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A Pro’s First Camera: The SeaLife
By Joseph Tepper, November 17, 2015 @ 06:00 AM (EST)


Do you remember the first time you took an underwater photo? Or perhaps you prefer not to since it was probably a big, blue blur. Hey—we all have to start somewhere!

For me, that start began at age 12 with my first camera: a SeaLife DC300. And while I’d love to show you my first images from that nifty, yellow film camera, I am proud to say they are sequestered to some dusty drawer in my childhood bedroom. By age 16, however, I had gone digital, upgrading to the DC800. And those pictures—the ones presented here—I recently rediscovered and am still darned proud of.
 

An eel receives a dental cleaning from a wrasse in the Maldives
 

Macro photography made easy: The simplicity of my SeaLife cameras allowed me to focus on composition and lighting rather than mastering complex controls
 

Even from an early age, I was experimenting with adding dive models into the background—even ones that were too big to fit in the frame!
 

My first SeaLife strobe didn't have adjustable power outputs (circa 2005), so I handmade my own diffusers out of plastic bags and rubber bands
 

SeaLife might have been my first camera, but it did allow me to learn compositional techniques, such as leading (diagonal lines) as seen here
 

A French angelfish cruises in front of the Oro Verde off of Grand Cayman
 

SeaLife continues to make their cameras fit the needs of novice underwater shooters. The latest model—the Micro 2.0—features a built-in 130-degree wide-angle lens
 

Even when just getting started with my SeaLife cameras, I was eager to experiment with creative techniques such as off-camera, top lighting
 

You wouldn’t know this was an image taken with a 10-year-old compact camera unless I told you!


Sure, the SeaLife series has advanced dramatically in the last 12 years since that first camera. The series is now on the DC1400 model, and recently, Sealife unveiled the world’s first permanently sealed underwater camera: the Micro HD and Micro 2.0. But the point is that Sealife’s goal to make underwater photography approachable—even for a starry-eyed 12-year-old—remains the same.

 

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