Surfing - by Tito da Costa

Surreal underwater Canon EOS 5D Mark II photography from RadRaven

by planetMitch2 Comments

A guest post today from our friend Tito da Costa (RadRaven) – where he and his crew made these surreal underwater Canon EOS 5D Mark II shots! Please welcome Tito! Tho, you have seen him on planet5D before… “One way to remove sensor dust in video” and “Sensor cleaning!

Redrock Micro

I’ve been overwhelmed working on my movie “Road to Red”, but I’ve finally locked picture and hopefully I’ll have a little more time to catch up over here!

So, with that out of the way, here’s a little catching up from photo shoot I did a while ago.

For one of the last units of “Road to Red” we shot in Catalina Island. We had to do some in-water, surface shots and we decided to use a 5D MKII and an Aquatech housing.

All I can say for now…

As I didn’t want to go out in the ocean, with a rig I had never used and time was crunching, I made a few calls to setup a little fun afternoon at Angely‘s house, shooting in her water heated pool… yeah, kind of cheating, as the water wouldn’t be nearly as nice when we headed out to Catalina…

A couple of gorgeous girls, warm water and a 5D MKII… what could make for a better afternoon?!

Miss Dia making my day with this gorgeous underwater pose!

Our biggest challenge was finding lighting gear. A pocket wizard water housing costs like $400…

Fortunately, one of the models I contacted had a boyfriend that was a lighting engineer…
and just happened to be working at Cosmos Sound & Lighting, who happened to have these waterproof LED lights…

So thanks to Vladi and Daniil, and Cosmos Sound & Lighting, of course, the game was on!

The Aquateck housing, specifically made for the 5D MKII, has a transparent back with knobs and wheels, which give you access to pretty much all the menus and functions of your beloved 5D.

If you’re not used to the Quick Control Screen (like I wasn’t), get ready to make a new best friend, cause there’s no access to the main dial (the one you reach with your index finger)… so if you want to change your shutter speed, you need to access it through the Quick Control Screen using the Quick Control Dial (the big wheel in the back we all so dearly love).

The LCD screen view is clear and as functional as possible, but you can’t forget that you’re in the water… so you’ll have to fight drops and glare as they gather where you least want them…

Using manual focus on a lens is possible, but it’s not as functional as you’d like…

but since you usually want to be as close as possible to your subject, when shooting under water, you end up using pretty wide lenses, so you probably won’t be requiring do all that much focusing, in most cases.

As I was only shooting stills, I just used autofocus all the time. When I shot motion with this gear, I would just switch back to stills mode, get a focus and engage video mode again to shoot.

The last piece of the equation was to find a kind soul that would let us borrow a beautiful and colorful wardrobe, for us to soak all afternoon long…

A big thanks to Bruno Duluc who provided us the gorgeous dresses you can see in these pics!!!

We set ourselves out to do several concept shots, only too realize that we were probably a little too ambitious… as usual! haha!
I was very pleased on how this one turned out! I wanted to create the illusion of surfing on the flip side of the water surface. It was and hilarious process trying to make this happen, but in the end it was totally worth it.

Surfing - by Tito da Costa

Surfing - by Tito da Costa

I still want to do some photoshop work to it. Like compositing a wave and a cosmic sky… but until I’m done with my film, it will have to wait…

The other concept was to get a bicycle in the pool… which also proved to be quite challenging and cause some serious laughing moments… which if you think about it, it’s not the best thing when you’re trying to hold your breath underwater…

Well, and the rest is history as they say… hope you enjoyed the photos and don’t get too jealous when you watch the making of… haha! We had way too much fun!

A big thanks to my friend Renato Lucas @LucasinLA who shot and edited the making of. He’s new to Twitter so don’t forget to welcome him to the fam!

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  1. Now this is something different. Not sure what to say about it? 🙂

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