I see you’ve gotten tired of exploring and capturing life on land and wish to venture into a new one. Why would you really want to go underwater to take pictures? Trying to make everything harder? Just kidding. Underwater Photography can actually be very exciting given the fact that you can swim and you’re not afraid of underwater wildlife or worst case scenarios a shark. At first, I was super timid because of the unknown but after a few visits and doing some research on the areas I had an interest in exploring it became a stroll in the park like shooting portraits but make no mistake it’s definitely not the same.
My only warning before you begin is that it may inspire you to invest thousands of dollar in camera equipment, wanting to try and explore new things and that’s completely fine but putting your DSLR or mirror camera won’t be exactly cheap especially if you don’t get the right equipment and it ends up failing you while down there. You actually might not have even to have to purchase underwater equipment for your DSLR if you have a GoPro or one for the newest compact cameras. They may not provide the freedom of changing the lens and all the fancy things your DSLR can do, but I kid you not it gets the job done perfectly.
There are more than a few steps to take before you can become an Underwater Photographer, entirely different from picking up a camera and watching a few Youtube Videos and then diving into the water. The first thing on your to-do list is to receive some training on diving. This is completely for your safety, so you know how to act and react when down there due to its unpredictability. You must be able to help yourself if anything unfortunate happens.
The next step is to acquire the gear. Now, this might send you into a downward spiral of depression like it did to me. Just kidding. However, this is where it gets a bit pricey for your DSLR. Keeping your Camera safe comes with a bit of a hefty price depending on the Camera of course. If you’re the owner of the newly popular Sony A7 and looking to acquire diving gear for your camera, then be prepared to spend just about between $1500 – $3000 just for your camera housing. However, if you’re a Canon user like myself, then you should be looking at about a similar price or a bit more by a few hundred. Before you run and put that dent in your pocket, however, I’d advise you to first invest in a point and shoot or compact camera before graduating to putting your DSLR in the water. This will be a more inexpensive option along with the fact that if you’re a beginner to underwater photography, then you want to start with the basics and work your way up. This doesn’t undermine your skills in using a DSLR camera but it’s rather to ensure getting the right practice and so you don’t dive into something you were not prepared for. When buying your point and shoot or compact camera
Before you run and put that dent in your pocket, however, I’d advise you to first invest in a point and shoot or compact camera before graduating to putting your DSLR in the water. This will be a more inexpensive option along with the fact that if you’re a beginner to underwater photography, then you want to start with the basics and work your way up. This doesn’t undermine your skills in using a DSLR camera but it’s rather to ensure getting the right practice and so you don’t dive into something you were not prepared for. When buying your point and shoot or compact camera (GoPro), you should also research if they carry underwater housings for that model. I know it might seem like it’s too much but trust me the rewards are worth the investment.
When you get your underwater casing for the camera of your choice, there are still a few things to do just before you dive into the water. Seems like a long process right? I promise it you’re almost ready to get your feet and camera wet. To assure the safety of your camera, it’s recommended that you first clean then test the casing without the camera. Would be a shame to spend money on a new point and shoot camera then it’s destroyed on the first try right? Your casing will have a removable seal.
It is important that you remove that seal to clean and lubricate it each time before you head into the water. This is important because most if not all the seals are rubber and after being in salt water if not lubricated over a period they tend to dry and get cracks. These cracks will eventually allow water to enter the casing of you camera ultimately destroying it. Do this before and after every dive to keep your camera safe along with giving it a freshwater test to see if there any air bubbles coming up. If you see a consistent flow of air bubbles originating from your casing, then it should be rechecked, or it may be defective. If everything goes well, then you’re all set and ready to put your compact camera in and head to your nearest beach.
Before diving in be sure to hold your camera high above your head, so it’s not damaged on impact. This also helps in getting you and your camera in the right position to compose a few shots. When shooting underwater, it’s best to get on the same level as your subject whether it be a rock or fish, shooting from an angle pointing down tends to make your picture look flat and also may cause complications when focusing. Also, it’s never a good Idea to chase the fishes when you see them because they tend just to swim away and your chase may go on for your whole time down there. It’s best to observe and wait then capture them in their natural habitat, those are often the best shots.
I hope these tips have helped you in exploring a new world of Underwater Photography until next time be safe to have fun swimming with the fishes!