Underwater Photography Tips

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For the average underwater photographer, it’s not always possible to travel the globe looking for that ‘money shot’ taken in an exotic location together with an armful of fancy camera equipment.

For novice and recreational underwater photographers, it’s likely that you’ll practice your photography skills in an area that’s closer to home. For this reason, it might be the case that you quickly become familiar with the regular sights in your home diving spot and are constantly shooting the same subjects time and time again. Shooting the same fish in the same underwater scene will soon become quite old – not just for you, but for those you choose to share your photographs with as well. Once this repetitive underwater shooting and sharing starts, even the politest of guests or family members are unfortunately quite likely to start yawning during your underwater photo presentations.

Table of Content

Unstick Your Creativity

Feeling ‘stuck’ with your camera in-hand is not a nice feeling. Allowing your gear to dominate or limit your creativity is an unfortunate space to be in. After all, even with all the technological gadgets and expensive camera gear in the world, you’ll always get pretty average results if you don’t add your own creative stamp to the picture. There’s so much more to underwater photography than just being satisfied with simply achieving the correct exposure or an in-focus shot.

Once you’ve mastered these skills and are able to accurately reflect the beauty in front of you, it might be time to take it up a notch by adding your own creativity to your photos. Continuously challenging your underwater photography abilities helps to keep your interest levels high and – who knows – maybe one day your passion could become your way to make a living? Being able to separate your photographs from the masses involves thinking just a little bit creatively, trying to see the same scene from a different angle and to feel the shot with your soul.

By all means, continue to document the marine life as you see it if this is what pleases you – science relies heavily on well-documented photographs that clearly depict the marine species they are studying and this can aid your own education too. But if you’re looking to spice up your underwater pictures with a bit of creative flair, consider the following tips on how to make an average photo far from average.

Embrace the Blur

If you’re a fan of macro photography – and many of the best underwater photographers are – making use of maximum field depths is standard practice. To get something new out of your photographs, why not try the opposite. Making use of a f/3.5 or an f/2.8 rather than the usual f/16 or f/11 will help to add a pleasant bokeh effect that really isolates the main photo subject. The background appears as a smooth blur with your stunning subject in clear, sharp focus right at the forefront of your picture.

Try a Different Angle

Even the most common of subjects can look fantastic if taken from the right angle. Common angles include the eye-to-eye and upward shots, but thinking outside of the box can really come in handy when it comes to angles. Sometimes some of the best shots are shot “out of the hip” with no consideration for the viewfinder. This technique is often seen in street photography but works very well when under the water too.

Shed Some Light on the Subject

Correct lighting can make all the difference, taking a photograph from average to magnificent with the simple flick of a switch or flash of a strobe. Changing the position of your strobe can also have an impact on your subject’s appearance so don’t be afraid to move outside of your standard setup in this regard. In shallow waters, making use of the natural light as opposed to artificial lighting can add a beautiful, natural feel to the photograph. Even the simplest and most common of subjects can be enhanced by this natural light.

A keen photographer will always be aware of the way the light streams through the water – sometimes beautiful patterns of light can be seen on the reef and make for a scenic photograph or an interesting background. Being aware of how the light creates shadows underwater can add elements of depth to your photographs that you may not get from any old angle, so be sure that you play around with your positioning too. For the fun of it, why not try shooting the same section of reef from as many different angles as you can and notice how the light changes the scene each and every time.

Try Spinning

If you’re looking to spice up an uninteresting photo, try the spin technique. With your camera’s focus point set to the centre and your ISO correctly adapted to the available light, spin your camera around quickly whilst maintaining its centre axis in the middle of the lens. Taking the shot as you spin the camera creates a fantastic swirl effect especially stunning on colourful corals. This effect also works well at wreck sites, especially on the props or even just in blue water.

Happy snapping!

We’d love to hear your favourite tips for how you change it up and keep it fresh in your underwater photography endeavours.

patrick October 05, 2017

Dear Sir,

There is a Government Project to supply your Subsea Video System to Niger Delta Ministry (NDM), Nigeria.

The Contract Tender Board Committee Niger Delta Ministry (NDM).
Plot 17, Obagi Street, G.R.A. Phase II, Port Harcourt, River State Nigeria
Destination Port: APAPA Seaport Lagos Nigeria

Please write back to me and send me price quotations for the product.
I am waiting for your valued response.

Best of regards,

Patrick

Reply

Axel November 05, 2017

Long time ago (:-)) I ordered a “Dolphin PC Pro Series Underwater Video Housing” for a Sony Recorder PC-120E.

Unfortunately, I now lost the quad seal ring to be inserted in the groove and the rear faceplate. Without this no housing anymore of course!.

Could you please let me know:
1) if this spare part is still available
2) if yes, what is the price
3) what are the shipping costs for Belgium (Europe). I assume not too much as this could be possible to insert in an envelope?

Thanks in advance for your support.

Axel

Reply

Steve December 11, 2017

I would like to introduce my company as a potential source for your dome/flat port requirements. We manufacture various sizes from 1″-14″ diameter components in glass / crystal, and polymer materials.
Global Precision Optics, produces many components for 6000m depth rating and 4K UHD cameras

Reply

Dan De January 30, 2018

Do you purchase your brand’s used gear? I purchased a Dolphin Pro housing and light system in their carrying cases. I have pictures if you can use them to give me a quote.

Reply

mark August 06, 2018

I have a dolphin pro housing and am looking for a new camera is there a adaptor for the lance and any suggestions on a good camera for this housing

Reply

Mussie August 23, 2018

WE need professional Under Water house for Sony HXR-NX100 Full HD NXCAM Camcorder

Reply

Bill October 10, 2018

Do you have a used or new housing for the Sony FDR AX100 camcorder?

Reply

Dan Breeze January 13, 2019

Would you be interested in handling the sale of my gently-used PC-330 video housing? All items below are in good shape. If it would be more interesting, I might sell the Sony video camera for which it was designed. I hate to part with it, but at this stage of life I will no longer be able to dive. I had a lot of great times with it though.
Here’s what I have:
PC-330 Underwater Housing with push button electronic controls, bought from you in 2004, invoice #8616.
Pro/Alt Control Upgrade.
2 Lens, normal and wide-angle.
I also have the Pelikan carry-on case that fits it.
Also might sell, to make it a package, the Sony DCR-PC330 Video Camera. I have spare/oversize batteries for it, and all regular accessories.
Let me know what you think, and thanks very much either way for a lot of great dives.
Dan Breeze
[email protected]

Reply

Brandon January 18, 2019

Hi, I’m trying to remove front glass from a dolphin pro, does the ring just screw off? Is a strap wrench the best way?
Also can I still buy a replacement ring, I think I’m going to ruin this one.
Thanks,
Brandon

Reply

Dan January 27, 2019

I’m going to try to sell my OI housing (for Sony DCR-PC330) and would like to get it inspected, and refurbished if needed. Could you provide this service?

Reply

Jeff April 12, 2019

Hi,
Looking to get a custom housing made. I have a modified Nikon D7200 with a UV-transmitting Coastal Optics quartz lens that we are using to measure color off fish underwater but we need to take two images of each subject, one with a UV filter only and one with a vis only filter. So there needs to be quite a bit of space in the housing to allow the filter switches. Also, the “lens” or window on the housing needs to be UV-transmitting. We will take the pictures in only 3 or 4 feet of water with the camera sitting still and it may be possible to control the camera with a remote to some degree. Jeff

Reply

Geoffrey April 16, 2019

Hi All, I am still using your houseng for my HC3. I lost the weight bar that slides in the bottom.
I also would love to get a modern light sytem for the housing. Geoff

Reply

Geoffrey April 16, 2019

Please call at 3109855929, I need thecounter weight for my Sony HC 3 housing. And maybe a new light system if you have one. Geoff

Reply

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