|Underwater play at Hubbard Swim School|
Sure this isn't putting on a bee suit to photograph a beekeeper at work or flying halfway around the world to work in a rural environment until recently a war and cholera zone, but it is a little different, shooting a swim article from below as well as above water.
Sometimes it's about a simple question, what can I do that's a little different?
|Whatever it takes for a picture.|
(For the record, I used a DiCAPac WP-S10 Waterproof Case purchased from B&H Photo. The material is a thin plastic and it is challenging to manipulate camera controls but it did work and did not leak.)
In the two minutes or so that I could stay down, I discovered that finding the viewfinder and double-checking focus as the subject moved toward me proved more difficult that one would imagine. You discover just how quickly you're able to retrain yourself when challenged by the shooting environment.
It became a process, count down with the subject, take deep breath, dive, find the viewfinder, find the subject, shoot, surface, check the bag for leaks, check images and, if necessary, open the now wet bag to change camera settings before carefully resealing the bag for another go.
|Using the fish aquarium method, shooting with |
lighting through the side pane of a fish aquarium
The second time, in a freezing backyard pool, (summer covers are shot in the early spring, after all), using a partially submerged fish aquarium to create an underwater window pane through which I could shoot with a dry camera.
The hardest parts that day, holding the camera at odd angles and aiming it without the benefit of the viewfinder, while two moms held the aquarium, fighting the buoyant force of the aquarium, pushing up against the glass.
For this latest shoot, I wondered whether there might be a better method, and looked for options and talked to colleagues. I came upon this plastic bag idea which was suggested by two colleagues, one of whom works in the ocean frequently, so I figured it was worth a try.
When working with uncertainly, never put all your eggs in one basket when your client needs a nice choice of images for the cover of their May magazine. Try multiple methods for multiple results. I kept the aquarium method in my back pocket as a "plan B".
So after experimenting for a while with the bag using available light, I switched to partially submerging the fish tank so that the radio slaves would be able to fire a flash signal through the air space.
In all a fun day at work, breaking from routine, confronting technical challenges and working with a fun group of kids and grown-ups.
|Of course, a complete assignment is shot below and Above the water level... Bob Hubbard, at left, the owner of the school and tireless assistant and young-person wrangler.|
|The hardest job on the shoot, young subjects having a good time.|