For many of us, we’re down to the last days of summer. If you’re searching for last-minute photo shoot ideas before this warm weather season comes to a close, you can’t go wrong with capturing all the action under the deep blue sea. Underwater photography requires a fair bit of planning, so we have put together a list of things you need to consider when planning such a shoot. These will also be helpful if you want to photograph marine life using natural light.
Up close and personal
Almost every underwater picture is taken from within touching distance of the subject. This means you need to be able to maneuverer around a subject and in a way that doesn’t scare it away. If you’re thrashing about or racing around, you’re only ever going to see the tails of marine life. If you’re calm and at one with the environment you’ll be able to experience great encounters with marine life, and that’s what gives you the good underwater pictures.
Shoot at different angles
Moving one or two inches to the left, right, up, or down can make the difference between a really good underwater picture and a mediocre shot. Most of all, don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun doing it.
No top down photos
The most common mistake when you first get an underwater photography camera like the Sony Cyber-Shot RXO in your hands, is photographing everything from the top. Yes, this is the way you see it but it makes the image seem very flat. Another side effect is that the background makes the image very messy, especially when your shooting in an exotic location with loads of coral.
Compose your image
This tip is all about how you frame your image. First thing to keep in mind is that there are no rules. You can compose your underwater ocean pictures just the way you want. Things like the rule of thirds, golden spiral and the golden triangle are mere guidelines. A lot of times the best underwater ocean pictures break these rules. Nonetheless these rules do make for a more compelling image.
Wide-Angle Composition Basics
Try for a strong foreground and a strong background in your underwater ocean pictures. When shooting the foreground with your underwater photography camera like the Nikon COOLPIX W300 from Beachcamera.com, get close, shoot up, and light properly. Try to get within 2ft of the foreground subject while using as wide a lens as possible. When choosing the background of your underwater pictures, wait for a school of fish, have a diver swim by, or have a colorful reef, kelp forest, or wreck in the background.
Shooting low, keep the subject in focus, and have a colored, black, or camouflaged background. The foreground in your underwater pictures should be sharp. Having proper separation between the foreground and background will make the difference between a good underwater picture and an excellent image. Having a black or blue background is an excellent way to isolate your subject. Keep the shot as simple as possible, without distractions in the photo. A distracting background can ruin a macro image.
Shoot in Portrait
Taking some underwater photography of family and friends this summer? You should shoot in portrait mode as much as you can with your underwater photography camera from Beachcamera.com. Try keeping both eyes of your model visible in the photos and in focus. Taking underwater ocean pictures? The walls of a reef are a great place to start taking portrait shots.
Shooting underwater or doing under/over shots is very difficult even for an experienced topside photographer. It requires a lot of planning, practice and some luck, but it’s extremely rewarding when it goes well. Use these tips when experimenting with your own underwater shots.