How close are we to underwater housings

Underwater Photography: 5 Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Reading time: 9 minutes

Have you ever tried underwater photography? If the vacation planning has not completely fallen into the water this year, it may be time on vacation to leave the familiar elements, to get involved in something completely different and to take the camera with you underwater. Fascinating images can be created both in the sea and in the pool. We'll tell you how to take great underwater pictures in these 5 underwater photo tips.

1. The equipment

Of course, you can't go straight into the water with every camera and shoot wildly. But it's not that expensive and complicated. You don't necessarily need an underwater camera to take underwater photos. A existing camera is often completely sufficient and can be made suitable for underwater relatively easily:

  • If you already have a compact camera: Get yourself a suitable underwater housing. Some of these are available from the camera manufacturers to match the model, or from third-party manufacturers for different models.
  • If you have an SLR camera: There is also for this Underwater housing - However, these are more expensive and of course a lot more unwieldy than those for the compact cameras.
    Of course, there is also the option of buying an underwater camera directly. However, this is only recommended if you only want to take photos underwater with it. These types of cameras are cheap, but not suitable for any other purpose. A middle ground is an outdoor camera. However, this is then a price class higher.
    You can of course spend a lot of money on underwater photo equipment if you want. For professionals there are specialized devices of all kinds, from underwater housings for great depths to flash devices with special frames and special cameras. However, we limit ourselves to a few tips for beginners.

When buying a housing, it is important to make sure that it is suitable for the desired water depth. For starters, a plastic case should definitely be sufficient for a depth of up to 10 meters. To the Snorkeling there are also lighter cases for up to 3 meters deep.

2. The right camera for UW photography

Even if you are one SLR camera owns, you might think twice about taking her into the underwater “dangers”. A compact camera offers great advantages, of course, as it is much easier to handle.

But you may have problems with the Shutter release delay (which means that the picture is only taken a few moments later after you press the shutter release button) - since everything is constantly in motion underwater. This can cause a good subject to be lost.

With the SLR camera, on the other hand, you have a problem if it does not have a live view function in which the current image section is shown on the display, which is the standard with compact cameras. This is much more practical underwater than having to look through a viewfinder.

A system camera also has Interchangeable lenses, but is often smaller and therefore more manageable than a SLR camera. Here you will also find special models for underwater photography, which are well suited for the special conditions for an additional charge.

SLR cameras offer the option of changing the lens. For the user, however, this also has the disadvantage of having to decide whether to take close-up or wide-angle shots before diving. In return, you will have great results afterwards, which can be achieved by taking pictures in the RAW format can be further improved. Here you are a little more limited in post-processing with the compact.

Also what the Focal length As far as is concerned, the compact ones often have a disadvantage: For underwater shots it is advisable to use a wide-angle lens, since the water itself acts like a natural magnifying glass and everything looks a little "closer". Compact cameras often have a more powerful zoom and a longer focal length. For underwater photography, however, a smaller focal length such as 28 mm is more advantageous.

If you are particularly interested in Video recordings under water Interested, you should perhaps consider getting a compact and easy-to-use one Action camera think.

3. Light situation under water

The lighting conditions for underwater photography are naturally difficult. When the sun's rays hit the surface of the water at an angle, they are largely reflected, so that hardly any light arrives at greater depths. So the best time for a photographic dive is this Lunchtime around noon, if the Sun is perpendicular and the light is strongest. Then the underwater world presents itself from its best side and you have a much better view into the depths.

For successful underwater photography it is always advisable to have a lightning to use. Unfortunately, the built-in flash units in digital cameras are relatively weak and do not manage to illuminate an entire scene well. However, they can be of some help for close objects less than a meter away. In general then: get as close as possible without touching anything, of course! Corals can be destroyed by the slightest touch.

If you have a SLR camera and want to work professionally with it, you should get one external flash use. However, all of this does not mean that photos without flash will not work at all - these pictures made with “available light” are usually particularly beautiful if they are successful. Just try out what is possible in the area you are diving in and test different camera settings.

Before diving, it can be helpful to double-check that the flash and camera batteries are charged so that everything works when the time comes.

4. Behavior under water

Don't wait forever for the perfect subject. Roughly find the scene you want to photograph and trigger. In the cool water, you don't have much time to choose a particular section of the picture. The Burst function can help catch the perfect moment. This function can be found on most cameras.

If you want to photograph shy underwater creatures, avoid hectic movements and be as calm as possible.

5. Post processing

With small adjustments in one Image editing program you can upgrade your recordings from the water. First determine the Image detailwhich is easier to determine in the finished picture than in the hectic situation under water. Take the Golden ratio to help and enlarge or move your picture accordingly to achieve an even stronger effect. In our article on the subject of image composition in photography, we give you further tips for a successful image composition.

Water absorbs colors. First the red tones disappear and photos have a strong bluish cast. At a greater depth you can no longer find yellow and orange. A Correcting the white balance and a correction of the color temperature to warmer colors can compensate for the strong blue thanks to the software. By changing Brightness and contrast you can also compensate for the fact that photos often look a bit dull underwater.

Put underwater photos right in the limelight

Of course, the most beautiful shots of your underwater photography are of no use if nobody can see them. Therefore we recommend you the best pictures on Pixum murals to perpetuate. So you always have the spectacular photos of your trip with you. You get a particularly high-quality result with bright colors with the Pixum gallery print. Also a beautifully designed illustrated book in one Pixum photo book can give your photos the right frame.

To the Pixum website