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tips for underwater portrait shoot


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#1 marc1990

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 08:34 AM

Hello,

 

Last Friday I did had my first experience with underwater portrait shooting. The setup i used was:  black background, one light at the right (about 35 degree) and the other just left of camera(fill).

Main problem I run in to where which poses work and how should I explain them to the model.

And I find the light not very nice(strong shadows and strong light spots). I am thinking of adding a softbox at the right side.

 

If you have tips to improve, I would love to hear them. 

 

The model was Veronica Young

2014-01-31 fotoshoot zwembad-IMG_0212.jpg 2014-01-31 fotoshoot zwembad-IMG_0219.jpg 2014-01-31 fotoshoot zwembad-IMG_0255.jpg 2014-01-31 fotoshoot zwembad-IMG_0280.jpg 2014-01-31 fotoshoot zwembad-IMG_0281.jpg 2014-01-31 fotoshoot zwembad-IMG_0300.jpg


Canon 7D, ikelite house,2x ds161 strobe,tokine 10-17mm, sigma 18-50 2.8 macro en canon 100mm 2.8 USM, flickr


#2 RanMozaik

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 09:02 AM

The lighting you chose if very good.

I prefer lighting up some of the background because the pitch black kinda makes the underwater effect get lost. It's could look great though, maybe for full body shots.

Anyway, I think you can manage the technical side :)

The model side turns out to be the hardest part usually. The "holding my breath" expression can ruin every shot. It's quite frustrating.
I use a few tricks:

 

  • Do some practice without the camera, just going in and out of the water with eyes and mouth open, to see it's not that bad. At first tell her to go with her eyes closed, and just make sure she doesn't make a weird expression.
  • Instruct your model to take a big breath, blow out all of the air above water and then go under. That helps her stay under (no air in the lungs) and keeps her from blowing bubbles.
  • Show the model that there is no need to change your expression when you go under. just keep a calm expression on your face and go under. Do it with her, face to face with mouth and eyes open. make sure she doesn't try to hold her breath. you can assure her water won't go in.
  • Doing some funny screaming or surprised shots at first will loosen the face and maybe you can get some cool photos out of it :)
     
  • Use the Tokina 10-17. Wide angle shots will look great in the pool. If distortion is too bad, easily fix it in Lightroom.
  • To find the right poses, tell the model to dance underwater. most will do some weird movements and try out all sorts of poses, and you can observe and note 1-2 poses that seemed to look best. then instruct her to do more of those.
  • Avoid closeups on the face. It takes a very experienced model to get the face exactly right.
  • To get the hair right, tell her to mess it up with her hands underwater, and then take her head slightly forward. That should nail it.

 

That's pretty much it. 

 

Here are some examples of mine attached:

 

Danchy-UW-RX100_0243.jpg

 

Alina-Pool-151-2.jpg
 

 

Danchy-UW-RX100_0026.jpg

 

You can find some more here: https://www.facebook...l/photos_albums

and here: http://www.ranmorpho...ashion-gallery/



#3 AlecD

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:56 PM

That above advice is very good.

Posing underwater is a big problem for non divers and takes a lot of practice.

I also find that asking models to dance underwater is about the best and also avoid closeups. Full length shots look so much more fluid anyway.

Try adding some additional light from outside as well, that will soften your underwater lights so they wont appear as harsh. Shoot during daylight hours or use a strong torch or even a studio light (suitably secured, as you dont want it falling in)

triggering a studio light is tricky but i have used 3 lights to trigger one before. Now got a long cable so only need the one to trigger it.

Heres a couple of mine.

 

Attached Images

  • 20120401_2728d.jpg
  • 20120523_Elsa_5796aag40a.jpg


#4 haring

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:25 AM

These look awesome!



#5 haring

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:29 AM

The lighting you chose if very good.

I prefer lighting up some of the background because the pitch black kinda makes the underwater effect get lost. It's could look great though, maybe for full body shots.

Anyway, I think you can manage the technical side :)

The model side turns out to be the hardest part usually. The "holding my breath" expression can ruin every shot. It's quite frustrating.
I use a few tricks:

 

  • Do some practice without the camera, just going in and out of the water with eyes and mouth open, to see it's not that bad. At first tell her to go with her eyes closed, and just make sure she doesn't make a weird expression.
  • Instruct your model to take a big breath, blow out all of the air above water and then go under. That helps her stay under (no air in the lungs) and keeps her from blowing bubbles.
  • Show the model that there is no need to change your expression when you go under. just keep a calm expression on your face and go under. Do it with her, face to face with mouth and eyes open. make sure she doesn't try to hold her breath. you can assure her water won't go in.
  • Doing some funny screaming or surprised shots at first will loosen the face and maybe you can get some cool photos out of it :)
     
  • Use the Tokina 10-17. Wide angle shots will look great in the pool. If distortion is too bad, easily fix it in Lightroom.
  • To find the right poses, tell the model to dance underwater. most will do some weird movements and try out all sorts of poses, and you can observe and note 1-2 poses that seemed to look best. then instruct her to do more of those.
  • Avoid closeups on the face. It takes a very experienced model to get the face exactly right.
  • To get the hair right, tell her to mess it up with her hands underwater, and then take her head slightly forward. That should nail it.

 

That's pretty much it. 

 

Here are some examples of mine attached:

 

Danchy-UW-RX100_0243.jpg

 

Alina-Pool-151-2.jpg
 

 

Danchy-UW-RX100_0026.jpg

 

You can find some more here: https://www.facebook...l/photos_albums

and here: http://www.ranmorpho...ashion-gallery/

 

 

Great photos! I guess I have to get as colse as possible if the water is not perfectly clean. What do you do when the water is murky in case of a photo session out in the open ocean?



#6 ivan jakac

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:39 AM

hello there!

Some really great tips here!

And of course, big thumbs up for the whole site. I am not a regular poster, but tend to read a lot of very useful stuff here! 

 

Would like to add some of my experience:

I read somewhere, that the model should avoid washing their hair and using conditioner - clean hair tend to catch a lot of small air bubbles. I tried some of the shots and it turned out as a great tip.

Try to aim for slow fluid motion of the model, with short stops and direction changes, so it animates the hair and the dress.

When choosing a poll for the shoot, try to find one with clean water. We booked the night, and started shooting around 0100 hours, to give time for the water to settle down. (that is, if you don't get a private pool ;)

some of the images can be found here http://www.flickr.com/photos/40503675@N03/6654661997/

 

On the shots we used 20mm lens on full frame camera. The light was the available pool light, that we could point towards the surface and use a deflector. On this link you can find some BTS shots - http://www.pleinsud.com/news/

 

Safe diving



#7 RanMozaik

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:47 AM

Great tips here :)

 

I haven't used above-water lighting yet. I hope to try it on my next session...

 

Lionfish - regarding your question on murky water, I also had a rought experience with a small pool that kids have been swimming in the whole day, and visibility was very bad.

Instead of canceling the shoot we decided to go for it anyway and got some cool atmosphere in the photos.

 

Examples attached:

 

Addy-261.jpg

 

Addy-434.jpg



#8 ivan jakac

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 09:40 AM

hello - a short correction on the link. http://www.pleinsud.com

 

under 'news' you can find the BTS shots

best regards



#9 AlecD

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 06:49 PM

hello - a short correction on the link. http://www.pleinsud.com

 

under 'news' you can find the BTS shots

best regards

 

Ivan, that is top notch work, am well impressed.



#10 ivan jakac

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:55 AM

thank you very much AlecD! 



#11 marc1990

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:10 AM

Thanks you all for your useful advice.

 

Hope to try it out soon. Will keep you posted.


Canon 7D, ikelite house,2x ds161 strobe,tokine 10-17mm, sigma 18-50 2.8 macro en canon 100mm 2.8 USM, flickr