Ken Hubbard talks about Underwater Housings: Great Vacations Deserve Great Pictures
So your hotel and flights are booked, luggage is packed and your camera gear is organized and ready to go. You are all set for an amazing tropical vacation where the breeze is always warm and the water is so crystal clear you can see all the way to the bottom. But, are you really set as far as camera gear goes? You may be forgetting one piece of equipment that will take your images to the next level when traveling to coastal locations, and that is an underwater housing.
I know what you may be thinking to yourself, underwater housings run into the thousands of dollars and can cost more than the vacation itself. That is true, but you do have some good options to keep your DLSR camera and lens dry and still capture breathtaking underwater images. One device I discovered before going on a trip to Hawaii was the Ewa-Marine underwater housing system which was incredibly more affordable than some other set ups. Since the Ewa-Marine works more like a dry bag it is much simpler to use as well. It ended up being the perfect choice for someone like me who is just dipping his toes into underwater photography.
A few suggestions for those of you that take this route. Know the filter ring size of the lenses you will be using. The bag housings are designed so that the lens pops into the front support, keeping the lens securely pressed against the rigid part of the bag. You can buy additional rings that allow for different size lenses to be used with one bag. I suggest that you use a wide-angle lens like Tamron’s 10-24mm Di II. This will give a larger field of view to capture as much as possible when close up to your subject.
Image Captured using Tamron’s 10-24mm Di II in an Underwater housing
Once you have your housing, I suggest you practice with it at the hotel pool before heading out into uncharted waters. It is a relatively simple device, but if you’ve never used one before, you will definitely miss the shots of a lifetime if you don’t familiarize yourself with it first. While at the pool in Hawaii, I practiced loading and unloading the camera into the device. Leave a little extra air inside the bag, because the deeper you dive, the more pressure there will be. The extra air you leave in the bag will prevent it from acting like a vacuum and wrapping tightly around the camera and lens. Once I felt I had the camera secure and sealed inside the device, I jumped into the pool to practice.