Taking photographs while under water is usually done while scuba diving but can be accomplished with snorkelling and swimming. It’s something most people will not have attempted before, apart from the odd underwater disposable camera on holiday, but with a little bit of research, the right photography kit and a lot of practice you could be capturing some of your best images yet.
Here are our underwater photography tips to get you started and be sure to let us know how you get on by sharing the fruits of labour on Facebook and Twitter!
Famous underwater photographers
To begin with, you’re going to need a little bit of inspiration. A great place to start is checking out the winners and runners up of the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016. Here, every kind of underwater photography is celebrated, and you can see just how impressive this form of photography can be.
Another few names to look up are:
• Shawn Heinrichs who has a special interest in marine life conservation
• The action shots of Seth Casteel capturing dogs jumping into swimming pools
• Charles Hood, whose images include a fascinating split level shot half underwater and half above
Seeing underwater photography at its best is sure to get you itching to get started.
Soak up some knowledge
There’s lots of free advice online to increase your knowledge including the Underwater Photography Guide full of underwater photography tips and techniques. However, if you’d prefer to learn from a book you can try out The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge, that was published in 2010. Trained diving instructor Nick Robertson-Brown brought out Underwater Photography: Art and Techniques in 2013. But, for something bang up to date, you can pre order Underwater Photography Masterclass by marine biologist Dr Alex Mustard.
The kit you will need to get started will completely depend on the camera you own but here are a few essentials:
• Housing - a suit of armour that protects your camera from the elements
• A selection of underwater lenses
• 2 x external underwater strobes - enabling you to try different lighting options
Also the ability to dive helps!
Underwater photography tips
Once you get in, and under, the water you will start to pick things up quickly. Your first underwater photo session may be a little frustrating but here are some quick tips to get on the right track:
• Shooting upwards is better for lighting and gives a better scenery perspective than just the ocean floor
• Be patient. You may have to wait much longer to get the shot you want underwater
• Water absorbs colours like red, orange and yellow so having a strobe is a must
If your underwater photography adventure proves successful, you could order your own display of custom canvas prints to create your own at home aquarium or enter your work into a photography competition. Check out our top tips for entering here.