Written by: Matt Smith for Water Welders
Taking beautiful underwater photos is an art form, but for beginners it can be a daunting task. That’s why it’s important to brush up on underwater photography basics, from underwater equipment to the methodology behind your photos.
Some important points:
1. Lighting can make or break your photo
Sunlight quickly dwindles from between 10 to 20 feet below the surface and strobes allow more control over the level of light diffusion and angle, giving you that extra glow.
Backscatter can be avoided, at least in part, by controlling your strobe light correctly. The better understanding you have of your lighting accessories, the less “noisy” your underwater photographs will appear. Experiment with various angles of lighting, and strobes are somewhat pricey so make your investment count.
Observe the behaviour of your subjects first. Get as near as possible without disturbing or touching them. Pictures taken from 6-12 inches away are ideal. Don’t make sudden movements – that includes mastering your buoyancy while snapping photos.
3. Choose the right camera
There are three types of cameras for underwater photography. Each ranges in price, size, processing power and manual options. Beginners can use mobile devices with relative ease, but they don’t pack the punch that compacts and DSLRs do. Find a camera that fits your preferences and capability.
4. Move around
In the water you have the freedom to move in every direction. Take full advantage of your freedom by snapping photos from multiple angles around your subject. You’ll thank yourself later.
5. Take your time
Underwater photography is an art that must be mastered over a period of years. No one gets it right the first time so keep practicing and learn from these informative techniques for your next shoot in the depths.
Better yet, call up a scuba buddy who has experience with underwater photography and train under him or her. You’ll learn more than you ever could by yourself.