Both human beings and the ocean are about 70% water, which may explain why so many of us are drawn to the ocean. The bodies of water on earth are unequivocally obscure; 95% of the ocean is unexplored, and 99% of the ocean’s floor remains a mystery to us. As technology advances, we get better and better at uncovering the underwater world. Whether you are using underwater photography as a hobby, for creative projects, or for nature photography, it will take some time to adjust to an entirely new way of taking photos.
Underwater Photography is not a new concept (Biologist Louis Boutan took the first underwater photograph in 1893), and over time, the tools for capturing images under water have improved and changed. There are so many ways to take photos underwater, with a wide variety of rigs and gear ranging in price, so it’s difficult to know where to begin. Here is a step by step guide to help you get started on your way to capturing beautiful underwater images.
Tips For Underwater Photography
Tip 1 – Choose Your Equipment
Many people hesitate to ever begin taking photos under water because they assume it will be an extremely expensive hobby, but there are options that range from low cost to high, and everything in between. If you’re just starting out, keep it simple with a GoPro with underwater casing, or even a smartphone pouch or case designed for underwater photography. These options have limitations, so if you’re looking to expand your capabilities, the next step up would be underwater casing for the gear you already have. Casings on the lower end will be around $300, on the higher end, $1,500. You also have to be willing to take the small risk that your camera may get damaged in the process, as nothing is completely foolproof, especially the deeper you dive because of the increase in pressure. For the best underwater camera there are many specialized waterproof cameras and equipment. This may be something you want to wait until you gather more experience before purchasing, as honing your skills and style will help you choose the best underwater camera gear for you.
Tip 2 – Plan Your Shoot
Do you want to shoot in a lake or an ocean? Maybe in a pool with a model? Do you want a lot of natural light, or more of a dark and mysterious mood? Professional underwater photographers are highly skilled at reading tides, sunset and sunrise times, and weather to create the perfect conditions for the photo they have in mind. This will take time to learn, but having an idea in mind on what you want to accomplish is important.
Tip 3 – Find Your Tribe
There are many groups out there where you can find others that share their interest and passion for underwater photography. If you’re interested in taking photos in the ocean, there are local diving groups that you can join where you can get trained in scuba diving, and join other divers on shoots. There are also specialized vacations and trips to amazing locations with the purpose of capturing one of a kind underwater photos. If you’re interested in different kinds of underwater photography, there are meetup groups on line where you can collaborate on ideas and create work together. Finding other people that share your desire to learn and improve your underwater photography skills is vital because you can learn from each other and combine your knowledge to create better work.
Step 4 – Practice Makes Perfect
Underwater photography is not something you will learn overnight. It’s a completely different set of skills and equipment than regular photography. From waterproof smartphone cases that cost under $100, to specialized underwater cameras that cost thousands, there are countless tools and conditions to take photos underwater. You will need to practice and try many things before you get into your flow and begin to create what you have in mind. The process is all a part of the amazement of underwater photography. Trust in the process and remain patient, and don’t forget to have fun.