Don’t let the water hold you back
Imagineering the Shot
Typhoon Lagoon, Kali River Rapids, Splash Mountain…
Words that strike fear into us camera toting tourists. But there are ways to capture images on these attractions without drowning in debt or soaking your camera.
From all of my WDW photos, I get more “how did you do that” questions about this series of photos than any other. Most people either don’t know anything about the gear or have sticker shock from the prices. Underwater and in water photography, however, provides you with great creative perspectives and fun images of your family.
Underwater housing for our DSLRs can cost more than the body itself.
Spending $1,400 for photos on your WDW vacation is not in most of our budgets. I’m sure most of us would rather put that kind of money into a new lens or Annual Passes! But there are some inexpensive alternatives.
For your DSLR
For your Point and Shoot
This series of images was shot with a Canon PowerShot SD800 IS. Someone once gave me the tip to always have a Point and Shoot with me even when carrying the DSLR. These little cameras can go places our larger companions can’t. This is one great example. I chose to get the smaller waterproof housing for our point and shoot so I wasn’t carrying 5 pounds of camera in the pool with me. The size of the Canon PowerShot is perfect to carry with us in pools, water parks and wet rides.
Using this type of gear opens a wide range of image possibilities. Not only can you now shoot underwater, but you can also capture the shot of your family coming down the water slide, jumping in the pool, or the scream of terror going down the hill at Splash. And with most of these cameras now having video features, the ability to capture great family moments is endless!
There are some challenges when using this type of underwater housing. The protection around the lens can cause some vignettes. When shooting I try to position the camera to get as little vignetting as possible, but there is still some that needs to be cleaned up in post. Since you are in and around water, drops of water will accumulate on the plastic protecting the lens. I try to keep that clear as much as possible. Aiming underwater is also a large challenge. Like in other types of photography, I shoot a lot of frames to maximize the chances of getting the shot I want.
This particular morning we spent at the Wilderness Lodge Pool to take a break from the parks. The pool at the Wilderness Lodge has incredible theming. I took a few minutes to try and frame a few images of the Lodge from the water. The underwater shots took a few tries. My wife had the idea of blowing the bubbles to add some more excitement to the image.
Magical Post Production
As I stated above you will need to crop most photos to reduce or eliminate the vignette caused by the lens protection. The water can also cause some issues with the colors. For me I try to leave some of these color changes to keep the natural feeling of the photo. All the adjustments for this series of photos were done using Lightroom.
Inexpensive underwater housing can open a whole new world of images to you at WDW. In addition you’ll have this gear to use at your local water park, neighborhood pool, or even in the front yard when playing in the sprinklers. This summer we’ve spent a lot of time in the water, and I’m starting to eye that waterproof bag for my D700. Stay tuned! I may have some new underwater images from WDW soon!