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Today couldn’t have been better as we were able to spend most of the day both out on, as well as underwater the water.

Shooting underwater presents an entirely new set of challenges and can be fairly difficult.  It can however also be very rewarding!

Working with the underwater housing

Working with the underwater housing

The biggest challenge is lighting, and as we had limited space for gear on this trip, we had no room for underwater strobes.

Luckily, as the underwater element for this job was relatively small (just needed enough to convey the feeling) we were able to shoot great images using natural light.

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The trick with shooting underwater with natural light (which is the same as with shooting strobes) is putting the light in the right spot.

As we cant move the sun, the best bet is to get on the other (or dark) side of the subject.  If you can get the light behind, you will more times than not create a cool looking image.

A perfect example of what I mean can be found with the first image of this post.  Getting below the swimmer (back lighting) provides a large scale drama as well as wonderful shafts of light streaming down.

a dramatic example of shooting from the "dark" side

a dramatic example of shooting from the “dark” side

The confusion that happens with most beginners because of the presumed “lack” of light.  It is natural to think that the image wont be exposed properly because we are on the “dark” side of the image.

In the case of the swimmer, we wanted him to be a bit dark because he is representing not a particular person, but the activity of snorkeling.  In the case of the underwater cave above, we let the foreground go completely dark to give the feeling of mystery and adventure.

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After diving the reef, we spent an hour or so exploring the rocky shore.  The image above was inside a small surf cave.  The light in the shot was from a shaft high above which acted like a big soft box.  It was fantastic.

Rabbit, the infamous "underwater assistant"

Rabbit, the infamous “underwater assistant”

Of course, Rabbit was like a pig in shit.  I think underwater assisting has to be the simplest of assignments.  Once the camera is buttoned up inside the housing, there really isn’t much to do except burn one’s pasty white English hide….. (sorry man…)

Stanley, Greg, Henry, Rabbit

Stanley, Greg, Henry, Rabbit

At the end of the dive, we met up with Henry (the care taker) and Stanley, his right hand man where we headed over to the local Casitas for some cold beers and some fresh fish!

In the end, it was a perfect finish, to a perfect day.

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Up close and personal with dinner

Up close and personal with dinner

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Our editor has been kicking ass this year, and we have some upcoming underwater work scheduled this winter, so we decided to send “The Rabbit” off to scuba school.

The local dive center that we love is called North Atlantic Scuba, and they are located in Marshfield, Ma. We have been very happy with the professional level of service at North Atlantic, as well as very pleased with the quality of their instructors.

Pool dive number one

Pool dive number one

North Atlantic Scuba teaches from the SSI curriculum, which is a very good program. The first step is called the Open Water Diver course which consisted of class time, 2 pool sessions, and 2 open water dives. Read the rest of this entry »

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