There was a time when photographs you took had to be big. That's because it you wanted to print from them, the requirements of professional printers meant that file sizes had to be enormous. Since then the digital revolution has moved on apace and we have seen a revolution in camera use, not least in the substitution of smart phones for compact cameras when taking snapshots. The quality of pictures taken by these little marvels cannot be understated. In fact, the most important newspaper in Chicago, USA, recently fired all its photographers and distributed iPhones among its writers instead. It won't be long before the same thing happens over on this side of the Atlantic.
Today we get so much of our information via our computers, our smart pads and our smart phones. The pictures that are sent to us this way are necessarily of small size and low resolution. It's all that’s needed. We now live in a digital age.
The fact of the matter is that the ongoing death throes of print media may be bad news for traditional photographers but it's good news for anyone with a mobile phone. Today, a lot of what is published in the on-line news media and on television news is recorded via a mobile phone that a member of the public has witnessed. Not only that but we now usually get the benefit of a live-action recording too. (If only the camera/phone operators would remember to hold their phones horizontally so that they get a landscape shape image that fits our computer and television screens.)
Of course, there is no benefit of a zoom lens (yet) on a smart phone, so users have to get in close to the action. However, all they have to do is point the lens towards the subject and hold their phone steady while they are doing so. The quality of pictures now achievable with the iPhone 6 are nothing short of spectacular.
So how does this translate to underwater photography?
Well, thanks to i-Pix, you can now buy a housing that will enable you to use your iPhone5,
iPhone6 or iPhone6 Plus as an underwater camera. The first rule of underwater photography is to get close to reduce the amount of water through which the camera has to look. No zoom lens is not a drawback and instead you can fit a supplementary wide-angle wet lens instead. This will enable you to get closer to larger subjects without cropping the picture. If you want to make close-ups, there is a close-up lens available for each housing too. These 'wet' lenses are interchangeable when you are underwater.
The housings themselves are rated to either 56-metres deep or 40-metres deep respectively but since you cannot synchronise any off-board flashgun with a smart phone (yet) it means staying shallow and using natural light. A red filter will ensure that you get good colour in your results.
Already I can hear you asking how on earth you can use the touch-screen to control your camera phone while you are under water? Well, of course, when it’s in its housing you cannot. Instead you can download a free app from the Internet that will allow you top control the camera functions of your phone be means of a set of buttons provided.
The other functions of the phone are disabled at this time. You won’t be able to make phone calls while you are under water. Even nuclear submarines have to send up a buoy on a line with an ariel to do that!
Sick of seeing people taking pictures with their phones at the end of a selfie-stick? Go one better! You can even take underwater selfies! You could be uber-cool, taking your iPhone under water and the pictures you can take with it will wow your friends. You can email them or post them on FaceBook as soon as you surface.
As an added side-effect, once your iPhone is safely installed in its underwater housing you can take it virtually anywhere. You won't have to worry about humidity or other inhospitable conditions affecting its performance. If you want to take your iPhone even deeper than the depth-limits already mentioned, there is the Patima iPhone housing rated to an 80-metres operational depth. Enjoy!