I’ve always been fascinated by underwater photography. I love how everything looks so timeless but still all flows. It wasn’t until recently that we had access to an underwater camera to do an underwater photo shoot. Nothing fancy, just a Go Pro Hero. Using this kind of camera is like using an old film camera or a toy camera that’s not reflex; it’s unpredictable. You have no composition control, and if you happen to loose your googles it’s even worse. The images you get are not high-res, and the lens is not the best either. Against all odds we decided to embrace the limitations of the equipment and make the best with it. And at very least we got to experiment with something new in one of our favorite places; the ocean.
The day was bright and there were no waves, which helps the visibility as there are less things moving. The hardest part was to find an uncrowded beach in Laguna Beach in summer time. Luckily, Alex grew up there and knows all of the hidden spots. (Yes, there are still some hidden spots in Orange County).
We choose to use a dress that has many, many layers of flowy fibers. This seems to be what works better underwater to generate that stillness feeling. This time we didn’t have a sketch of what we wanted to do. Sometimes it is good to to go out and shoot with no plan, and find the meaning once we are already in location, once everything is happening. We took it out just as an experiment to have a little fun.
The best part comes after the shoot, downloading the images to finally see what we got. We only rescued a few of them for editing, and this is when we got to see how the camera really works underwater. We realized that it is always better to have the subject closer to the surface and closer to the camera, as the visibility underwater is much more limited. The good thing is that this little, fun camera has a very wide lens.
Sometimes is good to have limitations on the creative process, as some limitations can give you more freedom. Less to choose from is always a release.
The images below are all a composite of more than 3 images each. Hope you like it!
I have been using my GoPro for underwater shots for a while now. Now I favour the lake instead of the ocean so I don’t have to bother with goggles – it’s much easier for me.
Oh Yes! it is much more pleasant to shoot in a lake rather than the ocean. I need to use goggles anyways no matter what kind of water!