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Member Since 29 Aug 2009
Offline Last Active Sep 08 2009 01:21 AM

Topics I've Started

Talk to me about ambient lighting underwater!!!!

29 August 2009 - 02:15 PM

Hi there!

I am new to this board and underwater photography and I am need in some serious technical advice!

OK, so I am a documentary photography, not fully accomplished but I'd like to think I understand the fundementals of exposure and I don't just mean shooting for a mid-grey. But obviously underwater things change... and I'm not sure how to trouble shoot appropriately.

So here's the deal, I'm doing a documentary on British Lidos... photographing people swimming basically from under the water... I'm using the Nikonos V which in my opinion seems absolutely fine, with Kodak Portra NC - 800 film. I'm using a high ISO to give me more options on my depth of feild and shutter speed. However what I have found is I can't meter under the water as the it is very difficult to see the red numbers through the viewfinder when underthewater. So to help me judge what the light is I use my external meter above the water, metering the surface of the water and the basic ambient and taking an average. Then when I am under the water I over expose by 3 stops. Now this was starting to work, but only if I was no more than 2 meters away. When the distance to subject is 3 to 5 meters my images have come out incredibly blue - WHY??? Also, I noticed they were under-exposed as the light had dropped off... so I over-exposed an extra 2 stops [making it 5 stops more than the above water ambient light] and I have these images simply lacking texture, detail and colour - which I would say is an over-exposed image.

Soooo sorry for the rant, but what is the best rule of thumb in this situation? How can I compensate for larger distances? Also when I have been able to see the red meter numbers in the Nikonnos it says there is a lot more light then I thought underwater... is this correct? I always thought you lost 2 to 3 stops of light as soon as you submerge?

Can someone help to untangle my confusion... I just need to get my light right... nothing more!

Thanks in advance if anyone can help!