I got a chance to paddle out with a water photographer today. Alfonso Lopez is our local water shooter and a super cool guy. I ran into him randomly, he was walking the beach getting ready to jump in and I'd already finished a session and was pulling out to head home. Enthusiasm pours out of this guy and it's hard to say no to somebody who's fired up to rattle off some frames. Plus, I'll admit it, I'm vain- I like to see what I look like out there. In all, it was a super cool experience but different than I though it'd be, a couple of observations:
1. Damn, those guys can swim! I was amazed at how quickly Alfonso could swim into just the right spot to get the shot. I would have been blowing chunks out there if I had to sprint through the water hefting a housing wrapped SLR.
2. Aim at the guy. The best shots are from up pretty close and that means you've got to keep it tight, so you aim for the lens and hope it's not there when you get to the spot. Alfonso assured me he could dodge anything- which did nothing to put my fears to rest.
3. Low light sucks. Here's what I learned from Alfonso, it's a simple equation, "Low light means you've got to crank up your ISO, high ISO = crappy resolution" which means so/so photos. In photography, it's all about the light and on this day, the light wasn't so hot.
4. Don't stare at the camera. It's funny how you get fixated on the front of that water housing when you see it pop up in front of you. But don't stare at it- the photos end up looking a little creepy.
5. Keep your eyes open. Unless you want to snap a photo that brings you back to your 1978 prom picture, open 'em up wide.
6. Snap a million photos and get maybe one keeper. Persistence pays in this game- and so do good batteries!