A guide to beginners in underwater photography

par Matt Smith  -  27 Octobre 2015, 18:39  -  #underwater, #photography, #photo, #guide, #beginner, #infographic

"Today I pass it over to Matt Smith who gives advises to increase your underwater photography skills through a very nice infographic. Even if these steps are a very good basis for beginners, I think that they are also really interesting for more advanced photographers" - Arnaud

A Beginner's Dive into Underwater Photography

Snapping pictures underwater is anything but simple. And for beginners, underwater photography can be a daunting challenge.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Like all artforms, underwater photography contains several foundational principles, particularly related to lighting and composition. If you’re serious about getting into this field, follow us as we explore some of the primary cameras, accessories and techniques used.

Underwater Photography Infographic: Techniques & Tools

Water Welders provided this infographic on underwater photography for new learners. The infographic doesn’t need much explanation, as each section contains descriptions. But we do want to underscore several areas of importance.

In general, underwater photographers can choose from three types of cameras for their work: Mobile, compact or digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. Each has its own set of pros and cons. Though mobile devices are the easiest to use, their flash is fixed and zooming is limited. Compact cameras present a mixed bag of options with a mid-level price. DSLR cameras give underwater photographers the most control over their photos, but their bulkiness and high cost may turn off those who are just starting out in this field.

Water gives you free reign to swim in every direction. Take advantage of your marine environment by taking pictures of your subjects from a multitude of angles. Use the natural light to brighten your objects of focus whenever possible.

If you have no sunlight, strobes give you the next best thing. These lighting fixtures can be positioned in multiple directions, giving you proper levels of diffusion and strength for your pictures of marine life. Their cost may deter you, but it’s an investment well worth it if you have the budget.

The closer you can come to your subjects, the more detail and personality you can capture. Less than 12 inches is optimum. Be mindful of your subjects’ behavior and observe from afar before closing in. Also: never, ever touch.

Underwater backscatter is the enemy of an otherwise quality photograph. Reduce the noise of small particles in your pictures by utilizing your flash and getting close to your subjects. Editing will only take away so much.


Make mistakes. Underwater photography is a learning experience that nobody gets the first - or the thousandth - time. Strengthen your style by practicing in different water at various depths. And if you want to make a career out of underwater photography, work with experienced media divers. Take a workshop and plan some dives with these professionals. They’ll take your skill to the next level.

A guide to beginners in underwater photography
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