Overview of underwater photography and introductory notes
Jun 01, 2022
When diving we always want to document our diving experience and LEFEET would like to give you some tips on underwater photography.
Before you can do underwater photography, you need to know about diving and be familiar with some basic concepts and terms of diving, such as How do I establish neutral buoyancy. This is recommended for divers who have already taken a PADI AOW, AIDA 2 Star, or another dive system equivalent course. There is an implied reason for this recommendation because personally, I feel that the few dives I just learned to dive are the most novel and joyful, so don't let the camera interfere with the diving experience.
If you are using a DSLR/micro single for underwater photography, you will need a bit of photography-related basic knowledge; make sure you understand: the role of the shutter, shutter synchronization speed, the part of aperture, ISO, focus mode, metering mode, focal length, depth of field, sensor tolerance, white balance, etc.
Underwater photography essential tips：
- The basis of underwater photography is good buoyancy control skills, not just staying neutral. You need to be comfortable floating up and down in corals, and extensive experience in releasing water can also help get better photos.
- Underwater photography also follows the principle of "if your photos are not good enough, you are not close enough", but the water photography will be closer than imagined.
- Water photography in different cameras (sensor/bottom) to take photos of a much smaller gap than land. And the use of light (natural light/flash) will have a more significant impact on photo quality. For example, the use of GoPro with two video lights effect is likely to be better than a full-frame DSLR.
- If you jump into the pit of water photography, later go diving to bring very bulky equipment, which is highly inconvenient and a headache.
- Spend more and more money, from the beginning of the GoPro, micro-single, and then full-frame DSLR.
- Water photography, in most cases, only has two lenses: wide-angle (including fisheye) and macro. Even if there are already a lot of lenses, most of them do not come in handy.
- The difference between the light in the water and the light in the air is huge, and a lot of the usual photographic knowledge does not apply in the water.
- Some water camera accessories DIY better use, although ugly point.
- Even if the flash is turned on to maximum power, it can only illuminate a distance of 1-2 meters.
- Water will absorb light and also reduce the sharpness of the picture, so keep taking photos at a close distance so that the light will pass through less water.
- Pick up the point; water photography, even if you shoot something big, is also very close.
- Use the manual gear, including the manual setting of the flash power. Gradually become a human light meter.
- Many times, the flash does not illuminate the object but adds lost color to the subject.
- Flash is important, we should spend more of the budget on flash.
- If you take pictures lower than the subject, you can often take better pictures. A simple trick for water photography is "closer and lower."
- Water camera equipment is more delicate and will need extra attention and time to protect the maintenance, which is a troublesome thing.
- Many rare creatures on dives do not give divers much time to shoot, so please know the parameters by heart and make sure the flash returns fast enough so that you can at least take a few more shots.
- Do not disturb other divers when taking pictures.
- Underwater photography requires certain post-production skills: LR and PS will make the photo into the desired color.