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Underwater photography – Camera Housing Maintenance

As a scuba diver, you appreciate the magnificent sights you can capture underwater with the best camera. Most of these images will be seen for the first time and it is always a good way to explore the underwater world. There is some mystery that surrounds the underwater world and you can even make a career out of capturing these images. However, working underwater with a camera is tricky and your expensive camera can get spoilt in case of a leak or flooding of the housing. This is where proper maintenance and care for your camera and accessories comes in handy. You need to know how to care for the equipment to avoid costly losses and poor quality images. To help you enjoy underwater photography, here are some ideas on how to prevent leaks and housing flooding:

underwater photography

Pre-dive Maintenance
This is the most important part of underwater photography – camera maintenance albeit the most ignored. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the O-ring: This part prevents housing flooding and should be carefully removed using a credit card starting from one step and the rest of its groove.
  2. Carefully inspect the O-ring: Check for any damage along the O-ring gently and avoid pulling or scratching it. If there are particles, remove them and check the grove too before wiping it with a cotton swab.
  3. Lubricate: Use a small amount of silicone grease and ensure there is no residue grease on the ring before re-inserting.
  4. Re-insert: Carefully replace the O-ring back into the grove and check one last time along its length that no particles have been left. Close the case.
  5. Submersion test: Submerse the case into water and check for leaks and if they are none load the camera and test again for leaks. Test the camera by taking a photo to check for performance.

Proper Handling
Keep your underwater camera out of direct sunlight either wrapped in a warm towel or in a bucket of freshwater to avoid condensation and overheating while going to a dive site. Avoid diving with the camera and have someone hand it to you once you are in the water and also before getting back onboard. Always keep the lens cover on to prevent accidental damage. Use a lanyard or a strap attached to the BCD to avoid losing the camera if you let go off it underwater.

Post-Dive Maintenance
Clean the camera case after a dive before storage and also test all moving parts at the end of each day to remove any debris. You should not open the case while wet and instead use a soft towel to clean it.

General Maintenance Tips
Always leave your camera and accessories in an air conditioned room and away from direct sunlight. Ensure you have a protective cover for the lens and always carry it with you. When travelling, keep the case open to avoid damage to the O-ring. After your trip soak the case in lukewarm freshwater to remove any salt particles. It is also important to have the equipment checked once in a while by a professional. Whatever you do, follow manufacturer’s instructions during maintenance.

We hope this article “Underwater photography – Camera Housing Maintenance” will help you! Stay tuned to our blog for the next article!