Underwater Photography

Credit: Blane Perun

Photography Tips

Photography is a passion of my and shooting underwater is an extension of everything I enjoy about photography. Here are some of my best shots after post, organized by trip. Early on I was technically limited by my gear and rig, and the photos indicate the challenges. As time proceeded not only did I improve in diving and underwater photography but technology evolved at a pretty rapid pace. Gear, like all else electronic become cheaper, smaller, and faster in time. Even the most expensive rigs a decade back could not rival a 4k GoPro 4 today.

Looking back and the past ten years, I’d have to rate diving skills as a large factor in getting a good shot. Diving really has to be second nature to you, it’s hard enough to get good composition, and lighting underwater if you have to tinker with your BC or mix your going to loose a shot. I tend to dive heavy when I’m shooting so I can descend without discharging my BC all the way. I don’t mind a bit of extra work to hover in one spot.

One thing I enjoy is swimming around and lining up a good seascape, I’ll take photos from different angles and feel out the best natural light. Once I’m set I’ll sit still and wait for some interesting sea life to enter the scene and shoot on burst mode. I’ll light the fore and mid ground with two different lights, anchoring with my hand or setting my rig on a rock. I try to point the lights and something a bit reflective out of the scene to create an ambient light effect.

Always shoot in raw if your camera is quick enough, you have much more room in post and this leaves the door open for a simulated macro shot. I have a great time working in post seeing how far I can push my images. I have not found an underwater process or filter that can flat out beat a properly lit scene though.

Whale in Ocean