Stephane Lacasa Paddles Out to Sea with Liquid Eye

By Jacqui Palumbo


Photographer Stephane Lacasa and Water Housing designer Philippe Chevodian both began their careers in a similar way: at sea. Lacasa relocated from France to Maui to become a professional windsurfer, traveling all over the world for competitions. Chevodian, also from France, began surfing in 1983 and started to photograph windsurfing and surfing shots around the same time. Five years later, he became a professional photographer and joined the staff of one of the largest windsurf magazines in Europe. He and Lacasa crossed paths in the early 90s, when he became the first photographer to shoot Lacasa for a print publication.

Lacasa was also a photographer of sorts, although he primarily took photos to document his windsurfing travels. He worked with some of the best photographers in the field while he was a professional windsurfer, Chevodian included, and he took an interest in shooting for himself. He had an interest in both the beauty of the imagery and the functionality of the techniques. Lacasa recalls his friend Jerome Houyvet attaching a camera to his windsurfer mast to take unique shots, a moment that would fuel his own photography career. “This sparked an interest in sports and water-based photography that didn't get fully realized until several years after I transitioned out of professional windsurfing,” Lacasa says. It wasn’t until he moved from Maui to Oahu and away from competitive windsurfing that he made the switch.

© Stephane Lacasa

The two crossed paths again when Chevodian sought out Lacasa’s expertise for his water-housing business. During Chevodian’s seven years as the staff photographer for the windsurf magazine, his need for specially designed water housings led him to start a new venture. He says, “I ordered my first housing in 1985 from the famous Dale Kobetich, it was for a Nikon FE2 with the power booster. It was necessary to modify it to accept different lenses to get the images I was after and it was this modification work that inspired me.” After he began creating his own housings for personal use, he began receiving requests from friends and colleagues. He created different models, and Liquid Eye was born.
Chevodian wanted to make his designs lightweight yet sturdy, adaptable and affordable. “We try to make housings for everyone because it’s expensive gear and not everyone can afford them,” Chevodian says. The housings are constructed with layers of epoxy resin, fiberglass and a light core material to maximize strength and minimize weight. The design leaves no sharp corners, making them the safest on the market. Liquid Eye’s modular approach also allows for uniformity across the full range of models, so customers can select which designs and features are important to them and within their budget.

Above: The C1600 series is affordable and fits a wide range of Canon cameras.
Below: The C1794 is Liquid Eye's Flagship water housing for professional use.

Lacasa joined Liquid Eye eight years ago and acts as both a design consultant and an ambassador for the brand within the United States. He tests the prototypes for his own photography, and recently began to teach surf photography for the brand as well. He says the move to work with Liquid Eye “was a natural progression” as he was already using the products regularly, and he had prior experience working as a sail designer for windsurfing.

Liquid Eye is based in France and Hawaii with production in Bali, and they serve markets primarily across the United States, Europe and Australia with other clientele in Israel, Japan, New Zealand and South America. Their team members are a mix of world-renowned photographers and local photographers who serve the customers in their region. At the core of his business, Chevodian still aims to serve the local communities that he and Lacasa started out in.

For more information on Liquid Eye, visit their Web site.



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