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Intro to Underwater Photography

Intro to Underwater Photography

Nov 10, 2017 | 0 comments

Intro to Underwater Photography


All Photos by Pat Ford

This will be the first of a series of Blog posts we will be sharing to discuss and explore underwater photography. We will learn how to maximize the potential of capturing a good photo, and the tips and skills that take an image from “nice” to “WOW!”

Let’s first start with the basics, which are the traditional and long-established underwater tips everyone should become familiar with, mastering over time.

Underwater Photography Guide’s Basic Underwater Photography Tips:
#1 – Get your diving skills down before you start using a camera underwater.

#2 – Practice with your camera inside the housing on land first, before attempting underwater photos. Try taking close-ups of pets and household objects.

#3 – Get out and shoot. Find a place to dive near where you live.

#4 – Make sure your camera flash is turned on, preferable in “forced flash mode.”

#5 – Get close to your subject – preferably within 12 inches. Water reduces color, contrast, and sharpness.

#6 – For best composition – get low, shoot at an upwards angle, don’t center the subject, try to fill your frame with the subject. Don’t shoot “down” at the subject.

#7 – Make sure the subject’s eyes are in focus.

#8 – Set your camera to the highest resolution, and the lowest ISO to begin with.

#9 – Learn how to use manual mode or aperture priority mode if your camera offers it, so you control the balance between the n

atural light and the light from your flash.

#10 – If you are shooting with natural light, shoot in 20ft of water or less, with the sun behind you.

#11 – For quickest focus, use spot focus mode. Learn how to focus on an area without taking a photo (pressing the shutter button halfway) and recomposing.

#12 – If your underwater photos don’t look sharp, check to see which shutter speed was used, it should needs to be 1/30th for still objects, 1/60th for slow moving objects, and 1/125th of faster for faster moving fish.

#13 – Most underwater photos can use an increase in contrast when post-processing your photos – but don’t overdo it.


#14 – Share your photos, show them to your friends. Give each other positive feedback.

#15 – Most importantly – have fun and be safe!

Our next discussion about underwater photography will be reviewing and comparing different types of underwater cameras and housing, later moving into underwater photography tips for underwater compact camera users and for advanced users.

Photos taken by Underwater Photographer, Pat Ford, while diving with FINZ Dive Center

For more tips and to see whole article from Underwater Photography Guide, check out– photography-tips.

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