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Buoyancy advice for starting uw photography

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by ksporry, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. orenbvip

    orenbvip Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Montreal
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    Diving with a camera is a privilege not a right. A setup of that size and complexity is not for you. Just being honest. Even a point and shoot is too much of a distraction. get 50-100 dives under your belt then worry about getting a camera.
     
  2. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    36,349
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    I agree with almost everybody above, but I'll point out another reason to wait . . . you're gonna take crummy pictures. If you can't manage your buoyancy and position in the water, you have only two options -- shoot and hope, and throw away the vast majority of what you get, or sit on the bottom, damaging whatever is beneath you, so that you can be stable enough to shoot.

    Only when you can stabilize yourself in the water column AND not disturb the bottom (so no particulates mess up your photo), can you take the pictures that the gear you have is capable of taking.

    Work on your diving. Play spotter for a good photographer, and model; you'll learn a LOT about what what a photographer is looking for in terms of composition and positioning of models. Then, when you start doing your own photographs, you'll start further along the learning curve.
     
    jbb and orenbvip like this.
  3. orenbvip

    orenbvip Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Montreal
    530
    37
    28
    Have any doubts just follow a group of Japanese divers underwater....
     
  4. Matt S.

    Matt S. Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kirkland, WA
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    Oh, this is so true. Taking good U/W photos is hard even when you've got good diving skills!
     
  5. t-mac

    t-mac BKK Divers

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: VA, USA
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    160
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    There's no magic minimum number of dives and no formula for approaching this. It depends completely on you. Buoyancy is key, as said. Get it nailed first and get completely comfortable diving without the camera. How comfortable are you? How's your air consumption? Your rig is not a GoPro, like one poster mentioned, and so it is much more likely to become a task-loading issue. Your diving should be to the point where you aren't sweating other things. If you are not there, the camera will just stress you out. Then I would start by leaving the strobes the first time or two -- yeah, I know, but is simplifies things. Also, (obviously) only add the camera in an environment where you are comfortable and probably not the first dive of the trip, for example. Just like everything, take it one step at a time. Good luck and please post some of those pictures when you get going.
     
  6. anenomefishman

    anenomefishman Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
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    I think close to neutral buoyant in salt water would be good. mine is currently slightly positive buoyant, but I keep it on a retractor. I have been taking underwater pictures since my 3rd dive. however, I had an underwater camera snorkeling for many years.

    Bruce
     
  7. tamas970

    tamas970 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Switzerland - way too far from warm seas:(
    610
    58
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    I also started to use my dual-strobe EPL5 setup quite early (~30 dives or so). Anyway, buoyancy without camera gear is the key and some experience with task loading. Can you keep hovering at a certain depth with closed eyes/fiddling with something?
     
  8. Ardy

    Ardy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Australia - Blue Mountains
    941
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    I am going to go against the grain here guys. I suggest you start out taking photo's whilst kneeling on sand. This way your buoyancy is not an issue and you can practice your photography without the added difficulty of maintaining hovering buoyancy which is NOT easy. Practice your buoyancy on the anchor line on ascent and during deco.

    In Lembeh a few years ago I watched a guy hovering upside down above a 10mm [1/2"] nudi, whilst held 100mm [4"] off the reef with a small stick the thickness of a pencil, holding him in place. Now I suggest that there are not many on this forum who can do this kind of thing, I certainly can't, so cut yourself some slack and enjoy yourself and your photo's.

    The posters here suggesting leaving your camera behind [unless the seas are rough, you are doing a deep or penetrative dive] are a bit OTT.
     
  9. DSR-3

    DSR-3 Regular of the Pub

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    Wow, first post I read here after a trip taking pictures and spitting through my reg.
    This would be great advice if you wrote "I suggest you start out taking photo's whilst kneeling on sand on the beach...."
    I just spent a week around a few diver/photographers of varying skill and equipment levels, who thought it was good practice to lay or stand or kneel on the sand, or the reef, or other divers. What a mess of fools, damage, and wasted time/opportunities. All that does is destroy the environment, stir up shilt in the water, risk injury, etc.
    If you can't stay off the bottom, you should not be diving near it. People who can't manage buoyancy well enough to stay off the bottom, certainly can't manage getting on and off the bottom without causing even more problems. Have some (a lot) of consideration for the environment and your fellow divers. I actually had 1 guy lay on the bottom while still finning to keep still and totally shilt-up my shot of a ghostpipefish, then his buddy actually kicked it while staring at his camera "swimming" away! *And your number of dives or c-cards are meaningless to this- these guys had hundreds.
     
    RJP and fisheater like this.
  10. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
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    My advice is that you should not enter the water with that rig until you have your buoyancy dialed in.

    Your "realise buoyancy will be bad the first time" premise is faulty... you should not handle a camera until your buoyancy is good.
     

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