Tuesday, May 13, 2014
The Underwater Landscape
Dive into underwater photography with an interchangeable-lens camera and housing
Underwater photography may be the most specialized form of nature photography there is. It's gear-intensive, you're working in an environment where humans aren't supposed to be able to survive, and it requires being closer to the subject than anything on land other than macro work. Like many people, I was drawn to underwater photography by my love of the ocean and an attraction to the incredible colors in underwater photos I had seen. In 2006, thanks to PADI, I had an opportunity to become a certified scuba diver and to take the PADI Digital Underwater Photography course. That experience changed my life.
More than any other aspect of nature photography, digital cameras have enabled would-be underwater shooters to shorten the basic learning curve. Within a week of taking my first underwater photo (which essentially was an underexposed, blurry gray-green mess), I was shooting sharp, well-exposed, colorful and rewarding images. That's extraordinary. I had the technical basics sorted out, which freed me to embark on the much more rewarding adventure of looking for compelling images, watching animal behavior and finding underwater scenics.
Fundamentals Of Underwater Shooting
Get Close. More than any other form of nature photography, it's important to get close to the subject when you're shooting underwater. It's a challenge, to be sure. You're dealing with surge and current, and you're trying not to touch anything—and this is all while controlling your breathing and paying attention to the fact that you're underwater! With all of that to think about, getting close isn't easy, but it's essential to making compelling photos.
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