If you shoot waves, I know for a fact this has happened to you. You are looking through your shots and you captured a gem of a wave, or whatever you’re shooting, and right in the middle of the best frame is a fat water spot taunting you saying, “You know how amazing this shot would’ve been if I wasn’t here to mess it up?” Sure, you could try to edit it out, but good luck making it look good. All you are left to do is simply imagine what could’ve been. And then you get so upset that you resort to shooting waves from land. And then you get no more look out shots, and never hear people say, “Wow do you like take those while you’re on your board? It’s so neat how you’re in the curl like that.” And only then you realize that the water spot that was taunting you has won.
Don’t let this be you. There are ways to win the war on water spots and I’m going to share with you a couple of my tricks to keep them from invading. Firsts, it depends on what you are shooting with. It’s a lot easier to keep water spots off of a GoPro, and I still think the lick-and-dip method is very effective. If you don’t know what that is, you just lick the lens of your GoPro and dunk it under water right before you take your shot. You look super goofy doing it, but hey, all of us who shoot waves already look goofy, so what’s a little more? I still use this method frequently with GoPro, however, when I shoot with my Sony a6000 in my Meikon housing, I have found a better way.
If the lick-and-dip method is not your style there are two products you can use to get around it. The first is a water spot repellent solution from GoSpot. It works on GoPro as well as other water housings. All it takes is a few drops and wipe it on with a clean cloth and you should be good to go with spot-free shooting for a few hours. Reapplication may be necessary after a while. As of right now, I hear they are working on a new solution to improve their product. There are a number of different sites that sell it, or you can direct message them on Instagram and they are really good at answering any questions.
The next solution that I have is one I cannot take credit for. It was shared with me by my buddy @calcoastphotography. This solution is one that I use with my Sony setup. I guess it can be used with a GoPro as well, but I haven’t tried it. I was having major issues with water spots on my Sony and this is by far the best method. Okay, I’ll finally tell you what it is. I use a mini squeegee by SwipeAway from Amazon for $8.99. What’s nice is that you get two in the package if you have multiple housings or setups. The only bummer is that the squeegees themselves are too wide for my Meikon housing lens port.
What I did to make it work is I cut one of the squeegees in half so that it fit inside the lens port to wipe the water off (see pictures). Just be careful when you do this because you want to make sure you cut it cleanly. The cut on mine isn’t super clean but it still works. In order to attach the squeegee to your housing, you will want to cut a piece of string about 8″ long, or however long you need it to be. Then you need to poke or drill a small hole in the squeegee to thread the string through. Then you will want to tie the other end of your string to the housing, and boom, you’re ready to go.
When you are in the water, all you have to do is take your squeegee and wipe the spots off your lens right before you take the shot. Sometimes you will need to be quick because you might miss the shot, or you might take a slab to the head. One thing to make doubly sure of is that there’s no sand on your lens because you could scratch it when you go to wipe off the water spots. Also, make sure you use string that is strong enough to keep the squeegee attached to your housing. But, honestly, if it falls off, no big deal because you can make 3 more.
I hope this method helps you as much as it helped me. If you have your own methods of keeping water spots off that work for you, please feel free to comment below. Also, if you have any further questions, feel free to comment on that too. See you in the water!