Photographer Pairs Up His Fujifilm X-E2 with Cheap Underwater Case to Shoot Synchronized Swimming Scenes Underwater


All photos shot by and used with expressed permission from Paul Schlemmer.

When commercial portrait photographer Paul Schlemmer was invited to cover and shoot a report from a synchronized swimming event, he took it as a challenge and a motivation to take underwater photos for the first time. You see, up until recently, Paul never had any experience shooting underwater. Nor did he have the proper underwater and diving equipment for it. But he decided to go for it anyway…

My mindset was clear: to deliver the unique visual experience which only I was able to see there. To celebrate the feeling of being underwater which both I & especially the synchronized swimmers loves so much, even when I wasn’t able to control anything happening there and was constantly worrying no to disturb the whole performance too much, because after all, I was there “only” as an event photographer.

Schlemmer, an official Fuji X shooter, opted to use his compact Fujifilm X-E2 for the shoot. Since he didn’t have proper diving gear, he decided to depend on his lung capacity and just use a pair of goggles so he could see underwater better. He also bought a cheap flexible Aquapac submersible camera case, which was the only underwater case he could find in the Czech Republic that would fit his Fujifilm cameras best, to use to protect his X-E2 underwater. Additionally, since he couldn’t control the strobes he put up around the pool from underwater, he had to rely on the available light coming from the gymnasium above and use really high ISOs.

It was a big risk, relying on a $70 underwater camera case to keep your $1300 camera from succumbing to the horrors of being drenched with treated pool water; but the Aquapac case held its ground and worked perfectly. And while many pro photographers would have thought this a recipe for failure and chosen to use a different set of (expensive) equipment altogether, it’s clear from the results that Schlemmer was able to capture the event and the swimmers’ performances beautifully. It’s definitely not bad for a first attempt. Not bad at all.

See his captures and behind-the-scenes video after the jump.

Via Paul Schlemmer Blog

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