Aug 6

So You’ve Got a Camera…

By Graeme Contributor

Graeme is an experienced and well trained diver, with PADI Divemaster and Master Scuba Diver status in addition to CAUS Scientific Diver Lv.2 and being a Canadian standards (CSA Z275.4-02 and CSA Z275.5-05) trained commercial scuba and surface supply diver. Currently employed as a commercial diver in the interior of British Columbia, he is always looking to improve his skills, gain new qualifications, and do as much diving as possible!

So, you've got it. It arrived in the post or you picked it up from the dive shop. Maybe another diver gave you a deal when they upgraded. No matter how you slice it though, you've got an underwater camera and you can't wait to try it out! You've been telling your non-diving buddies and family all about all the awesome stuff you've seen, and now you can show them! Here's a few quick tips for the first time underwater photographer to help you get over some of the initial humps of figuring out how to take pictures underwater.


Figure out your camera before you hit the water. Put it together, play with it, figure out what buttons do what and get used to handling it. Test out the housing in the bathtub or in a pool to make sure it works. It may sound weird, but all this gets you used to operating the camera and more comfortable with what is probably the most complex item you'll be operating on your dive.

Buoyancy and control are your best friends when you start taking pictures. Personally, my buoyancy was iffy at best until I had to get a grip on it to take better pictures. Being still and nonthreatening is key to taking picture of marine life, especially fish and mammals! Steady breathing and steady hands help make good pictures.

Remember that shades of visible light are filtered out the deeper you go. Only blue is eternal in the sea, with all other colours fading out one by one as you descend. Use your flash and flash diffuser, and if your camera has underwater settings, play around with them. Don't hesitate to get close to your subject if it's safe to do so, and remember that your camera's range is greatly reduced, so panoramic shots in anything but shallow water tend to be a little... washed out.

The biggest thing though, is be ready for frustration. Pictures will be out of focus. Fish will move suddenly as you finally get them lined up. The current will be too fast our you'll have too much momentum and overshoot your target, getting a blurred photo as a result. This is normal. It's part of the learning process, and even if you've taken thousands of pics, it still happens. If you get one pic in 10 that's good, you're on a hot streak. And when you take your first really good picture, you'll never forget it, or the feeling.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Latest entries
Apr 24

Review: GoPro Hero 3

1K5A1381

It’s marketed as the ultimate go-anywhere, do-anything camera, but how does the GoPro Hero 3 perform as a dive camera? My buddies and I recently had the chance to test... Read More

Apr 23

Critter Planet

matnis

by Dustin Adamson The world is a mere speck of dust in our vast universe. That means we can't forget about the small stuff! Critter Planet was filmed in the... Read More

Apr 22

Top 10 Manta Facts

Manta ray floating underwater

Seeing manta rays is no doubt on many a diver’s bucket list. These large, acrobatic, graceful and harmless marine creatures capture the imagination and hearts of every one who has dived... Read More

Apr 21

Review – Sharkskin

1K5A4997

Are you looking for a neoprene alternative, or something light and warm to wear under your wetsuit in really chilly waters that won’t force you to add weight? I certainly... Read More

Apr 20

REASONS to DANCE: Artists United for Manta Rays

OAS_ReasonsDanceManta_cover

by  Charlie Fasano from Ocean Artist Society The house lights dim and the stage lights come on. The anticipation of the crowd that has gathered grows with the expectation of the... Read More

Apr 20

Scuba Cartoon: I Need Light

April3

How much light do you use underwater? This is the 40th of our scuba cartoon series by Jerry King. Let us know what you think and submit your own if... Read More

Apr 19

Top 7 Diving Movies

featured

There aren't that many movies that incorporate diving into the plot, and even fewer that are much good.  I assume that's because of the difficulties involved shooting the scenes, keeping... Read More

Apr 18

Diving With Less Than 20/20 Vision

contact lens with drops on blue background

For those whose eyesight requires corrective measures, the prospect of diving — a primarily visual pastime — can be a little daunting. Proper diver safety also relies on keeping a... Read More

Apr 17

5 Tips For Pro-Looking Photos From Your Compact Camera System

featuedimage

    SHOOT IN RAW MODE RAW is an uncompressed file format that captures 4000 color tones. JPEG is a compressed format with 256 color tones. Using RAW files gives... Read More

Apr 16

Review: Divespot

Divespot screenshot 2

New dive photo app for the iPhone brings weather, dive site info to your photos Divespot is a newly launched app by developer Pei Hsuan Li, allowing users to overlay... Read More