- 1 10 Tips to take underwater photography
- 1.1 Experiment before taking your real gear into the water
- 1.2 Keep your camera safe from shocks and drops
- 1.3 Take with you a spare battery
- 1.4 Get an underwater camera housing for your DSLR or mirrorless camera
- 1.5 Get a port, or better yet, multiple ports
- 1.6 Use the right settings even when underwater
- 1.7 Keep your gear’s size and weight in mind
- 1.8 Look out for (water) leaks!
- 1.9 Don’t forget dry bags and good dry boxes.
- 1.10 Go diving with people who are just as passionate as you.
- 1.11 You can get great pictures while diving without risking damage to your gear.
- 2 Conclusion
10 Tips to take underwater photography
If you love photography, chances are that you can’t resist the idea of trying out underwater photography. Unlike regular land photography, where you can quickly capture a shot and move on to the next one, underwater photography requires time and patience. It involves a lot more preparation compared to normal photography, but once you get the hang of it, there’s no other thrill like it!
The benefits of snapping photos underwater are clear: it allows you to explore a whole new world of photo opportunities. However, there are many challenges involved in taking photos in this environment that need to be addressed before diving into your first session with your camera. Here are some tips on how to take amazing pictures underwater.
Experiment before taking your real gear into the water
- Before taking your real camera into the water, try photographing in a swimming pool or similar body of water to get the hang of it.
- If you’re not scuba diving, consider renting or purchasing an underwater housing case for your camera to protect it from damage.
- If shooting in cold water, check to make sure that any equipment you’re using is rated for that temperature.
- Keep your equipment dry when not in use by storing it in a sealed bag with silica packets.
Keep your camera safe from shocks and drops
The number one underwater photography mistake is dropping the camera. The second and third biggest mistakes are also dropped. And the fourth is dropping it when getting in or out of the water. So, don’t drop your camera! If you’re moving fast over sharp rocks (or coral), keep your camera close and near to your body so that if you trip or slip, your movement will be less violent and there will be less chance of a damaging fall.
Take with you a spare battery
A spare battery for your camera is a must. Even when you’re not taking underwater photography, your battery does not last as long as you want it to. You will always run out of power before the end of a shooting day if you don’t bring more batteries.
Especially if you are going to be capturing video. One way to extend the life of your battery is to turn off the LCD screen while shooting, but this can sometimes make it difficult to compose your shot. So go ahead and buy one or two spares (one for backup). The batteries will come in handy on land and underneath the water. They are lighter than carrying around a bulky battery charger
Get an underwater camera housing for your DSLR or mirrorless camera
- Why do you need an underwater camera housing?
- What to look for when buying a housing?
- How to choose the right port for your camera?
- How to assemble and prepare your housing for use?
- How to make sure your setup is safe to use?
Get a port, or better yet, multiple ports
A port is the glass window on a camera housing through which you take an image. Ports are made of acrylic, polycarbonate, or glass for both compact cameras and DSLRs. Some ports are flat and others are dome-shaped. The latter produces an effect called “breathing” in which the water appears to be pushed away from the port just like it does when a diver breathes at the surface.
Dome ports work best with wide-angle lenses because they provide more coverage and light transmission than their flat counterparts. If you have a dome port, it may come with multiple extension rings so that you can use different lenses on one body if needed.
Use the right settings even when underwater
When shooting underwater, it’s important to use the right settings. Make sure your camera is set to manual mode and that the ISO is set to 100. Adjust the aperture to f/11 and the shutter speed to 1/125.
If your camera has a built-in flash, you want to make sure that it’s turned off. The built-in flash will emit light in all directions, which will cause harsh reflections on fish scales, making them appear silvery or even white instead of their true colours.
Keep your gear’s size and weight in mind
When shopping for underwater photo gear, think small and light. The less weight you have to carry around, the better. If you are going to walk long distances over sand or up hills/stairs to get to a diving site, you will start cursing your gear pretty quickly.
Your goal should be to find a set-up that can be worn comfortably with one hand while walking on land. This may require using gloves if the water is cold or there could be sharp coral in places where you need your other hand free. It is extremely important that your camera can be easily turned on and off with one hand while wearing gloves because it will save you precious battery life when swimming between dive sites.
Look out for (water) leaks!
Check your camera and casing for leaks before you take it into the water. If there’s any leakage or sign of damage, either get it fixed before going in the water, or consider buying a new one.
Remember that everything gets wet underwater: cleaning and maintaining your gear is an important aspect of every dive. Check for leaks after each dive; when you notice any damage, have a professional look at it straight away to prevent further problems arising from saltwater penetration.
Don’t forget dry bags and good dry boxes.
One of the most important things to remember when you go underwater is to protect your gear. You won’t be able to take all that many photos without a dry bag or, preferably, a good dry box.
Dry bags are one of your most basic protections for your camera and equipment. They’re simple enough: just a bag with a seal at the top that will keep water out, but they’re also cheap and easy to use. The one downside is that they don’t allow as much room for you to move around in as a dry box might. I
f you want more protection than just a bag with drawstrings, try using something like Pelican cases instead. These are waterproof and hard-shelled so that nothing can get inside of them (except maybe some sand).
Go diving with people who are just as passionate as you.
Whether it’s a club, an organized group tour, or just your friends, dive with people who share your passion for diving and photography. It will make the whole experience more enjoyable and easier to relate to when things go wrong—and they will go wrong!
You’ll also be able to learn from each other and give each other advice on technique and composition during your dives. It’s not just about finding buddies for safety reasons; divers you can relate to will help you improve faster.
You can get great pictures while diving without risking damage to your gear.
- You don’t need to risk your gear to get good underwater images, and you don’t even need an underwater camera. You can take great shots in a lake, river, or swimming pool. (If you want to avoid getting your camera wet, there are all kinds of waterproof housings available.)
- Plan your shot before going underwater. Looking through the viewfinder with a mask on is challenging!
- Treat the bottom of the water as if it’s the floor of a room. What do you see framing the image? Are there any objects that will give a sense of depth? Move them out of the way or shoot at another angle.
By following these simple tips, you will be able to get incredible underwater shots that you can share with your family and friends. Photography is such a rewarding hobby because it allows you to capture moments in time that can be cherished forever. Once you learn the basics of photography, the possibilities are endless. You will be able to create stunning pictures by using the right camera and learning how to use it properly. Don’t give up if you don’t get amazing shots right away; practice makes perfect!