While we love taking photos on land, and sometimes high up in the sky, we can’t resist the magic that takes place underwater.
Real life Nemos, free floating props, and fashionable mermaids show us that underwater is the place to be!
Get a camera that can work in a (extremely) wet environment, and dive in to capture and
conquer the wonders of the water world.
Here‘s our top 15 list of uh-mazingly easy tips to get your feet wet in underwater photography
WHAT TO SHOOT WITH UNDERWATER
Underwater photography isn’t just for pros with ginormous budgets. Underwater cameras are actually really accessible!
You can find single-use disposable underwater cameras or better yet reusable ones like the Reusable Underwater Film Camera.
Digital underwater cameras are also great since you get to instantly see your photos.
You can always protect the DSLR you already own with an underwater housing system. These range from $80 upwards, but some camera shops rent these out. iPhone housing systems are also being made for underwater iPhoneography.
1. SHOOT IN SAFE WATERS
A swimming pool is a great place to spend hours with your camera, because there aren’t any
unpredictable, strong under currents or aggressive marinelife with sharp teeth to worry about.
When you plunge into the ocean, lakes, and rivers just remember to always be aware of your surroundings and the limit to your swimming abilties.
2. HAVE ENOUGH LIGHT
The best time to shoot underwater are on bright afternoons when sunlight travels intensely and aplenty in the water.
When conditions aren’t in your favor (and you’re swimming in deep, gloomy waters) use flash or artificial light to bring out colors and take away shadows.
If your camera doesn’t have built-in flash or your built-in flash isn’t strong enough, use an external flash or bring in an underwater strobe. These are pretty affordable to rent at around $40.
To avoid illuminating particles between you and the subject (known as backscatter which shows up as white spots) position your external flash at an angle towards the lens.
3. STAY AT THE SURFACE
Sometimes the coolest water effects are found right at the top.
Play with sunbeams, surface reflections, and backlit texture.
You can also split your frame in half by revealing half of the world below water and half of it above.
4. GET CLOSE
Closeness may be something we’re uncomfortable with on land, but those boundaries blur when we’re in the water.
Getting in close to your subject gives you crazy-awesome details like when you’re photographing endangered water species or the slimy threads of backlit algae. If you’re able to get your hands on a DSLR casing, try experimenting with macro lenses.
When you’re not shooting with a macro lens, practice composition by filling in your entire frame with your underwater subjects.