About four years I caught the underwater photography bug. If you are like me, you see lots of photography trends that look exciting and peek your interest — polaroid, video, film, free-lensing, double exposure processing, drone photography. I love being introduced to such diverse and creative options to keep my photography practice exciting. But I try to pay extra close attention when something really calls my name. And for me one of the things that made my heart skip a beat was the idea of capturing my children underwater.
I began very simply, with a waterproof cover for my iPhone and eventually moved on to a GoPro about two years ago. Both of those were wonderful to use, especially the GoPro, but I found myself wanting more than just a point and shoot option. I was bitten hard and I found myself pining away for an underwater housing for my Canon 6d. After much soul searching and many, many hours of research I purchased an Aquatech underwater housing about a year ago. I was under the mistaken belief that everything I knew about operating my camera on land would translate to water. Makes sense right? Not so much. A year later I still feel like I am experimenting and making soooo many mistakes.
Case in point, I recently sat down and edited my photos from a trip my family and I took to Montana. I brought my underwater housing on that trip knowing there would be a swimming pool and a week of leisure time to experiment. But, when I finally got the time to look carefully through the 100+ underwater photos I took that week I was a little heartbroken. I wasn’t getting the focusing right. When I used auto focus, it often took too long for the camera to focus on my subject through the dense water and by the time it was ready, my kids had moved on. Manual focus is tricky too. It’s very hard to see what you are doing when the camera is underwater — it’s a guessing game unless you wear special goggles and have a subject willing to stand still for you (that’s not how my children roll). In short, I was completed deflated by what I had captured.
But after my initial heartbreak at not getting the gorgeous, crystal clear images I had in my head, I did a second pass at the images and realized there were several gems I genuinely love.
You may remember from this post that I spoke about my desire to capture how a moment feels. Well, when I look at the soft focus and overexposure I feel summer, and lightness, and a dreamy quality that I love. Bingo.
The point is, although I failed pretty miserably at this I still love the challenge and don’t plan on quitting any time soon. I am actually more determined than ever to master the concepts and begin shooting with intention rather than just luck. But, I’m also glad that I didn’t scrap the entire collection just because it wasn’t perfect. Those happy accidents are still great memories for me and give me the feeling of summer all over again.