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10 Tips to Get You Started in Underwater Photography

Remember the feeling of absolute freedom when you took your first dive? The marine life that surrounded you, the weightlessness you felt as you defied gravity, and the moment when everything slowed down… How about capturing these moments with a camera? Before you do that, let’s understand more about underwater photography and what to expect before booking your next underwater adventure.

10 Tips to Get You Started in Underwater Photography

WHAT TO BRING

1. Camera

The camera you are bringing is a crucial part of this expedition. Make sure that you have a good camera to capture the shots are you looking for. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is a compact camera packed with powerful features such as the DIGIC 7 image processor, which is great for taking images under low light conditions; and an improved autofocus that tracks your subject more effectively and accurately. Learn more about the camera in Freediving with the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II.

2. Underwater Case

Having a trusty underwater case is as important as a good camera. It can prevent accidental leaks that may damage your camera, especially as the pressure increases deeper in the sea. The Canon waterproof case WP-DC55 is designed for the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II compact camera, and keeps your camera protected from the water as well as ensuring that you have full control of your camera while underwater.

3. Diffuser

Use a diffuser to soften the light from your camera flash. A diffuser spreads out the light and helps to lower contrast and soften shadows. It also reduces backscatter (see above), giving you a cleaner photo without the distractions.

4. Bungee Cord

Securing your camera underwater is slightly different from on land. Use a bungee cord to attach the underwater case to your hand or the Buoyancy Compensation Device (BCD). In this way, you can keep the camera attached to your body the entire time without worrying about it floating away.

 

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

5. Camera Settings

Knowing your camera and its settings can help you shoot better photographs on land but it is even more crucial when shooting underwater. Take control of your camera by shooting in Manual mode, and adjust the white balance, ISO, aperture and shutter speed to best suit the scenario underwater. If you're totally new to underwater photography, start off with the basics; if you're capturing fast movement of underwater sea life, make sure you're using a fast shutter speed and higher ISO to freeze the motion and if you're capturing slow moving macro subjects, tune down your shutter speed and to allow more light to enter the camera.

6. Buoyancy

Understand that there will be a weight difference when you have the camera and underwater case with you as you dive, thus you will need to adjust carefully to ensure having the right amount of buoyancy when you are in the water. The things that affect your buoyancy include your Buoyancy Control (BC) inflation, trim, exposure suit, depth and breath control.

7. Styles

There will be two types of underwater shots that you would want to capture ­as a beginner – the close-up macro shots, and the wider angle scenic coral and reef ones. Know what subject you want to capture, and adjust your camera and compose your shots accordingly. Take it a step further with Creative Underwater Photography: Creating Motion Blur Against a Bright Blue Background or Macro Lens Techniques: Liven Up Your Underwater Photos with Foreground Bokeh Dots!

8. Composition and Background

Consider your composition and background when shooting underwater. Start off with simple shots that fill the frame, and make sure your subject is at eye level or shoot from a lower angle up for a more engaging shot. Choose your background carefully, think a school of fish, a diver swimming by, or a colourful reef.

9. Backscatter

Backscatter are tiny white specks that appear on your photos due to the water conditions and harsh lighting. By using a diffuser – which comes with the Canon waterproof case WP-DC55 – it can help to reduce backscatter for a clearer and more beautiful image.

10. Give them space

Always remember to keep a distance between you and your subject. Do not touch or harass the sea creatures – unethical diver behaviours can lead to serious harm, death of rare sea animals, as well as putting the underwater ecosystem in danger.

Get additional tips in the articles Underwater Photography Tips and Quick Tip: How to Get Great Colours in Your Underwater Photos.

 

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