Decades of Science & Waves….
2019 & Beyond…
Waves of waterhousing design have been ebbing and flowing for over a century and the next wave of waterhousing design & construction is about to break.
Essex is in the process of final sea trials of a radically new type of waterhousing. The new Essex waterhousings are designed to utilize todays cutting edge composite materials and additive manufacturing techniques to deliver a professional waterhousing solution to todays leading ocean sports photographers.
Drawing from the Original Classic Watermen and early Surf Photographers, our designs are inspired by the basic yet elegant solutions of the past. Most of these waterhousing design solutions are attributable to LeRoy Grannis, Doc Ball and & Tom Blake. The innovative solutions they pioneered enabled the use of professional photographic equipment in the surf.,
1930’s to the 1940’s
Waves of design and improvements were made to their early designs and many other pioneer designers of waterhousings were in this wave, along with a few loner photographers with supreme backyard craftsmanship skills.
More waves of design followed when technology provided new materials such as Fiberglas and Plexiglas. This wave of design and construction ultimately made the waterhousing easier to work with in the water; and the creativity of a number of talented watermen/photographers was unleashed.
1960’s on in to the 1970’s
The shortboard revolution was also a coming of age for waterhousing design and one of the larger waves was ridden by the likes of Art Brewer, George Greenough, Yuri Farrant and Steve Wilkings who all pioneered waterhousing solutions in a creative and esoteric manner. Functionality was paramount to these lensmen and the clean, classic housings that evolved from that era, helped to capture some of the most inspiring photography and cinematography of all time. The doors of visual boundaries were busted down, and surf photography as an art was the result of their creativity.
On a parallel track…
Over the years, a number of talented watermen and lensmen from Australia have been pioneers in their own right alongside their Yankee comrades. Designs coming out of Australia set the paces for innovation and quality and this helped to push waterhousing design further forward.
1980’s to the turn of the third millennium
In the last two decades of the century, Waterhousings went from being a one of a kind wonder to an item that could be bought off the internet. No longer did you have to know who to go to. No longer did you have to find that elusive craftsman and intrust him with your camera for three to five fortnights. No longer did you have to track down a reclusive craftsman who took your money and didn’t deliver a product.
2000 to 2019
Waterhousings became a common sight on many beaches around the world. No longer was a photographer limited to swimming out with only 36 shots on a roll of film but rather a photographer now had an endless roll of film.
“In the water” photography was easily at hand and that put waterhousings in to the hands of the masses. Hands of so many that in a lot of cases, those hands should never operate a waterhousing to begin with.
The advent of “social media” and the proliferation of a “Go Pro” mentality has resulted in a tidal wave of people wanting to emulate the surf photographer lifestyle which has resulted in the amateur ruining it for the professional waterphotographer.
You’ve spent years perfecting your
skills & technique.
Now It’s our job to provide you with the tools that we’ve spent years perfecting.
Tools inspired by the past.
Tools well thought out.
Tools made from todays leading composites and tools manufactured with the latest in technology.
Tools that simply work.
Essex Waterhousings is already riding the next wave of waterhousing design & construction and we hope that you drop in on us as this wave has lots of room for creative photographic collaboration.
Art Brewer uses a Essex housing with a front port holding a clear Tiffen filter as opposed to shooting thru Plexiglas in order to obtain crystal clear and tack sharp underwater images.
In 2014, Mr. JIM BAILEY of Sea Research Inc. bestowed the uRL “WATERHOUSINGS.COM” TO ESSEX UPON HIS RETIREMENT FROM MANUFACTURING WATERHOUSINGS. MR. BAILEY FELT THAT ESSEX EMBODIED THE SPIRIT OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AND CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT HE PUT IN TO ALL OF HIS WATERHOUSINGS DURING HIS FifTY PLUS YEAR CAREER, so he entrusted us with carrying the waterhousings.com torch in to the future.
Sean Davey has been one of our loyal shooters for years. Sean has been using his Essex 5DM2 housing (shown here) almost every day since the camera was first introduced. Sean is currently awaiting a custom 5DM4 housing built to utilize his extensive array of Plexiglas front ports originally made for the 5DM2 waterhousing.
Kimo blazes new trails on his carbon fiber board. Kimo’s our resident shredder and charger of the pounding Makena shorebreak.
Miss Wiggles job is to make sure sand lumps behave. She’s a worldwide traveler and knows her way around a beach.