“Photography is all about light” - this wise old saying pretty much sums up why strobes are such an important part of any underwater photographer’s tool kit.
Article and images supplied by Jason Brown
As light levels diminish and colours are filtered out, strobes allow us to cast light into the darkest environments and restore the natural colours that are lost below the surface.
I’ve always been a big fan of Sea & Sea strobes - I now own about six of them and they have travelled the world with me without missing a beat. I have just got my hands on Sea & Sea’s latest model and I have to admit that I am impressed. Whilst it’s not a massive departure from their previous model - the YS-D1 - this new model offers the same consistent high light output but with a few very welcome improvements.
What’s impressed me the most? Funnily enough, it’s the little things. First up, I always found putting AA batteries into previous models a little bit of a pain as they always had a habit of not falling into quite the right place. This new model addresses that problem with the inclusion of a built in compartment divider ensuring batteries go exactly where they should every time. Sounds like a silly thing to get excited about? You’re probably right.
Secondly, I absolutely love the new illuminated controls. When shooting in complete darkness - inside a cave, for example - adjusting strobes can be challenging so the illumination of the rear controls is a god send. I also love the fact that the colour of the illumination changes according to the mode the strobe is in - if it’s any colour other than green, I know at a glance that I am not in the right mode. Clever, eh!
The rear controls are a lot nicer too. The controls on the YS-D1 were a big improvement over previous models but the mode switch did have a habit of being knocked into the wrong position without you realising. The YS-D2’s mode switch has a far more solid feel to it which is unlikely to get knocked. Combined with the multi-colour backlight illumination, Sea&Sea have nipped this issue in the bud!
As you can probably tell, I love the YS-D2. If I could afford it, I’d happily upgrade all my strobes to the D2. If you’re buying now, I’d seriously take a look at this new model - it’s gets the big thumbs up from me!