10 Tips For Taking Photos Underwater

Photography on land is one thing to master but the underwater world throws up a huge amount of new problems making getting the perfect shot that little bit harder. It’s not impossible however to get great photos under the waves. Here are some easy tips to follow once you have your camera and housing set up.


Start shallow. Water affects light least the shallower you are so it’s a good place to start.


Get a strobe for deeper work. Deep water gets dark so you need to bring your own illumination with you.


Get low. Shoot from below to give the subject depth.


Get as close as possible, without disturbing sealife, reducing the amount of water disturbance.


Use negative space – the space around the subject, it should be clear of anything too distracting.


The center is rarely the best place for the subject to be. Weighting the image with the subject on one side and negative space on the other usually looks best.


The rule of thirds. Like on land, some cameras come with a grid setting but basically all photos should be composed by horizontal thirds usually with the subject in the center third.


Use a red filter. Depending on the depth different filters can help with the colour changes caused underwater.


Master Buoyancy. This is key to getting a perfect shot and not damage the reef by holding on or kneeling down. A steady hand is the best way to get a good photo.
Editing software. Apps like Dive+ automatically colour correct your underwater photos and videos making them look picture perfect with a simple click. They also have a great digital dive log on the app.


Maintain equipment. Always wash equipment in fresh water as soon as possible to avoid salt damage. You can’t take great photos without a working camera.
Get a good camera. I recommend the go pro for great videos at any depth plus they’re easy to pack. Looking for something better for photography? The Olympus TG6 is one of the most loved entry level cameras for divers, tough and easy to use.

Taking photo’s underwater – conclusion.

Many factors affect dive photography but the most important thing to remember is safety always comes first, never let the perfect shot distract you from the dive plan. And of course make sure your photography isn’t damaging the underwater world. Keep streamlined, avoid touching sea life and help protect the beauty you are there to see. Don’t forget to share you love for the underwater world with photo sharing pages on FB and ID sites like Reef.org to join in.

Interested in Marine Conservation? Check out this list of Marine Conservation Volunteer Opportunities here.



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