The pursuit of the perfect underwater shot is a thrilling and often challenging endeavor. While taking amazing photos below the surface takes time, practice, and luck, these tips on underwater photography for beginners will help you start out.
Get as close as possible
When taking underwater photos, safety should always be the top priority for you and the creatures you’re photographing. As such, you should never put yourself in a dangerous situation to get the perfect shot. However, since water will reduce the contrast, color, and sharpness of your photo, you should aim to get as close as possible to your subjects without getting in harm’s way.
Marine life almost always behaves unpredictably. When photographing creatures of the deep, you may have to wait around for hours before the perfect shot presents itself. As such, patience is one of the most important characteristics of a good underwater photographer.
Stay close to the surface
Because water absorbs light, getting well-lit images can be difficult. As you go deeper, blue tones will likely overwhelm the shots, which then may lose their natural coloring and appear under-exposed. By staying close to the surface, sunlight will shine through the water which makes it easier to get a quality shot with vibrant colors.
Use a strobe
Another way to combat the poor lighting issue when taking underwater photos is to use a strobe. This piece of equipment works as a powerful flash feature to light the foreground of your shot. If you want to take pictures farther below the surface, in murky water, or at night, a strobe is typically necessary to get a decently-lit photo.
Make yourself comfortable
If you aren’t comfortable in the water, getting a good shot is going to be challenging. Before embarking on a dive, work on maneuvering yourself around while holding the camera equipment. You can do this by practicing in a pool, shallow water, or by diving with an empty camera housing. Since taking pictures can distract you from practicing proper diving protocol, make sure that you have an adequate amount of diving experience before attempting an underwater shoot.
To help you capture breathtaking underwater photos, the snorkeling tours at Cala Mia Island Resort will guide you through a variety of dive sites in the Gulf of Chiriquí. Home to 19 beautiful coral reefs, the Gulf provides the perfect backdrop for your shot. You can book your snorkeling tour at our Panama island resort today.