One of the most unique places a photographer can take images is under water. It is a completely different realm than the one above and is certainly interesting to do photography at. An underwater photography is one of the best photographic experience a professional or an serious enthusiast can do to nurture his or her skills. With cameras and underwater camera housings you can do just that with complete versatility and flexibility. But due to the different environment, your gear will be subjected to harsh natural substances like salt water, sand, mud and others. How do you continue shooting with your cameras if troubles hits you right in the face?Maintaining your camera and the accessories at its utmost capability is the way to ensure trouble free shooting. When you are thinking of cleaning your underwater gear consider the following.
Reading the manual usually suffice, but to make sure that you know how to take care of your camera, underwater housing and accessories, read the rest of the article down below.
Before you start doing your underwater camera housing maintenance you will need the following things:
- Portable Blower
- Silica gel bag
- Grease ( for the o-ring)
- O – ring remover
- cotton balls
Seawater is the one thing you need to keep out from getting inside the housing module. It can seriously damage your camera and if you happen to be using a DSLR under that housing, imagine what can happen next. To make sure that seawater does not enter the casing…
- After coming out from the water, put the camera on a towel laden surface, use your blower to whisk away excess sea water, mud, sand ,etc and position the camera facing downward so that no water can enter the housing when you open it from the back.
Using the O-ring remover, remove the O-ring and clean it thoroughly from, sea water and other particles. Make sure to clean the O – ring thoroughly and carefully because when sea water dries up it can damage the integrity of the rings. Do not forget to grease the O-ring. It has to remain watertight.
When Placing the Camera Inside the Housing
make sure that the batteries are fully charged and you have enough space on your memory card before you set out picture taking. This will help you save time maintaining your camera after you’ve started. Place a silica gel pack inside the housing to keep moisture at bay.
Test Control Buttons and Do a Test Dip
The next thing you need to do when the camera is placed inside the housing is to test all the controls and if they are fully working as intended. Lastly you need to do a test the camera on a tank of water. Slowly immerse the unit for a couple of seconds and take it up slowly. When there is not leaks, do the same thing again for a 30 seconds, a minute and maybe 5 more seconds. During the test dip, check all the controls, maybe take a picture to see if there are any leaks or if the O-ring is not placed properly.
In Case of a Leak…
If there is a leak, remove your camera from the water tank (when doing your test dip), dry it and open the housing to see if the O – ring is improperly functioning. If the leak persists, you might need to change the O – ring permanently with a new one. Go over the maintenance procedure once again.
Where Should I Do the Maintenance for my Camera Housing?
The best place to do your maintenance is on an air-conditioned humidity free room that is brightly lit. The bathroom for instance is great place to do your maintenance because there is less dust and it is usually a brightly lit room.