Underwater Geisha – Part 3

4 05 2009

Another image from the “Underwater Geisha” series. This is one of my favorite images of 2009 so far.  I enjoy pushing underwater photography as far as it can go. Stay tuned for more…

© Jason Heller

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18 responses

2 08 2009
Shay Whelan

Hello,

I am an experienced UW photographer and I’ve been approached by a model who wants some underwater fashion photos. How do you achieve the excellent lighting in your images? Do you use surface lights and/or UW strobes? And do you use reflectors like in a conventional studio? All my work has been in the ocean, so this is quite new to me.

Thanks,

Shay.

2 08 2009
Jason Heller

Hi Shay –

Thanks for the compliments on my lighting.

I use a combination of underwater and topside strobes. Sometimes just underwater strobes, but thus far I have not experimented with only topside lighting, but I suspect that would create an interesting and creative option for a specific quality of light. Topside strobe light needs to be powerful due to the absorbtion and diffraction from the water.

I do use multiple strobes underwater (sometimes 3, sometimes 4), sometimes with a softbox (will post some images on the blog in the not-to-distant future), but always with a mix of hard and soft light for key and fill (not too different than what you would do in a studio).

It is a challenge to perfect and sculpt light like this underwater. My biggest piece of advice is to spend time shooting (which I need to practice what I prech more often on that one!).

Please send me a link to your shoot results when they are available!

Good luck!

2 08 2009
Shay Whelan

Thanks Jason,

I will send you some images. I suppose this is just a learning curve. I might practise on a manaquin. Ive been shooting in an outdoor pool (I live in the tropics) during the day. I might try it at night.

Shay.

2 08 2009
Jason Heller

will be better to shoot during the day otherwise you’ll have issues with focusing and keeping the moidel comfortable in the water. practicing with a manequin is a good idea

4 08 2009
Shay Whelan

Was this shot taken with a wide lens? ie A full body shot and then cropped? Also, is this an example of using topside strobe or just UW strobe? I’ve got to honest, it’s an amazing image!

4 08 2009
Jason Heller

Thanks Shay – this shot was taken with 3 underwater strobes. It was shot with a 17-35 lens at 35 and was cropped very slightly.

5 08 2009
Shay Whelan

Was the image captured using direct strobe? Or was it with some, or all softbox? If you used a softbox, how did you use it and where, in relation to the subject, did you position it. My main problem, you see, is even lighting, so I’m trying to work out how to rectify it.

10 08 2009
Shay Whelan

Jason, How did you position the strobes? What ISO, shutter speed etc did you use? Was it shot with iTTL or Manual? Shay.

10 08 2009
Jason Heller

Don’t worry about settings, they will be different depent on ambient light conditions, background and power of your strobes. I don;t remember the settings, I’d have to look at the EXIF. I would imagine ISO 200, 1/125 and around f11.

All manual on the strobes. three strobes were used, one under, two to the sides at about 45 degree angles.

9 09 2009
Daniela

Hi Jason,

im currently in high school and mi taking a photogrophy class and my assignment is to talk baout underwater fantasy photogrophy….im kind of confused because i dont know much about that sooo ill be really happy if u coud give me some tips or some kind of recomendation soo i can do well in my project =]

thanks…

9 09 2009
Jason Heller

not sure what you need, but feel free to email me

11 09 2009
Daniela

ill be really pleased if u could send me some cool tips in how to take pictures under water…last time i tried and they came up really blurry and u could see the particles in the water.. and i also love how ur pictures under the water look soo natural and the reflections look fantastic…

thanks soooo much…….

Daniela

12 09 2009
Jason Heller

You need to keep your strobes on long arms, but sometimes you will get backscatter or microbubbles in the water no matter what you do. it can be frustrating indeed!

11 09 2009
Shay Whelan

Daniela, What type of camera/flash system are you using?

Shay.

1 12 2009
A Singaporean Photographer

This is an interesting way to compose one’s images. I recalled seeing another blog with the use of tilt lens. An innovative way of shooting!

8 03 2010
Manuel

blog.jasonheller.com, how do you do it?

23 03 2010
derekB

You have some amazing work, This photo is one of the best I have seen

19 11 2010
tasha

this is my fave image… once again i wonder how u get the black background……… hehehehh very very nice picture…the composition… lighthing….reflection…hehhe perfecto 🙂

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