Underwater Photography

Ever Wanted to try your hand at Underwater Photography?

Try your hand at underwater photography

The first challenge you are going to face is how exactly are you going to get your camera underwater ?

The art of underwater photography is the process of capturing photographs of underwater dwellers. Most times, underwater photographing is done while scuba diving, but can be carried out while freediving or snorkeling using an underwater camera housing.

Underwater camera housings have control buttons and buttons that reach the camera inside, allowing the use of most of their normal functions. These housing can also have connectors to place external flashes. Some base cameras allow the use of the flash in the camera, but the built-in flash may not be strong enough or not placed correctly for use underwater. The more advanced housings direct the built-in stroboscope to activate a slave strobe through a fiber optic cable, or physically prevent the use of the integrated strobe. The housings are waterproofed by silicone or elastomer O-rings at the junctions and crucial steps of the control spindles and push buttons.

High-end housings can use dual O-rings on a variety of push-buttons and critical pins to reduce the possibility of leaks, which can destroy the electronic components of the cameras. Some cameras are intrinsically waterproof or submersible at shallow depths; When they are in submersible housing, the consequences of a small leak are usually not serious.

Using a cameras underwater poses optical problems.

Due to refraction, the image of the glass port will be distorted, especially with wide-angle lenses. A domed port or fish eye corrects this distortion. Most manufacturers manufacture these dome ports for their cabinets, often designing them for use with specific lenses to maximize their efficiency. The Nikon series allowed the use of optical elements in contact with water, lenses designed to be used in immersion, without the possibility of focusing properly in the air. There is also a problem with some digital cameras, which do not have sufficiently large integrated lenses

To solve this problem, there are cameras with additional optics in addition to the dome port, which extends the apparent viewing angle. Some cameras work with wet-coupled lenses, which are screwed to the outside of the lens port and increase the field of view. These lenses can be added or removed underwater, allowing macro and wide-angle photography in the same dive.
With macro lenses, the distortion caused by refraction is not a problem, so a simple flat glass port is normally used. Refraction increases the magnification of a macro lens; This is seen as an advantage for photographers who try to capture very small subjects.

There are soft and hard Underwater Camera Housings.

Hard housings stay the same shape at every depth, so at depth, water is pushing in against the seals trying to get inside the housing. This means if you have a slow leak, you probably won’t notice it until you see water inside. Flexible underwater housings are physically compressed by water pressure, meaning that the air inside is compressed as you depth increases. This means that the water pressure outside of the housing is the same as the air pressure inside, so you will likely see bubbles as an indication of a leak. The other big advantage of flexible camera housing is that they are not camera specific. That means that you can use different cameras with the same flexible housing.

The advantages of the hard housing over the soft cannot be overemphasized. Hard housings generally feel more secure for submerging several thousand dollars of camera gear. Whether they are actually more watertight or not is debatable, but snapping your camera into a big bulky plastic box just feels safer. Protecting your camera with a hard shell also offers some physical protection to your camera – although this is really only important if you are in the surf or another extreme environment where you might be smashing your camera around underwater. For most underwater photographers, this is not an issue.

Hard housings also offer easy access to camera controls, so it is a lot easier to change your camera settings while underwater. Underwater housings usually offer a selection of interchangeable ports. This is important because certain lenses will only work with certain ports. For example, if you want to use a fisheye lens underwater – you have to have a dome port.

The biggest drawback to hard camera housings are that they are very expensive.

If you are in the market for a hard underwater camera housing, expect to spend several thousand dollars. On top of that, you could easily spend another thousand or more on ports and accessories. Compounding the high cost of hard underwater housings is the fact that they are camera specific. If you buy a hard underwater housing for a particular kind of camera, it will only fit that exact camera which is a big problem when it is time to upgrade your gear. In contrast, flexible underwater housings feel a little sketchy at first, but flexible underwater housings from a quality manufacturer are totally waterproof (but watch out for low-cost options). An interesting difference is how hard cases and flexible housings keep water out.

ALSO CHECK:Tips for Underwater Video Recording

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