2010-07-17 | Shannon Underwater With E-Pl1

Friday, July 30th, 2010
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The Olympus E-PL1 underwater kit finally arrived and in perfect timing too! We scheduled an underwater shoot with Shannon and were itching to try out the underwater system Olympus has sent us. Before the shoot we went to some thrift stores and bought some opaque white material that we think were some old window drapes. Also we found this $7 white wedding dress that at first we though was too small but said what the hell, it’s only $7. But it fit Shannon like a charm!

Due to a very big storm the day before, the pool that was originally planned for the shoot was not clear enough to shoot in. The owner tried his best to clear it up but you still couldn’t see the bottom of it. Plus we didn’t want to get in a pool that was shocked twice. Our model Shannon suggested we shoot in Lake Geneva where she lives, since we could not find a pool in short notice.

We expected the lake be more challenging due the nature of the water being of low visibility, having a lot of particles which causes back scatter and to make matters more difficult, it was the weekend so many boats, swimmers, skiers and wave runners were stirring up the waters and the lake’s substrate making the it more murky and difficult to see. We also had another problem, our arm and tray set for the system was not available yet due to the short notice we have given Ultralight Control Systems. So we had to shoot the Olympus E-PL1 inside the Olympus PT-EP01 housing connected to the Olympus UFL-2 strobe via PTCB-E02 fiber optic cable, all hand held. We shot using FP-TTL and the Olympus Underwater system was very easy to use. Despite having low visibility, it had no problem illuminating the best it can.

Luckily our model Shannon grew up next to the water so she is an excellent swimmer and very comfortable underwater despite wearing a heavy bride’s grown. Dave on the other hand had to have on two life perseveres to survive. Visibility was very poor; we had only 1 foot of visibility underwater. So we were restricted to shooting half body shots. Believe it or not the lake water was a lot clearer than the pool we were going to use. Still not as clean as a pool but it gave the shoots a dark dead bride feel to them. We had low expectations of the results of the photos because of the condition of the water, but we were surprised when we reviewed the shots, they turned out excellent and unique. The system handled the backscatter pretty well.

Olympus is the only company who still makes their own underwater system for their DSLR’s including the most recent mirror less Olympus E-PL1 pen camera.

Dave Gruentzel

Alvin Arzaga

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