Guest post: Nikon D800 captures underwater color explosions

Hi NikonRumors. I’m Heath from (FacebookInstagram). When Art Fairs Australia commissioned me to photograph clouds of colour underwater, I had a long learning curve ahead. I’d done a reasonable amount of in water surf photography with an Aquatech housing I’d purchase years ago for my D2x (which fits the D800 nicely with extra space for radio triggers), but I had no idea how to make a cloud of colour in an environmentally responsible way, underwater. Tests with hand-pumped sprayers filled with beetroot juice was useless and fairly expensive. The flow was slow and unimpressive, and the colour was akin to shark attack! Not to mention it was a dark colour that couldn’t be tinted.


Some hand-spear fishermen saw how bad it was working and really helped by suggesting that full cream milk shows up really well in salt water:

A few other failed vessels later, we had food colored milk in ordinary balloons, popped by little knives:

The other issue that needed to be overcome was water clarity. There had been a lot of rain around Sydney, and the deadline was looming. So we had no choice but to shoot in water that wasn’t clear. This is where the D800 + 24/1.4 combination shone. The shots had very little colour and were very murky, but with some photoshopping, it appeared as though the water was far more clear. The RAW files have just that much data. See the before and after example:

before and after

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