The flowers from Mariah Flower
The fledgling idea was to write an essay on the theme “Underwater Pin Up”. Days earlier, we were in the middle of costume-character and make-up decisions when mother asked me to use this look already explaining me why. I love pictures with sayings and stories, so I couldn’t deny this “escaping into defined setting”… The Cherry Blossom, depicted on the shirt, had inspired the name of this wealth preserved beautifully in her womb. “Mariah Flower,” as a source of inspiration, denotes love, happiness, renewal and hope. She brings a new perfume, new colors, beauty and joy to mother, after a difficult phase of its life.
Looking at the picture, we cannot imagine how many times this pose was repeated, how much water entered through the nose of the model (laughing) or how much have we repeated the movement of sinking and return to surface. Underwater photography requires enough effort and technique, especially with pregnant women who require more attention regarding her health and safety.
Baby (the model mother) was excellent! A total of 3hours rehearsal that yielded wonderful images! But when she got out of the pool, I believed my work was only 50% completed, as there was still a long way to go: selection of photos, initial treatments in LR (white balance, color balance, contrast) and finally some Photoshop layers to get final result, cutting up the very bottom of the pool, applying filters and texturing so the photo had met the “paint” the water itself provides through reflection.
Picasso has once said that “the picture has arrived just in time to release the painting”, and the master was right. As an Art lover, what takes my breath away and makes me learn from every click on underwater photography, is to go with the picturing process on the reverse path.
By going over the above way, I’d like to recommend, concerning the underwater photography:
- Do not take photos in opaque water; it is impossible to find focus and balance in natural blur caused by particles in the water.
- If you do not use artificial light, take the middle of the day when the light is stronger, no matter if it’s cloudy, but just remember that the sun’s rays also give a wonderful effect.
- Set in advance the costumes, as time goes away, and the daylight fades; if you’d be choosing the time right at the moment, it will cause delays.
- Always put safety first! Only perform pregnant women shooting under medical authorization! Talk to the model about it. The demanding effort is great, it’s enjoyable and the time passes in soothing mode, but the body feels later.
- The makeup should be waterproof otherwise it will blur everything. Look for professional makeup artists working with good material and fasteners (I know some for future reference).
- Use a wide-angle lens, as it allows you to get closer to the model (reducing blur), but stay tuned at the fisheye, it may distort the image considerably, and if the intention is not to allow this effect, avoid it then. In this test I used a Nikon D5200 with 18-55mm lens without dome.
- The safety of your equipment may also be predicted. I do protect my camera with an Outex latex cover. It has flexibility, excellent optical viewfinder and the performance I need to dive in not very deep water. The deal is not to expose your equipment to risks, performing a maintenance procedure on the cover at every test, and periodically change the cover rubber part and “wear” your camera always like the first time, without vices attitudes.
- Do not forget the anti-fog at your swimming glasses; get a sunblock and have a great shooting time!
Model: Barbara Wallery
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