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Underwater Photography is one of the most exciting and fascinating disciplines of photography. It certainly is a science in itself and challenges every photographer, no matter how experienced. But applied well and carefully, it cannot only produce amazing shots from the mystic world underwater but also create memories to last a lifetime. So be brave and dive in – it’s worth it!
1. Be save and take your timeThe time underwater is a moment for yourself – so don’t rush it. Focus on what you do and do it right. Always make sure you feel comfortable with yourself and your surroundings. Especially if you’re not experienced, take someone with you who you trust and who knows what you are doing. Inform yourself about the area you want to dive in and stay updated as in weather and tide conditions. You should keep in mind that underwater photography is a challenge that needs to be planned carefully.
2. Get to know your equipmentIf you are starting to research on underwater photography equipment, you will find the number of underwater photography accessories is immense. There are so many options to choose from and usually so little knowledge as a starter. So, be advised to carefully choose your equipment and take your time to consult experts. Get the right equipment for YOUR needs and not just anything you may find on sale. Make sure you are familiar with your camera as well as the equipment before starting your dive! Nothing is more devastating than missing the perfect shot because you didn’t know how to change a setting.
3. Find your motiveThink about what you want to photograph. Though blue is a nice colour, no one really wants to look twice at a picture full of blurry blue water with nothing else to see. The world underwater is so diverse and yet secret. There are so many things to see and to discover, so don’t just look for the big stuff. Take your time to find nice spots, inform yourself about where to see what and be patient. If you end up waiting 30 minutes in front of a cleaning station – who cares?
4. Don’t touch itSurely, you don’t like to be touched without asking? Well, that’s why you should always remember to respect and appreciate anyone and anything you may shoot. Don’t touch your motives, especially not the living ones. Touching the maritime life can be dangerous for yourself and even harmful for the creatures of the ocean. Furthermore, it is illegal and definitely not nice to do so. This doesn’t mean you cannot get close to any of the desired objects – especially since there are so many things that can only be discovered from close up. Just stay careful!
5. Take it into perspectiveUnderwater, it is all about perspective. Whereas ashore, other rules may apply, try to shoot from a slightly upward angle so you get the bluest blue of the ocean and make sure you focus on your motive in the best possible way. Moreover, you will get a greater plasticity which helps the viewers to look at the whole context and estimate the proportions more easily. Pictures from above, on the other hand, often seem very flat and should hence be avoided. Photograph your subjects at eye level, especially at macro photography, and you will receive best results.
6. Don’t cut it What is the best picture if you cut the motive in half? Though it might be quite difficult to keep everything in mind in the beginning, try to shoot in a way that doesn’t cut your motives. A beautiful fish without a head isn’t what you really want, is it? What is more is that you should avoid “fleeing” animals, meaning animals swimming away from you so that you may only get a shot from behind.
If you follow these simple six rules, you should be off to a great start underwater!