“Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter, take it from meeeee….”
I’ve always thought the writers were having a litle *nudge wink* with these two lines. (try not giggling the next time you hear this song) (it’s not possible) (I’ve just inception-ed you).
Anyway, when we decided to go to Philippines, the first thing I did was to go shopping for an underwater casing for my camera.
That’s right, the FIRST THING.
This was even before other minor things like booking our accommodations, exchanging our currencies, buying our plane tickets and even starting research on the places we wanted to go.
Like (I assume) most guys, I love my tech! And going to the Philippines is as good an excuse as any for me to start looking into the nuts and bolts of the various options available for underwater casings.
The only small problem with my plan was that most underwater casings cost a BOMB! I am using a Panasonic DMC-LX3. It is an awesome camera with an amazing Leica lens, but it is a dinosaur by today’s standards. It is two years old.
Due to the pricing, this means that the more “pro” hard casings and underwater housings, such as those offered by 10bar are immediately struck off my list. There is no way I am paying more than twice the amount I used to buy my camera just so I can go underwater with it.
The alternative to these “housings” are “soft cases”. There are quite a few choices available for soft cases, but I eventually decided I would probably get a DiCAPac model because they have a distributor showroom in Singapore.
Call me sceptical, but to an uneducated eye (like mine), these “soft cases” look like glorified ziplock bags. I figured I should probably test them out before throwing my camera into the water in a leaky coffin. It would be easier to return them at a local distributor’s if there was any problems after testing.
The lady at the showroom was really nice. She STRONGLY recommended submerging the soft casing with a tissue locked in to test the water tightness of the case before bringing it out to sea. The tissue should remain dry.
I never did have a chance to conduct that particular test. And there was a very good reason for that: Procrastination.
So, that was the story of how, despite our best efforts, we found ourselves with the only camera we owned locked in an untested ziplock bag just as we were about to step off the boat to snorkel at Pamilacan Island.
Out of sheer dumb luck (or very precise engineering by DiCAPac… potaytoes potahtoes), the soft casing held and worked really well. While I wouldn’t call our photos “underwater photography”, it was still fun to be able to take stupid shots while floating weightlessly around.
Despite assurances by the DiCAPac sales lady, I had been worried that the quality of the photos would suffer because they would be taken through an extra lens. After the initial run, I would say that the soft case worked pretty well, and the photos didn’t turn out too badly either. At least, there didn’t seem to be too much of a difference to me.
An added bonus was the crazy amount of really beautiful fishes and soft corals in the waters off Pamilacan. I went trigger crazy (many a times without even looking at the view finder), and that is why our photo album is now filled with numerous unflattering shots of Jo’s ass peeking out of random corners of pictures.
The following are a few shots Jo said that I could post without her gouging my eyes out.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that most of the photos shown here had DI work done on them. Mostly, a red hue was placed onto the original photos to take away the blue-ish tinge prevalent in photos taken underwater.
This is NOT an advertisement. All views reflected are my own.