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FAST CLASS: The Outdoor Photography Experience

Lesson 5 of 13

Shooting in the Water

Chris Burkard

FAST CLASS: The Outdoor Photography Experience

Chris Burkard

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Lesson Info

5. Shooting in the Water


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Pismo Beach Walk Gear Duration:14:30
3 Yosemite Trip Gear Duration:08:27
4 Water Housing Photography Duration:33:39
5 Shooting in the Water Duration:08:41
7 Pismo Beach - Focus Point Duration:10:38

Lesson Info

Shooting in the Water

I just want to quickly demonstrate (gushing water) a lot of those things I was talking about with how we basically can get the ports clean and how all that stuff works, right? Now, this is a flat port once again you guys, so what I've done is I've basically set this thing up. (gushing water) I rubbed grease from my ear, all that stuff on here and rubbed it on. (gushing water) One of the nice things about using grease from your ear or face, or body, whatever, (laughs) is that you get in the water and you still have it there to use. Like, even if you're wet, if your hands are wet, it's okay. (gushing water) So I've got this housing all tight. (gushing water) If you look here, all my seals are nice and black around there, right? See how it's at one constant seam? Yeah. Top, same thing, one constant seam. My port is on there. Everything's good. Camera's in there. Great. So when I enter the ocean, I'm going to enter the ocean backwards, usually, right? I'm trying to keep all of like, th...

e wind and stuff from hitting this because it's a flat port. (wind whooshing) I don't want water to get on it, right? And I get out here, finally, get it wet, and I'm going to go. (water dripping) See how the water is beating off that like this? (gushing water) See it's working pretty well, but it could be better, right? So this is the method you want, (bird squeaking) you want that water, and it's never going to be completely water free, right? (gushing water) But if you find a nice clean spot of water, you want to dip vertically and then pull up, okay? Now, if you can get out in the ocean with no droplets, shoot all by all means, you know. You only need to clean it off once, you know, a wave (gushing water) hits this thing ideally, and you're like, Oh, there's water droplets. So I'm gonna dip it down, and I'm going to pull this thing out, see that? (men murmuring) See how I did it really smooth and slow? And if you go vertically, if you angle it, it's not going to be as good, (gushing water) but if you go vertically, (whooshing) it comes up, there isn't a single droplet of water on there, right? The beauty of that is that now I can pick my camera up. I can just start shooting. You know, when you're shooting with a flat port it's telephoto, so you're gonna want to auto focus, so typically you're going to be looking through the view finder. You're going to have your trigger button down here (wind whooshing) and you might be like going like this and shooting, right? Boom, boom, boom, right? So this is (gushing water) kind of the ideal method for using these things, these ports. One thing you want to consider is that you always want... As you're entering the water you want to kind of protect it so that the less time you have to do this, go up and down, clean it, the easier it's going to be, and the better it's going to be, right? <v Man's Voice>Yeah. Now, the reason that you have to shoot them dry is because you can't, auto focus through a housing that has water on it. Sometimes the auto focus will catch on the water. Sometimes it just looks a little blurry. It doesn't quite work, right? So that's one of the beauties of it. So once again, I can demonstrate. I'd love for you guys to try and demonstrate, see how it works and stuff, but essentially, like, you're out there swimming, you get stuff on the lens. Usually, when you get stuff on the lens is when the wave crashes and you have whitewash, like all the white sudsy stuff, that's what really sticks to it, okay? So say you're in the water, "Oh, man, it's not beating off, it's not working." You just kind of do one of these sort of things. You rub this on there. Your Palm on there, whatever you need, right? Your nose. And you start to get it, so it's kind of like a, almost like a grease layer, right? Something like that. It's always good to not shower the night before you go shoot (mumbles) (laughs) Now you do need a disclaimer. Yeah, so now you kind of have a little grease there so you dip it down. (water dripping) Usually, it takes a little bit of time to like, get this thing totally cleaned off, right? (dog barks) And you just kind of, there you go, so it's... And keep in mind too you guys, the surface that you're really shooting is really just right here, it's in the center, okay? You don't so much care about water on these surfaces, but it's good to get the whole thing clean. <v Man's Voice>Okay. So it's always easier (gushing water) to get everything prepped when you're on the beach, right? You're on the beach, everything's dialed, it's good to go, you cleaned it off, and when you get in the water and you're in emergency situation, (dog barks) just using your palm, rubbing some grease into there (gushing water) works really well. (water splashing) You can dip it down. And it's kind of good, like, move the water slowly with it. Like let it sort of go down itself like this, like you're kind of... (gushing water) (laughs) You're letting that water bring it down for you. You know what I'm saying? Because if you go like this, it just kind of beads up, but if you go slowly, it works really well. See not a water droplet on there. Watch out for this wave. (man laughs) (gushing water) (laughs) Here you go. (man mumbles) If you guys want to try this out, go ahead. I'm going to start to demonstrate this one. (gushing water) When you get in the water, (gushing water) put on your wrist strap, right? these are always helpful because the last thing you want to do these things don't usually float. <v Man's Voice>Yes. Sometimes they do if they have enough air in them, but typically not. (wind whooshing) There you go. Watch out. (gushing water) (laughs loudly) <v Man's Voice>You guys are taking a beating out here. (men laughing) (mumbles) all good. So yeah, the beauty of this is like, you get this thing on there. You want your wrist up on. The last thing you want to do is be like walking out, slip drop this lose. (gushing water) You know, losing a couple thousand dollars would be super brutal. (gushing water) So now I'm gonna be shooting wet, and one thing that's kind of a bummer is that this little plastic shield is on here. Usually, I'd take this off so you can expose the entire dome. You don't really need this. (gushing water) It can kind of help shield from the light, but it's not super crucial. I like just to have the total dome. So shooting wet, all right? Wide angles in here. The wide angle's locked off on manual focus, three feet to infinity, everything beyond you is in focus. (gushing water) So what I'm going to do you guys is I'm going to take this thing, and you can't really prep this on land, you know, because it doesn't make sense. You have to spit on it, lick it, coat that saliva around and then dip it in the water, okay? So you're just kind of like this. (continuous spitting) (man laughing) <v Man's Voice>Yeah, you do need a disclaimer. Uh-huh. (man laughing) The sad thing is I've had a lot of video shot of me doing this. <v Man's Voice>Yeah. (men laughing) (gushing water) So It's kind of evenly coated, right? (spitting) Now, what I'm gonna do (water splashing) is I'm going to be swimming out in the water. I'm going to dip this thing in here (gushing water) and see how it's a nice even coat. <v Man's Voice>Yeah. (gushing water) Nothing's beating off. It's the exact opposite of the other one. Right now, there's a lot of sand on here because this is a really bad place to do this. Usually, you want to be out in the cleaner water where it's less sandy. (gushing water) (water splashing) But it's a perfectly even coat. (people screaming) One of the things that's nice is that these dome port, they actually allow the water to kind of stay on there, (gushing water) they sort of do it for you. So if it's set up right, I'm just going to get us a nice clean one. (blowing noise) (birds squeaking) There you go. Nice and clean water staying on there. (gushing water) Usually, it will stay on here for a couple of seconds and then you'll start to see water kind of coagulate, and little spots starting to dry up right there. (gushing water) So one thing to keep in mind is (people screaming) when you're swimming around with one of these ports, it's meant to be wet. You can just let it sit in the water like this, or let it like dangle off into the water because all you're really doing is you're pulling it up for those last couple of seconds when you want to shoot. (gushing water) And it's a lot different method, okay? You're not down there going like this. You're kind of just, it's good to go. Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot, about 10 seconds (people screaming) and you got to dip it again, right? Because water's never going to stay on that surface perfectly clear the entire time, it's going to start to beat up, it's going to start to do different things and you really want to make sure that you're just getting that first initial clean. (wind whooshing) And it's even good to, like, kind of move with the water, (water splashing) so you're pushing all of that little debris off it. Right now it's perfectly clear, right? So now for example, (gushing water) if I was to go like this or take some grease on my hand and start to coat this, you see how it's cutting the water away immediately, right? So this is what you don't want to have happen. You don't want to take a wide angle port and all of a sudden put your fingers on it. (gushing water) Because your fingers have grease on them and you don't want to take a flat port and accidentally spit on it because it'll do the opposite. So this right now, Yeah, exactly. Now it's screwed up. You see that? Super important. Because with (gushing water) the way you get water droplets on your lens is when you're shooting wide, and all of a sudden, in like in this type of port, and all of a sudden you have a dry spot.

Class Description


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Shooting outdoor photography is a powerful way to commune with nature and experience the fullness of life. Learn how to train your eye on incredible shots and convey the energy of the outdoors in The Outdoor Photography Experience with Chris Burkard.

Chris’s beloved images of life on the world’s coasts are alive with action and emotion. In this class, he’ll share the tools and techniques he uses to capture the photographs he sells to magazines, brands, collectors, and publishers.

You’ll learn about his shooting style and the gear he brings on his global adventures. He’ll also talk about the business of photography and share tips on marketing and selling your work.

If you want insights on how to create rich, dramatic images that let you enjoy more time outdoors, don’t miss your chance to learn from Chris Burkard in The Outdoor Photography Experience.