But before we start, the question you have to ask yourself is how much risk you’re willing to take for an underwater shoot. Me? I did the shoot expecting a worst case scenario of damaging the camera’s electronics from getting wet. Read on if you are willing to take that risk.
So let’s get straight to the point then…
Let’s start off with the plastic bag. Obviously, we do not use those you fill your groceries with. People use green bags nowadays anyway. Lol!
Instead, find plastic bags made to hold or store food. Those you use to hold noodles or soup during take-aways. That way, you know the bag is clean and, more importantly, waterproof. And please, only transparent or white colored plastic bags.
As for how I did my shots, I used local focus method. I picked a specific point I wanted my camera to focus on, then discussed with the cosplayer on how the pose will be like and in which direction they should be moving in, swimming or not. As I mentioned above, it is near impossible to stay still under water, even if you are a good swimmer. You’ll be surprised how much difference swimming with your usual attire and swimming with a costume is. Seeing as it is impossible to stay still, you might as well set the shot up in a way that the direction of the movement would be what you aim to capture, right?
So you have rapid shots set, local focusing checked, next is continuous AF. Although the speed difference between manually refocusing the shot and have AF do the job is arguably minimal, there is still a difference. And as they say, a little goes a long way.
As for the cosplayers, waterproof makeup does NOT work. The moment you get into the water, eyelashes will drift off, eyes with contact lenses on will hurt, powder and foundation will smudge, well, you get the picture.
Also, don’t even think about using double sided tape and elephant glue on costumes. The moment you go into the water, the pressure of the water pushing your costume up alone will tear it apart. Sewn costumes is the way to go. Finally, take note of the little details like accessories and ornaments. Make sure they are secured tightly.
You will definitely need at least one other swimmer, someone who can help hold the photographer in place. In my case, I wasn’t a good swimmer, so I had a helper push me all the way down to the bottom of the pool, then hold me still and prevent me from floating up while both my hands were on the camera and I concentrated on shooting alone. In fact, I had another helper push Angie down to the bottom of the pool to get a certain shot.
That’s about it then. Before going for the actual shoot, test things out by dipping your newly-made casing into a bucket of water. Check for water entering the plastic bag. Take a few shots and see how it goes. If it all goes well, you’re good to go!