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FAST CLASS: The Outdoor Photography Experience

Lesson 4 of 13

Water Housing Photography

Chris Burkard

FAST CLASS: The Outdoor Photography Experience

Chris Burkard

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Lesson Info

4. Water Housing Photography


  Class Trailer
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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

Water Housing Photography

We are gonna basically go over, some of the logistics of water housings. Basically, you know, I don't know if any of you guys have an interest of shooting in the water. I'm hoping that you do. And it's... You know, the process of understanding how they operate, how they function. And how they function with different lenses, is kind of tricky. So, I'm really, really glad to be able to get this. You know, and really dive in deep to, like, the nuances of what makes each housing function and how you can use it with different cameras, right? And there's a lot of different housings out there. I'm sure you guys have seen. You know, everything from my little plastic bags, to like full on metal ones. And, kinda trying to decipher what's the best for me and what's the best solution for what I wanna shoot. You know, if you just are wanting to go out and, you know, take photos in a really calm bay like this, and take photos of someone's surfing, or whatever you know, then, you'd probably use one t...

hing. If you wanna go out in the surf and big crashing waves and shoot somebody surfing, you'd use a different housing. So, my goal today is to kinda just go over a couple of logistics of what you use where, and why? And, let's just get started. So, I have a couple different systems here. I have... First thing is probably the most traditional housing that you are used to seeing. And that would be, an aluminum, or an injection mold of epoxy housing. Now, this housing is specifically set up to shoot surfing. And, why is it set up to shoot surfing? Well, that, one of the first thing's the pistol grip, right? The pistol grip allows you, to have the camera away from your face, okay? So that you don't have to focus on trying to look through the lens. This is set up for a wide angle. Because, when the pistol grip, you're not looking to the camera, right? So, with the wide angle, you can have the camera away from you and you're pretty much getting everything you need to. If it's a fish eye or extremely wide like 20 mil or a 16 mil, right? This housing is built with the concept in mind that you're gonna be able to put it, in some pretty harsh conditions. Meaning, like it could hit the sand, it can hit the reef. And it's probably not gonna crack and, the camera's not gonna expose to water, okay? Downsides are they're a bit heavier, okay? They're also a kinda minimized. They don't have all the buttons and things that you'd want, to be able to touch. To be able to get into the settings of your camera. So, they're a little limited but they're also, kind of leaned down, right? Just to be the bear base 'cause they're already heavy. So, because of that they don't have all the settings. This camera right here, has a flat port as well. We're gonna discuss a lot about that in a second. Or this housing right here, rather. Once again, like I said, this is... This one's actually aluminum based. And, it is just basically has the pistol grip trigger down here. It's a two stage trigger so it auto focuses, and shoots at the same time. You have a pretty limited amount of dials. You can usually adjust like, you know, auto... Your ISO, your kind of your shutter speed, some of the basics. Maybe some of your dial wheels. But you can't catch everything. You know, you can't usually review images and stuff. Unless, you get a lot of custom buttons put in which costs, a lot more money, right? These setups usually range between to like 5000 bucks. And, we're not talking about dive housings here. Keep in mind you guys, everything that we discussed today, has nothing to do with diving. Absolutely nothing. Diving, and dive housings, are meant to have an under the water. Even the seals in the housings are meant to seal under pressure, okay? I mean, you can go fairly deep with these, they're great. They're just not built for that. Meaning-- Oh, yeah, they're fine. They're super totally fine, under the water surface like that. I just mean, like, if you're planning to dive like 30 meters deep and shoot fish or something like that, this is gonna be really a pain to use. Mainly, because, putting your eye up to it, is really hard to shoot. They're just not set up like that to function that way really well. So, you just end up kinda creating a little more... It just ends up being harder. But those housings are a lot different. They're (mumbles) or you know, some of those other ones where they have two handles and, they're kinda meant to dive with you, you know? As for this this, is really meant to be in the surf zone, lifted up so you can be paddling through away with one hand and shooting with another hand. It's one handed operation, right? For intense wave scenarios. So, the next kind of housing, that I wanna show you guys is... It's a bit different. This is a... This is a Nikon housing. And this is just basically... I think it's a Japanese brand, or something like that that makes them... I believe a 3D printed. And as... These things are about 250 bucks, okay? And, don't be scared by the price, for how cheap they are. But they work really efficiently. And one of the perks of these things is that, because of the fact that they're, you know, plastic epoxy molded. They have every function, every button you can want, right here. So, you can change everything even from like turning your camera on, in the housing. What it doesn't have is it doesn't have removable port system. Like this one does. It doesn't have the pistol grip which allows you to be in more intense wave situations. This one is really meant to function, more as a camera where... You know, you might be shooting something from a board or you might be shooting a pier. You might be shooting a boat in the water, right? Or, say, you wanna shoot surfing, at a really like mellow wave or it's a point break and you can kinda sit out on on a surfboard and shoot into the wave or from a boat, right? This is a great solution for that. This housing's actually made, and set up for my a6000. So, I'll put that in here in a little bit later on and I'll show you guys, kinda what this thing is like, right? Just a couple of other things about this. You know, the beauty of these guys, they're lightweight, they're small. It's okay if they get thrashed 'cause they're not a ton of money, right? The optics are great. The quality is great. You can essentially achieve the same images. It's just this one's gonna be more optimized for certain situations, this one's been optimized for different situation. The Nikhil's for all different sizes of cameras. This one's made for my a6000. And a specific lens but you can literally get these for any size camera. Almost like Canon's, Nikon's, they make them for a lot of stuff. So, the next solution is this one. And this is a bag housing, right? And you might be thinking, "Oh man, that looks so sketchy to put your camera in." That is the last thing I have my camera in. But you know what, this actually works, extremely well. Really? Yeah, because this is... The nice thing about this, is basically you could shove, various different size cameras in here. This fits my a6000, it fits my a7. It'll fit most smaller and icons, whatever. And they make multitude of sizes for these, right? The beauty of this, is that, unlike these two setups where you need... They can only fit specific lenses, because, the lens port is only a certain size. This one can fit of a variety of different lenses, right? Because it can expand. You also can touch every button and dial, in the back, right? Because you have the soft case. And you have the trigger button where you can just hold it up and shoot it. Now, what's the disadvantage of this? Well, you wouldn't really wanna take it in an intense, you know, short break scenarios. I've definitely pushed the limit and put this thing into a lot of scenarios where I didn't think it would last but it's worked really, really well. This stuff is extremely strong. Extremely strong. Yeah. Well, you'd be surprised. I mean to tear this stuff... I mean, you can't do it with your hands. It would take a real abrasion to a camera to get injured. They don't leak. I've never had a leak. The only time I've ever had any housing leak, has been operator error. I had sand... I had, you know, sand on this line inside. I didn't clean it out before I put it on. But, basically, the beauty of this system is that you basically just put your camera in. You can... You know, you line up all these little dots right here. And you're gonna basically, plop this guy on here and just creates a clamp system, that like suction seals it down. Okay? You put these little dials on, and it just tightens it up, right? You have your camera in your bag. It works and functions super well. This is a house that I've actually shot covers with, tons of editorial stuff with. The beauty of it is that it can fit in any bag. So, when there's those trips where you're like, "I'm not gonna bring this setup." This thing is massive. It requires its own bag, it's heavy. Feel at the back plates (mumbles). So just hold that. But, it requires its own pelican case, it's heavy. Okay, that's something that you're not always gonna pull out. Mainly because of the size and the weight. But you are gonna take this with you because, it folds down into nothing, you know. And fits into a little tiny plastic bag, right? So, the unique thing about it is that, you might be in a location where it really calls for a cool unique underwater shot. And this is the solution, right? So, I find that-- These are about 100 hundred or so bucks, for something like this. (one of the audience respond to speaker) Yeah, and they work great. Well, lemme just touch base on sealing these things with you guys a little bit. So, let's come back to this. This is probably the most... Basic, no brainer solution for sealing. So, you have this black O ring, right? All these things have essentially some sort of an O ring or a sealing device. One of the key things you always wanna do, is you put some little silicone grease on it, okay? And these little bags, you'll always have like... In this little bag, right here. Well, it's like a little tiny tube of silicone grease, right? You basically just put a little bit on your finger, you rub, a tiny bit, not a ton. Like literally, just a little dab around this whole thing every couple times you use it, not every time, okay? Every couple times you use it. Before you do that... Excuse me. You have to clean it off, okay? Make sure there's no sand on here before you do that, okay? That's the first thing. It should be clean, it should be debris free. You put your grease on, right? Then you're good to go. You can plop this plate on here. And you start to you start to manually, by hand, put on all of your small, little... Little wingnuts, okay? Now, when you do this, you wanna do this by hand, okay? It's really, really important, that you hand tighten everything first. And when you tighten, you wanna go in a criss-cross pattern, when you're doing your final tightenings, okay? You do not wanna go in a circle. You wanna go boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, criss-cross, okay? That allows it to seal evenly. And, when you're tightening, all you look for... All you look for is this little black ring, to look solid. See, if it looks like it's smashed down that solid, that's all you need. You don't need to keep cranking, keep cranking. You can over tighten these. And they will leak, okay? Super, super important just when you crank it, it can just be hand tighten with these, no problem. You crank, crank, crank everything, and then, you do one final little turn at the end, so that it's all nice and black and tight, great? I find that like, once you use it a little bit, maybe your first time, you test it, you get it going. That's really good. And then, what you can do is... I would just, you know, you put your camera and you get on there, you walk out about waist deep and you just kinda dip it in the water. And, if you see any bubbles start to arise or anything like that, then, you'll know that it's not sealed. But, usually, you know right away. Now, really quickly, I don't have the materials here but I just wanna go over one thing. If you do spring a leak in your housing, if anywhere in your housing... If one of the ports is a crack or, there's something in the seam or, one of these little, you know, one of these little spots down here isn't sealed, and you can't find it, and you're just trying to find it, trying to find it, there's a really good solution for finding it, okay? What you do is this. You take your housing like this. You place a cup, right here. Sitting, right here on your port, okay? A little tiny Dixie cup. In that Dixie cup, you put water, and you put Alka Seltzer, okay? You put that in there. You put your port on top. You seal your port up, just like you would go in the housing. You're keeping your housing, like this, okay? Directly like this, right? Because you have a cup, that's sitting there balancing on your port, with Alka Seltzer and water inside of it. You dip your housing in the water. That pressure from the Alka Seltzer, will show you exactly where your leak is, okay? It works in any housing. It's the same universal rule. It's just basically, it's creating bubbles, right? And those bubbles are being forced out. So, it gives you a really quick, easy way to decipher where that leak is, right? So, let's go over the other sealing methods for these. This one, it's really basic. Same exact thing. What I do, is, you just take a look little bit of that silicone grease. You just barely any on your finger, you know. And you just kinda rub it along this thing. It shouldn't be globed on at all. It should look like, you know, you just took a little bit ChapStick and put on your mouth. And just, FYI like a big part of what I like to teach photography is useful applications, like real life applications. And you know what? Sometimes, crap hits the fan. You don't have silicone grease on you. You know, just use ChapStick, okay? Any type of grease material, like any type of silicone based product is gonna work, right? You just are trying to create a seal so that it kinda bonds, right? So, a little bit of that on here works. You know, you tighten up like this, then you put your seal on here. You apply this guy, on there, and it works great, okay? For this housing, it's the same scenario. It has a seal, on it as well. The seal, this time is in two places. One right here, one right here. Now, this one might be a little trickier to like clean sand out if sand gets in there. So, what I recommend is letting it dry obviously. 'Cause what happens when this thing's wet and you open it up, water is inevitably gonna get a little bit around the seal. So, it's always good to like clean it off, as best you can. I use like a clean t-shirt. Usually, I'll just like wrap my camera in a t-shirt. Like a clean cotton t-shirt or some like that. Still, like wipe it off, clean all that off. Then take a little blow or maybe blow the sand out or water out right. I would just do a little dab of silicone here. Little dab of silicone here. Close it, make sure it's sealed. Go from there. This housing, one of the unique things, it actually has a sensor if water gets inside. Which is kinda nice. A couple of their little doodads and stuff. It's always good to have a couple extra leashes on hand. Like just some random leashes that so you can attach those. You never really wanna go into the water without a leash, okay? On your camera. But, that being said, leashes are super important, they're really great, okay? But, you don't want a super, super tight leash. You don't want something that's like, this type, okay? Because, if you're swimming under the surf, okay? And a big wave crashes in front of you, the last thing you wanna do is go like this and dive. Because that current could force the camera right back in your face. And I've broken my nose enough times, to let you know that that can really happen. So it's always important to put this camera, like this. Into your chest port, into your chest. This is the most important part, right? This is the part that you don't wanna get scratches on, you don't wanna get, you know, dinged and nicked. And you really wanna be careful of how it's interacting with the water. So, when I dive down, I go like this, right? Or I dive like this and I'll maybe dive through like this. If it's a really big wave and the last thing I care about is protecting anything and all I wanna do is self-preserve, I'll just let this thing go behind me, right? And I'll just dive down. Just make sure it's behind you. It should never be between you and the wave, or you in the ground. If you're something. Now... Yeah, because of the logistics of this class, I can't bring everybody out into the water, and go over like techniques of how to shoot and how to do that. I'll probably do that in the workshop a little bit. But I really do wanna go over, the port systems and how they operate and how they function. So, before I go into the water and demonstrate all this stuff, I wanna go over these things with you guys so that they make sense, okay? So, two different port systems, right? One is curved, one is flat. One is for wide angle, one is for telephoto, okay? Does anybody have any ideas of why that would be? Well, for the fisheye, with this one, I mean, if you had a fisheye and that one, you wouldn't be able to seeing the-- True, yeah, you would. The fish eye is met to protrude up into this element. And then, so, it's not seeing any. 'Cause the fisheye is level with this. Like in this port. You're gonna see black, right? So, that's the first reason. Also, the curvature of this, helps to helps to make the fisheye not have any reflections or any issues inside of the port, right? When I'm talking about fisheye, I want you guys to understand that any lens, okay? Any lens between a fisheye and a 35 millimeter, is meant to go in a curved port. Because those are all pretty much wide angle lenses. Anything 35 and below is considered a wide angle. The actual curvature of the glasses is curved. And so, when you put it into these ports, it's... It has proper function, you know. It's just not... It's meant to not distort... Yeah, exactly. So... Remember, wide angle. 35 millimeter to fisheye, okay? Flat port, okay? Any port that has a flat surface of the end. 50 millimeter to 200 millimeter. Or larger, it doesn't matter. But in the water that's pretty much as far as you go. So, that being said, this is kind of the standard protocol. Now, let's dive into fisheye ports first. Or wide angle ports, whatever you wanna call them. I was calling fisheye port 'cause they just look like fisheye lenses, right? So, when using these ports, right? You guys can take a look, check out, look through them. When using those ports, you shoot in a method called shooting wet, okay? Has any of you guys have ever had a chance to get in the water and shoot before? Okay, so, shooting wet. What that means is that, you're gonna have water constantly, covering the port, okay? So, it's gonna be constantly coded by a surface of water. You do this for one reason. And it's because, any wide angle lens, you can shoot on manual focus. Now, you guys, keep in mind, we're talking about surfing here. We're talking about shooting above the water, not shooting diving. When you're shooting diving, you can shoot auto focus all the time, okay? Because you don't have to deal with things like water dripping off your lenses or suds of whitewash or anything like that. Two completely different realms. I don't want anybody to confuse it. And I'm sorry if I'm talking kinda slow. It's because I know that a lot of these can get really confusing even for me. So, I'm trying to kinda break it down really quickly. But, with this lens, basically, you shoot in a method called shooting wet, okay? The entire lens stays covered or coded by water, the entire time, okay? How do you do that? Well... You spit on it. And you put your saliva all over it. And, basically, that coats the lens, and, it keeps the water on the lens. We're gonna show you how to do that in the water. It's gonna be really interesting for you. Like a mess. Yeah, basically, that's what you do. Yeah, it's the most effective method. There are other materials and chemicals you can use. The problem though, is that, you put those chemicals and materials on, you're out in the water, they stop working. Then you're having to lick those materials or chemicals off. Right, so, when you shoot wet, the port is constantly covered. You do this for one reason. One reason only. Because, any wide angle lens, 35 to fisheye, you can shoot manually focused. Meaning, I can set my focus, between three feet and infinity, and I can leave it there. And I could go and shoot my entire session. The reason being, is because, when I'm shooting a fisheye, right? It's a really wide perspective. And, if I'm never really gonna be closer, than three feet away. So, three feet and infinity, everything's in focus. And it's really, it's the same thing, until you get to about a 35, which is about, six feet and infinity, everything's in focus. So, what I find is that in shooting in the water, you're really trying to make things as easy as you possibly can. You're trying to set yourself up for success. And so, the less you have to deal with, the better. So, shooting wide angle lenses... Fisheye, 35-24 millimeter, those are kind of the typical lenses that I'll shoot. Sometimes, I'll shoot a zoom like a 16 to 35. But typically it's a fisheye, a 24 and a 35, are the typical lenses you'd put in there. And what you do, is you basically go... And you would take, a camera like this. Now, I don't know if you guys have your camera bags on you right here. But, basically, most most lenses, they have a little window, that'll show you the feet and meters distance, right? So you can basically take that, and you can go... You can roll it to what... You put your camera manual focus, you roll it to wherever you want. Like, you'll go to the infinity mark, you'll back it off to three feet, and then, you'll put it right there. And what you do, is you put a rubber band on it. That rubber band holds it there. So it's not gonna move the entire time. As long as your camera's in manual focus, it's not gonna move. Now, that works great, for those lenses. But, nowadays, we're seeing a lot of lenses. I'm sure you guys have some. I have a lot of them, that don't have windows, okay? They're all like these smaller mirrorless cameras and they try to make the lenses smaller. So, they don't have that. They have nothing. They just have a ring, right? So what you do then, it's really simple. You walk it off. So, he's three feet. I'm shooting a fisheye. Okay, cool. I'm gonna focus on him. Focused, boom. I set it then in manual focus, after that. It hasn't moved or changed. Then I put this on there and I'm good to go. Does that kinda makes sense? Like you're just locking off your focus, right? So you're doing the same thing essentially. So, now, that I have this, it's all good to go. I would take... Basically something... So you can see (mumbles). This is my fisheye lens, curved glass, right? I would take it, and I would put it in this housing. This housing actually has this lens that can go on the front of it. It's an adapter. So, I would take it and I'd put it inside, basically. And it would allow me to basically, have that wide angle perspective. Now, in terms of settings for your camera, it all depends on what you're shooting. But just a really quick brief overview. Depending on the housing you use, if you're using a housing like this, that has every setting, I would go ahead and shoot it in manual. Because you're gonna be able to view your images and you're gonna be able to kind of adjust it accordingly. If you don't have all these buttons, you're using something like this. Usually, you wanna kind of put it in like, the most quick, user friendly, easy thing to do. And, if you're using a housing like this, you're usually shooting action, right? Because you're shooting you know big waves crashing surf. So, you might just set it to TV mode or shutter speed priority. 800 to 1600th of a second. I just leave it there. 'Cause it's gonna set your aperture for you. I usually would set my white balance, to cloudy. If I'm out shooting surfing, it's a sunny bright day, I set my white balance to cloudy because it warms up the tones a little bit, right? It's a really nice thing to do. I set my ISO around 200. I'm not using any autofocus. It's just purely for firing. And my exposure, is I usually using the center spot dot. The reason being, because if you're shooting in the ocean, and, all of a sudden a wave is cresting over you, it'll change that exposure really fast. And what you're really concerned about, is that little subject in the middle of that circular area in that barrel. Like being lit up enough, correct? Now, if you're shooting above the water and just shooting kind of surfers out there, you'd probably put it to your exposure to kind of wide or multiple spot or whatever you wanna do, right? Shutter speed priority, between 800 and 1600. This is obviously if you're shooting action. You know, you have to understand like I'm kind of just giving you the basics here. But, you know, you can shoot at whatever shutter speed or whatever settings you want. It just depends on what you're trying to capture. Typically, with a housing like this or something that you might be using for action, you're gonna be trying to freeze that action. So, shooting at fast shutter speed, ISO 200 or between 200 and 400, I find, as well as you know, center spot auto exposure is great. White balance on cloudy. If I'm in California, and I'm just driving to the beach outside my house, I'll probably use something like this. You know, because I can just get it all ready to go. There's some out there, no big deal. But if I'm traveling to remote Russia and I've got very limited bags, I'll bring something like this and, maybe a GoPro, you know, as a solution, right? Don't discount the quality of GoPros and action cams and those little tiny portable cameras, they're awesome. Especially for the water. I mean, that is probably... I would say, besides putting an actual DSLR inside of a housing, that would probably be the first step, of getting out there and getting your feet wet. Just messing around with those in the water. Swimming with them, learning what it's feel like to swim with something in your hand, right? Learning the different angles and stuff as well. Because, sadly, the one thing I really can't address too much here is just how to approach waves, how to approach surf shooting in the water, you know. One-- Keeping your calm. Keeping your calm. But also, learning how to like, stay above the water a little bit. Because what happens is, you'll be in a situation where you're shooting a boat or you're shooting something. There'll be little light currents coming off. And it's hard to kinda get above. So, what I find is a boogie board, it really helps. Sit on a boogie board, sit on a surfboard, or something like that. You can get up a little bit higher. Shooting off a jet ski is really nice. Obviously, it works great. I think any of those solutions are really good. Also to... You know, we've been mostly talking about still photography here. But a lot of times, the housings... When you set up a housing for a video, they have these port. They have these little screws right here and what they have are side handles. So, you put side handles in your housing. And then, you can stabilize your housing a lot better, right? So, this is really for still photography because you could care less of what you're seeing until you take the shot, right? You're just kinda lay like, "Get me out of here, shoot it." Whatever. But with these, you kind of are watching, waiting. And what you wanna do, is you wanna lock your elbows, into your body. And you film like this, right? And this kinda gives you a really stable surface to look through, and film from, right? Also, if you're shooting with a telephoto, a 50 millimeter or larger. Using these side handles really helps 'cause you have to autofocus, right? So you might be auto focusing with a back button right here, and looking through it like this, right? So, these are really good for this. This is really optimized for wide angle, okay? Where you're not actually looking at your subject when you're shooting them. And, this is kind of another important aspect of shooting in the water. Is that everything you're shooting in the water that's wide angle, is really an extension of your body. So, when you're paddling through a wave like this. You're looking out towards where the waves gonna break. Maybe your subject is over there coming towards you. The camera's down in the water, right? You're going towards the wave paddling, paddling. He starts to drop into the wave, you're picking this camera up. You're basically, swimming through the wave, while you're picking up the camera and shooting. Your face, and the camera are usually never in the wave together. You're kinda like this. You know. 'Cause you're focused on getting through it, and this thing is just there to capture the moment, right? So, does that kinda makes sense? With a 50 millimeter, or with a telephoto, it's a lot different. And, the reason is because you're not as close, right? You're never that close. You're usually, you know, between me and that truck or between me and that wave away. So, you have a ways, to be away. So you don't have to worry about all these stuff. You can kinda sit there, and do this, get your shots, and then maybe dive underneath. Or maybe, the wave doesn't even hit you. You're on the shoulder, of a wave, right? So, it's a lot different, okay? It's a lot different functionality. So, I guess my question is gonna be how you would... Where you would apply the telephoto lens in this (mumbles). I mean, it all depends. You know, it all depends on what you wanna shoot. You know, I think in the aspect of shooting surfing, waves really determined that. If you wanna shoot at point break, and you wanna just be on the shoulder, great, that's awesome. That works great. Or if you wanna be on the inside, you know, kind of just standing in the shallow, shooting like that, it's great. If you're shooting, you know, kayaking. You know, telephoto is great. You pick it up off your kayak and you shoot somewhat farther away. It just depends on if you want a wider feel or if you're in more in the moment action feel. It's the same thing as like we approached Pismo Pier, earlier. That telephoto look from the ground, where you're compressing in or that more wide angle perspective from the pier. More in the moment, right? So, it just kinda depends on what the look you're going for. And I would suggest to really study some of the different looks you can create, with those kind of feel of what you'd wanna make. You know, I typically envision a shot first before I go out and try and execute it rather than just, grabbing a housing and a camera and just jumping out there. So, you had a question, Marcel? Yeah, I was thinking more along the lines as... I mean, I've seen photography and water photography where you'll see the water lines right in the middle or somewhere along. Yes. And then, you'll have-- Above and below. Yeah, so, there's two methods of doing that. And, that's probably gonna get a bit more advanced than I'm gonna be able to describe right here, right now. But, basically-- Would you use a different-- Yeah, you use a different system. And what it is, is you get a port like this, that's massive. And it's called a big dome port, basically. And what it does, is because it's a dome port, it sucks water up onto the lens, right? The dome, like if you put it in the water, water kind of pulls up onto it, right? So, when you're shooting above and below, there's two ways to do it. One, is using a big dome port, and just kind of lining yourself up. So you're kind of half above, half below. You won't get the above surface and the below surface both in focus. One will be slightly out of focus. In order to in order to get them both in focus, you need a split diopter. Which means it's a filter that goes in front of your lens where it actually sets your focus apart. Because what happens is the underwater surface and the above water surface are two totally different focal planes. Right? So, in order to get those really amazing, you know, David D. Blay like, underwater above shots, usually, you need a split diopter. Or you can get away with decent results by shooting these to big dome. They both use a big dome ports. You need a larger dome than this, okay? So, that's kind of the two methods you know. Split diopter, where it splits your focus in two different levels so you can be above and below. Or just a super wide dome port. Where you're not really getting everything exactly in focus, but it still looks really amazing and super unique. So, that being said, the only other thing I wanna touch based on before we actually get in the water is, some other things that you might wanna bring with you. Always a really good lens cloth to clean off those things. Never... Always bring a couple of silica packets. Because, just in case, your housing does get wet or something like that, throw these in, let them absorb some water. I even will throw it in with a camera. Just in case any moisture, anything's in there, right? So, we're gonna get in the water in just one second. And what I really wanna show you in the water is just, basically, this different method of shooting wet and shooting dry, okay? Once again... Flat port. You know, dome port. Flat port, dome port. Wet, dry. Wet, dry. Okay. I'm just gonna describe this and it's not really gonna make sense until I actually get the water and show you. But, on a dome port, you can always manually focus. So, because you can always manually focus, you just seem to keep water across the dome the entire time. The way I do that, is you spit on the lens, you have to lick it. And it looks really aggressive. But it's the best, most effective method to do that, right? You basically do that, you get it wet. You dip it in the water, you dip in the water. When you're shooting in the water, you can keep your housing in the water for majority of the time, okay? Because, you're only pulling it off that last second, which is great, right? A flat port is a little bit trickier. A flat port is meant to autofocus. So, you can't have water on the lens. It has to be dry. In order to do that, you end up taking grease from your ears, hands, face, wherever you want, rubbing it on the lens, okay? And then, basically, that grease will allow water to slowly beat off the lens and fall down. As gross as that sounds, people always ask, "What about rain-x?" Well, rain-x is great until you have to wipe the rain-x around, right? One thing you never wanna do, just FYI, in shooting wet or shooting dry, is never put ChapStick or never put sunscreen on your face then try to use that 'cause that will screw up the whole process. It'll ruin everything. And you'll have to go and clean everything off, and then restart, okay? Can't have sunscreen on. Or just in certain parts of your body, not in your hands or anything. So, like I said, this, it's literally just you're taking grease, from your nose, mouth. You're literally applying it here. You're taking stuff from your face, you're going like this. You know, usually, I do this before I get in the water, because I want this thing to be kind of prepped and as gross as this looks. I'll just be the... I'll just be sort of the example here. But, it's basically... This is the most effective method for doing this. And then, usually, once I have a good coat on there, what I'll do is like you can kinda see it smeared around. I'll take my shirt or I'll take something nice and clean, like a lens cloth. Even two. And I'll just give it a little wipe off, right? 'Cause it's coated on there, this is just kind of picked up and helping to take the smear off. So, there's that...

Class Description


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Full-length class: The Outdoor Photography Experience with Chris Burkard

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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.

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