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underwater

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Florida 2020 Here We Come!!

The Underwater Kids Retreat was an amazing opportunity to meet with friends who I not only connect with on photography, on business, but on the specific niche that I adore so very much…these women are amazing. This retreat is something I will be forever grateful I invested in for myself and for my business.

Renee Stengel Photography


Visiting and photographing in the springs for the Underwater Kids workshop was AMAZING. I'm itching to go back! I love underwater maternity and the springs just brought it to a whole new level. 

Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

The Underwater Kids Retreat was an amazing experience…Using pool lights and lights from outside the pool, we challenged our artistry and executed our individual visions. This session gave me such a boost of creative energy! I’m practically bursting with ideas for warm-weather underwater shoots here in California…I’m certain there are few places as wonderful as Ginnie Springs, Florida.

Mary Bea Photography

Our hearts are full.

Our first Underwater Kids was such a success that we are booking another one for May 13-16th 2020 in Ocala Florida, where we will again is it the breathtaking Ginnie Springs.

We laughed, we bonded, we brainstormed, we shared our thoughts, experience and ideas. We built community. This is exactly why Underwater Kids was founded. To give entrepreneurs a chance to really explore the niche of underwater child and family photography in a supportive community.

We are grateful and we cannot wait to do it again.

Wont you join us for our Florida Workshop May 13-16 2020?

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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

Follow Barb:

Facebook: Barb Toyama Photos

Instagram: barbtoyamaphotos

Website:Barb Toyama

 

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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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A Few Tips - Freelensing At The Beach!

As we move into winter, a number of us start to dream of those sun drenched beaches and plan our winter getaways.  We wanted to give you a few tips to stretch your creativity and push yourself while you were away, and what better way to start than by talking about frelensing. Barb Toyama, a true master at the art of freelensing, offers some quick tips for you to try if you are heading to a beach this winter on your next family vacation!  

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