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12 Stay-Dry Glimpses Into the Subaquatic

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Underwater photography is inherently intriguing. Colors cool and gravity gives way to currents. Here are your 12 underwater entrants from this week's Shooting Challenge.


Winner - Goggles

I was finally able to send in a photo for the shooting challenge. The picture was of my daughter at the community pool yesterday and was taken with a waterproof disposable camera.
-Byron Dixon


Recreational Reading

I really lucked out with this contest! Another photographer and I had a underwater fashion shoot, and we rented all the gear for our cameras to go under. It was tough shoot as we kept floating to the top before we could focus and take photos. So after awhile I ended up diving and just pushing down on the shutter for rapid fire. We used quite a few books as props and this one is one of my favorites. I never read the book... Canon 7D, Canon 35mm f/1.8, ISO: 200, Exposure time: 1/500th, Underwater gear: Aquatech housing
-Jeff Porter


This picture was taken early morning in my pool using my FujiFilm Finepix Z33 underwater camera using the easy yet boring Auto mode, initially the picture was flipped the other way but I think by flipping it this way the effect looks much cooler, as for taking the picture keep in mind this was early morning and that water was ball disappearing cold and lets just say I didn't get this shot on my first
-Tomas Guadiana


Tell 'em Joe Sent You

On the advice from an email exchange between myself and your Joe Brown, I bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 a couple of days ago. Of course now I see that Nikon just announced a new rugged camera; so let's hope that one isn't as good. My girlfriend and I are heading to Mexico, and we wanted to try the camera out before we went. So this afternoon we went to her uncles pool, and after much mucking about with the settings, and take after take, I was able to get this one off. Thanks Joe for the great suggestion, I love the camera, and it many, many, many settings to match its great capabilities ISO: 100, f/3.3, Shuter Speed 1/1000 sec
-Justin Schwartz


Hurricane Jones

Hurricane Irene was banging around outside so I decided to play with immersing my lens in rotating bowls of water instead of venturing outside. You might guess that the hurricane winds and rain outside my window set the mood for this shot. Canon D7 with Tamron 10-24mm, f4.5, 1/60, ISO 400
-Brian Jones


A Thai Pebbles Tornado

I don't own a waterproof camera and have never taken underwater pictures, but before travelling to the beaches of Thailand I knew I had to find a way. I have a Canon PowerShot SD130 IS and found a DicaPac WP410 small zoom alfa waterproof digital camera case on Amazon that I immediately purchased. I saw this photo challenge and knew it was time for me to give this plastic waterproof case a try. I placed my camera into the case and hesitantly dipped it into the clear waters of Haad Yuan beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand. Not going to lie, it definitely was a bit nerve-wracking trusting a $20 plastic zip/velcro case with my digital camera; but, I ended up having a blast and capturing some great shots. One of the things I loved about this challenge was the simple joy my boyfriend and I experienced in trying to capture the beach pebbles' movements in the water. It was always a really nice surprise to see how the pictures turned out when we brought the camera out of the water. This picture is my favorite because although the waterproof case didn't provide great quality pictures, I was still able to capture the amazing movement of the ocean waves against the falling pebbles...our own underwater tornado.
-Audrey Su


The Old Fish Tank Maneuver

This was not originally what I sought out to do for this contest. But ended up taking the route anyhow. What I did was I took a hexagonal fish tank half submerged. I then placed my Nikon D60 inside the tank. Under a very careful balancing act in the pool, I held the tank with one arm, my chest, and my chin. In the hand holding the tank I held a stick with the minifig stuck on the end. Then reached down with the other arm and hit the shutter. Glad I gauged the distance right as I had it on manual focus. Focal: 26mm, 1/250s, f/8, ISO:100
-Daniel Thompson


Lion's Mane Jellyfish

This is a Lion's Mane Jellyfish I found while kayaking in southern Puget Sound. This jelly has stings that could, if it hit you enough, kill you by paralyzing your muscles so much that you can't breathe. I was in the kayak at the time - just held the camera underwater and did my best to aim and let the camera auto-focus. Eventually my girlfriend insisted that I take my bare hands out of the water.
Taken with a Canon S90 in a waterproof enclosure. 1/125th second exposure at f/4.0, ISO 80. Color balanced in Paint.NET and Photoshop.
-Brian Hall


'Sup Nemo

I first tried "bathtub underwater photography" for the Shove It challenge (I ended up with a rubber ducky shot), so I knew I did not want to do the same thing again. And since going to the pool or beach was pretty much impossible with tropical storm Irene here, I decided to go the easy way on this one and went to a local pet store to get this shot. Thanks go to Nemo for his piercing stare.
Canon T2i, 10mm, f/2.8
-Diego Jimenez


Ray Burst

For this challenge I decided to use my GoPro for the obvious reason that it is waterproof, and went paddle boarding at Lake Tahoe. This shot is the silhouette of my wife paddle boarding, I thought the sun rays in the water were a very neat effect. This was a unique challenge because I never use this camera to take pictures with, primarily due to the fact that its the non-HD version, the lack of a usable viewfinder, and lack of functions. On the plus side I enjoyed shooting with the the fish eye lens, and was eager to see what I had captured.
-Lysle Turnbeaugh


Unintentionally Waterproof

This picture was taken with a Nikon D700 and Tokina 12-24 lens, housed in an ewa-marine ubxp-100. ISO 200, F5.0, 1/1000. Two years ago my D200 went swimming in the ocean with me when my old housing flooded. It might not take pictures anymore, but it's still fun to take it swimming.
-Sacha Blue



I was excited for this challenge because I knew I could borrow a waterproof camera (Sony Cybershot DSC-TX5) from a friend. When thinking of what to capture underwater I wanted to take a more utilitarian approach to it's use. I decided to try to capture the act of shaving because I could include all the elements I like best in underwater photography. The bubbles from the faucet water, a person in frame, a subject distorted by being on the other side of a moving medium barrier, and a subject within the medium to compare and contrast with the one on the other side. I turned on the camera's 10sec shutter timer and set it down on the bottom of a sink. Getting composition right was tricky but with enough trial and error I got one that I liked. Camera automatic settings came out to ISO800, F 3.5, and 1/200sec. Did some clean up editing in Adobe Lightroom before submission.
-Eric Colon


I know, I know, not everyone was so bold as to submerge their cameras for this week's challenge. But next week, when you're required to take photos of fire within the flames themselves, you'll be begging for a refreshing respite. The wallpapers are on flickr.

Mark Wilson is the founder of Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.