Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

    Hi Everyone,

    I am going shark diving in two weeks and will be spending 6 days swimming with Tiger sharks up close.

    I have bought my first SLR and wondered if anyone could give me some tips?
    My set up is as follows-
    Canon EOS 550D.
    15mm wide angle fisheye lens F2.8
    8" dome port.

    No strobe, going to try ambient light first and the dive is only 10 metres deep so should be plenty of natural light.
    The sharks are big and close enough to touch.

    Here s my dilema, my manual settings can not be changed once the EOS is in the housing, so initially I planned to shoot in sport with live view (30 seconds auto switch off). I have taken plenty of my dogs running in sport and it works well.

    I have tried AV and manual with ISO1600, F8 and 1/100 and AI Servo which Is ok but seems to take a long time to focus, by which time i will have prob missed the shot/ shark (maybe I am doing it wrong?)

    Also in manual there is no live view, just a black screen? So in summary-
    A. Does live view not work in manual?
    B. in sport the ISO is self adjusting but F is fixed at 5.6, would sport be better than manual or AV?

    I am keen to use live view on this trip because there's going to be 30-40 sharks around me at all times and having a big camera stuck to my I've mask blocks out everything around me... Also sometimes Tigers and Lemons may bump your camera so better out in front then close to your head!

    The chap who sold me the camera has been great with advise but I don't want to keep pestering him so thought I would try this site.

    Any advise greatly received, it's all new to me but have been reading up on pasture I've, ISO etc....plan is to learn the basics and then upgrade to a housing I can change underwater later on.

    I am taking my ipad so I can download each night and make adjustments to the camera then.

    Thanks

    Steve

    #2
    Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

    Steve, i have no experience of this kind photography than me just one bought a use and throw underwater camera to shoot while doing snorkelling although i did do a shark point dive to 30meters my camera was not build for that and missed the joy, I am very much look forward to your pictures.

    Raj
    Raj
    Flickr

    Comment


      #3
      Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

      Hi Raj, thanks, hopefully I'll get one good pictures to post...
      Steve

      Comment


        #4
        Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

        I also have no experience of this but would suggest its best shoot in RAW so you can alter the colour temperature post capture to mitigate cast produced by being underwater.
        Hope this helps
        James
        James Boardman Woodend
        www.jameswoodend.com

        Comment


          #5
          Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

          Thanks James. Don't know raw is but Ill read up today!
          Steve

          Comment


            #6
            Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

            HI Sharkboh,
            I am uncertain whether you have any experience of scuba diving or photography underwater. Also I'm not sure whether you will be scuba diving with sharks or immersed in some kind of cage or bubble. You certainly have some quality gear- possibly too much if you are inexperienced. What kind of housing do you have for this? If you can get back to me on some facts I will try to give a more complete answer, possibly as a direct post if you prefer
            Canon 5d mk iv plus the usual suspects ......

            https://www.flickr.com/photos/bo_fo_to

            Comment


              #7
              Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

              Hi Lunarbo,

              Thanks for your post.

              I have been diving for 15 years and have done quite alot of shark diving so have no issues with the diving side of things. There's no bubble or cage, so i can get as close as i want to the subjects. There will be a bait box that keeps the sharks around so lots of opportunities for pictures and i will be there anchored all day for 6 days!

              The housing is a modified seacam housing, basically it doesnt have the buttoms to change the shooting mode or ISO, F etc once the camers is in the housing... so i have to set it before i go down and make any changes on the surface.

              I have used digital underwater cameras before for sharks, just a sony cyber shot in a housing and a Sealife point and shoot DX unit.

              I bought the 550D to move up to the next level but at the time i thought i would just point and shoot in sport mode. Having learnt a little about the ISO, F and aperture speeds i may have been better going for a housing i can change.

              Really i am trying to get my head around which mode to use if i want to try some manual settings. I was advised to use "manual" so that i do not have a fixed speeds, but when i do that i only get a black sceen on the live view and i want to use the live view.

              what mode would you go for? conditions should be -
              10-12 metres deep
              sharks 4-13ft long
              good vis

              Comment


                #8
                Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

                Sharkboh.

                Hi, there I hope this does not get to you too late, I only joined the forum a few days ago.

                I have done a fair bit of underwater photography over the years, my current setup is a 5D mark II and the majority of my photos have been with out strobes.

                I would place the camera in Av and open the lens as much as possible as everything will be in focus from about 20cm(ish) with the fish eye, and set the ISO as high as you are happy with (1600) should be plenty to ensure the photo is taken as fast as possible to compensate for the fact you and the subject are likely to be moving. I found with a fish eye it was always best to under-expose by 2/3s of a stop.

                What you could do on the first few dives is bracket the photos, so take 3 shots for ever picture -1, 0, +1 just to see what settings are correct and once you are happy you can set that later and still have the good shots too (although you'll have to delete quite a few). Review the photos every evening and make changes to the camera settings, maybe bringing down the ISO if possible. You'll also want to charge your battery every night so take a spare.

                If you find you are getting constantly good light you could change to TV and set a good high shutter speed (1/500).

                I would also take all the photos in RAW as this will allow for better recovery of the photo in post, especially for white balancing. If not set the camera white balance to cloudy.

                Above 10m you should have plenty of light and colour, however as you go below 10m you'll start to loose both but these can make for some good b&w photos.

                I also found that strapping the camera across my chest from the top D ring, with a bungee that was long enough to always stay attached and then to the one that is diagonally opposite at the bottom of the BCD with as quick release clip meant it was easy to always have the camera available and safe. Yet if I wanted to just watch the action I could clip it back on and it would just rest under my stomach.

                Live view is not going to be much use to you as the auto-focus will be terrible in that light, I take all my photos looking through the view finder, it takes a little practice but once you have the feel for it it is hard to miss the sharks with such a wide angle of view.

                Last tip, if you are looking through the view finder you'll be much closer to the shark than you may think, don't bump into it like I did! Have a great holiday.

                Martin
                Last edited by Martin Abela; 16-09-2013, 11:02. Reason: Update
                Canon 600D, 7D, 5D Mark II (for underwater), 1Dx, 16-35L, 24-105L, 70-200L, 70-300L, 100-400L, 300 2.8L II

                Albums at 500px http://500px.com/martin_abela/sets (in progress)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

                  Hi Martin,

                  Thanks very much for the advice.

                  Getting all the non tech bits out the way, i have a spare battery and 2 x 32gb memory cards + taking my 64gb i pad to download the picture sin the evening. Also have a free diving wrist lanyard and a gear keeper for the camera to fix to my BCD or wrist.

                  I have the white balance set to cloudy already so that good to read, shows i am on the right track.

                  A couple of people have said use raw and TV, i plan to take the dogs tot he woods this weekend, the light is quite dim under the canopy
                  so that be good practive and get some practice in adjusting the settings.

                  Ref the sharks being closer than they look, yes, very true, i have some shots of basking sharks taken with a sony cyber shot that look like the shark is 12-15ft away, when in reality it was on top of me ;o)

                  Thanks again for the tips, i'll copy and paste these in to my ipad for reference on the trip (a week saturday)

                  Steve / Sharkboh

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

                    I was much relieved to hear that you are an experienced diver and underwater photographer, what I read sounded as if you were wrapping up your EOS in a plastic bag and going down in a bubble.

                    Having said that, my knowledge is based more on using the Canon Powershot S100 so a very competent compact compared to your SLR

                    In composing this I note Martin has just come in with some really sound and technical advice so I am grateful to him for his comprehensive reply.

                    My initial thoughts were to wonder why you should want to shoot in Manual. AV will be just fine, the sharks wonít be moving that fast, less to worry about and you want to enjoy the experience too.

                    Usual rule of F8, 1 metre and Be There applies underwater.

                    Keep your ISO set at AUTO the first time out and see what readings your machine came up with, as we can take it viz will be good at 10m in open seas.

                    Although in theory shooting in RAW would be favourite (actually jpeg+RAW would be best so you can see your work each night rather than processing evry shot) this will eat up space on your card especially if you shoot in AI servo mode. Get largest card possible so you don't get "Card Full" message mid-dive.

                    Finally I would suggest that you donít ignore the Movie button. I am a stills freak but when in the Maldives was lucky enough to dive with manta rays.
                    Pictures- stunning
                    Movies- awesome

                    Hope you have a great holiday. Show us your best shots please.
                    Canon 5d mk iv plus the usual suspects ......

                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bo_fo_to

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

                      Thanks Lunarbo,

                      Yes, learn in British waters and plenty of shark dives under the belt and a fair bit of knowledge on shark behaviour. After this its just the Great White outside the cage and im happy ;)

                      The chap i bought the camera from suggested manual, he is a professional and has given me lots of advise and been brilliant, but its a lot to take in if your new to it all and i didnt want to keep pestering him asking stupid questions, hence i came on here. Also i find discussing with with peeps helps me learn, its thought prevoking and helps piece it together rather than just reading a book, so thanks to everyone for their input...its been a great help.

                      I tried some shots of my dog in the house yesterday with the curtains drawn and the flash off, with 1600 on the ISO, F8 and 1/100 they came out bright and lovely. I also tried the same dog in sport mode and they were good too, the readings were ISO1600-3200 with F5.6.

                      I have taken some of my dogs running full speed at me in sequence in sport mode in the woods and she's real quick and they came out great, no blur and caught her in mid flight, how do i post them on here?

                      So in summary having had different bits of advice on and off the forum i am looking at -
                      AV mode
                      Jpeg
                      ISO auto first dive and adjust from there (if i was going to estimate i'd go with 800 as a starting point)
                      WB - Cloudy
                      F8
                      1/200 for slow moving sharks to avoid blur, go higher if needed.

                      How does that look as a starting point guys?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: New by needing some advise on shooting mode underwater,, first SLR Canon EOS 550D

                        Just reading your post - wonder if you ever got any pics of your dive?
                        I use a Canon S100 with housing and it's great down to about 20m,s and excellent video too, and less cumbersome than an slr, but I am sure without such professional results!

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X