I recently went on a short trip to Tulum with some friends and business associates (how grown up-ha!). Maybe you saw some of my snapshots from the trip over the weekend? Anyway, one of the days we were there, we visited some of the Cenotes, which are kind of like cave pools. The ones we visited were called Dos Ojos, and if you get a chance to visit any Cenotes in that area, I highly recommend it because they were like nothing I have ever seen before! We actually have lots of caves in the Ozarks where I live, but nothing quite like this.
For my birthday this past year, Trey got me a DSLR Waterproof Case, and this was finally a great opportunity to use it. I had only used it once before at the lake. So I already knew that the case worked well but that I needed some clearer water than our local lakes to get any good photos.
I LOVE this case. It works so well, and I love that I can just use it in addition to my DSLR that I already take with me on trips. Even if you don’t want to completely submerge your camera, you can still use it to protect your gear while on a boat or near the water. For me there are only two real drawbacks to this case. First, it’s pretty bulky. So you have to make space to pack it in your suitcase and then you have to be willing to carry it while out exploring. For me this is no big deal because carrying a DSLR is already a bit cumbersome at times, so I’m used to it. I think it’s totally worth the inconvenience because I LOVE photography. The second drawback is you can’t really change your settings once the camera is in the bag. You can turn the camera on and off and press the shutter release button, but other than that, it’s pretty tough to do much else. I like to shoot in manual mode, so I’m constantly changing my settings. So having to shoot in auto during a fairly tough lighting situation (underwater caves) is a bit frustrating, but you still can get so many good pictures that it’s still worth it if you ask me. On the plus side, if you are with friends, it’s fun to pass the camera around and let everyone play with it. So having it stuck in auto mode sort of works out as not everyone wants to mess with camera settings all the time.
The second piece of gear we’ve used and loved is the GoPro HERO3: Black Edition with a waterproof case. We’ve taken this to Costa Rica (the pool and the ocean) as well as Colorado (skiing in the snow!). This little guy is great because it’s super lightweight and easy to carry. It can take great video as well as photos. So it’s great for vacations, especially if you’re doing something active like skiing or scuba diving. This is really Trey’s camera. It’s something I bought for him a couple years ago. But he’s good at sharing, so I play around with it from time to time. 🙂
The only real drawback to the GoPro for me is we basically had to buy a whole new camera just for the features we wanted (waterproof, lightweight). Although, it is certainly less expensive than my DSLR was. The other thing is it’s completely different from using a DSLR camera, so it’s not quite the same photo-taking experience, which is important to me. But, it works great and takes great photos. So if you’re looking to capture some fun underwater moments, it’s a fantastic product to try.
I’ve tried a couple different waterproof iPhone cases, but none that I felt were good enough to recommend to you. Most of them have done a great job of protecting my phone from water, but they don’t work well once the phone is completely submerged. It’s really hard to press the “shutter release” button once underwater. Basically the best I ever get is a photo like this one above, where the camera isn’t actually underwater yet. If any of you have underwater iPhone or smartphone case suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Thanks for letting me share. xo. Emma
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Emma Chapman and Trey George. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.