Underwater photography is growing every year, those who go diving wish to bring the diving world visible to those who do not dive. We have always been fascinated with the oceans and bays of the world as an unknown world. Bringing vacation pictures home to your friends or selling them as professionals has been a time honored tradition and now we can bring the underwater world home through the use of digital photography.
There are many types of underwater cameras. You have the highly expensive professional cameras and the one time slightly effective versions. Knowing which camera will work for you is very important. Part of finding the right camera may lie with in the housing you wish to purchase. Underwater photography requires you to protect your camera from the harmful affects of water so you will have to purchase housing with seals to eliminate the water. The housing you find may fit the camera you have. In fact, most companies will sell the housing for the cameras you have. If you find you, need a better camera for the underwater world you will need to look at packages. These packages will include the housing.
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Let us look at the 35mm cameras. Most of these cameras are just point and shoot. If they were meant for underwater chances are they have at least a mild filter to correct for the lack of color underwater. These cameras will not filter out the particles you find floating along in the water on a poor visible day. Usually they are limited to less than 100 feet. I would not use this type for anything below 80 feet. You would not want to loose pictures because the housing failed under pressure. While this is not common, it is a concern for most photographers.
The more professional cameras are larger with a huge lens to let light in as well as have filters to help bring clarity to any photograph. Typically, these cameras require you to have a deep-set hobby in underwater photography, as the expense is high. Digital cameras are the best way to take underwater photographs because you can make sure you have the desired affects before leaving the seen. Of course, most underwater life will not hang around for a second shot, but coral reefs and the animals that inhabit them may remain.
Most underwater cameras will also have a flash. It is best to take an underwater photography course before delving to far in your hobby. Sometimes the flash will help you with the photographs, but other times it will wash the subject out and ruin the print. You can also use underwater cameras when you are snorkeling. Some flashes are built in to the camera while others are external. The external flashes can be a stick with a little light bulb on top.
When storing your underwater camera and flash you usually want to store them without the batteries as the batteries can die quickly. This is mostly for the cameras that use double AA batteries. Underwater photography is a great world to take home with you especially if you are on a dive vacation. Underwater photography requires a few more skills than regular photography due to the lighting conditions, but once you understand them you will be bring home great pictures every time.
Underwater photography brings the underwater world to the surface. Some wonder wheat swimming in the ocean is like, but the don’t wish to learn how to dive. Underwater photographers have taken it upon themselves to bring the underwater world to those who don’t wish to dive or never had the chance. While all photography is an art the underwater world needs special skills to bring the highest quality alive.
Unlike wildlife photography the underwater world needs to be viewed up close. That is to say the marine life needs to be photographed closely. This is because of the water. The water refracts images often distorting them so the closer you are to your subject the less water you have between you an the subject. Underwater photography requires a great deal of patience. You subject may swim quickly by like the shark, whale or dolphin, or they may hide with in the coral popping out only when danger is not felt. Water holds particles, most usually living organisms called plankton because these particles often float by while you are trying to take a picture you can loose contrast and sharpness of the image.
Marine life uses the premise of hiding more than speed or survival of the fittest. This means you will often find your subject camouflaged rather than out in the open. You have to seek your subject with determination, without startling the subject. The underwater world demands respect. You don’t want to touch the living organisms and therefore you must learn to move with the current while trying to attain the perfect shot. A lot of marine life will die if you touch it, especially coral so having a hobby of underwater photography requires you to follow the rules, a code of ethics.
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Underwater flash or more typically called a strobe can help you gain the light you need to take a perfect photo. It is essential to have a flash with an underwater camera. It will help you bring other colors rather than red and orange into the picture. The strobe only needs to be medium sized, any larger and it can hinder your photo taking experience.
Composition is also very important. You will follow the same rule you did in regular photography; however, you still need to have an upward angle on the subject. This goes back to the camouflage technique of most marine species. They tend to melt into their hideouts or in some cases; their bodies are designed to hide in the water when swimming like sharks. When you are trying to get a clear shot when the subject blends into the background can be difficult and creates a challenge.
When dealing with underwater photography as a hobby you will need to hone your photography skills on land first. Once you take great pictures on land you can move into the harder version of the underwater world, where some rules you’ve used no longer apply and attaining the best picture takes patience as well as skill. Underwater photography brings the marine life to the surface alleviating some of the unknown. If you find you are just starting to have an interest in underwater photography you will want to seek a professional underwater photography class to teach you some of the important techniques as well as practice.