A guide to provide tips for practical Underwater Photography
Underwater Photography
Pixean
April 9, 2018

Summer is here and you might decide to include deep sea diving or snorkeling in your vacation itinerary. Under water you will find a whole new world; colorful coral reefs, minute and delicate aquatic life forms, groups of them making wonderful patterns and finally large mesmerizing aquatic life forms. It is only natural to want to capture these wonderful beings and to memorialize your experience. Here is a list of basic equipment you will need to get started.

The first thing you will need to for underwater photography is housing for your camera. There are a lot of underwater camera housing options to choose from. One differentiator is the material used; plastic or aluminum. While plastic housings are cheaper, aluminum ones are stronger and last longer. Another differentiator is the depth rating. It gives you the maximum depth till which the housing will work. As you will learn in this guide, you might have to use external accessories. Ensure that your housing has enough connectors.

SOURCE

The most commonly used lenses for underwater photography are: macro lenses and wide angle lenses. You can use wide angle lenses to capture large aquatic life forms or a group of normal sized ones. For example, you can capture widespread reefs using a wide angle lens.

SOURCE

You can use macro lenses to capture details and smaller life forms. You can use macro lenses to capture details and smaller life forms.

SOURCE

You will have to buy ports that match the lenses you use. 

 

SOURCE

Water absorbs light in a way that air doesn’t so lighting in underwater photography is a little different than normal photography. This is why underwater subjects appear to have a blue hue. Also, different colors get absorbed at different depths underwater. There is loss in color and contrast and as you go deeper the images appear more colorless.

You cannot use your camera flash as it will cause backscatter. Backscatter is the noise in the image caused by light bouncing back off particles between your camera and the subject. 

SOURCE

One way to avoid backscatter and compensate for the loss of light is to get closer to your subject. But the best option to atone for the loss in lighting is to use strobes. Strobes are nothing but external flashes. 

SOURCE

Strobes are described by guide number, angle of coverage and recycle rate. What you need to understand as a beginner is that guide number represent the power of the strobe, the higher the number the stronger the lighting. The angle of coverage gives the angle covered by the strobe lighting. The recycle time gives the time required to use it again after the strobe is fired at full power. Strobes with lesser power generally have faster recycle times. How does the strobe know when to go off? Electrical strobes require connecting to the camera called and take their input from there. You can also use optical trigger strobes that fire when the camera flash is fired. As mentioned before camera flash can lead to backscatter. To resolve this you can use a fiber optic cable to transfer the camera flash to the strobe.

There are a variety of options available for underwater equipment. Read their reviews and choose the ones most suited to your needs.

Underwater Photography
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Copy link
About Author
Pixean
Officially responsible to educate, inspire, and recognize photographers. :) :)
Be the first person to like this