To most divers finding out how difficult shooting good photos is for an underwater photographer comes as a surprise. We have all seen smashing photos in ads, magazines, books or perhaps on television. After your first dive with a camera in front of your mask you hurry to the photo store eager to have your photos developed.
A New Beginning
A Skilled Diver
The first thing you need to concentrate on when you want to shoot good underwater photos is yourself. For a diver it is extremely important to be able to relax underwater and being properly balanced is just as important. If buoyancy causes you difficulties shooting close-ups of, for instance, tiny fish in motion will prove very difficult. For this reason, practicing your diving skills before you start taking underwater photos really pays off. If you find controlling your movements difficult you will raise tiny particles from the ocean bed, this will ruin an otherwise perfect shot.
Not all organisms in the sea are fond of bubbles. This shrimp, shot in the Barents Sea, would not have remained still for long if Casper had breathed out through his regulator.
In general, having a little bit of negative buoyancy can be recommended for shooting underwater close-ups. Having “negative buoyancy” will enable you to float calmly in the sea when your lungs are filled with air and sink slowly when you empty them. If at all possible, settling your knees into the sandy sea bed and letting out the air of your BCD vest will enable you to hold your body reasonably motionless.
You may be interested in reading more about the equipment we use for underwater photography.
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