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Basic Underwater Photography Tips

By Delani de Waal

Photographs courtesy of Green Vision Foundation

 

These are the “traditional” underwater photography tips everyone should know:

  • Get close to your subject – preferably within 300 mm. Water reduces color, contrast and sharpness.

 

  • Make sure your camera flash is turned on, preferably in “forced flash mode.”

 

  • For best composition – get low, shoot at an upwards angle, don’t centre the subject, try fill your frame with the subject. Don’t shoot “down” at the subject.

 

  • Make sure the subject’s eyes are in focus.

 

  • Get your diving skills down before you start using a camera underwater.

 

  • Practice topside with your camera inside the housing. Try taking close-ups of flowers and household objects.

 

  • To minimize back scatter, buy an external strobe/flash and position it away from your underwater camera housing.
  • Get close to your subject – preferably within 300 mm. Water reduces color, contrast and sharpness.

 

  • Make sure your camera flash is turned on, preferably in “forced flash mode.”

 

  • For best composition – get low, shoot at an upwards angle, don’t centre the subject, try fill your frame with the subject. Don’t shoot “down” at the subject.

 

  • Make sure the subject’s eyes are in focus.

 

  • Get your diving skills down before you start using a camera underwater.

 

  • Practice topside with your camera inside the housing. Try taking close-ups of flowers and household objects.

 

  • To minimize backscatter, buy an external strobe/flash and position it away from your underwater camera housing.

More Underwater Photo Tips

 

 

  • Get out and shoot. Find a place to dive near where you live.

 

  • Share your photos, show t hem to your friends.

 

  • Shoot in raw mode if possible.

 

  • Anticipate what you might see underwater, adjust your strobe, f-stop ahead. It would be a big mistake, to see a shark and having your camera at F22.

 

  • If you find a good static background, look for a good foreground subject

 

  • If you find a good static foreground subject for wide-angle, wait for a good background to “swim by”.

 

  • Learn how to use your histogram and highlights screen, and use them often.

 

  • Check photos UW for sharpness, by viewing at 100% magnification.

 

  • Compose subjects parallel to the camera for close-up macro photography if possible, to get all of the subject in the focal plane.

 

  • Get the exposure right in camera; don’t rely on post-processing.

digital@escapemagazine.co.za

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