We celebrated my oldest one’s birthday at a waterpark with my brother-in-law’s family this year. It was a lot of fun for the kids of course, and a high-anxiety time for me. My baby boy just does not know how to be afraid of anything. Every time he went down one of those little kid waterslides, I had to watch him like a hawk because he would go under water and not be able to get himself up quickly and I always had to catch him. And then there are the crowds at water parks. I don’t like crowds and loud places in general. I’m an introvert, I’d much rather be all alone than among lots of people. The anxiety aside, a part of me very much enjoyed watching the kids have fun. And I had bought a waterproof camera, used, from Ebay, for very little money, just for the trip – a Fuji XP60.
It took me a few days after I received the camera to actually dare to test it under water. Somehow the concept of putting an electronic device under water seems terribly counter-intuitive and I was sure that the camera wasn’t going to survive it, but it did. And I definitely had fun with it at the waterpark. I know how to swim, and I can be under water and open my eyes for brief periods of time, but I find it a very uncomfortable experience for some reason. Consequently, the way I took my underwater photos was not very well executed – I simply put the camera under water while keeping my head above water, pointed it in the direction where something potentially interesting was happening, trying my best to frame it right by “feel.” I got a few cute images, but the camera left me quite disappointed. The jpeg artifacts are out of this world and the images are only “watchable” if you don’t try to zoom in much. It was a fun experience though, and I’m sure I’ll put the camera to use again in the summer at our pool.
These are my two favorite shots taken under water with the Fuji. The first one is of my niece. I like how the bubble she blows under water forms a heart.
This second photo of my baby boy going up the steps toward the kiddo slides with his legs still under water I ended up post-processing quite a bit. Several layers of curves and endless attempts to minimize the artifacts, until I finally gave up and decided to embrace the artifacts instead of fighting them and giving the image a bit more “painterly feel” at the end.