actually seen a leak as a result. Dunk buckets are the worst culprits when it comes to wet cameras!



#9 John Bantin

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:38 AM

I am well known for my with-camera rig entry. I put the camera into the water and follow it in head-first. Works for up to 2ft of free-board.


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#10 DiverPam

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:09 PM

Hand it to you method.  Not worth the risk and the cost.   This coming from personal experience....holding it in hand years ago and flooding was the result.    

 

Think about this...the only cost to pop back up and reach over and get your rig from the dive guide is a few extra seconds. But the potential cost to rolling in or holding it while rolling or striding off the boat - $1000s and no pictures for your dive trip.   And with what we spend and or time to get to some of our destinations, a few extras seconds every time is well worth it. 

 

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#11 errbrr

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:57 PM

In rough seas around here I much prefer to giant stride with my DSLR. Trying to get close enough to grab a camera from a large boat that's slamming back into the water with every wave is not safe. I wear a drysuit and stiff fins and find I can control my jump....by the time the water's up to my chin, I'm not moving very fast so my camera rig hits the water gently. No disasters as yet.

I have backward rolled too, that takes a bit more practise with an 8" dome. Most fun of all is an abseil down into water with the camera swinging under you. I love cave diving! I also take my neoprene dome cover with me on every dive.

#12 browng

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:30 PM

In rough seas around here I much prefer to giant stride with my DSLR. Trying to get close enough to grab a camera from a large boat that's slamming back into the water with every wave is not safe. I wear a drysuit and stiff fins and find I can control my jump....by the time the water's up to my chin, I'm not moving very fast so my camera rig hits the water gently. No disasters as yet.

 

Agree with this approach but make sure that there is plenty of air in drysuit and/or BCD. Also keep the rig above your head and that way the camera will only just enter the water slowly and gently. 

 

I used to have the camera passed to me whenever possible but when I was diving in the Maldives a few years back I would drop in to the water, keeping close to boat and have camera passed to me. This was fine until I ripped my hand open by being too close to boat and catching hand on a piece of steel which was sticking out. Made a mess of my hand and the diving for the rest of the holiday.


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#13 bobanderson

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:03 PM

twist as you jump in so you land on your arse with the camera entering the water in your splash/bubbles.

 

Handing down cameras is not an option in so many situations and raising it above your head is hard work.

 

These housings are more robust than we give them credit for sometimes.

 

HTH

 

Bob



#14 PIG004

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:31 PM

I reach back and gently submerge the camera in the water before rolling in after it. Works well when the sea is rough and currents strong, just need to  time it with the swell.

Obviously much better when its passed to you though but thats not possible for me maybe 50% of the time.



#15 Damo

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:54 AM

Hi Shawn,

 

Personally,

 

From shore: Giant tride... but hold rig out above head.

From Rib/Zodiac...swing legs over pontoon....kinda 'side slip' off facing forward......holding rig out and above head.

Failing, either, then I get someone to hand it me.

 

I would never ever back roll with my rig...think it's too risky.


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#16 Jenny

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 05:47 PM

I was so focussed on protecting my camera on a back roll negative entry at Castle Rock, Komodo recently, my mask came off.  Luckily someone below caught it but so much for a negative entry. Next time I'll try the 'face first side slip'.