I’ve made an underwater photoshoot in my home pool today. In order to cover the pool’s checkered walls and make a solid background I thought of buying five bedsheets or another pieces of cloth. You know, when a thick fabric gets wet the light doesn’t shine through it. So here’s what we did. We bought 1.5 meters size white cloth that was meant to be curtains. It was expensive but the result comes first. Those one and a half meters were exactly enough to cover the sides of my pool. We attached tie-strings to the top and bottom of the cloth. Then we tied heavy houseware to the bottom part. And when we ran out of our home utensils I walked around and found some stones and pieces of broken ceramic vases to put in use. Finally, the weighting material pulled the cloth down. After that we attached a pool cleaning shovel and some rusty pipes found in the backyard to the upper tie-strings to fix the cloth vertically.
Our local couturier, Katya Yanova created a special design and sewed a wonderful dress for the shooting. Anna Paramy appeared as a model. That was such a heroic act from her. You wonder why? Read on.
Polina Pak made a waterproof makeup. It’s really worth gold when you have a makeup that lasts perfectly on a diving model’s face. The only thing for the model was not to touch or rub her eyes, when she emerged from water. Otherwise even Polina wouldn’t help. )
Check out the final look the girls created.
Now a bit more about myself. Last year I wrote an article titled “Canon vs. Nikon. A small experiment at the cost of $20000”. And after all twists and turns of the experiment I still had some amount of money left. I don’t remember exactly, I guess it was about $5000. So I spent it on Ikelite underwater housing with conversion lens and a Canon 5D Mark 2 with Canon 24 mm f/2.8. You can see it on the photo above. Together with Natasha we tested this purchase in the swimming pool and in the sea. I also used it to capture the water faerie of Thailand’s New Year celebration. And that’s it. All these goods remained in a closet for almost a year. I didn’t even have time to go swimming, not to mention underwater photoshooting. But now I’ve made an act of will and spent a whole day shooting in the swimming pool. I’m enjoying the result. It’s a good motivation to keep on making photos underwater. The Ikelite kit will no longer be left to collect dust in my closet. I’m going to actively promote underwater photography on Koh Samui. Nobody does this here, especially on my level and with such equipment.
In order to stop floating up I dropped 5kg dumbbells on the bottom. I put my feet under the handles as if the dumbbells were my slippers to stay underwater a bit longer. But even this didn’t solve the issue. Those 5 kilogram pieces were not enough to keep me down there. My floatiness was more than expected. :)
Daniel is helping me to monitor captured content giving valuable recommendations on the shooting process.
Finally I found a way how to stay underwater for a longtime. I’ve got an attached seat in my pool. Seems like it was made for people to stay waist-deep in water enjoying jacuzzi in the moonlight on a hot winter night, slowly sipping champagne/beer/vodka covered with pool’s illumination. So to keep myself underwater I dove under this seat. The only problem was that the bottom edge of the seat appeared to be quite sharp. It stuck into my neck painfully, and I was a bit cut in the end. Better wear a t-shirt next time.
We sunk a mirror in the water. But after Anya cut her leg with it we decided to take it out. Better buy a bigger one with finished edges later.
That’s Anya’s frozen leg. We were filming for two hours in a row. Despite of living in tropics, two hours spent in cold water lead to predictable consequences. We became totally frozen and that was the reason why the session was finished. I won’t be posting my frozen leg here. )
My moral support. )
And of course here’s the result. Having only this single photo at the moment. I finished it the same evening. I’m going to let you enjoy some more photos from this wet photo session when I have a bit more spare time for editing.
That’s all for now.
I’ll be glad to answer your questions and receive your comments as usual.
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Sincerely, Eduard Stelmakh.