Underwater photography is something that every serious photographer should consider, and only those who are in love with photography can expect to perfect it. It’s an extremely difficult and expensive form of art to master, but we’re here to help you understand some fundamental techniques to make your underwater photography match that of the pros.
Make Connections And Acquire Resources
As an underwater photographer, you’ll have to deal with regulations and travel restrictions. Two types of relationships can help you bypass those obstacles.
Knowing people who will allow you to access protected areas will give you an edge over every other photographer. You’ll be able to snap photos of fish that aren’t just rare, but they’re also protected by government programs. Many other photographers won’t have access to those fish in such a peaceful environment.
You should also get to know people who run fishing charters or other boat-oriented services. They can take you to spots that other photographers can’t access, and if you’re friends with them, they might just let you tag along on their trips for free.
Underwater Photography Is Not What You’re Used To
When you’re filming on the surface, it’s a lot easier to shoot. Lighting on the surface is very different, and there aren’t any obstacles such as light absorption and distortion to worry about.
A lot of beginners try to deal with the extra challenges by using insanely fast cameras. You don’t have to do all of that. All you have to do is use a 50 to 100 ISO camera more effectively.
This often means you have to use multiple sources of artificial light to illuminate your subject, and you have to get very close to your subject. Both of those can be difficult to do underwater.
Always Have A Backup
Underwater photography equipment is expensive, and it requires a lot of research to acquire it properly. Despite the investment necessary to attain it, you want to invest in backup options, too.
A big part of underwater photography is long-distance travel. That typically requires you to hop on a plane, and everyone knows how things tend to go missing at the airport. If that happens with your shooting gear, you’ll have an awfully boring photography session.
You also have to consider the abusive environment that you’ll be shooting in. Even the most durable of cameras can fall victim to a harsh crash into coral, and that can end your entire trip if you don’t bring a backup.
Learn To Dive
Learn to dive before you attempt underwater photography. It may seem as if you’ll just be swimming and taking pictures, but it’s a lot different when you’re diving. If you’ve never been diving before, hire a professional trainer.
The reason for this is that every one of your movements can potentially scare away the perfect subject. You want to have as much control over your body as possible, and that’s just not possible for beginners to do.
You should also make sure that you’re fully aware of how all of your equipment works before you leave. If you’ve updated your rebreather or other equipment, you need to check out its manual.
Don’t Be Afraid To Go Digital
A lot of photographers still swear by older camera designs. However, there’s a valid reason to use digital cameras.
When you’re under the water, you don’t have all day to mess around with your equipment. You have a limited time to capture the best photos possible, and every second counts.
A digital camera can take way more pictures than an older exposure-based camera, and you get more chances to take the perfect photo before you have to resurface.
Underwater photography is an entirely different ball game when it’s compared to more traditional forms of the art. However, with the right gear and mindset, you can easily master the art of shooting stunning underwater photos.