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underwater fashion photography ?

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Hello,

 

I have just been hired to do a shoot for a fashion brand. They want to do their summer line catalog underwater.

Is there someone out there that has done this and could give me some tips ??

 

thanks a lot !

felipe

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you two are cruel

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Hello and thanks to both "YES"s.

 

Some fast and probably very basic questions.

 

What ISO do you normally use ? (it is going to be during the day in a roofed pool). I have one Ikelite DS125 and one DS50 strobes.

 

Do you have a "normal" aperture/speed combination ?

 

A sample aperture/speed for pictures that go all black in the background (like I saw in your site, James).

 

I saw you use a tripod for those over/under pictures...would you recomend that to me?

 

Should I illuminate from above the pool ? or is it enough with my on-camera strobes?

 

I have a 17-40mm and a 100mm macro. I am planning on using the WA, but could the 100mm. be good for face portraits ?

 

Well, as you can see, I am really beginning with this, so anything you say is going to be useful to me.

Thanks a lot for any tips...I have until saturday to learn as much as I can.

 

thank you again,

Felipe

 

Canon 5D/Ikelite housing.

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If you have till tomorrow, and it's then or never, and the client depends on you, you may be better off hiring a pro (two people in this thread could probably help) and watch them work. This is not something you just learn in a day, or even a week, even for experienced UW photographers.

 

Maybe split the fee, and next time you have more experience to do this.

 

Cor

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I agree with Cor - if this is a commercial shoot, and it's coming up in a couple of days - then you're going to need help. A pro in your area that's done this before would be perfect.

 

It took me 5 or six practice sessions w/ models before I was getting reliable results.

 

You can not get a black background to your photos in a normal swimming pool no matter what aperture and shutterspeed you use. You need to make a sort of underwater set. The 17-40L is a good choice on the 5D.

 

I'm loathe to give you more advice other than practice practice practice. If you can get in the water and give it a try today, then report back w/ your problems maybe we can help.

 

Cheers

James

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I'm with the others:

 

Practice practice practice!!!

 

as for lighting, you'll need the strobes to give back the colour. Pool water desaturates the same way any other water does but the blueish whitish pool sides and bottoms will play with you white balance a little too...I'd DEFINATLY shoot in raw...

 

If you have the ability to conect to some studio flashes outside of the pool as well as your strobes I would say do it, or use some very high intensity INCANDECENT lighting (If i had a choice I would a few 400w Metal Halide aquarium bulbs) just to give a reflection off of the surface and create the underwater shimming effect. standard lighting does a poor job of this.

 

I'd take a tripod but be prepared not to use it on every shot...

 

personally I like high apertures, fast shutter speeds and TONS of light (to compensate) just to get the perfect blend of shadows and saturation with vivid contour and contrast, however that is my style and it does take some time to perfect and will likley end with a lot of underexposed pictures.

 

 

on the topic of an underwater set, sounds feasable, could even add to the effect of being underwater if you use cloth...if you do, you might also try putting your strobes on tripods and using them like studio flashes. I wouldn't want to trust any TTL circutry on that one though so it would take some playing with...defusers would also make a difference...

 

 

hope this helps

 

_Mike

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As this is such short notice, I would have to agree with Cor and James that you may want to delay or get help if this is a critical commercial shoot.

Having said that, I would disagree with Mike regarding lighting for your first few shoots. You MUST start simple and then you can increase complexity as you feel comfortable. I would start with your wide angle zoom at the wide end and get close. Forget about teles for now. If there is a lot of ambient light, start with this. for a while till you get a feel for composition and working with the model.

Then add one strobe. To get the background as dark as possible take your shutter speed up to the highest synch speed (1/250 on my camera) and play with aperture and strobe power. You will most likely still have to burn in the background in Photoshop if you want it pitch black. Once you feel good about this, add a second strobe.

It took me at least half a dozen shoots to just get to this point, so this should keep you busy for a while.

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Thanks everyone !!

Believe me, if I could I would share my fees with you guys to do the job together, but I am far away, in Ecuador. Apparently, there is no expert around here to do this job, that is why they hired me !! So that piece of advice cannot be followed.

 

OK. so I will shoot RAW, I will keep it simple in terms of lighting, I would experiment a lot...etc.etc.

 

Fortunately, since for the company this is also a first, they want to do a "practice session", so tomorrow we are going with the models to do this session, just to experiment...so I am really relieved that for the actual shooting on monday I will at least have done something prior to it.

 

So, thanks again for your advice, I printed your replies and am taking them with me. I will let you know my questions after this practice (maybe even place some sample pictures for you to critique?)

 

 

Thanks a lot and I will let you know how it went,

Felipe

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Thanks everyone !!

Believe me, if I could I would share my fees with you guys...

 

Cash is fine... ;)

 

 

Having said that, I would disagree with Mike regarding lighting for your first few shoots. You MUST start simple and then you can increase complexity as you feel comfortable.

 

yeah I did get a little caried away there, huh? Sorry, I got all excited for a second before I remembered that I'm not the one doing it, hehe... :ninja:

 

 

good luck!

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You may also want to get in contact with Aaron Wong who has done this also - you can see a gallery which includes some shots of the setup at http://www.imagestation.com/album/index.html?id=2090415267

 

His main website is here with contact details http://www.aaronsphotocraft.com/

 

Looks pretty extensive !! Good luck !!

Edited by Big Blue One

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Thanks a lot guys !!

 

I finally did the photoshoot and it went OK. As you told me, it wasn't perfect the first time...but the client is happy with the results.

 

I will let you see the pictures that they choose so you can help me improve for next time.

 

Again, thank you, I was close to running away and disappeariing for some time so I didn't have to explain to them that I didn't have a clue of what I was going to do.

 

Really, the internet is amazing. And people in this forums are really cool guys and girls. Thanks a lot.

Felipe

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That's awesome !

In case you don't already kow, this guy does some nice water work. Hope it can be inspiring.

 

http://www.howardschatz.com/

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Hey guys !

 

Again, thanks for your help!

Here is a link with some of the pictures I took. It is a very big brand here in Ecuador, and the pictures (12 in total) are in giant billboards all over the country, so I am kind of proud of my first "fashion" job.

 

Please, send your comments and critiques !! I want to improve for next time...(although, I think I will keep photographing animals a lot more).

 

Thank you,

Felipe

 

http://www.pinto.com.ec/pintopal/index.jsp#

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Congratulations Felipe. My only comment would probably be about your models - probably these guys where given about as much notice as you were, and they do not look too comfortable or practiced in the water. Finding good models that are really comfortable in the water and who are graceful is key. My sense is that these guys were topside models asked to do some work in a pool. If you can look for models who may be dancers or gymnasts first, and who of course can swim and feel comfortable underwater, holding their breath, etc.

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giant billboards all over the country

 

Good job Felipe!

Guess it must be a great feeling to see your work everywhere :D

 

Best regards,

 

Bartus

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