Tips on How to Photograph Partial Underwater Images


























Underwater Photography

Dicapac Waterproof Case

Last year I purchased a Dicapac Waterproof Case ($119), a cost-efficient way to provide un underwater housing case for my SLR. Admittedly, I’ve never had the guts to fully submerge my Nikon D700 and lens under the water, but I’m willing to partially submerge it with the Dicapac.

I’ve learned a few things about underwater photography. For starters, IT’S DIFFICULT!

Sun glare, bulky casing, focusing, getting the lens positioned correctly are a few of the difficulties. Additionally, I typically like to see what I’m photographing, which means that I need to partially submerge my head under water! In fact, while photographing a destination wedding in Mexico last spring, I decided to try this technique for the first time ever, in the ocean. One thing to be aware of in the ocean… there are waves!

AND I GOT VERY WET AS I WAS HIT BY A SERIES OF WAVES! Thankfully the wedding party just saw me as being “hardcore,” and didn’t seem to mind the soaking wet photographer taking photos.

10 tips for photographers attempting to get underwater shots:

  • Give yourself plenty of time. Underwater photography set up takes longer than your typical photoshoot.
  • Figure out your exposure and focusing first, before placing the camera in the bag (It can be very difficult to move the dials when your camera is in the bag).
  • Be prepared to get wet, and then possibly cold (bring an extra set of clothes with you!)
  • Wear shoes that you can easily slip off or bring water shoes with you.
  • Consider having something to pad your knees with if you plan on kneeling on rocks.
  • Be aware of the underwater casing fogging up. You may need to submerge it in water before resuming shooting if the glass starts to fog up.
  • Watch the camera strap as you place it in the  waterproof housing. Sometimes it gets in the way of the display screen making it difficult to see if you shots are exposing correctly.
  • Know that your shots will not be as sharp. You are, after all, photographing through a cheap piece of glass. If you want to get sharp images, expect to pay a few thousand dollars for an underwater housing.
  • Be patient!
  • And most importantly, test your casing by submerging it in water with a roll of toilet paper to make sure that there are no leaks! Better to have wet toilet paper than a wet camera!

Partial underwater photography can provide a neat perspective, but it involves a bit of trial and error. I’m always open to any new tips, so feel free to leave any comments below on your experience with underwater photography!

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