From time to time I came across a cool looking photo that was shot half underwater and half above it, the waterline splitting it in half. I did not thought much about it. From time to time I remembered these photos and tried to replicate them using my GoPro camera. The results were usually fun, funny, but never anywhere close to the half/half photos I saw. Later I’ve found out that you need a special housing called a dome port to shoot these photos. And that dome ports are like really expensive.
So when I got a chance to test one of these babies I jumped right at it. The Split Dome Port from Split Gadgets is made specially for your GoPro camera and it allows you to make those sick split, split-level, half-half, over-under… underwater photos. And it costs less than 150$!
Whats in the box?
You get a dome port, a special GoPro camera housing, a lightweight carbon grip with a wrist strap, a gopro bolt wrench and few papers with tips and instructions. Everything is really well made and simple to use.
To use it you need to insert your GoPro camera (it fits Hero 3, 3+, and 4) into the housing that comes with the dome. It looks the same as the original GoPro housing but it’s not. It’s designed to fit the dome, your regular housing won’t fit – the dome will leak. Once your camera is in the housing you attach it to the carbon grip and insert it in the dome. Then use the clamp to secure the housing into the dome and use the screws to tighten it. It’s simple and it takes less than a minute. Just make sure that the rubber gasket in the opening is clean, no sand, dirt, hair…
How Does the Dome Port Work?
The dome will move the water away from your camera and this makes all the difference. It solves most of the problems that are the result of different properties of air and water, and the light passing through them. Not only can you use the dome for over-under photos, this kind of housing also improves your underwater photos. Wider field of view, less magnification, nicer colors…so this kind of dome is also great for divers.
Another great news is that GoPro seem like its custom made for dome port use. Using a normal (lets say DSLR) camera together with a dome is quite a photographing challenge because there are lots of variables to take into account. But your GoPro has a wide angle and almost infinite depth of field and using it is really just point and shoot.
The instructions that you get next to the dome also include some handy tips and trick to make batter photos. Just to name a few: how to get better colors and better underwater part of the photo, how to avoid water droplets, and why you should not point this or any dome for that matter towards the sun.
I took the Split dome to 3 surf trips, and took lots of cool photos. “Can you send me the photos as soon as we get home?” kind of photos:). But surfing is not the only way to use this dome. As said it will dramatically improve underwater photos so it’s great for divers. And for anyone that takes photos in or near the water: swimmers, stand up paddlers, windsurfers, nature photographers, pool parties, kayakers, boat owners, fishermen, beach days etc…
So… the final verdict? All four thumbs up:)! Get your Split Dome Port here, you will not be sorry!