What do you need to know to shoot underwater?


Whether you are a novice in underwater photography, looking forward to improve your established photographic skill and knowledge, you always need some precious tips to click amazing underwater snaps. First of all, you need a diving camera. Second, you must be a trained scuba diver. Sometimes, inexperienced underwater photographers find it a bit difficult to shoot with a camera wearing a heavy complete scuba suit.

If you are a beginner diver, a compact diving camera is the best option for you as you don’t have to adjust the light or the lenses according to the subject and that too continuously adjusting the scuba suit. But it is always better to know the minimum basics of the underwater photography tricks before you head to the water.

Underwater photography comes with relative challenges but it is incredibly rewarding as well. You need to comprehend the characteristic of light underwater, how to use your camera for the macro photography, basic approaches to the composition. Once you get it, you are all set to click outstanding underwater images just like a pro. Here, in this article, we are discussing some of the most essential photographic rules that every underwater diver should follow while shooting a rare marine creature or a beautiful bright coral.

A few tips to shoot underwater:

  • Always try to get closer to your object. Water creates obstacles for the lenses in a comparison to the air. Inside the ocean, water can reduce the sharpness, color and contrast.
  • Is your camera flash turned on? Ensure it before taking an underwater snap. The “forced flash mode” is much preferable as you are not going to dive in crystal clear water always. You may have to plan your scuba trip to a destination that is surrounded by dark and cold water.
  • To get the best composition, try to shoot the subject upwards. Always fill the frame of your image with the subject, avoid making the center of it.
  • When you are shooting underwater and a marine creature is your subject, try to focus the eyes of your subject. It will add a sparkle to the image.
  • Be a trained scuba diver first. Practice underwater to float for longer carrying a complete scuba suit. Sometimes, people feel it difficult to operate a camera and shoot while wearing a scuba mask and the snorkel. Try to choose a simple, lightweight yet effective waterproof camera that you can take some random clicks for a few practice sessions.
  • Before heading into the ocean, practice inside the housing of the household objects with the newly bought camera. It will make you easily accustomed to the gadget.
  • You can buy an external flash/strobe to minimize the backscatter. To get the perfect image underwater, set your camera to the lowest ISO and the highest resolution to start with. Use the setting of auto white-balance when you are going to use the flash. When you are not using the flash, the underwater mode or the custom white balance mode will be the perfect alternative.
  • After getting accustomed to the available auto-modes, you can try to use the manual mode such as the aperture priority mode if only your camera provides the option. Now, you will be able to define the perfect equilibrium between the natural light and the light coming from your camera flash.
  • If your camera provides the quick focus mode, you will be able to quickly focus on your subject because you are going to shoot fast and unstable marine creatures now.
  • Check the shutter speed to shoot a sharp photo underwater.

Now, you need a perfect camera depending on your camera budget, how deep you are going while shooting, what types of photos you will take – still, video, macro. Also, there are other parameters too. The most expensive camera is not going to be the best underwater camera as you need to follow your own requirements.