January 10, 2022 6 min read

Jacques Cousteau once said, "I don't go underwater with my camera, I go with it." The importance of underwater photography can not be underestimated and it has been years since the first underwater photographs were taken. Underwater photographers explore and capture the beauty of the marine world beneath the surface - from the lots of gorgeous colors of the reef and aquatic plants to the undersea world's secrets. Discovering the intricacies of the ocean is a never-ending job for underwater photographers. If you are new to underwater photography there are a few essential things to know before you head to the ocean pier or start capturing your underwater pictures. This guide with underwater photography tips will help you to know more and make the process easy and relaxing.

What You'll Need for Your Underwater Photography Diving

The guide to underwater photography If you're finding yourself spending more and more time in the water, you might want to try capturing your underwater surroundings with a camera. The following is an introduction to underwater photography, which can be both challenging and rewarding. There are many variations on this, but most photographers will use two different camera bodies, with one body shooting in the air for regular shots and the other body shooting in a waterproof housing for underwater shots. The housing will have a port for dome port which allows you to focus your camera at a wider angle.

underwater photo taken by diver

What gear do I need? There are many underwater camera options, but be sure to spend a lot of time researching. Taking underwater photos is a perfect way to capture the beauty that the water has to offer. It is also a great way to convey emotions and to tell a story. Whether you are using a camera with waterproof housing, an underwater drone, or a smartphone, the following tips and techniques should help you to take better and more interesting photos and videos.

Plan your composition and take your time. Put your camera settings on manual and use the widest possible aperture combined with appropriate shutter speeds. Put your shutter speed on auto to get an appropriate setting for the available lighting. Get closer to what you are photographing and use slow shutter speeds - think about 1/4 to 1/30th of a second.

Preparing for Your Shoot in the Water

In this blog post, we will talk about three tips that can help those who are about to embark on their first underwater photoshoot.

underwater photo of seahorse

Tip 1: Study the marine environment. The marine environment is filled with all types of fascinating creatures.

One of the most common creatures in the sea is the fish. Fish come in many different shapes and sizes. Some fish can swim, while others move in different ways.

Finding fish in the water is not that hard to do. They are usually near the water's surface. Fish can be found in all depths of water, even in the deepest parts of the ocean. It is also possible to find other underwater fauna in the marine environment.

Tip 2: Shoot in black and white. Black and white photography, in contrast to color photography, is ideal for shooting underwater. Black and white film is more sensitive to blue light than colors are, so when it is shot underwater, colors are suppressed in an artistic way.

Tip 3: Master the water. Mastering the water is key to taking successful underwater shots. You'll notice that most of the time when you're in a pool, your hands are touching the water. Whether you're shooting from the surface of the water or from below the surface of the water, you need to be aware and conscious of your hands and feet.

Safety Guide for Underwater Photography

The safety of surfers, boaters, and other beachgoers is the top priority for any government agency that regulates public enjoyment on the oceanside. This has not escaped the attention of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) who has recently established regulations for recreational scuba divers. These regulations include abandoning swimming areas when visibility is less than 30 feet, staying within 60 feet of a boat buddy, avoiding high surf, making safety ascents, and not towing objects underwater.

While these regulations are primarily written for recreational scuba divers, they are also relevant to photographers who are conducting underwater photography. The safety of all surface-level observers is of utmost importance to anyone who is trying to capture images underwater.

Also, learn how to take care of your camera and its settings. Eyepiece filters protect your lens from dirt, water droplets, and scratches. The front part of your camera should be protected, as well as the ports. The area between the lens and the housings should also be protected as possible. Make sure you know the depth and visibility of the location where you're going to photograph.

Underwater Photography Tips

Always Shoot in RAW Mode

RAW is an uncompressed picture data format. It’s also the only format that preserves all of the original information captured by the camera’s sensor, like exposure, color, noise, and sharpness. To give you an example, when you shoot in JPEG mode, your camera applies its own color profile to the picture, which means that the colors in your photo might not be what you actually saw.

Use a Marine Grade Case to Protect Your Camera

If you want to protect your expensive camera on your adventures, invest in a marine-grade case. This case will protect your camera from dust, water, and shocks from being dropped. You can find this case online.

Use a Wide Angle Lens

Wide-angle lenses are excellent for underwater photography. This is because it enables the photographer to see the entirety of the underwater environment, in addition to close-up details. They are also great for underwater macro photography. It is best to use a wide-angle lens in order to get both the close-up and wide-angle views of the environment within the same frame. When choosing your equipment, it is important to keep in mind that you will need an underwater housing for your camera that has ports that fit the wet lens on your camera.

To Sum Things Up

As a photographer, one of the best locations to take pictures is the ocean. The sea offers a massive area to explore and photograph. More often than not, underwater photography is practiced in saltwater which is denser and warmer than freshwater. If you're new to underwater photography and want to learn more about it, hopefully, these tips were helpful. Photographing underwater is an amazing process. However, be prepared for it and enjoy its beautiful world while scuba diving.

Frequently Asked Questions

underwater photo of lion fish

How can I learn underwater photography?

It is not hard to learn underwater photography. Learning about underwater photography is easier than you think. Underwater photography can be taken as a hobby or as a profession. You can learn these techniques by reading books, viewing videos, and taking classes.

How do you look good underwater with pictures?

Wear natural colors that shine. Protect yourself from the sun. Use waterproof mascara. Wear an SPF lip balm. Don't forget to groom your eyebrows. Exfoliate your body and face before getting in the water. Use waterproof makeup. Use a self-tanner.

Can iPhone 12 take underwater pictures?

The iPhone 12 can take photos underwater. In fact, the camera on the latest iPhone is even better now as it is now able to take professional standard photos underwater. Getting a great photo is a matter of understanding the different types of light and how they affect your final image. This will give you the best chance to take a great photo.

How much money does an underwater photographer make?

It is difficult to know the income of an underwater photographer, as it is often dependant on their skills and reputation. If they are able to get a job from a wealthy individual, they could make a reasonable living from their photography alone. If not, then they may have to supplement their income from other jobs.
Author - Aleksandra Djurdjevic
Aleksandra Djurdjevic          

Senior Content Creator

Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering surf, kayak and various watersports activities. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the ocean / rivers, getting out waves, season after season, seeking epic adventures across the globe helps her continue to be a top expert at CSG.

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