Welcome to class. In
this lesson I will cover an intro of my
the number one problem with underwater photography and
Dr Mark’s 10 commandments of Underwater Photography.
I will also present my Cardinal rule that too many people regretfully ignore.
People often ask me about my camera
equipment. Interestingly, the majority come right out and
ask how much it cost. Others want particulars on for
recommendations and ideas for purchasing their own. I
put a great deal of thought into my purchases. There
actually are many options in the marketplace.
Let me first start with my personal criteria. I wanted excellent quality at a very affordable price. I also wanted low risk. I have a Canon 18mp T2i. However, the Ikelite Case for it with the lens housing is about $1500.00. Although I trust Ikelite, I didn't want to spend another $1500 for a housing and risk my $1000.00 camera. So I continued my search.
I have used Intova equipment since they were "Snapsights." My wife gave me a 35mm Snapsights underwater camera with flash in a housing good for 100'. I used it and enjoyed it. Of course digital has significant cost advantages over film especially in underwater photography. So I upgraded to the Intova IC5, a 5 megapixel with compressed VGA video capability. I further upgraded to the IC10,then IC12 and now an IC14. The cost of the new Intova IC14 was $260 including both the camera and housing with many extras included from Cameta Camera. The new Intova IWAL wide angle lens is an additonal $170 (best underwater wide angle value on the market) and the IFREDWAL Infra-Red filter is $40 (also the lowest priced in the market). Why do I choose Intova? Nobody, and I mean nobody beats their warranty and customer service. NOBODY!
Pictured was my setup from 2010 including:
Intova IC10 camera and housing ($200)
Intova IWAL wide angle lens ($130)
Kodac Zi8 1080p video camera ($120)
Ikelite Housing for the Kodac including Red filter ($255)
Intova Flex arms ($50)
1 Intova ISS4000 Strobe (on the right) ($125)
1 Fantasea Remora Strobe (on the left) ($125) (Because Intova was out of stock).
Custom dual strobe cable (You can see my instructions to DIY) ($50)
Custom aluminum mount assembly ($20)
Total cost as pictured $1075.00
Here is a look at my rig from the later part of 2010 and early 2011 as pictured on the right
Intova IC12 (12 megapixel
camera in underwater housing, and an IC10 as backup)
Dual Intova ISS4000 strobe
with Intova Flex Arms
Custom dual fiber optic cable to connect dual strobes
Intova Infra Red Filter (IFRED)
Intova Wide angle lens
Kodak Zi8 in Ikelite case for video
Zeikos wide angle lens with Intova Infra Red filter and adaptor for the Ikelite case
Two Nu-Dive Ultrabright Rebel 100 Luxeon LED Dive Lights 250 lumens each. Due to weakage I replaced these with the Ultramax UXLG.
Custom aluminum tray mount
The Number One Problem with Underwater Photography
Most people find their
pictures come out lousy blue/green pics lacking detail.
When you are trying to capture and keep some
of the awesome memories it is so disappointing to see such
results. First the good news-
anyone can take really cool underwater photos.
Now, the “other” news- it takes practice and lots of
it. It isn’t just point and shoot
like the land
lubbers do. It really does take practice.
I have listed here my “10 Commandments of Intova
Photography.” These really apply
camera system you
are using. Like God’s big Ten,
not multiple choice if you want decent pictures.
Dr Mark’s 10 Commandments of Intova Underwater Photography
I. Know every button and feature BEFORE you ever think of getting in the water (What, ya gonna waste precious air tryin to figure it out 100 feet down?)
II. Use Lithium batteries and replace after every two tank dive (Alkaline batteries won’t last for a two tank dive if you take video and tons of pics. Dead batteries when a stingray comes your way is beyond frustrating!)
III. Use the red filter if below 5 feet (the red filter is NOT optional. The Intova red filter is actually a balance between red and yellow (orange) to replaces the color lost by the filtration of the water robbing the color specrum).
IV. The closer you are the better the picture (so use the wide angle lens when possible)
V. The strobe is not optional (Just be careful to not overexpose when close by powering down for closeups. Although there is some caution against using the strobe and red filter at the same time, it is much easier to tone down the red than create it- see lesson 2 on strobes).
VI. ALWAYS pre-focus (On Intova press half way down till green for “go” appears).
VII. HOLD STILL (Use extra weight if you need to. Video should be the objects moving NOT the camera panning- See instructions on good video shooting).
VIII. Shoot first ask questions later (IOW- take as many photos as you can and sort em out later).
IX. Photoshop correction is required. (I recommend Photoshop elements and see my instructions on correcting underwater photos).
X. YOU MUST USE DESICANT PACKS INSIDE THE HOUSING (these absorb the moisture that will tend to condense when you go from the warm moist air on the surface to the cool water below- otherwise you will eventually fog up on the dive making the camera unusable for the dive).
And the Doctor's cardinal rule of
“Don’t be stupid- backup the SD card immediately.”
SD cards are NOT for storage! They are for camera capture and transfer.
More to come including…
How to use photoshop to make your pictures reflect what you really photographed.
How to do video the RIGHT way.
Editing underwater video
in Adobe Premiere
How to build custom trays
How to build custom fiber optic cables for strobes
Please email me with your comments or questions or suggestions.