Another World - Underwater

As an enormous fan of the popular series Game of Thrones, I am very excited for the new season commencing April 6, however, may I add, I am not a huge fan of the famous quote -

 

The southern hemisphere has just moved into Autumn 2014 and the temperatures have already commenced to decline, the days are definately becoming shorter as daylight breaks much later, (notice I don't specify the time of morning, that's because I don't really know, I just know its still dark when the alarm goes off at 6.30am and I hide myself back under the pillow for a wee bit longer).  

So enough about that, I've gone off on a tangent :) The real reason for this introduction is to remind myself that my biggest love of Summer, is becoming less available, and that is my love of the water and getting in it for a swim :(........  However, this last Summer has awaken my desire to photograph under water, and with that desire I finally went out and purchased a housing for my camera.   Yeah yeah, it was after much research and procrastination that I took my first baby steps.  

 

The first attempt in the water was extremely educational, I had researched a number of underwater photographers and thought - "Well that looks relatively easy!! " hahahahaha what an understatement !!! easy it was definitely not!!!

 

I thought I was prepared for all sorts of conditions.  I had inspected the pool before hand and asked the appropriate questions about the best time of day for the pool to be in full sun, I wanted the light to be natural and beam into the pool from above onto my model.  The pool lining was a light blue colour so, understanding that there would be colour casts it would be beneficial to help reflect the light back up to the subject, and of course I could colour correct later in post.  Sounds pretty good so far.  Of course I had a backup plan as well, what if it get's cloudy and the sun is diffused, not allowing for the intensity of light I was expecting ??? Well Plan B - bring some flash to use on a boom over the subject to emulate the sun.  Great plan!! Yes, I would fire the flash from my transmitter mounted on my camera from beneath the surface.   Welllllllllll, I managed to successfully fire off some shots but occasionally the clouds did prove to be a bit of a nuisance, blocking off the sun, and the pool was slowing becoming shaded as the sun shifted.  Out comes Plan B ...... tanaaaaaaaaa !!! because I'm not a technical genius it took a fews to realise, that the frequency waves from the transmitter were never going to reach the receivers on the flash units, the radio waves don't travel through water !!!! ahahahahaha excellent - Plan B was an epic fail !!!

But there was a Plan C - Plan C was to move quickly to get best use of the sun while we had it :)

The other hindering element to this first shoot was the quality of the water, it wasn't exactly the clearest, it was a bit murky and I didn't do a very good job of cleaning the pool floor, there was too much I still hadn't prepared for.  

But besides all of that we had some fun and I still managed some shots that were worthy of publication on the Vogue Italia website, but now the challenge was on for improvement !!

Model - Anne Duffy  HMUA & Underwater Assistant - Lauren Cataldo

Model - Anne Duffy 

HMUA & Underwater Assistant - Lauren Cataldo

The distortion added an element of interest to the images creating a painterly effect, I particularly like the way it blended a flow of the fabric, the image has been enhanced in post production.

 

ATTEMPT NUMBER 2

 

This time I was prepared for the lighting scenario.  The pool was an indoor pool, the lining was a sapphire blue, which was darker than the last pool and I knew that unless I had artificial light, we were not going to get a lot happening in terms of exposure.  

The housing I am using is the Ikelite unit, although it is rated highly, I still max out on the stress levels just as I am about to submerge.  :)   This time I have also taken my flash with me under the water.  It worked a treat, the lighting was ethereal, and it was a great step forward from the last shoot.  My biggest hurdle this time was staying submerged :), just as well there were some free weights from Matty's gym set that I managed to use as weights tucked into my board shorts, not really flattering or anything that I would allow anyone to have ever photographed me in !!! It looked absolutely ridiculous, but EFFECTIVE!!!!

And this is what we got this time ::

Model - Bernadette Jury HMUA & Underwater Assistant - Lauren Cataldo 

Model - Bernadette Jury

HMUA & Underwater Assistant - Lauren Cataldo 

This was Bernadette's first time being photographed underwater, I have photographed Bernadette before, however this is an entirely different environment, with a plethora of obstacles challenging us through out the shoot.  The biggest challenge is the limited time, as we hold our breath, communication was without a doubt the most important, knowing what to do and not to do as a model in order to still look elegant and portray the look we were after.  Bernadette did a fabulous job !!! 



As we become more confident, we added a second subject to the scene, changed the setting a little and ...... yay in comes Lauren like a guardian angel :)  I love how these underwater images are so calm and ethereal :)