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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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09.08.12         photography  

Underwater Maternity Shoot


After posting my underwater test shots of Annie last week, my good friend Angelina Hills Rebet, who has helped me with many projects and is also 8 months pregnant contacted me and expressed an interest in doing some underwater maternity portraits. Being that I am still learning and have never even done a maternity shoot before, I saw this as a great opportunity for the both of us. I have to say…I'm pretty happy with the results.

A few technical side notes, we shot very early, around 715am, this allowed for the strong directional light you are seeing (the sun) at an angle to the water (not overhead). I brought both my Canon 7D in SPL Surface Water Splash Housing and my 5DII- Canon 5DII in Ikelite Water Housing with 2 Ikelite 161 Underwater Strobe / Movie Lights . I also decided to bring my full scuba tank, reg and weights, just to see if it would be a little easier to stay under. Loaded it all up into my kayak, and Angelina and her husband Vetea followed on their standup paddle board.

Once anchored, I grabbed the 7D and it locked up on me. I hate to say this, but this is the 4th time my 7D has locked up since the new firmware update, I think that update really screwed it up and once the camera goes into the housing, it is a real pain to try to open it, fix it, re-close it all on a wet kayak. I didn't want to mess with it, so I just grabbed the Canon 5DII , and being that I had never shot underwater portraits with it, I am so glad I did. The lens I was using was the Canon 28mm f2.8 which I use with the Ikelite for size restrictions on the housings and ports. (I can't use my Canon 24mm 1.4 L because its too big to fit in the housing). Im starting to think that Canon 20mm f2.8 might be the perfect focal length, where wider lenses add too much distortion. I know a lot of that won't make perfect sense, suffice it to say, between the water magnification factor on the lens, and the port system, Im a little limited with lens choices.

We started off with me free diving, but after about 6 dives, I was starting to feel dizzy, and not wanting to black out while doing this, I put my scuba tank on and just stayed down. I am convinced now that was a very, very good choice and I will probably bring the rig on all my future underwater portrait shoots. While I did use my strobes, I was most happy with the all natural light/ silhouette shots. I feel like I improved from Annies shoot and getting more confidence in the water shooting portraits.

Here are my favorites from the shoot:
This shot is actually the way the light refracted off the surface, I just tweaked it with the color balance and saturation:

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