How To Do Underwater Photography the Right Way?

“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface, and he is free.”

Have you ever wanted to be free and experience the immense enjoyment of the most fascinating but complex pastime i.e. Underwater Photography. This article seeks to demystify essential concepts behind Underwater Photography so that the most novice users can also hold the cameras and dive off.

  1. Type Of Camera

Get a camera that can work in a wet environment, and jump in to capture and conquer the wonders of the water world. You can use a disposable, reusable and even a digital underwater cameras. A compact camera capable of wide angle photography should be used.

 

  1. Learn To Hold Your Breath

The underwater photography gives a visual voice to the invisible but with the prospect of drowning. So, the first thing you should learn is to hold your breath underwater, or you can carry oxygen masks.

Ko Lanta, November 2010

  1. Best Place To Shoot

For the beginners, before attempting Underwater Photography in the ocean, where the water is unpredictable, try taking images in a pool.

Others can dive directly in oceans and explore the beauty of blue.

 

  1. Shoot On A Bright Day

The perfect time to shoot underwater is in the afternoon when sunlight travels intensely in the water. To spice your picture, try to do it on a sunny day. Shoot in 20 feet of water or less, with the sun behind you. You can also use a flashlight as artificial lighting to bring an extra bit of allure to your photographs.

 

  1. Clothing

If you’re shooting others in costume for a photo shoot or any other reason, make sure to wear light clothing. Do keep in mind that when clothes are wet, they make it harder to swim. The tighter the dress, the less resistance you’ll have to move freely underwater with your camera and thus you won’t be able to do right photography.

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  1. Practice!

Discuss your plan and have your subject practice first on land and then one or two times below water in a pool to make yourself practiced in the art. It’s less tiring for everyone who are into it, and who knows; if you can make your first shot a perfect shot, you’re already on your way to becoming a professional!

 

  1. Use Props And Bubbles

Bubbles will make your photograph look creative. You can use water guns, and if you’re feeling like experimenting, bringing Props underwater will make things even more surreal. For example, you can use a guitar, a chair, rope, or frankly anything you like, as long as it makes your photographs bring out the emotions that you want them to.

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  1. Preserve Your Equipment

Salt from sea water infiltrates in your Equipment. Soak equipment in fresh water for half an hour. Also, extract water that can stagnate around sensitive parts of your gear.

With these tips in mind, you’ll survive whatever challenges the water bodies throw your way.

 

How to Find the Best Camera for Your Photo Shoot?

Well, if you find your friend in his most quintessential costume and if he isn’t going to meet anyone, don’t be flabbergasted. Yes, he might have spent two hours just to get few of his pictures clicked on a DSLR (Digital single – lens reflex camera) for his Instagram and Facebook accounts. But your best clothes won’t alone get you that perfect photo shoot. A right camera is a big must. However, the criteria for selection of right camera may differ from person to person based on his/her requirement. So here are a few broad guidelines to find the best camera for your photo shoot.

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Need and Range

I have seen a lot of people spending hundreds of bucks on cameras, but they use them only once in a few months. In case the camera is to be used sparingly, a massive investment is not advisable as there are continuous improvements in technology and old ones get obsolete very quickly.

 

Megapixels DO NOT MATTER

You might have seen a lot of people running for megapixels when buying a camera, but, let’s face it, we know the camera of an iPhone is better than most of the other phones boasting similar technical specifications. Simply going for a number may not be relevant, as quality depends on a number of other factors as well.

 

Photo sharing

These days cameras come with wifi sharing and allow you to transfer images directly from camera to phone which saves you a lot of time. So, if you’re just looking for a casual photography session for your mini-portfolio, then seamless sharing is something you should acquire fast.

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DSLR or Non-DSLR?

Some people buy a DSLR when they don’t even need one. You need to decide carefully what the scope of your photoshoot is. Indeed, getting a DSLR is better especially if you are looking for quality and professionalism, but having said that, before you do invest your money, make sure you know every nook and corner of that expensive piece of equipment.

 

Mirror or Mirror-less

Two types of cameras have gained prominence these days: Mirrored and Mirror-less cameras. Mirror-less cameras are the latest technology, and many experts are betting their money on them, but still, some reputed professional photographers still use standard mirrored DSLRs. If you’d like to tweak with the latest technology, though, then Sony Alpha series and Canon M series are some of the best mirror-less cameras available.

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Lens

The most important thing in DSLR cameras is the lens. For personal shots you need a blurry background with focus on you, so a camera kit of 18-55 mm and 50 mm would be the best kit for someone who needs their best photos. 18-55 mm will show a broad view of maybe a monument or landscape as the background. Meanwhile, 50 mm f1.8 or f1.4 should give you the portrait shots with the blurry background you’re looking for!

If you’re looking to find the best camera for your photo shoots, there is no general rule. It is solely based on individual requirements and many other factors. So, make your pick!

 

 

6 SIMPLE MISTAKES EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER MAKES

Being able to capture a moment with precision and accuracy without altering too much of its natural appeal is an achievement in itself. Whether you are an amateur looking for personal gratification, or a professional seeking to impress clients, it is imperative for your clicks to be error-free. While you may be thinking yourself as good enough, check again. Here is a list of some basic mistakes which are regularly committed by photographers.

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  1. SWITCH YOUR FORMAT

Most of us are only aware of only two formats: JPG and JPEG. But for your benefit, use RAW as you will find a marked difference in image quality and a whole lot of options to be explored post-production. When you shoot in JPG format, the camera adjusts the features of saturation, white balance, sharpening, and contrast to compress the image. So, get yourself an external memory and get started.

 

  1. KNOW YOUR FOCUS

Getting the focus right is imperative to get a definite click. If you see your camera struggling with focus or focussing on the wrong object, chances are there that your focus mode is incorrect. So go back to basics. For still shots, you have AF-S mode, for ones in motion AF-C and AF-A is a kind of mixture of both. While the first two do their job well, use the last one when you are unsure of the tendencies of your object. For example, a bird perched on a branch or a solitary flower.  So select the right one according to your need.

 

  1. FLASH IS HERE TO HELP

Using the camera flash is easier said than done.  Without the know-how of using it, your experiment can turn into a disaster. To avoid it, use the camera flash especially while clicking indoors or in badly-lit places. Learn to control the level of light and the direction of light produced by the flash. Once you start getting the hang of this, you are sure to create some high-quality pictures.

 

  1. CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Changing your perspective is the easiest thing you can do to improve your photos. Often, photographers walk up straight and click from their own  ‘eye-level-perspective’ which does not do justice to your object. So go on your knees more often and compulsorily when clicking children or pets. Not only you would find your pictures fresh from your change of perspective, but also you can easily avoid a lot of unnecessary things in the background.

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  1. SUPERZOOM LENSES- A BIG NO-NO

While one may be tempted to buy these lenses due to the extensive range it provides (18-250mm!!), but sadly, it pushes image quality down the hill because it has to zoom through a ridiculous range. Instead, choose a 50mm lens over the super zoom lenses. A fixed one works well most of the time as it has only one job to do.

 

  1. KNOW YOUR THEME/SUBJECT

The last and the most important one. This one deals more with conceptual clarity. Clicking random photos with no subject or theme will lead you nowhere, nor will your passion and drive go through a high-point. Think about the emotions, ideas and thoughts which can be portrayed by your photo. Let your pictures tell the world a story, something you feel strongly about. For this, you need to merge both form and content. This will also bring consistency in your collections and lend substance to it. Who knows, you may end up creating a masterpiece in the process.

 

Ocean Brain – Corals of the Great Blue Hole

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While freediving in the Great Blue Hole in Belize I saw this unusual coral formation made of tube coral and brain coral, home of a little trunk fish and his friends. Brain corals are living creatures that grow up to 6 foot high and live as long as 900 years, but unfortunately they are now dying off at an increasing rate: in the Caribbean ocean, over 75% of the corals already disappeared, 10% of them listed as critically endangered.

The Monofin Freediver – Official Top

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Monofin freediver holding his breath and swimming underwater to compete in the AIDA category of “Dynamic With Fins” (DYN) at the 2nd Great Camberwell Breath Hold Freediving Competition held in London on 31 May 2009. Using a monofin is very popular in freediving competitions as it produces much greater thrust than bi-fins. He also uses a purpose-made neck-weight to compensate for the buoyancy of his lungs packed with oxygen.