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Black and White or Colour?

Which do you usually prefer for underwater photography, black and white or colour ?  I am usually more drawn to the black and white. To me, underwater photography is about so much movement, that black and white just strips it down and simplifies it to just those most intriguing elements of movement.  

Which do you prefer? 

Colour

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or black and white?

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Why?  

What are you going to shoot more of this summer? 

Cheers,

Jennifer

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A little before and after

Its been a while and Amy and I have done some live editing on our IG page (make sure you follow us for it!) but I thought I would share a quick edit here too!  

From me, a good edit like on land, starts with great light. Underwater, great light is much harder to come by, but there are a few things you can think through and really take an image in almost any water. This past weekend I shot in hotel water pool, which is by FAR the grossest to shoot in. BUT it had pretty good light. For starters, the pool was light, so the light that came in was reflected, which helps immensely.  Second, the pool was shallow - water which isn't deep is way easier to get better skin tones in, and easier to work with all around. Third, I used pool lights, which I love using to backlight the subject and take it from here...

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See how gross it is??  Cloudy - full of hockey kids all weekend, so you can imagine what was in that water!  BUT what did I see?  I saw a great pose and loved the bubbles, which I directed him to do, knowing the light would catch them.

In LR I used a preset that I created for this, but essentially, you will want to increase the blacks, pull the shadows and in this case the whites and highlights too.  I used the luminance sliders and played with the blue and aqua hues and colour corrected. All with one click.  

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Its not bad, but to finish it off, I pull my underwater images into Photoshop too. I find thats the way I like to get the deeper and better blues, smooth out the skin and take off more of the cyans you still see in the LR edit. I could have spent longer on the image, but all this took was maybe 5 minutes, which is all I had ;) 

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Enjoy and feel free to ask any questions, or better yet join us on IG!!  Keep practising!  Oh and I took out all of those THINGS in the pool....who knows what they were....

Cheers,

Jennifer

xoxoxox

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A Few More Tips - Underwater Self Portraits - Barb Toyama

We wanted to share a few of our favourite underwater self portraits tricks with you too!  So we thought we would devote the next couple of posts to include some of our own images and tips on shooting underwater self portraits!  

First up Barb Toyama

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So what if you’d like to take a self portrait in the water and don’t have a human tripod available? Or maybe you’re in the ocean so there’s nowhere to secure your camera to and use a self timer?

I loved swimming in the ocean while pregnant and knew I wanted to capture this to remember that feeling. So, with my 24mm wide angle lens, I turned my camera/housing around to face me in true selfie-style! I held it out with both hands as far as I could, and used the reflection on the dome port to gauge my composition. Taking lots of shots helps to make sure you capture what you’re going for! I love having this memory hanging on my wall, and winning an award for it was a little cherry on top.

For an ocean selfie with my waterbaby, I took advantage of the housing’s buoyancy and let the camera float at the surface while operating the shutter button with one hand. This is of course limiting in the kind of shots you can get, but it’s about capturing the moment more so than perfection. Because the best photo is the one you actually took, right?

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xoxox

Underwater Kids

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Website:Barb Toyama

 

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A Few Tips - Underwater Self Portraits

As we start up another new year, many of you may have planned personal projects. We LOVE personal projects here at Underwater Kids and believe if you really want to see growth and development in your photography, there is NOTHING like them to get you started!  

But what about getting you in front of the camera as part of those personal projects?  I know, I know, there is a reason why you are behind the camera. Believe me, I am with you....but lets just say you give it a try. And then let's say you want to try it underwater? How do you even begin? 

We have asked a few of the most incredibly talented photographers we know to share their favourite underwater selfies and give us a few tips on how they accomplished them!  

First up, the fabulous LeAnna Azzolini with her incredible pictures and a few tips on getting started taking those underwater self portraits. 

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Just gorgeous right?  We asked LeAnna for a few tips on shooting underwater self portraits and she had this to say.

It’s always been a dream of mine to learn underwater photography. When my daughter was born, I immediately had visions of swimming out in the ocean capturing her surfing alongside her Daddy. She’s still young though, and we’re starting small for now. This summer, she was three and we finally reached a point where it was safe for us to swim next to one another in the swimming pool. At the beginning of 2017, I began a journey with a self-portrait group and underwater photography was my main goal to incorporate into my project. I’d had shots planned in my head for years and thankfully my husband was able to hold the camera and help me to jump in the frame with her. Our underwater shots ended up being some of my favorites throughout the 52 week process. I’m still learning how to handle light and to maintain a consistent and cohesive look with my editing. That’s my biggest challenge. Colors are very different to work with and the way the light shines differently during the day still throws me off. It’s quite a learning curve for me so far. I’m completely hooked though and plan on sticking with this in the years to come. My next big dream is to get in the ocean and see where it takes me.
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We next asked the incredible Chelsea Cronkrite to share some of her favourite tips for taking self portraits underwater.  This is what Chelsea shared with us.

Tips :
Practicing sinking and breathing techniques will help you keep your cool when shooting underwater.

For taking self portraits, fully submerging your Go Pro Hero 5 sticking it all the way at the bottom of the pool facing can help make for a cool dome effect. Also shooting with it on a stair case or a ladder can help create other cool perspectives. If you have a split level dome, those help make for some pretty epic selfies as well. Using a bendy tripod can also up your self portrait game.

Things I Find Difficult :

Flotation, i'm very buoyant ha - and patience seem to be my main issues with shooting underwater    

What Inspires Me:

Watching my daughters bond together through swimming, create new images that inspire others to create new inspiring images, watching the waves from underneath the surface

 

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Keep trying even when you fail a thousand times over, you’re always going to learn something new with the process.
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Follow Chelsea's work here:

 

 

Thanks to both of these incredible artists for sharing their thoughts and their work!  Stay tuned for one more blog post about tips and tricks for self portraiture underwater next week!!

XOXOX

UK

 

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The Challenge of Underwater Photography in Lakes

I promised a while ago to write an article about underwater photography, and I have been so swamped I haven’t been able to!  BUT I thought I would start by sharing at least one before and after, so you can see what shooting in a lake can be like. I chose this shot because it gives you the sense of what the conditions in the lake are like. Literally pockets of light in very murky water that you have to learn to see. Personally, thats what draws me to keep shooting in the lake despite the challenges. 

I will show you what I mean. Below is what you often encounter in lake conditions. This was taken later at night. I find you can get images under water when there is little light left, often past what you would expect to be able to.  The light was fairy flat, except for the neat pockets of really pretty light just barely penetrating the water.  I knew when I shot it it would just be about the light, and there would be a lot of shadow fall off, so I looked for interesting pockets of light and how the light wrapped my subject.  

 Before

Before

In terms of gear, I was shooting with a wider angled lens, the 17-40mm 4L Canon, at 24mm. It  isn’t my favourite lens to shoot with, but it allows you to get closer to your subject and still get a sense of space, which I like. Because lakes are so murky, its important to get closer to your subject if you want to be able to see them, although I have gotten really ghostly images that I love by shooting further away too. 

For this image,  I waited until I saw the triangle shape made my the bubbles and the spotlight effect on him and exposed more for the light as I do like to add visual interest and structure into underwater photos.

Processing is key to all underwater images, especially those taken in a lake. In my processing, I wasn’t so concerned about anything else but about the way the light highlighted his skin and hair, the bubbles (always a favourite element of mine) and the reflections. The image below was quick to process because I already knew it would be about the light and structure before I took the image. I find you have to add contrast and blacks back into underwater images and this one was no different. A slight crop and you find the image below. To me it speaks to what you find underwater in lakes in the summer, dark, murky and full of mystery. You will find that lakes have the most lovely hues of blue/greens and after seeing images all taken in the pools with the bright blues, I find them a welcome change!  

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If you have any questions at all – ask away! I am working on a more comprehensive post about underwater photography.

Cheers,

Jennifer

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