I’ve seen it quite a few times now, some photographers just use too much grease on the o-rings. There might be the myth that the grease is preventing water from entering the housing, but that’s not the case – it’s the o-ring! Yes, the o-ring stops the water from getting in the housing and the grease just helps the o-ring to stay smooth and flexible. The more grease you put on the o-ring, the more likely it is for things like tissue, fibers, sand, dust etc. to stick on, and cause a leak on the sealing surface of the o-ring! Use only a tiny amount of grease (use the grease recommended by the manufacturer) and pull the o-ring through your fingers to spread the grease evenly all over. That way you can also feel if there is any sand or damage on the o-ring. For cleaning the o-ring I normally use my T-shirt, but a tissue or microfiber cloth works just fine as well.
Empty or no batteries at all inside the strobe or camera, no memory card in camera, hot-shoe not connected, housing buttons not lined up, auto-focus not switched on, lens-cap still on camera, etc. – Every single one of these minor problems can quickly turn into a big frustration underwater, because you’re not able to fix it without opening the housing! Eliminate all that by simply taking a test shot after setting up your camera equipment and before going diving. Make it a habit to take a test shot of your lens-cap and you will instantly see if everything is working fine – if not, you’re still able to fix it before you go diving!
I often get asked how I get such steady footage on my videos – Having good buoyancy skills helps, but the only recipe for steady macro video is using a tripod! I use this cheap and easy DIY setup (made out of Locline elements) but there are many different options for tripods out there to choose from.
If I go on a dive-trip I always carry an emergency kit with me.
Needle nose pliers
Small steel brush
Air gun for connecting to the LP hose adapter
Knife (Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool)
That all fits in an empty mask box or other small plastic container. If you don’t have space for bringing all that, make sure you have grease, super glue, duct tape and cable ties. You can fix almost everything with that!