One of the many things that Samy’s Camera is known for is it’s knowledgable, helpful and talented staff. Recently, we sat down with Cary Bucklin, our Underwater Photo & Video specialist and photographer, for a friendly Q & A session.
Tell us about your photography background? I have over 20 years experience as an Editorial and Stock photographer and 15 years experience in Underwater photography. Started both back in the film days and transitioned to Digital; and I’ve never looked back. The last 10 years, I’ve specialized in shooting “People, Places and Wild Things,” traveling to a variety of countries for both Cultural and Underwater subjects. I’ve also lived in south-east Asia for a period of time and loved the Asian cultures, people, sights and food.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about the underwater photo and video niche? It is not seasonal. People travel year round to exotic and remote places to witness and experience the wonder of nature and it’s creatures. Also, that it’s too expensive. There’s gear and price points for every level of experience and nearly every interest and discipline. The water here in SoCal may not be warm in the winter; but, it’s the best time to experience the great diving and Underwater / In water (surf) photographic opportunities.
What should people consider before diving into underwater photography?
Underwater / In water photography is a passion and can be a substantial investment in both time and money. There’s also the issue of being comfortable/ confident in and on the water and sometimes around large marine creatures. The reward is definitely worth the investment.
How does Samy’s Camera differ from other underwater photo retailers? Samy’s has been established in the photo industry for over four decades which puts them in a unique position to offer customers the best selection of not only Underwater products, but general photographic products from the majority of the major photographic manufacturers. Samy has always prided himself on having knowledgeable sales professionals, great customer service, great pricing and a selection of great products that few others can match.
Who is your favorite photographer of the moment? I’ve had so many influential photographers pass through my life over the last 25 years that I’d have a difficult time picking a favorite. Some notables would include one of my early Underwater Mentors Ralph Clevenger, Dr. Alex Mustard, Amos Nachoum, David Doubilet, Stephen Frink, Flip Nicklin, Keri Wilk – the list is literally endless.
What’s in your photography kit right now? I’m traditionally a Canon camera shooter (I prefer the 1D series of cameras) utilizing Subal housings and a mix of Sea & Sea and Inon Strobes and TLC/Ultralight arms and clamps.
Now my kit is a mix. I started learning video so I tried the Sony A7R II and Sony A7S II cameras and loved them. The video is beautiful and high ISO capability is amazing for someone that learned stills on ISO 50/100 film stocks. Underwater for video the White Balance is still superior on the Canon cameras due to it’s wider range of adjustability.
I’ve mostly switched to Nauticam Housings which has been designing some of the nicest housings for such a wide range of cameras for a few years now. I use Zen Dome ports, Light and Motion Video and Photo (focusing) lights and Sea & Sea and Inon strobes, TLC/ ULCS Arms/clamps/mounting balls.
What are your current product recommendations? I don’t think a modern Underwater photographer could go wrong with most of the camera or housing manufacturers available today. Here are a few suggestions:
- The Sony a6300/a6500 in a Nauticam, Ikelite or Aquatica housing with the Zeiss Touit 12mm is a great wide angle set up.
- The Sony 90mm Macro is considered by many to be the best macro lens currently available.
- Inon Z-240 or Sea & Sea YS-D2 strobesThe Canon 5D Mark IV or Nikon D810 in an Aquatica or Nauticam housing.
- Canon 8-15mm 4.0 Fisheye or Sigma 15mm Fisheye | Canon 100mm or Nikon 105mm macro.
Check out Samy’s Underwater Photo & Video store here. Contact Cary with underwater product inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.