underwater Photo Course :: (6) Composition :: Viewpoint
U/W Photo Course
Learn u/w photography the easy way!
Viewpoint is a very fundamental and important factor to
successful composition. We learnt earlier that working close and positioning most
of your subject above the center line creates a feeling of dominance. Looking
down on subjects rarely works.
Don't shoot down, always shoot up
A low viewpoint can eliminate background clutter by using
the surface as a backdrop - particularly effective on slide materials if you
underexpose the background water slightly to saturate the colors.
Whatever the subject: diver, fish, even static
still life, benefits from being taken at a slight angle. A 'flat on' treatment
is lifeless; and, I'll say it again because it is so important, probably the
worst mistake is to position the subject in the middle.
Finding the optimum angle is a question of practice.
Moving position, even slightly, can make a dramatic difference to the results.
SLRSingle Lens Reflex Camera. A camera that uses a mirror to redirect the image projected onto the film into the viewfinder. The mirror flips out of the way when the button is pressed to take the picture. cameras are invaluable here to accurately preview composition.
Alternatively, if using a rangefindera simple window in the camera or accessory on top that approximates the coverage of the lens for framing composition camera try a few angles and select the
best one later.
Photography is the perfect medium to capture the moment,
yet some underwater subjects defy composition. We are often confronted with the
situation where the juxtaposition of divers, marine life, and light is
constantly changing. Sometimes all you can do is hold a promising viewpoint and
shoot multiple frames.
The quickest way to turn a line into a diagonal is not to
move your viewpoint. You simply tilt the camera when taking it! Remember though
that bubbles and surface ripples always betray which way is up.
Next >> Cropping