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Underwater Ofu

This is one of the most technically difficult shots I've ever attempted.


This is a view both over and under the water at sunset on Ofu beach in the National Park of American Samoa. Calculating the proper exposure for the under and over water elements while the light was changing and the water level was bouncing rapidly across the field of view and maintaining focus with a very narrow depth of field inherent to dome housings- I'm surprised I got anything decent.


Technically this still has major problems. The constantly sloshing water draining over the dome makes the background peaks a little blurry and grainy. The sky is still a bit over exposed, but I couldn't use a grad like I would for a typical land shot to even out the exposure. The water movement prevents any type of combined exposure blend and the high ISO needed for this shot limits my ability to do post processing contrast adjustments without adding more noise. This was my first week with an underwater housing, and I've since learned how to overcome a few of those problems.


But because of the limitations of that day, this won't make a big print. However for the low resolution requirements of the internet I hope it captures the essence of snorkeling at sunset on a deserted island. That was my goal. I haven't seen any other underwater sunset photos like this, so I hope you enjoy it.


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Taken on December 4, 2009