Snorkelling with E-PL1 and PT-EP01

Started May 18, 2014 | Discussions thread
Shortie8512 New Member • Posts: 7
Re: I tried one of those plastic bag things with the E-PL3…

I have done a lot of underwater photography shooting with Fuji F30 and Canon S90, and getting decent results isn't that hard, sounds like it might be your setup and technique that needs a bit of tweaking.  Couple of things I can immediately think of:

- You lose light underwater and optics work slightly different too so you need to get as close as possible to your subject to reduce the amount of light lost between the lens and the subject.  Obviously, the wider angle your lens is, the closer you can get to the subject and you therefore lose less light an colour.  I use Inon wet lenses that attach to the outside of my housing and provide a 105 degree viewing angle.  In the case of the Clown Fish picture my camera would have been 1ft or less from the fish when shooting.

- Do not use the built-in flash unless you are using it to fire an external strobe.  Using the built-in flash will almost certainly cause a lot of backscatter in the image, even if it is diffused.  If you are very close up (when shooting in macro) then using the flash is usually ok as there are less particles in the water to get lit up by the flash.

- Instead of using the flash use your camera in AV or Manual mode with manual white balancing and if your camera supports RAW then use that too so you can can easily correct WB during post-processing.  Ideally you want something grey to use to manually set WB - my fins are grey which is quite handy!  Underwater mode can get decent results, but all it is doing is using a virtual filter to try and balance out loss of colour - manually white balancing is better especially when used in conjunction with RAW.

This image was shot in the UK where the waters are "green" and not crystal clear like in Egypt.  I was about 3-6m deep with about 6m of visibility and was shot using a Canon S90 with a Inon wide-angle lens with manual white balancing, no flash (or external strobe) at ISO80 1/80 F4.0.  I was less than a meter away from this Grey Seal when taking the photo:

Something to perhaps consider might be the use of a "magic filter".  This is a filter that reduces the amount of red and green rather than adding red.  There are versions for running your camera in full-auto and manual WB.  I have used a magic filter in the past and they are quite good, although it does mean you lose a couple of stops, which means having to use a slower shutter speed.

Hen3ry wrote:

…but gave it away. It seemed to have too many possible downsides.

Now I have a little Panny FT4 (I only need pix for websites) but I STILL haven't taken a decent reef pic with it.

The dry season is starting here so the water clarity will improve again over the next couple of months.

I am only snorkeling too. Thanks for the encouragement your pix have given me.

Cheers, geoff

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow