roth and ramberg shoot in the poo(l)

We got a call from an agency. They were working on a campaign and wanted some photography. One of the shots to be done was of a girl swimming underwater. We loved the challenge and began planning out just how we were going to pull this off. Since it needed to be high quality we couldn’t shoot with some cheap underwater camera. Having said that, we weren’t eager to test out our Hasselblad 50 megapixel underwater so we decided to shoot with our Canon 5D. We sourced out an underwater bag that would fit the 5D. For $500 we figured it should theoretically work.

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On day of the shoot we arrived early to set up. The pool was absolutely packed with kids and we could barely think because of the noise.

The biggest concern when photographing in or near a swimming pool is lighting. The available light in a pool is never enough so we would need to light the scene but electricity and water don’t mix well. What would happen if our lights or power packs fell into the water? Would anyone die? Would everyone die? We decided to use our mobil battery pack, whether this would make a difference or not who knows, but at least it wouldn’t be plugged into the wall. We made sure the lights were secured and far enough from the water that if they fell and bounced three times they still wouldn’t land in the water. For added insurance, we had assistants hanging on to each light stand.

Now the shoot. We put the camera in the plastic bag and Michele climbed into the pool with her snorkel gear and we were off to the races. We set up the lighting, did some tests and were able to get exactly what we needed. Suddenly the lifeguard blew the whistle and ordered everyone out of the pool and to shower immediately. After a few minutes of confusion, we figured out what had happened. Apparently one of the kids decided to poop in the pool. Yikes, the shoot was shut down before our models even arrived.

So the rule of thumb for a ‘poop in the pool’ problem is if it’s solid and easy to scoop, then it’s just a half hour of cranking up the chlorine and then the pool is reopened. If it is runny, then the pool is closed for 24 hours. Fortunately for us, it was an easy scooper. The bonus of the poop incident… no one came back into the pool after so we had it all to ourselves. Good to know the Caddyshack trick could work if we ever need to clear out a pool.

The underwater housing worked great, although the shutter was tough to press. And as for Michele… she was a little itchy after being in a super chlorinated pool for a few hours.

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2 comments

Marie Hohner
I remember that from lifeguarding. We use to refer to it as "Code Oh Henry" if it was *scoopable*.
pvb
Oh. My. GAWD that's brilliant. How is it that adventure always seems to find you two? Love to youse both from the rough-and-tumble smashmouth world of advertising (hadda make it tougher so ya wouldn't misconstrue the love part, Dale).

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