Underwater- A Mobile View

There are days, and there seem to be more and more of them recently, where I have left my large Pelican Case, stuffed with really cool cameras and lenses at home, and just gone fishing with my iPhone. Call me lazy and I’ll absolutely agree with you. Let’s face it, the latest iPhones are very good cameras. For simple experience recording, they are great. Lately, I’ve added a few waterproof cases and after-market housings and can now take decent

underwater shots without a big, expensive housing for my  DLSR. For print media and fine art photography, this is not what we should strive for. For personal gratification (bragging to your buddies), websites and social media, the underwater iPhone systems are perfectly adequate. I can carry my gear in the back of my fishing vest or up front, tucked inside my waders. Who cares if it gets wet!

-Brian O’Keefe

Selfie release shot with an iPhone 8 Plus and underwater housing. Bristol Bay Watershed, Alaska. Assist Big Ku Lodge. 

“For personal gratification (bragging to your buddies), websites and social media, the underwater iPhone systems are perfectly adequate.”

A perfect cutthroat trout that was fooled by a rubber leg, green drake. Somewhere in the greater Pacific Northwest. Maybe… 
I like to shoot underwater shots at the fish’s eye level.  
A rainbow following spawning kokanee. Another iPhone 8Plus photo, with underwater housing. 
Arctic Grayling, Bristol Bay Watershed, Alaska. On the lookout for sockeye eggs, but they will revert to the parachute Adams every time.
A shaft of sunlight puts a spotlight on this rainbow trout, which is mixing in with spawning kokanee, in the background. 
Translucent tail and fins are highlighted in this selfie release shot. This is a good time to use the burst feature on an iPhone. One release and 12 shots. 
A Deschutes River, Oregon rainbow suspends in the bubbles.  

Contributed By

Brian O’Keefe

I had a complete set of underwater camera gear in the film era. The Nikonos V was the camera of choice. I owned bodies, lenses and strobes. Then one day, they were obsolete. During the digital era, I never busted out the big bucks for an expensive housing. Instead I have used various waterproof cases and housings. The results are pretty good, especially for the web. The most important factor, no matter what equipment is used, is clear water. It is more rare than you think. A few more pics at


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