I studied fashion photography at the New York School of Visual Arts in Manhattan but fell into underwater photography while working for Rankin Agency in London. I’ve been shooting underwater for about 10 years now and I mainly photograph women underwater with my work showcased in several galleries around the country.
In regards to my gear, I have very little talent when it comes to understanding the technical side. I will mainly lean on B & H’s helpline when I need to know what the best camera is for what I do.
I started shooting with a Canon point and shoot in cheap underwater housing. I think the setup cost me no more than $700. Now I shoot with the best for underwater photography (says B&H) a Canon 5Ds Mark II.
I love this camera because it allows me to shoot in low light with high speeds with little fringing. It also allows me to scale my photos very large. I’ve printed as large as a whole lobby wall in a building!
The lens that I have found to be best for underwater is the Canon 24mm f/1.4L II USM. You need to be close to your subject for quality with minimal distortion and this lens really delivers.
I only ever use natural light when shooting and everything gets thrown into my dive bag. Following a shoot, I always process in Lightroom, and Photoshop is my best friend.
I always have Benadryl and vinegar on hand for pesky stings plus reef-safe sunscreen and a leave-in conditioner. I wear a diving cap to protect my hair from my goggles and I always have defog and extra batteries on hand. For the models, I will have nipple pasties and nude underwear! While I want the nude look there are times when it is difficult shooting in public spaces like popular dive sites.
If you are going to get into underwater photography, start small and get familiar with your surroundings. Don’t bring a ton of gear and be prepared for the worst. Always be on guard and always test your housing for leaks!
I flooded a camera once and I’ll never do it again!
www.annasweet.com | @iamannasweet
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