3 Tips To Get Started in Underwater Photography

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Taking photographs allows you to capture memorable moments in your lives and make those memories last forever. It’s also a wonderful way of sharing happy occasions, candid moments, and many other interesting things with other people.

Photographs also spark conversations and opportunities to build connections. If you love scuba diving, wouldn’t it be nice to learn underwater photography and take snapshots of incredible marine life? Here are some tips to get you started in this fun and rewarding underwater activity.

1.) Choose your camera

If you already have a camera such as a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, you can buy a compatible underwater housing so you can safely use it underwater. Compact cameras are a good choice for beginners. Popular camera brands create their own underwater housings that are ideal for diving. Basic ones usually have a 30 depth rating but there are specialized ones with higher depth ratings that are ideal for deep divers and technical divers.

Common housings are made out of Polycarbonate while the more expensive ones are made out of aluminum or a combination of the two. Get in touch with our Dive shop Dubai and we will be happy to give you more tips. Scuba diving and underwater photography online forums are also good sources of information. 

Another important part of shooting underwater is the lightning. Keep in mind that the water gradually absorbs the colors so the deeper you go, the more colors disappear starting with red (4.5m) followed by orange (7.5m).

The next colors that disappear when you go further down are yellow (10.5-13.5m) and green (21-23m). The last color to disappear is blue. This color loss underwater is the reason why the use of artificial lighting such as a built-in camera flash, strobe, or white light is necessary to bring out the color in your surroundings.

The built-in flash works well when taking photos of small subjects such as seahorses, sea slugs, and other marine invertebrates at close range. For larger subjects, you will need a strobe light which is more powerful than a built–in camera flash. Strobe lighting is crucial for shooting well-lit action images. 

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2.) Familiarize yourself with your camera

Make sure that you know all the buttons, functions, and settings of your camera before the dive. It might take getting used to your camera with an underwater case so it’s recommended that you practice using it with its waterproof casing.

Make sure that you can access all the buttons and adjust the settings of the camera with its casing. Experiment with different settings and learn how to adjust speed, sensitivity, and aperture accordingly to the conditions. 

3.) Prepare your camera for diving

Check your camera and accessories while packing them to make sure that you don’t forget anything, especially your SD card. Double check if the camera’s batteries have been charged. It’s also recommended that you put your housing underwater to check for signs of an ineffective seal such as bubbles.

If you are inserting desiccants (silica gel sachets) into your housing, position them carefully so they do not affect the housing’s seal or interfere with any of the camera’s buttons. It’s good practice to do test shots with your strobes before the dive. 

Always be mindful of your camera during your dive trip. Do not let your camera with its underwater housing sit in the sun to prevent it from fogging. When you’re in the open, you can keep a wet towel over it. Make it a point to clean and re-lube the o-rings and grooves after every dive. Always check for cracks, scratches, and foreign matter.

Choose from our scuba diving packages and learn more about underwater photography. Enjoy taking photos of marine life and sharing your love for the ocean with family and friends. 

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