The folks I heavily rely on for outstanding gear have recently spotlighted me on their homepage! I feel honored to be featured on their site. I couldn’t be more happy with my Aquatech equipment. If your’e considering a housing purchase in the near future, I’d highly recommend purchasing from them. Take a look at the review I wrote in my second newsletter.
Have you ever sat down at your computer, biting your nails while your new photos are downloading — then find that those photos are complete crap? DELETE! This is something that happened to me all the time when I first started shooting underwater photography. For those of you that shoot underwater photos with a dome equipped housing, you have most likely had a dome reflection issue at some point. This happens when ambient or direct (much worse) light from the sun hits the rim or front of your lens and the white lettering inside the barrel of the lens. You can even have a reflection on a cloudy day. Depending on the lens, your reflections will vary. In my case, I shoot with a Canon 10-22mm which unfortunately has all sorts of things to reflect.
Always keep in mind that shooting directly into the sun in underwater photography yields poor results, most of the time. There are exceptions however. The photo below is one of them. This was shot around 2:30 in the afternoon so the sun was still high. Had I tilted the camera up a bit, the sky would have been blown out, or the subsurface portion would have been extremely underexposed — depending on how the camera would have metered the situation. It also helped that Lance’s head was blocking part of the direct sunlight.
The severity of the reflections depend on the following:
- Camera angle relative to the sun
- Intensity of light source
- Water Clarity
The first step I took in removing the white lettering reflections was taking a sharpie and coloring in the appropriate areas. This slightly helped, but even in direct sunlight the sharpie markings were noticeable in the photos. No bueno. From that point on I pretty much dealt with the reflection for some time. Again, shooting towards the sun is something you typically want to avoid anyways, but sometimes it is inevitable.
My solution finally started to come together when I was searching for black materials to use as a background for product photography. I googled “light absorbing paper” and ended up here. There might be better materials out there for this, but this is what I landed on and it has worked great so far.
So how do you get it on the front of your lens? First, the velvet paper needs to be adhesive. Next, you will need to buy a circular paper cutter to cut a “donut” which will cover the reflecting portion of your lens. You must measure the area to be covered to the exact millimeter! If the size of your donut is off, you could have the paper bunch up on you or not fully cover the reflecting portion of the lens. This may take a few tries. Below are pictures of what mine looks like:
Now I can go out and shoot and worry about one less thing!
Underwater shot of a barred up chum salmon. This was taken on a cloudy day in the Unalakleet River, AK. If you’re wondering if it’s possible to get great underwater shots on a cloudy day, of course it is! Make sure you bump up your ISO a bit and open up you aperture and you should be fine. Also, always try to stabilize your housing on something to reduce camera movement in the water. For this particular shot I braced the camera against the top of my shin. This is a must in faster moving water!