Photo Anatomy: shooting underwater photography in a freezing Alpine lake

    | Photography Tips | 19/05/2013 02:00am

    In our Photo Anatomy series on Digital Camera World we select pictures by famous photographers and explain point by point what makes them work.

    In our latest instalment underwater photographer Franco Banfi reveals how he captured this stunning image in the freezing waters of a Swiss alpine lake.

    Photo Anatomy: shooting underwater photography in a freezing Alpine lake

    Hidden depths
    Banfi’s image shows an unusual, fish-shaped iceberg. It’s located under the surface of a small, freshwater mountain lake: Lake Sassolo, located in the south of Switzerland.

    Sense of proportion
    By including his partner Sabrina holding a torch in the image, Banfi created a crucial extra point of interest and enabled the viewer to appreciate the scale of the iceberg.

    Challenging conditions
    “It was very cold in the lake, so having the right diving equipment was essential,” says Banfi. “That included a good dry suit and a pressure regulator that worked well in low temperatures.”

    Tried-and-tested kit
    Banfi shot close to the iceberg using a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II with a 15mm f/2.8 fisheye lens, contained in a Seacam underwater housing. Settings were 1/100sec at f/5, ISO 100.

    Insider Knowledge
    “In spring this lake is still covered with ice,” says Banfi, “but the temperature rises and the ice melts quickly. Usually there are only 2-3 weeks in which to shoot the ice.”

    We Say
    As water absorbs colours at the red end of the spectrum, underwater photographers often like to shoot with strobe or flash for a more balanced range of colours. However, shooting with ambient light, as Banfi has done here, uses the resulting blue hue to create a much more subtle and atmospheric image.”
    Chris Rutter, technique editor

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    Posted on Sunday, May 19th, 2013 at 2:00 am under Photography Tips.

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