I love being in the water. Long showers, the ocean, the pool…whatever. It makes me feel alive. When I get the opportunity to mix photography with something that makes me feel alive the results are usually special. When I went on my first surf trip to Costa Rica about 15 years ago I bought a 35mm Canon WP-1 point and shoot. It was simple and easy to use; just aim and shoot. It worked for shooting friends and was a great size to have on my wrist and still be able to surf. Flash forward to last summer and I had added a Nikonos IVa to my underwater arsenal along with my seven year old Canon G9 point and shoot. They all serve their purpose, they allow me to take photos in the water but none of them provide the control I want to make better photos. The G9 has the ability to control the settings enough to dictate the outcome, but it’s also a seven year old digital camera so the output isn’t stellar. The following were shots made using those three underwater cameras.
Since I has so much fun last summer and the results were well received I had been conspiring how to justify buying a housing for my DSLR. After all these shoots are self-assigned and although they bring eyeballs and accolades they aren’t bringing in revenue. A few weeks ago I came across an opportunity to buy an Aquatech housing that would work with my 5D Mark III and I jumped. This week was my first shoot.
The game plan was similar to last summer – fashion inspired portraits in and around the water. I shot with Jackie Smyth who’s a yoga instructor, writer and friend that I have shot with over the years.
Shooting in the water changes the game in so many ways. I lose control. I can compose and set the camera in a way where I expect certain results but the waves, sun and water add a level of unpredictability to everything. Add to the fact that the model can’t wear much makeup and the shoot ends up being about expression and found moments. The following were shot using my Aquatech housing, 5DMIII and 16-35mm lens. More to come!