Practice in the “off season”

Practice in the “off season”

Oct 25
Practice in the “off season”

Getting to shoot the unique creatures and scenes we find under the ocean is probably the main reason you purchased a housing for your digital camera. Underwater photography is becoming more popular with the ease of digital, because it’s really a fun hobby that adds something extra to scuba diving trips, and so you can share all those great photos with your friends and family. However, unless you’re one of the lucky few who live near the ocean, a lake or other body of water that is diveable, that awesome camera gear you purchased might gather dust throughout much of the year. Here’s a great way to keep using that gear after your dive trip is finished.

Ready?

Take your gear and jump in a pool.

I’m serious. First off, it’s a perfect way to test and practice with new gear before a trip, something that is highly recommended as the pool offers a calm location to work out any kinks or different configurations with new gear, and you don’t risk missing that once in a lifetime encounter. More importantly the pool is a great way to have some fun when you can’t get underwater on scuba. You don’t need to have your full scuba set up, you can just hold your breath for a few seconds while you take a photo. For a little extra help staying on the bottom, wear a weight belt with one 2-3 lb weight on it.

Invite some friends over, or coerce your family (like I did) to jump in with you. Take the lead and instruct them to do what you want so you can practice getting the results you look for while scuba diving. Do you have trouble with something quick moving? Have someone swim at or by you and practice capturing that spur of the moment shot. Do you have trouble lighting with that wide angle lens? Practice. The pool will allow you to set your strobes, and take a shot, then easily readjust and try again until its just perfect. Pool water is usually calm and clear (until you start cannon-balling into it). It’s a great place to practice your over-undershots, especially with that hard to use small dome port. The same goes with your camera settings. Practice changing settings until you see the results you want.

The pool is also a great place for practicing macro. ¬†Grab something small with good detail like a little sculpture, or kids toy, and sink it in the pool. Then you can lay on the bottom and practice shooting. Work on setting up an interesting composition or work on lighting with your strobes until you’ve perfected that shot you’ve been itching to get. That way, when you next jump into the ocean and happen across your favorite nudibranch you’ll know exactly what you need to do to grab the shot.

Pool photography is a popular niche ranging from high end, creative model shoots to fun and quirky shots with animals and kids. Whether you develop a new hobby of pool photography or just spend an afternoon having fun with your friends and sharpening your underwater photography skills, it’s time well spent.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these great links to see what some people are doing underwater in a pool:

Helpful article on shooting kids underwater

Crazy Photo’s of Dogs in Water

Pauline Gola – Model Photography (She’s one of our many great customers!)