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PADI U/W Photography Specialty

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Aerosynth, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Aerosynth

    Aerosynth Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Midwest/Central U.S. is where I hang my hat. Where
    Thanks everyone for all the helpful advice. :)

    I actually picked up my camera today. DC1200 Elite kit (single strobe) plus underwater photography specialty course. Grand total, $950. I know the camera kit is only like $800 online... but in the end it would be about the same price if I did the course separately, paid shipping, etc. Plus I like being able to go into my LDS for questions or instruction if I ever need it.

    On the course, I really like my instructor. His classroom walls are filled with framed u/w photos he has taken, so I know he is good. He sent me home with the PADI learning materials, said to play around with the camera and read the manual/PADI book, get familiar with the camera, play around in the pool, then come out diving with his next O/W class to take some photos. After that, he's going to critique my photos and see what I need to work on before I take the actual course. Makes sense to me.

    Anyway... look forward to learning all about it!! I don't plan to be a professional underwater photographer or anything... but at least my Facebook friends will stop bi&^*ing about me not posting photos of my dive trips, LOL :)
  2. Blackwood

    Blackwood DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Southern California
    Big time.

    Sounds like a lot of fun. Did you also print from the slides? Or scan and print digitally (as is normal these days since many labs don't have the right process)?
  3. cboater

    cboater Angel Fish

    I took the PADI UDP course in Bonaire from Tim Peters, professional underwater/topside photographer and owner of FishEye Photo at Bari Reef. Originally, I planned to just take 2 days of instruction. Then, I saw the PADI specialty. I asked Tim which I should do and he said either. I decided "What the heck" and take my instruction so I would get the PADI card.

    I was already shooting underwater with a Canon G9 and getting some nice shots. But, what I learned in my PADI class really stepped up the quality of my composition AND my successful use of the strobe in manual mode. I learned more in the class than showed up in the photos I took during the class. In restrospect, I learned a ton that I don't believe I would have learned on my own.

    Tim was really an excellent instructor and very helpful in troubleshooting issues with my housing. I think he made a big difference in my skills. We spent time in his classroom where Tim covered some basics about photography and lighting but he mostly worked with me on underwater shooting topics that were new to me - particularly how to capture images with a dark background, with a blue background, shooting angles, buoyancy control, lighting and shadows, buoyancy control, ambient light, direction of light, buoyancy control, macro and wide angle, equipment care and maintenance, use of desancants, buoyancy control... When we were underwater, he would re-position me to take advantage of ambient light. Or he would look at my LCD, adjust settings underwater and have me shoot the same image again. Then, topside we'd look at all the images and he would point out the differences.

    In the "pool" at Sand Dollar Resort on Bonaire, we have a buoyancy control course set up by our dive shop, Bonaire Dive and Adventure. I spent a lot of time working on buoyancy skills on my own after class. It was not only fun, it made a helluva difference in my ability to shoot under control despite wild contortions of my body to get into positions for good shots.

    I just bought an underwater housing for my Nikon D80. Although I'll be using the same strobe and shoot it in manual mode, I'll probably need some more instruction at some point to get off to a good start with the new equipment. I'd definitely go back to Tim for more.

    I don't know how different my experience might have been if my coursework was in a pool rather than in Bari Reef. But, if you have someone who can teach underwater, it can't hurt you. I'd say go for it and get from it what you can.

  4. sabbath999

    sabbath999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Edina, MO
    Good advice, I would highly recommend taking the camera alone outside and take a bunch of pictures, which will let you learn where all the buttons are... then, put it in the case (take the strobe off) and shoot land pictures with it outside on land... to further familiarize yourself with where all the buttons are.

    One thing to keep in mind from the start... your sealife camera is one of the ones where you DO NOT lubricate the o-rings... if you had another camera and were used to doing that, don't do it with your new one.

    Have fun with your new equipment!

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