tips 004

Basic Underwater Photography Tips

These are the “traditional” underwater photography tips everyone should know.

  • Move closer to your subject – preferably within 12 inches. Water reduces color, contrast and sharpness.
  • Make sure your camera flash, preferably within “Forced Flash mode.”
  • For best composition – get low, shoot diagonally upwards, not center the subject, try your frame with the subject to fill. Do not shoot “down” on the subject.
  • Make sure the subject’s eyes are in focus.
  • Get your diving skills before you start a camera underwater.
  • Top exercise with your camera inside the housing. Try close-ups of flowers and household items.
  • To minimize backscatter, buy an external flash / strobe and position it away from your underwater housing.
  • Places to start your camera to its highest resolution, the lowest ISO.
  • Use automatic white balance when using a flash / strobe and custom white balance or underwater mode when not using a flash.
  • Learn how to use the manual mode or aperture priority mode if your camera has it, so you can control the balance between the natural light and the light from your flash.
  • When you shoot with natural light to shoot in 20ft of water or less, with the sun at your back.
  • For fastest focus, use spot focus mode. Learn how an area without a photo (press the shutter button halfway) to focus and recompose.
  • If your underwater photos, not keen to see what shutter speed is used, it should. Must be 1/30th of still objects, 1/60th for slow moving objects and 1/125th of faster faster moving fish
  • Most underwater photos can increase the contrast, when post-processing your photos – but do not overdo it.