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Seeing Red: Underwater Fine Art Nude

Underwater photography has grown from a curiosity to a passion in the last few years. I wanted to challenge myself in a way that would really test my boundaries. I wanted to photograph a location that was more otherwordly than the places I had been shooting. I wanted to capture the true feeling of weightlessness. Underwater photography was the perfect thing to check all of those boxes. I started with a little bag to put my camera in, which worked well enough until it didn’t (leak in the lens portion, but everything was okay!). Now I am the proud owner of an Ikelite Underwater System thanks to my new sponsors over at Ikelite. I am very excited to be their new fine art photography ambassador, and I wanted to kick off my first shoot with a bang.The first time I shot underwater was with a few handmade tutus in a friend’s swimming pool. I learned so much then that has helped me tremendously in growing as an underwater photographer. I decided to challenge myself one more time with my new housing. I decided to mimic that shoot from a couple years ago and see what the results would be. I used a red skirt, just like before. I used a white bottom pool, like that first time, when I learned how horrible white bottom pools are for shooting. I decided to do a partial nude as well. The results excited me and pushed me. A shot like the ones you see here might seem to be a quickie, but that is far from the truth.

I awoke at 5am the morning that I shot these pictures. The sun came up 2 hours later. The model and I waited until the sun came up as we shivered, wearing heaps of clothes. Southern California is not always warm, despite popular belief, and especially not before the sun rises. We hopped into the pool the moment the pool lights went off. Funny enough, the shooting process was very quick. I have worked with Katie, the model, many times before with underwater work and we just “click”. She knows what I want, and I know how far I can push her. I only took 13 shots total during the whole shoot. I didn’t need any more because I could watch her underwater, click when ready, and then boom, I knew how to redirect from there. The part that took a long time was editing. Each image was a 5 hour edit in an attempt to make them both painterly and cinematic, while also darkening the background and maintaining normal skin levels.

This is the final result of that shoot, and I am just itching to get back out there and shoot something else under water. Luckily I will be in Dubai in a week teaching underwater photography there, so my chance is coming up again soon enough!

In order to test my underwater housing for the first time, I filled up my bathtub and asked my husband to dip his hands in so I could focus.

This was my first shot of the shoot and I realized that I had to raise my ISO as the sun had not come up fully yet and there wasn't much light out.

This was the third shot I took and was checking to see if my camera settings were right.

These are all of the shots I took during my underwater session.

This image struck me as being very painterly and I wanted to choose an offbeat composition that would compliment the statuesque pose and interesting form.

Be sure to view this final picture on Flickr :-)

This was my "shot of the day", the one that I was excited about and couldn't wait to dive in and edit.

{ 5 } Comments

  1. sarah hoey | October 28, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    These are so cool! I love your underwater photography! It’s such an inspiration, and makes me want to do more of it myself next summer!!

  2. Maryanne | October 28, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Love that last shot. The light, the color ,the pose, everything.

  3. Hal Abbott | October 28, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Amazingly beautiful photography! Bravo!

  4. Rhiannon | October 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Amazing Brooke!!

  5. Teresa LaVallee | November 10, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Beautiful work Brooke…. I always love reading your blogs just to see what amazing work you will share with us next. As always… inspiring!

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