A few weeks ago I finally got the chance to get a waterproof "housing" for my main DSLR. Yes, I love my GoPro, but until it can control off camera flash, this is going to be needed too. Waterproof housings come in a range of designs- from hard plastic, form fitting shells for serious underwater photography and scuba diving down to what I got- essentially a heavy duty plastic bag that's (hopefully!) sealed up tight. The EWA marine bag is well made- heavy plastic, well designed screw-tight seals, and adapters to hold the lens in place. It's not easy to work with, definitely took some getting used to.
So, Robyn, who I'd previously worked with back in March, and I headed over to the Chesapeake Bay. After a little Google Maps research, I found a small sandy beach on Kent Island that faced into the setting sun. It was an ideal location to work from, save for the long walk from the parking lot with all our (my) gear. I brought a shower curtain to put down on the sand, then put all my camera basg and such on top of that, in an attempt to minimize sand in my bags/gear.
The case I got was designed to allow an on-camera flash to be mounted in the hot shoe. Instead, I put my PocketWizard Mini TT1 there and used that to control four lights downrange, two together on each of two light stands. The stands were older, lightweight stands I didn't mind filling with mud and saltwater- we pushed them as hard down into the soft bottom of the bay as we could, and moved them as little as possible. Instead of moving the lights, w'd reposition ourselves, figuring the less I messed with the lights, the less chances of them going into the Bay. As an added measure, I put large zip-loc bags over the lights to keep any splash off them.
While I never took the camera completely submerged during this shoot, it was good to know it was completely protected right at water level. And with the wide focal length I was shooting Robyn at, I had to be right up next to her as she swam by- and into me- to get the shots I wanted. Not having the camera in a waterproof case of some sort was simply not an option.
It took a little longer than usual to get the lighting dialed in, working with gear in bags and waterproof cases certainly slowed things down. But, once it was all sorted out, I couldn't have been happier. And Robyn, of course, was a champ, swimming the same laps over and over and over again, in her Xterra Vortex wetsuit- despite the 90+ degree weather we had that day!
All in all, it was a great shoot, and we were both very pleased with the images we made. Definitely looking forward to the next time I can get in the water to shoot with my new EWA bag!