Underwater Imagery - More Than Snapping a Picture, Part 1

Why would you like to take pictures under water? What knowledge, experience and skills do you need? What equipment will you need? How do weather, waves and wind affect your results?

All of these are excellent questions that you need to consider. The answer to the first question for me is simple. Taking pictures allows me to share my experiences with family and friends. In hind-sight, keeping a daily log of dive sites, species viewed, etc. would have given me more than just pictures to share. So if you're just starting out, remember to keep your dive log too! If you're like me and stopped keeping a log, start on your next trip.

As for knowledge, skill, and experience needed, I'd say be sure you have general knowledge of your camera before taking it underwater. You will need to be a good diver, able to manage important skills such as buoyancy and air consumption. As a photographer, you will dive with and without a buddy so take care to always dive within your own limitations.

If you're new to diving thus new to underwater photography, yes, you will hold your breath. We do this to minimize movement, but honestly, I rarely realize I'm holding my breath while composing a photo. It just seems natural to do so. Besides, I don't want bubbles in my pictures!

You need to have the skills to avoid making dust - settling on the bottom and leaving it. There is usually another photographer behind you waiting so leave the subject as you found it. Buoyancy and fin kick skills are very important to ensure you leave a light footprint.

Get comfortable working with one hand for anything attached to your BCD because the other has a death grip on your camera. And, depending on your eyesight, you may need to have close-up lenses in the lower half of your mask in order to read the camera controls and settings and your dive computer.

Stay tuned for part 2.



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