Experiment series: Underwater
Over the past couple of months I have had some time to experiment with different photography types and techniques. I thought it would be fun (and hopefully instructive) to write some “experiment series” blog posts where I could share my experience, my set ups, my successes and failures and my post production with you.
The first of this series is about underwater photography. This is something that always fascinates me. There is this unreal feeling where everything seems to be floating weightlessly, where light is bended producing mesmerising shadows… So, naturally, I looked for a way to submerge my camera under water and capture these phenomenons. Unfortunately after some extensive researches I came to the conclusion that underwater housing are too expensive for an occasional use. Fortunately I found another solution that involved underwater photography without submersing my camera: swimming pool portholes!
That’s obviously not as practical as a proper housing but it’s a good way to experiment. As my field of view was a bit limited, I couldn’t point my camera upward to capture how ray of lights would penetrate water. On the other hand I could see more clearly what I was doing.
The photos were taken with natural light only. I tried to experiment with remote flashes but the concrete structure of the swimming pool was too thick to let the wireless transceivers emit or receive signals.
Post production was another challenging part of the process. As you all know, under water, light is not absorbed equally which is the reason why it looks blue. Well, when taking photos under water, it also looks blue! So if you ever want to try underwater photography, I strongly advice you to shoot RAW to have more latitude in post for colour correction. I had to find the right settings in Lightroom to pull out the skin tones (red) and give some punch / contrast to the photos. Here’s an example of before and after colour correction: