Are you a passionate photographer? If yes, which type of photography do you enjoy the most? Wildlife, wedding and fashion photography are some of the common ones. But have you ever given a thought to underwater photography? If you have, you don’t need to be told how thrilling it is. And if you haven’t but wish to know more, read on for a few pointers.
Introduction for beginners:
Underwater photography is very distinct from other types of photography. Along with good technique, you also need a lot of energy and efficiency to shoot underwater. For this purpose, you’ll need to adjust your camera according to the water techniques. For example, the color adjustments. Water absorbs colors like red, orange and yellow and if you don’t use a flash or strobe, underwater photos will look blue. So use compact cameras having internal flash systems that can be used to add colors. Also, keep in mind that photos must be taken as close to the camera as possible (around 1 meter) as water reduces contrast and sharpness.
Underwater photography needs special water resistant instruments and the first and foremost, as mentioned above, is a full-spectrum strobe or flash. You also need underwater housing or underwater casting that can allow you to shoot inside water. A rubber ring that creates a waterproof seal, called an ‘O-ring’, is also required.
For the lens, a macro and wide angle lens, either attached to the camera or underwater housing, is required. Underwater photographs are often a mix of ambient light and strobe light. Hence, a natural light source from the sun called ambient light or simply ‘natural light’ is needed. Last but not the least, white balance for interpreting pixel values.
Underwater composition is of utmost importance for shooting inside water. And photography must capture feeling. For example, you want a shot of a fish swimming in water and show how happy it is in its habitat. For this, use the technique of panning.
Shutter speed and aperture:
Shutter speed and aperture are the spinal cord of your camera and mechanical shutters now have a maximum shutter speed which works with an external or internal flash or strobe. On most recent dSLRs, this shutter speed is 1/200th or 1/250th of a second. Electronic shutters, meanwhile, can sync as fast as 1/1000th or 1/2000th of a second.
The aperture or opening of your lens can also be made smaller or larger and the length differs according to the photograph or the camera. Note: The size of an aperture is referred to as an F-stop.
Here are a few tips for beginners as well as experienced underwater photographers.
First, make sure your camera flash is turned on, preferably in “forced flash mode.” Second, shoot at an upwards angle by getting low. Remember to keep the subject’s eyes in focus. Third, get your diving skills down pat before you start using a camera underwater. Practicing topside with your camera inside the housing is always beneficial.
Underwater photography is one of the most thrilling experiences. But to become good at it, the points listed above need to be followed carefully. Keep them in mind and get ready for an adventure to remember!