Why Underwater Photography

Why Underwater Photography

Why did I re-brand as primarily an underwater photographer? I've been struggling with all social media/marketing aspects of photography, it wasn't anywhere near as popular when I started. 

Watching a video about 'building your brand' she spoke about:

  1. Your niche of photography
  2. Style of photography
  3. Your passion
  4. Your personality style

I quickly and in a bit of a bored manner wrote down:

  1. Underwater
  2. Fine Art (I still feel this is an inadequate word for my work style)
  3. Creating stories through photography
  4. Introvert

I then laughed, chuckled to myself at the irony. Being underwater, you are alone, in the quiet of the water, your body defies gravity creating surreal/ethereal movement and shapes. The imagination goes off on a tangent. 

WHICH FITS EVERY CATEGORY I WROTE DOWN

It suddenly felt like I'd made the right decision to change my website up a bit. I'm still doing the fine art and book cover photography, this won't change as I love books, I love reading and I love creating images that tell a story or suggest a story. But I want my website to communicate that I want to focus on underwater photography in my personal work.

Underwater Photography Plotagraphs

Underwater Photography Plotagraphs

Plotagraph is a really cool app which helps you quickly create some moving aspects to still images - I love it.

I've gone back over some of my favourite water based images and created some Plotagraphs, it took a couple of hours to get used too but I love the ethereal outcomes, which lends itself to underwater fine art photographs. Here are a few I thought I'd share with you. 

These are my first attempts but I'm quite happy with, I can't wait to play with the app more and share more with you. I'm hoping to get more underwater work done next year and will continue to use plotagraph to animate it in a more ethereal look, but also it's inspired me to try video again. I've done a few underwater fine art videos from my EARLY EARLY days! Feel free to follow my youtube if you fancy seeing my older videos! 

Underwater modelling tips

Underwater modelling tips

So I have a lot of models hesitate before modelling underwater, it's usually because it's completely foreign territory. Here are some tips for your first underwater photoshoot.

  1.  You do not need to know how to swim, not with me anyway. I stay in the shallow end and there isn't actually much swimming involved. 
  2. Opening your eyes is dependant on chlorine level or salt level. If you're in a low chlorine pool (usually cleaned with U.V light instead) Opening your eyes is much easier and the same with the sea. I'd keep your eyes shut until you're comfortable. Eyes closed underwater is much more ethereal anyway!
  3. Keep your toes pointed and your hands poised. Imagine a ballerina's hands, keep them loose and delicate. 
  4. Don't point your legs towards the camera, always go down sideways on to the camera, straight down or balled up. Pointing your legs towards the camera ends up with pretty awful photos.
  5. Don't put deodorant on, body oil, moisturiser or anything in fact before you go in the water, especially a pool. It clouds the water up really quickly and the photographer will end up with murky photos, I've included a comparison below. 
  6. Most importantly - let all your air out before you go underwater. It is the exact opposite of what you'd naturally do (taking a massive deep breath and then going under) If you slowly breath out as you're going under you'll find you sink pretty fast, can move a lot easier and you won't have puffed out cheeks and a squish face. It takes a lot of practise and the first few times you will quickly take a breath before you go under because it's instinct. But don't panic, you can actually stay underwater a lot longer than if you'd taken a massive breath. 
rekhagartonunderwaterphotography.jpg
underwaterphotographerrekhagarton.jpg

The clarity between these is remarkable. When I went with Hollie there was a family in before us who had clearly been wearing a lot of body products which had clouded the water immensely, killing the clairty. 

Rob's underwater photoshoot however was clear as day. The day light helped with this but because we were the first ones there and neither of us wore anything the water stayed crystal clear. 

Do you have any questions about modelling underwater? Any fears? Let me know in the comments below! 

Published Underwater Images

Published Underwater Images

I've gathered a few publications of my images that have been featured on book covers worldwide. 

I love seeing how underwater images can work on a book cover, when you have to find space for text, how editors might edit your images, how it ranges across countries too. 

Personally my favourites are probably the series by Melinda Salisbury - The Sin Eaters Daughter. The editing is amazing and the series look's so consistent and exciting. I can also tell you they are good books, worth the read for sure!

A Sky With No Stars also makes me smile, the author actually contacted me directly about this image, I directed her towards the image with Arcangel, but she was so complimentary and I was so excited to see her end result, which is beautiful and magical.