The interest for underwater photography increased by a significant percentage every day. It is a type of photography that provides an ideal way to see and capture the vibrant and exciting world that we rarely get the chance to explore. Who doesn’t like to see and take images of beautiful corals, fishes and all amazing creatures of the sea?
The best part of underwater photography
Everyone can get access to underwater photography, irrespective of whether you are a beginner or professional. It would be appropriate to at the very least to give it a whirl.
You don’t necessarily need some of the high-end cameras to do this activity. Basic equipment and desire to get the best are enough. This kind of photography is fun and provides numerous unique, viewpoints and creative compositions.
But in most instances, you will realize that any level of photographer enjoys their area of photography. Nevertheless, regardless of your level of experience and the types of equipment that you use, the principles of underwater photography are still the same.
You can get stunning underwater shots in no time if you adhere to conventional composition rules.
I’m sure you want to know the best techniques for exceptional underwater photography. Apparently, you are at the right place, just continue scrolling down this article. You will be surprised it’s not as hard as it looks.
The basic principles of underwater photography
1. Find the ultimate camera
The first thing that you need to do is to ensure that you get the best underwater camera. If you are new to this particular venture, read the manual carefully. Why is this important? Because it helps you to understand the dos and don’ts of using a camera if you’re a beginner.
You also need to know the right type of equipment that you should have. It is what makes it possible for you to get the best out of underwater photography.
Several types of underwater photography cameras are available in the market. The price for each varies depending on different aspects. It is essential that you choose one that suits your needs whether as an amateur or professional. The bottom line is that you must have a good camera that will guarantee you high-quality images.
In this case, good simply refers to a camera that will help you get desirable images. Most people would think a good camera must be expensive one or manufactured by some of the highly regarded brands. On the contrary, there are high-quality cameras that are fairly affordable. But the quality and results you attain from using them are epic.
2. Learn how to dive
You know the deep sea divers, right? Or probably you have seen them may be on films or documentaries. What they do is an art. Perhaps you won’t necessarily go that deep but basic diving skills in underwater photography is a prerequisite.
Also, you must also know how to be flexible when diving. In a sense that you can dive, take images and focus on other aspects of photography all and more at the same time with relative ease.
Using camera under the water, often cause distraction. A new diver can easily crash into a reef or worse still float to the surface unknowingly. If you cannot master buoyancy well then getting well-composed photos will be a daunting task for you.
Underwater photography can be fun and mad fun. This can make it possible for you to lose track of time once in a while. Now you can imagine how dangerous this can turn out to be. Probably because of limited air supply as well as bottom time related to decompression illness, you may be pronounced dead! This should not scare you, it rarely happens, but it is ideal to have it mind, isn’t it?
3. Be patient
Patience is a virtue, not only in underwater photography but almost all aspects of photography. What you have to know is that shooting under the water is relatively difficult than shooting on land. It’s not as easy as it appears, especially when you are a beginner. Some people get too frustrated during their initial attempts and give up at the end of it all.
However, the easiest way of progressing rather fast is by taking large volume of photos. When you do this and experiment with your lighting and settings, believe me, the experience will be amazing!
The world has evolved, and so is technology. Nowadays, you can literally take up to 1000 images using digital cameras. That’s one great thing about digital photography. After that, you can review them one after the other using suitable software and choose the best.
Honestly, you cannot fail to get the best out of all if you have that burning desire. For that reason, if you have to succeed in underwater photography, regard patience and resilience as key elements to your trade.
4. Get closer to the subject
Let’s face it, if you have to get superlative underwater images, you must just get closer to the subject. This is regardless of the quality of camera you are using. I know there are some cameras with very powerful lenses and can still capture images from a distance. But also remember, to whom much is given, much is expected!
If you have a camera with powerful lenses, expectations are that the images have to be superb. So either way, you will just have to get closer to the subjects.
The fundamental principle when shooting underwater is to ensure that you shoot through a minimum of water. The reason is that water is about 800 times denser than air. This density can suck out colour from the full spectrum of light, therefore, hindering contrast, clarity and colour brightness of your subject.
5. Shoot upwards
Consider yourself an expert in your way once you are capable of diving, balancing and holding your camera underwater. But a trick that will work wonders for you when capturing images is to, ensure that you shoot upwards in almost all cases when under the water.
The essence of this is simple; you wouldn’t want to get out of the water and realize you have messy pictures. Is it really worth the toil, risk and efforts? I guess no! Water bodies have limited light. Aiming the camera downwards to shoot never gives attractive images.
So to save you the hassle, if you can dive, balance, hold your breath and set your camera underwater, you simply cannot fail to aim the camera upwards.
Upward angles are vital in ensuring that your subjects are isolated against the water column. And if you are keen enough, you ought to have realized that most photographers often opt to use 45 degrees or 90 degrees viewfinders that are relatively expensive.
Additional Fundamental information about underwater photography
Most of the resources that provide underwater photography tips always aim at persuading you to take a try in the art. All words will be used to portray how it is easy to take epic images under the water. However, if there is one thing they will never tell you is how this art requires more than just the basic photography knowledge.
Again, some of these tips are basic. If you happen to ignore them, then you will probably be so disappointed after that long and tiresome attempt of finding desirable underwater images.
First things first, you have to get the right camera for the task. This point can never be emphasized enough. It is a primary requirement, and of essence, you also have to know how to operate it.
Secondly, you do not just wake up one day and decide to go for underwater photo shooting. It is a learning process. You need to learn gradually by taking the pictures on land using your camera. The great underwater photographers you see out there also took time, patience, practice and resilience to achieve what you now admire.
It is a fun activity, but observing safety measures can never be overemphasized enough.
For beginners, it is vital to go together with your friends, who are relatively experienced in this particular venture. They may be of great help when the need arises especially when deep inside the waters. You should also not be too adventurous and overambitious during your initial days as an underwater photographer.
Start small, practice more and grow into this art. As long as you have right tools and enthusiasm, you will certainly become a better photographer.
The good thing about underwater photography is that you always have that room for advancing. You may start as an amateur, but through experience and categorical interest, you will always learn as you go.
You do not necessarily have to buy a very expensive camera and other related underwater photography equipment when starting out because you will learn as you forge ahead to understand some of the aspects surrounding this type of photography that works for you and gets rid of those that do not work in your favor. Experience is always the best teacher!