technique

Careful Composition in your Underwater Photos

Careful Composition in your Underwater Photos

A lesson on underwater composition

 

With a little bit of work, you can get good compositions in your underwater photography. Very good compositions, however, can be very difficult. 

 

No matter if you are using a compact camera or a dSLR, sometimes the slightest movement of the camera can throw off a composition. Such is the case for a composition like this 3-inch long Coralline Sculpin, taken at Santa Cruz island in the northern Channel Islands.

F8 and Be There

Famous Photography Phrase "F8 and be there"

History, explanation and common uses 

 

When I was driving Ridlon Kiphart to an LAUPS meeting, we were discussing underwater photography and I mentioned the phrase "F8 and be there". His eyes lit up and he mentioned how underwater photographer David Doubilet used to say that, and he attributed the phrase to David.

 

Diffraction tests with the Nikon 105mm

Diffraction tests with the Nikon 105mm lens

 

I had done some diffraction tests previously when I reviewed the Nikon 105mm VR lens, but I hadn't tested the diffraction at 1:1 magnification, and I often use this lens at 1:1 when doing underwater photography. There were a couple reasons why I thought the results might be different, so I sat down and did some tests. Here are the results:

 

Diving with a new lens

Underwater Photography - trying out a new lens and creative techniques

 

Diving on the dive boat Giant Stride out of Marina rey dey for 3 dives, I thought to myself, macro, super-macro or wide-angle? Those are usually my only three choices, but today I decided for something out of the ordinary - mid-range!

 

I brought out my $100 nikon 18-55mm lens, large dome port, +2 hoya diopter, and my zoom ring from my tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens. The zoom ring was a little large for the 18-55mm lens, but after putting a little velcro on the lens, the zoom ring fit fairly well.

 

You can read my Nikon 18-55mm lens review.

 

A mid-range zoom lens gave me the perfect chance to try out some more creative underwater photography techniques. I used a dSLR camera, but many of these techniques like panning and slow shutter speed can work with a compact camera also.

 

blacksmith fish, panning technique

Blacksmith fish in motion. F11, 1/5th shutter speed

 

Shooting models in a pool

Cal Mero has written a great article on how to shoot models underwater in a swimming pool. He covers model selection, lighting, compositon, and many other helpful tips. His work is fantastic - check it out!

 

 

Read more here

 

Natural light compositions - near the surface

Compact and dSLR shooter's alike love to dive deep to capture photos. But next time you are in the water, swim to the surface. The surface of the water makes for some great photos.

 

Read the full article for many examples and techniques of shooting near the surface.

 

 

Read more of this article...

 

Fisheye Lenses vs. Wide-Angle Lens, such as the Sigma 15mm and Canon 8-15mm fisheye
By Scott Gietler

Fisheye Lens vs. Wide-Angle Lens

Fisheye Lenses vs. Wide-Angle Lens, such as the Sigma 15mm and Canon 8-15mm fisheye

 

 

What is a fisheye lens?

A fisheye lens is a special type of ultra-wide angle lens. They are small, ultra-wide, and show a distorted, spherical view of the world, most evident in the curved, outer corners of the photo.

Fisheye lenses happen to work very well underwater for a couple different reasons:

  • They focus very closely

  • There are few straight lines underwater

  • Using a very wide lens allows to get very close to your subjects, giving your photograph more sharpness, and better colors when lit with a strobe.

  • Behind a dome port, fisheye lenses perform better optically than regular wide-angle lenses.

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


By Scott Gietler

Focusing in Low Light Underwater

Focusing in Low Light Underwater

Focusing on light-colored subjects that blend into the water can be difficult, especially in low-light. Your camera needs light and contrast to focus properly.

 

schooling barracuda

Barracuda can be very hard to focus on. Shooting wide angle can make it easier.

 

Here's some tips to help you in this situation:

 

Read more of this article...

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


Understanding your underwater camera settings

Understanding your Underwater Camera Settings

 

I often see people asking about settings for their underwater camera. What settings for low light? What settings for wide-angle photography? Macro photography? Etc.

 

black and white underwater wreck photo

F5.6, 1/25th, ISO 250

 

People seem to like to memorize settings, and use them all the time. I can understand that, sometimes there's so many other things to worry about. Strobes, buoyancy, air, no deco time, finding subjects.

 

But I hope I can convince you to take a different route. Instead of memorizing settings, try to understand your settings. Then you can adjust to different scenarios.

 

Let's look at the big three, F-stops, Shutter speed, and ISO.

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