Test photoshoot submarine

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After my first visit to the people of Substation CuraƧao on Wednesday August 11, I went again to make a dive next to the submarine to find out how to take pictures of the submarine and its passengers. Taking pictures is part of the tourist package. During the first part of the descent the submarine makes a photo stop. A photographer outside takes pictures of the submarine and its passengers. When the submarine surfaces after the dive additional pictures are made of the passengers while they leave the submarine. Afterwards the customer can check the pictures on a computer screen and decide which pictures he wants.

Barry Brown is the normal photographer on duty but during his absence a second photographer is needed. I want to investigate if I could be that photographer so I need to find out how to get the best results. Barry is using a DSLR in a housing with two powerful strobes. My equipment is far less professional. So I probably cannot get the quality with my pictures that Barry can get. He is using two strobes, each of these more powerful than my single strobe, he has a better camera and he is using a fish-eye lens so he is able to make pictures with a perfect clarity and depth. For me a good experience to find out what I can do with my limited equipment.

Around 1 PM we enter the water. Just outside the harbor we wait till the submarine arrives. The submarine starts hovering in place so the photographer(s) are able to take pictures. It is rather shallow at that place so there is sufficient ambient light to get a good exposure of the submarine itself. But the inside of the submarine is dark, so to get the passengers sufficiently exposed you need to use the strobe.
I have made pictures with several combinations of shutter time and opening, with and without strobe, to get a feeling for the correct exposure of the sub and its passengers. It appears that you have to set the exposure manually to get the correct lighting of the sub and then use the strobe to get more light into the cabin. With the power of my strobe the result is still too dark. So I am not yet happy with the results. At least one extra dive is necessary to improve on my technique. Probably I need to direct the strobe more precisely at the cabin to get a better result.

Below are the pictures of this test dive. In all pictures there is a hazy part in the topright corner because of some condensation on my camera lens. The temperature in the office is so low that there is a risk of condensation under water. Something to take into account the next time.