Shooting underwater photos is a great hobby, but it requires special care with your camera and underwater housing. You don't want to make a mistake in preparation that causes a housing to fail, ruining your expensive camera. Use these tips to help you prepare for your underwater photography trip, both before and during the shoot.
- Maintaining the O-rings in your underwater photography housing is the key to keeping your equipment in proper working condition. Before going on a shoot, take plenty of time to inspect the O-rings. Look for any cracks that could allow a leak. If you are unsure whether a particular O-ring is in useable shape, it's probably best to just replace it ... better safe than sorry.
- Make sure the O-rings in your underwater housing are properly lubricated, which will create the elasticity required to make proper seals. Take care to not lubricate the O-rings too much, as such an issue will attract dust to the O-rings. The O-rings should look moist and shiny after you lubricate them.
- Make sure your lights and batteries are in working order and are at full power before diving into the water. You don't want a power problem to short-circuit your underwater photography options.
- If you must enter the water by jumping, ask someone else to hand you the camera after you jump into the water. Jumping into the water with your camera could jar it unnecessarily, potentially causing damage.
- As soon as you enter the water, run the camera through a quick test to make sure it's working. There's no sense in spending 30 minutes looking for the perfect shot, only to find that the camera isn't working or the flash won't fire. Test the camera immediately.
- Attach a floating strap to the camera, which will carry the unit to the surface in case you lose your grip on the camera while shooting underwater.
- Make sure you do not exceed the water depth limit for your camera and underwater housing unit. Exceeding the rated depth will void any warranty, and most cameras or housings contain a built-in manometer to measure water depth.
- Finally, if you notice air bubbles of any size coming from the underwater housing unit, that's a sign that you have a leak someplace. Immediately remove the camera and housing from the water.