Starting Underwater Photography
Skip Navigation Links.
Collapse underwater Photo Courseunderwater Photo Course
Intro
How to use
Collapse (1) The Basics(1) The Basics
Where to Start?
Exposure Basics
Shutter Speed Basics
Aperture Basics
Exposure Values
Quick Quiz
Light Underwater
Light Meter Basics
Film Speeds Primer
Optic Basics
Depth of Field Introduction
What makes a good picture?
Your first dive!
O-Ring Fundamentals
What Next?
Collapse (2) Equipment Guide(2) Equipment Guide
Collapse Underwater Camera HousingsUnderwater Camera Housings
Camera Housings
Collapse Digital Underwater CamerasDigital Underwater Cameras
Housing Types
Design
Build Quality
Camera Housing Viewfinders
Viewfinder Optics
Housing Features
Metering
D-SLR Lens Gears
D-SLR Ports
Leak Detectors
Collapse Lenses and opticsLenses and optics
Lens Types
Autofocus
Wide Angle Lenses
Macro Lenses
Zoom Lenses
Collapse Underwater StrobesUnderwater Strobes
Choice of underwater Strobe
underwater Strobe Power Rating
Strobe Firing Modes
underwater Strobe Compatibility
underwater Strobe Construction
underwater Strobe Connectors
underwater Strobe Coverage
underwater Flash Housings
Power Supplies
underwater Strobe Arms
Underwater Camera Maintenance
Underwater camera Floods
Underwater camera O-rings
Collapse (3) Diving with a Camera(3) Diving with a Camera
Collapse StrategyStrategy
What lens - which camera?
Autofocus or manual?
Check Lists
Camera Preparation (film)
Pre-Dive Checks
Entering the Water
Checking for Leaks
On reaching the bottom
Holding your camera underwater
Strategy on the dive
Collapse Dive TypesDive Types
Wall Diving
Night Diving
Shore Diving
Boat Diving
Snorkel Photography
Collapse Safety And Dive GearSafety And Dive Gear
Solo Diving
Diving Equipment
Drysuits
Collapse (4) Light Underwater(4) Light Underwater
Predicting your results
What is Light?
What is Color?
Color Temperature
Effects of Depth
The Inverse Square Law
Collapse ExposureExposure
Bracketing
Collapse Light Metering UnderwaterLight Metering Underwater
Types of Metering Systems
Types of Light Measurement
Metering Zones
Metering Modes
Which metering system to choose
Metering Problems
Metering Limitations
Collapse Natural LightNatural Light
Time Of Day
Against The Light
Silhouettes Underwater
Sunbursts Underwater
Filters Underwater
Collapse Artificial LightArtificial Light
Automatic Flash Exposure
Strobe Angle
Backscatter
Collapse Balanced LightBalanced Light
Balanced Light Exposure
Fill-In
Collapse (5) Travel(5) Travel
Why Travel?
Where to Go?
Location Strategy
Ten Questions
Air Travel
How best to dive it?
Preparation
Diving Medicine
Colds
Collapse Temperate WatersTemperate Waters
Temperate Tips
Freshwater
Collapse Camera MaintenanceCamera Maintenance
Toolkits
Maintenance Tips
Maintenance Mistakes to avoid
10 things to do with a flooded camera!
Collapse FloodsFloods
Flood Repair
Flood Prevention
Flood Emergency Actions
Collapse (6) Composition(6) Composition
What is Composition?
Rule of Thirds
The Golden Mean
The Horizon
Shapes
Lines
Placement
Frames
Negative Space
Lighting
Viewpoint
Cropping
Conclusions
Collapse (7) Advanced Techniques(7) Advanced Techniques
Maintaining Motivation
Collapse Mastering EquipmentMastering Equipment
Collapse Using Underwater StrobesUsing Underwater Strobes
Flash to Subject Distance
Practical Strobe Techniques
Multiple Strobes
Strobe Lighting Accessories
Advanced Flash Bracketing
Manual Flash Exposure
Manual fill-in Exposure
Strobe Tips
Collapse StrategyStrategy
Percentage Photography
Batch Shooting
The Decisive Moment
FACET
Classic Shots
Education
Attitude
Idea Development
Making Ideas Work
Tourist Mentality
Planned Shots
Collapse Avoiding MistakesAvoiding Mistakes
Operator Error
Picture Problems
Compositional Faults
Camera Problems
Strobe Problems
Collapse (8) underwater Photo Subjects(8) underwater Photo Subjects
Collapse FishFish
Shoaling Fish
Sharks
Dolphins
Bait
Collapse Natural History SubjectsNatural History Subjects
Corals
Large Subjects
Planktonic Life
Moving Subjects
Other Subjects
Collapse WrecksWrecks
Wreck Strategy
Photographing Wrecks
Wreck Composition
Collapse Wide Angle SubjectsWide Angle Subjects
Wide Angle Lenses
Fisheye lenses Underwater
Wide Zooms Underwater
Lens Angle Underwater
Wide Angle Flash
Collapse Macro and Close-UpMacro and Close-Up
Lenses for Macro
Flash for Macro
Finding Macro Subjects
Super Macro
Collapse (9) The Creative Approach(9) The Creative Approach
Close Focus Wide Angle
Double Exposures
Collapse The SurfaceThe Surface
Surface Reflections
Over-Under
Under-Over
On the Suface
Surf Photography
Collapse Models and PropsModels and Props
Masks
Dive Gear
Posing
Signals
Timing
Props
Collapse Long ExposuresLong Exposures
Flash-Blur
Aquarium Photography
Humor
Collapse FantasyFantasy
underwater Fantasy
Special Effects Filters
Filters on Flash
Collapse (10) Promoting Your Work(10) Promoting Your Work
Collapse PortfoliosPortfolios
Collapse PresentationsPresentations
Planning a Presentation
Presentation Software
Shooting for Presentations
Making Presentations Flow
Collapse Careers in Underwater PhotographyCareers in Underwater Photography
Picture Libraries
Advertising Work
Getting Published
Collapse Underwater Photo ContestsUnderwater Photo Contests
Contest Types
underwater Photo Festivals
underwater Photo Shoot-outs
Collapse (11) Digital Imaging(11) Digital Imaging
Collapse Digital BasicsDigital Basics
How To Email images
Computer Hardware
Storing images
Connecting to a computer
Transferring Images
Collapse Color ManagementColor Management
Colour Space
ICC profiles
Histograms
Monitor Calibration
Collapse Image FilesImage Files
Image File Resolution
Image Problems
Collapse Digital WorkflowDigital Workflow
Digital Capture
Cleaning your CCD
Image File Management
Assessing Images
Rotate Images
Captions and Keywording
Digital Workflow Checklist
Quiz
Skip Navigation Linksunderwater Photo Course :: (1) The Basics

Starting Underwater Photography

U/W Photo Course

Learn u/w photography the easy way!


Underwater photography is very different to every other kind of photography. In fact, it's the most difficult kind of photography there is.

There are the environmental pressures and, compared to land photography, there is a whole new set of variables to contend with (which are many and difficult to assess). You don't have to be a masochist to be an underwater photographer but it helps!

Not put off yet? Good! Underwater photography can also be FUN. In fact it can be as much fun as you'll ever have with your dive gear on! But, it does cost money, it does involve a load of effort, and it does mean that you have to take on board some knowledge to get the most out of it.

Who should do u/w photography?

People who take up underwater photography generally do so from one of two angles; either as a photographer who would like to specialize, or a diver who would like a second interest in the sport.

For me, it started when I got my dive qualification my instructor said "Fine! now what are you going to do?". I pondered on what she meant. I think it was that no matter how wonderful the diving experience is it does take something to motivate you on a cold day! Enhancement of your diving is just one valid reason to take up underwater photography. So is wanting to share the experience of the good dives with others (who may not even be divers).

The pre requisite is not just learning to dive but also reaching the stage where you are totally at ease in the water. Once you have done that learning underwater photography is no harder than learning to dive, although there are fewer sources of instruction! However, by picking up this book, you have tapped in to a mine of information and, providing you get over the first few hurdles, you will soon be snappin' with the best of them!

Problems to avoid A word of warning: beware, when the bug bites, it bites hard. If you're already a diver it may change you diving habits forever. Don't worry though, you won't automatically become an outcast on dive boats - and you will learn to appreciate the underwater environment even more than you do already!

To reiterate: a lot of underwater photographers begin as land photographers. It is a logical progression to graduate to underwater photography when you start diving. If this is you, and you are already familiar with the basics of photography, then you could skip this chapter and move on to the next. If you are not already a photographer then read this chapter as many times as it takes to understand it fully.


Next >> Where to Start?