Underwater Photography Tips for Waterproof Camera
Underwater photography is a unique art and it captures a side of this world that we don't typically get to experience. Photography in itself is an art form and a lot of the same principles continue to be important when you are underwater, of course they are much more difficult to execute, much more so than standard, solid ground photography. This genre of photography requires a camera that has the same capacity and high definition image quality however also needs to stabilize the image as well as be unaffected by the water. Beyond investing in a high quality waterproof camera, it also requires a unique set of skills.
First of all, in order to capture the perfect underwater image, you'll need to be able to scuba dive. You are also going to be working with transportation gear and possibly a cage to keep you safe during your underwater adventure. Depending on the type of diving experience you're after there's going to be many different varieties of equipment you'll need to invest in. An underwater photo shoot can be quite costly so you have to make sure you're ready to take the literal plunge into this very rewarding adventure.
Picking out the camera and equipment should be accomplished early on and the items you select should work together. You might need lighting equipment if your camera isn't made with underwater photography sessions in mind. Depending on your location and the camera you'll be using, you'll find that different equipment is required. Make sure that you are packed and ready to go with everything you need when the day comes so you'll have everything you need to catch that one of a kind photo.
Getting prepared for your first dive and underwater photo shoot is going to be a big part of the trip and for it to turn out perfectly you'll wan to make sure that you have all your bases covered. The first thing to do is set a date taking into consideration water and weather conditions for optimal diving and capturing the ideal images. You need to make sure you have a reliable means of transportation and diving locations, have the right camera and all the necessary equipment.
Once you are ready to start the photo shoot there are some tips that can make capturing a clear and quality image of your subject.
1. Closer to the subject as possible
The first thing to remember is to visually get up close and personal with your subject. Having a strong zoom is great as long as it doesn't change the quality of your image, however getting close to your subject works as well so fill the frame. There are a lot of blue and darker greens under the water, colors that will often end up distorting the image if the subject if it isn't clear and large enough to focus on. To capture the best image, get within a few feet of the subject to take your picture and you'll be thrilled with the results. Try to get closer and you'll get a more dramatic shot. Make sure to move in slowly though because you don't want to scare off your subject.
2. Consider the light direction
You also need to consider the angle you are taking your photo at. Shooting above your subject underwater does not really work because that sort of shot will allow more of the colors of the water distort your shot. In addition, you'll also have a hard time lighting the object from above.
3. Use Flash
If you are comfortable with your underwater equipment you can start to experiment with lighting. Using the flash is not a bad decision but it can scare of the subject so make sure to use it only when you have your shot ready and framed. Make sure that the lighting is decent enough for your camera to get the subject. Underwater imagery works different so don't be afraid to play with lighting, change the flash or adjust the exposure on your camera. Light distance and tint are all going to be different underwater however most camera equipment made for aquatic use has options that can help you correct this.
A flash diffuser is recommended to for cameras needing a flash for photos in order to eliminate some of the distortion that can occur. Also if shadows or spots appear on your photos you'll need a flash diffuser in order to stop that from happening with your internal flash.
4. Adjust shutter speed
Adjust your shutter speed to something you are satisfied with. Depending on the water and the subject, having a faster or slower shutter speed can greatly affect the quality of the image that comes out. Slower shutter speeds are often much more successful underwater but it all depends on the situation and a certain amount of trial and error.
5. Observe surroundings
Another tip that might seem obvious but is one of the most important thing to consider (and often forgotten) is that photography is reading the environment and photo opportunities. Observation of this sort is one of the most effective ways to get great shots of interesting life underwater. Most of the life under the water is used to hiding away, hidden and camouflaged naturally against its surroundings. Take your time, explore the surroundings and you'll find more interesting shots to take.
6. Take care your camera
This last tip is not about taking photos underwater but more a warning about what to do afterward. You need to take care of your waterproof camera and store it properly. Photo equipment is not meant to be kept underwater; even the photographers who use professional underwater cameras understand how important it is to store and clean them properly after. Rinse the housing with normal water after the dive; dry it thoroughly before doing anything else with it. Make sure to check all equipment before setting out on a shoot as well and ensure it has no damage that might be made worse by the water.
Take good care of your equipment and keep these tips in mind when shooting photos underwater. It'll help you capture exceptional shots and not lose thousands of dollars worth of equipment in the process.