From shooting swimmers and surfers to marine life, underwater photography gives both amateurs and professionals the chance to record a different side of life. People who do not know the basics of underwater photography have trouble getting great shots, though. Fortunately, a little information goes a long way in learning underwater photography. Important tips include getting the right equipment and using certain techniques while taking photographs. Following a few tips helps people of all experience levels take great pictures underwater.
Have the right equipment
According to National Geographic, photographers have two options for shooting pictures underwater. Some prefer using a point-and-shoot camera housed in a waterproof case, while others opt for a waterproof digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera.
Point-and-shoot cameras are affordable and easy to use. As the name implies, users simply point and shoot at the object. Due to the camera's simplistic nature, users cannot control exposure or direct light during the shoot. Instead, they select a shooting mode on the camera, choosing settings based on that mode. These cameras are best for amateurs who want something easy to use while in the water.
Water-ready DSLR cameras
Underwater housing and external strobes turn a standard DSLR camera into a water-ready DSLR camera. DSLR cameras provide users with complete control over the pictures they take. Photographers control aperture and speed with these cameras, which is helpful when shooting moving objects. Photographers also have the ability to point the strobes to control the light. This is best for professional photographers, as well as amateur photographers who want to take professional photographs.
According to camera manufacturer Nikon, light travels from the camera to the subject and back during the picture-taking process. Water impedes that process, so photographers must manage their light sources so they do not end up with shadows.
Shorten the distance
Great photographers get as close to their subjects as possible when underwater. This shortens the distance the light has to travel, which makes pictures clearer and sharper. Photographers manage to get the entire subject in the frame at a close range by using wide angle camera lenses.
Photographers also need to use the flash when taking photos underwater. According to Olympus, it is best to balance flash exposure with ambient light. Photographers who use off-camera flash have the ability to position it to provide the perfect light balance.
Choose the right time of day
Photographers who want to use a lot of natural light shoot in the morning and early afternoon. With the sun high in the sky, it is easy to balance the flash with the ambient light. This is especially true for photographers who take pictures right under the surface of the water.
Use macro photography
Macro photography is the process of increasing the size of a subject to around five times its normal size. This type of photography works well underwater. In fact, professional underwater photographer Stephen Frink says it is the easiest form of underwater photography to learn and it provides rewards quickly.
Equipment for macro photography
Frink recommends photographers gather the correct equipment before trying macro photography. Photographers choose between three pieces of equipment.
A diopter is an external magnifying lens. These lenses go in front of the primary lens. Once mounted, they magnify the view.
Made out of aluminium cylinders, extension tubes position the camera lens further from the body. This increases the magnification of the lens. Consumers find these lenses with various magnification levels. A level of 1:2 has a half-life magnification, while 1:1 is life size, and 1:3 is one-third life size. Some photographers stack two tubes together to double the magnification.
Single lens reflex system
A single lens reflex system for macro photography includes a continuous-focus macro lens. According to Frink, these lenses go as low as 1:1 and go as high as the photographer wants.
Settings for macro photography
Photographers using point-and-shoot cameras switch to macro mode, while DSLR camera users choose their own settings. DSLR users start by setting their cameras to the minimum aperture. This enhances the depth of field. They also use the minimum focus because the strobe is close to the subject.
How to buy photography equipment on eBay
Use the search box on eBay located on each page of the site to find the photography equipment that you want to use for underwater pictures. After you type your search into the box, look through the new and used equipment that is available from reliable sellers. Select the equipment that you want by reading the descriptions and examining any photos, and then choose from the various shipping options. Have the items delivered to your home and get ready to take some great photos underwater.