Storypost | 2016.07.20

Surfing nightsurfing Scripps Pier La Jolla glow stick Firewire
The session

The water is super warm and there was a full moon (but unfortunately high tide) last night so I got Derrick and Scott to do a stealth sess.

After Hawaii I was confident in my Ikelite flash, meaning no scrapped session or dealing with ziptied Speedlite or manual trigger.

Underwater photography flash Ikelite Substrobe snoot

From the times it had worked intermittantly, I knew that it would blow out the water right in front of me. I attempted to mitigate this (a bit) by taping the lower section of the flash. The solution is a snoot, of course, but I need to think about how to do this such that it will survive waves.

Surfing nightsurfing Scripps Pier La Jolla

The directionality of leds had proven to be difficult last session, so I went with glowsticks. This turned out to be a mistake - they weren't great for viewfinder aiming and not nearly bright enough for focus.

The other problem was that the flash was too powerful on manual mode and too weak on ttl. So I went with manual and tried to hit them at greater range. Still, there were a few that ended up blown out.

But if there is a theme to all these sessions, it's that focus is a harsh mistress. Sometimes it turns out kind of cool (above), but most times it just results in disappointment (below).

But even the squirrel with cataracts occasionally finds a nut:


I'm wondering if I can rig an some sort of IR flashlight to the housing to further assist.

I should really get on this.

I ordered a scuba-rated led glowstick that I'm excited to try. Probably considerable brightness with 360-degree visibility. There seemed to be something similar available through Amazon from a nearby dive warehouse. Even if the IR beam works out, it'll be crucial to have a guide in the viewfinder.

Some sort of flash snoot would be great.

And I need to figure out the deal with flash power - probably need to go manual with on-camera and on-housing compensation.

Surfing nightsurfing Scripps Pier La Jolla duck dive ominous
I actually quite like this one.