How much money does an underwater photographer make? You should know the first.

Underwater is different from the land of great beauty, there is also a fear of deep sea fear.

Throughout the history of photography, who was the first to play photography under the water?
Come on, get!

Here we begin by paying tribute to Louis Boutan, a French marine biologist who pioneered the world’s first truly diving photography and opened the door from scratch to today’s underwater photography.

Louis Boutan

In 1856, William Thompson and a gentleman named Kenyon tried to mount a camera on a pole to photograph plants growing underwater in the waters of Dorset County, England. This was the first recorded water photography in human history, but the work was long lost.
In 1893, Louis Boutan arrived below sea level with a camera, the first time a human had ever dived into the sea with a camera. In an age when diving and photography were in their infancy, Louis Boutan turned the impossibility that no one dared to imagine into reality. This feat has been recognized as the first truly underwater photography in the world.

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Louis Boutan graduated from the University of Paris in 1879 with a Ph.D. in science, and was fascinated by biology. In 1893, Boutan became a professor at the University’s Marine Biology Laboratory. His work in the laboratory opened a new door to understanding the ocean, and he was given the opportunity to dive. After seeing scenes underwater that had not been touched by humans, Boutan came up with the idea of finding a way to record what he saw underwater and show it to more people ashore.

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Louis Boutan’s diving suit at that time


In order to turn his thoughts into reality, Boutan contacted his brother Auguste. Auguste was an engineer and sketched an underwater camera that allowed various adjustments underwater. The first design even included changing the camera’s buoyancy by inflating a balloon. In the same year, the camera was built and tested by Boutan.

Like many scientific inventions for the first time, the results were disappointing, and the lighting effect was not what Boutan expected. In those days when flash bulbs needed to burn magnesium or mixtures, it seemed impossible to create light sources in air-free water.

But just this year, Electrical Engineer M. Chaffour made a bulb for Boutan that contained magnesium wire, filled with pure oxygen and ignited it with electricity. Unfortunately, burning magnesium releases a lot of smoke that fills the interior of the bulb and darkens the image. More frightening than that, the overheated bulb has the possibility of exploding at any time.

After the first bulb failure, Boutan’s assistant, Joseph David, helped create a more reliable magnesium lamp, and the biggest advantage of the bulb was that it wouldn’t explode near Boutan. The new flash uses a rubber bulb and emits light by blowing magnesium powder into a burning alcohol lamp. Although this method seems reliable, it must be connected to a barrel, so it is very inconvenient and almost impossible to move. Seriously, who is going to chase the sea elf with a bucket in the sea?

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Design sketch


Finally, Boutan developed one of the most reliable underwater photographic devices, a smaller camera box (yes, the camera was still in the box at the time), a more convenient flash, and improved lenses. The camera is small enough to be thrown into algae as it descends, and can be carried to the bottom without any other tools. In addition to the convenience of manipulation, Boutan also started using a dual carbon arc (lamp) system.

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Louis Boutan and aides and cameras to be launched.


Louis Boutan’s experiments involved submerging 164 feet (about 50 meters) deep in a diving suit, and exposure was a lengthy process, sometimes as long as 30 minutes, while Boutan encountered nitrogen intoxication several times. Everyone who knows about diving knows the dangers of nitrogen intoxication, and Louis Boutan brought back the most precious pictures of the ocean and opened up the history of underwater photography.

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After many experiments, Boutan became the principal and possibly the only underwater photographer of his time. In 1989, he published a book showing the world he had photographed underwater, called La Photographie Sous-Marine. The book includes design illustrations and works that have been filmed underwater for many years.

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