Wave-Tube Power

The wave gallery from 2015 is online now. A selection of the best 300 shots mainly captured at the baltic sea and at the north sea coast of Skagen/Denmark in July/August 2015. Some shots were done with the Aquatech ELITE sports housing setup. This is a very small subset of lots of images. In summer 2015 I spend a lot of time in the waves testing perspectives, lenses and various exposure speeds with the D800. The online selection comes from the 10.5mm fisheye, the 14-24 wide and from the 300mm f2.8 – I never really managed to keep up with the constant stream of RAW files that summer. So over NewYear I made a first selection and finished last weekend with this extended gallery. This was a huge project in 2015 and I hope to extend this  with some new ideas in summer 16 on Crozon at the Atlantic coast.

Gallery goes here

http://soeren.zenfolio.com/wavetubing2015

Some “Micro-Waves” shots from Skagen are here:

http://soeren.zenfolio.com/microwaves

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Wave-Tube Photography

Preparing the Wave-Tubing gallery from 2015 – there is so much nice stuff in my archive ;) – I am right now seeing some of these pictures for the first time … – mainly because I was shooting waves like crazy last summer and especially  in August – I basically never managed to catch up with post processing of these thousands of RAW files. So the wave art pictures that will be in the gallery within the next 2-3 weeks haven’t been published somewhere in 2015.

Here are some shots from the macro approach with the Aquatech Elite Setup –  experimenting with very small waves (mostly baltic sea). I will post more when I have more time and finished the post processing.

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The AquaTech Elite Sport Housing

The AquaTech Elite sport housing – submerged and split level imaging concepts

Initial text upload: 15.11.2015 – by Sören Hese

1st update: 20.11.2015

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Some comments about the AquaTech Elite sport housing that I acquired early in 2015.

This was on my list since some years but I never had the budget to do this. The situation hasnt changed much in that respect – especially since the Dollar/Euro ratio hasnt moved into the right direction to order lots of gear in the US.  After checking the market for diving houses it was obvious that I do not need a diving setup. These DSLR housings for diving are much bigger and heavier and rated for more water depth than “sports housings”. The latter are more for the near surface water sports (sailing, surfing, swimming, canoeing and so on). To go for the Aquatech housing was primarily defined by the supported lens selection. The 14-24 mm from Nikon was only supported by Aquatech as far as I was able to see online.

I used the gear for approx. 15 regatta sailing events now and also tested it for waves for 4 weeks and doing numerous shots in lakes. I can already conclude that its what you expect from a professional package and/or its elevated price point and its totally reliable.

To get a maximum of image sharpness and dynamic range I wanted my Nikon D800/D810 + Nikkor 14-24mm  combination in a housing concept – here you clearly end up with an ELITE sport housing from AquaTech.

After all its very hard to develop new perspectives in the domain of yacht and regatta photography – the split level approach isn’t new but it hasnt been used too much so far and there are lots of ways to develop new imaging ideas in this domain – from below water shots or split level shots and images that include the water as abstract art are often more appealing than shooting the yacht with the usual extreme tele lens setup. Help for reasoning is however that the housing can also be used to do more of the wave/water photography that I envisioned often when traveling the northern coasts in summer.

#Construction & Components:

So what is it? The AquaTech housings are not really designed for diving – the depth guarantee is for 10 meters. Thats not much if you are into diving. The AT housings are for waves, surfing and sailing. They are made for this transitional domain between the elements – between air and water – thats where the more graphical and more interesting stuff happens as light hasn’t been absorbed and water can play its sculpturing thing (sorry all you underwater photographer … although I found it pretty exciting to shoot in these clean lakes with lots of vegetation shadowing everything and creating a wild underwater vegetation land/sub-aquatic-scape ).

Construction is pretty much heavy duty with massive polyurethan housing construction, stainless steel controls, 10 mm acryl back-plate, durable aluminium tubes and 5 mm aryl domes, solid metal locking fasteners, interchangeable anodized metal lens ports with a knurled grip surface that makes it easy to tighten everything when mounting the ports. The grip surface is so knurled that you easily scratch everything you touch with the lens port. Overall „fit and finish“ of the housing with its snap fasteners and its big enough screws is just perfect. The setup screws together and is sealed with O-rings everywhere. Weight of the housing is 1.6 kg and the PD135 f.e. adds another 600 gr. Together with the pistol grip/pole extension and other accessories installed you easily reach 3 kg. The DSLR is mounted within the housing with an Arca Style plate that snug-fits precisely into the dove tailed Arca mount that is installed in the housing. The DSLR just moves exactly into place that way and the mechanical trigger of the housing sits exactly above the DSLR trigger. 

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Figure: Arca style plate setup that keeps the camera within the housing precisely in place.

Key for the functioning is an acryl dome element that is avail for a number of popular lenses. The dome construction is superb but it has one slighty anoying drawback. The sunstar of your lens is slightly distorted and not as accurate as when shot without the dome. If you like to use the sun star reflection as part of your visual concept sometimes – than this has to be taken into account. Overall sharpness and chroma aberration of  your lens isnt changed much imo. At least I couldnt find any difference in spatial resolution with the Nikon D800 NEF files after processing in LR. There seem to be some internal color reflections but its a minor issue and not at all comparable with the well known Nikkor 14-24 color reflection/flare issue at 14mm.

Continue reading “The AquaTech Elite Sport Housing”

Underwater Worlds

Hab mal das verlängerte Wochenende genutzt, um das Aquatech Gehäuse etwas im Uferbereich einzusetzen. War eigentlich schon zu Ostern dieses Jahr auf der Agenda, aber dann konnte Aquatech das Gehäuse ja erst mit 5 Wochen Verzögerung liefern.

Also östlich der Müritz die herrliche Havel Quellregion für ein langes Wochenende mit der Family besucht und lange kalt baden gewesen bis mich die Kälte wieder in die Wäsche – und zum Kaminfeuer getrieben hat – Ist recht schwierig ein Bild sauber zu komponieren, wenn man durch das Wasser von seitlich/oben auf den Objektiv-Port schaut. Man kann erkennen wenn Pflanzen den Port von der Sonne abschatten, aber die präzise Positionierung ist praktisch nicht möglich ohne Sucherkontrolle. Die Ergebnisse sind aber ganz ordentlich, wenn man sich die Bedingungen klar macht. Man entwickelt ein Gefühl für die Perspektive. Wichtig ist auf jeden Fall sich im Wasser absolut langsam und vorsichtig zu bewegen, damit man keinen Schlamm/Sand vom Grund aufwirbelt. Aufsteigende Blasen vom Seegrund sind ganz klasse als grafische Elemente, aber das Timing für das Bild ist schwierig und mit den Blasen kommen auch andere Partikel hochgeschwommen. Eine Zeit lang schwamm mir immer ein Fischschwarm hinterher, aber hier muss man sich wohl noch erheblich ruhiger verhalten, auch den Schwarm vor der Sonne zu positionieren wollte nicht recht gelingen :) – naja und irgendwann wurde es dann echt kalt. Im Oktober nehme ich dann meinen Neo mit – die Wassertemperaturen sind nicht mehr so nett.

Kleine Galerie später – hier schonmal eine Vorschau (hier: Dambecker See/MVP):

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 mtk