Techniques For Underwater Photography
Underwater photography brings the underwater world to the surface; some wonder what swimming in the ocean is like, but they don’t wish to learn how to dive.
Underwater photographers have taken it upon themselves to bring the underwater world to those who don’t wish to dive or never had the chance—while all photography is an art the underwater world needs special skills to bring the highest quality alive.
Unlike wildlife photography, the underwater world needs to be viewed up close. That is to say, the marine life needs to be photographed closely. This is because of the water. The water refracts images often distorting them so the closer you are to your subject the less water you have between you and the subject. Underwater photography requires a great deal of patience. Your subject may swim quickly by like the shark, whale, or dolphin, or they may hide within the coral popping out only when danger is not felt. Water holds particles, most usually living organisms called plankton because these particles often float by while you are trying to take a picture you can lose contrast and sharpness of the image.
Marine life uses the premise of hiding more than speed or survival of the fittest. This means you will often find your subject camouflaged rather than out in the open. You have to seek your subject with determination, without startling the subject. The underwater world demands respect. You don’t want to touch the living organisms and therefore you must learn to move with the current while trying to attain the perfect shot. A lot of marine life will die if you touch it, especially coral so having a hobby of underwater photography requires you to follow the rules, a code of ethics.
Underwater flash or more typically called a strobe can help you gain the light you need to take a perfect photo. It is essential to have a flash with an underwater camera. It will help you bring other colors rather than red and orange into the picture. The strobe only needs to be medium-sized, any larger and it can hinder your photo-taking experience.
The composition is also very important. You will follow the same rule you did in regular photography; however, you still need to have an upward angle on the subject. This goes back to the camouflage technique of most marine species. They tend to melt into their hideouts or in some cases; their bodies are designed to hide in the water when swimming like sharks. When you are trying to get a clear shot when the subject blends into the background can be difficult and create a challenge.
When dealing with underwater photography as a hobby you will need to hone your photography skills on land first. Once you take great pictures on land you can move into the harder version of the underwater world, where some rules you’ve used no longer apply, and attaining the best picture takes patience as well as skill. Underwater photography brings the marine life to the surface alleviating some of the unknown. If you find you are just starting to have an interest in underwater photography you will want to seek a professional underwater photography class to teach you some of the important techniques as well as practice.