View Full Version : Thinking about trying underwater photography?

10-14-2015, 14:06

Instead of being a mere underwater observer, do you want to become a hunter? (No, not the kind that shoots to kill).
Wouldn’t it be awesome to capture some of those amazing sites you see while diving so you can share with others, as well as meander down a memory lane of your most memorable dives? And yes, you could now prove to your obnoxious brother-in-law that you really did see a <insert amazing critter>.
Before we get into underwater photography equipment details, we’re going to talk about some basics.
Underwater Photography – Consider This Firsthttp://blog.scubatoys.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/nudibranch-underwater-photography-300x239.png (http://blog.scubatoys.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/nudibranch-underwater-photography.png)Be realistic about your diving skills: Before you hop overboard with an expensive piece(s) of photography equipment, you must master your basic diving skills.
Buoyancy control is crucial to successful underwater photography because without it, you may crash into fragile coral, as well as scare away your subjects.
You also need to be able to shoot looking up, therefore you might need to swim “upside down” without losing track of how close you are to the bottom.
Your dive buddy: First, if you’re focused on getting great shots, you’re not going to be a very attentive dive buddy. Depending on your dive buddy’s experience and comfort, this could become a problem. You may be so distracted, you miss the fact that you’re running low on air — or that your buddy is in trouble. Either scenario puts you both into a risky situation.
Second, you may linger in one area for several minutes trying to get that perfect shot, while your dive buddy gets bored and wants to move on. You may end up separated. While this doesn’t mean you need a new dive buddy, you just need to discuss concerns ahead of time.
Now Let’s Talk about Underwater Photography BasicsBefore you go buy a camera, it’s a good idea to learn some of the terminology and basic features.
Some common concepts:

DSLR vs. point & shoot cameras: Point & shoot cameras are exactly that — you don’t need a lot of skills or have to know how to make manual adjustments. This is a great way to get into underwater photography as they are less expensive and require fewer accessories.If you’re serious about underwater photography, then you will want a DSLR camera with options to add lenses, strobes, etc.

Underwater housing / casing: This is the case that protects your camera, essentially making it 100% waterproof. Some cameras don’t need them, but most of the higher end ones will. If you already own a digital camera you use on land, check to see if you can purchase a housing for it.

Strobe or flash: These provide full spectrum light, either built-into the camera or as an accessory piece — and are essential for underwater photography since ambient light (natural light from the sun) is rarely bright enough.

Lens – macro and wide-angle: These are additional lenses you can add to DSLR cameras. Macro lenses are used on tiny subjects, think seahorse or nudibranch. Wide-angle are used on large subjects, think wrecks, reefs or whale sharks.

Video: Many cameras can also shoot high-definition video, eliminating the need for a separate video camera. However, just like most other things, if you’re serious about video, you’ll need to invest in the higher-end, more expensive video equipment.

So What Kind of Camera Should I Buy?It depends.
First, you have to consider if you just want to take some great underwater stills and video without investing a lot of money and time into learning how to use complicated equipment. Point & shoot cameras may be your best bet since they are less expensive, simpler, smaller and lighter weight. Look for a package that includes housing, such as this Nikon Coolpix L30 (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=NikonL22DigitalCamera) or this waterproof Sealife DCI1400 that requires no separate housing (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=SealifeDC1400Camera). (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=SealifeDC1400Camera)
If you’re interested in video but don’t have the time or budget for a full feature video camera, check out this GoPro HERO4, available here as a package that includes lights, mounts, arms and filters (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?product_id=GoProSolaPackage).
If you have the budget and the time, you may want to consider a DSLR camera. They offer interchangeable lenses, better sensors, more accessories and generally take higher quality photos and videos. The tradeoffs are higher cost, more complex to use, bulkier and heavier.
Consider taking an underwater photography course!The best and fastest way to get underwater photography basics down is by taking a course. Sometimes these are offered as a stand-alone seminar or as part of earning an Advanced Open Water certification.
If you live in the Dallas area, Scuba Toys offers underwater photography instruction. Call us at 972-820-7667 or (http://www.scubatoys.com/)visit us online (http://www.scubatoys.com/). (http://www.scubatoys.com/) We also carry a large line of underwater photography equipment and can help you find the right camera setup for you.

11-14-2015, 01:47
Wow... It's great idea can anyone tell which is the best camera for taking underwater photography ?

11-14-2015, 11:45
Which is the best camera? I think Joey summed it up pretty well:

So What Kind of Camera Should I Buy?

It depends.

Getting proper training (or just reading more online articles) would help you figure out what works for you. I know that some of the better equipment costs more. The less the equipment costs the better a photographer you need to be. I look at how much money can IO afford to spend, buy what I can afford then practice with it until I get better.

Zeagle Eagle
11-16-2015, 16:10
It doesn't matter as long as you dive with splits.:smilie40:

11-16-2015, 21:30
It doesn't matter as long as you dive with splits.:smilie40:

Naughty, naughty diver. :)

11-16-2015, 23:48
Naughty, naughty diver. :)

Yeah! Everyone knows Good divers use vented! :smiley36: :smilie40:

11-17-2015, 00:54
Out of curiosity, how many of you would take an underwater photography course at Scubatoys? What do you think is a fair price for one if you did?

11-17-2015, 22:20
I think that if you guys hosted a workshop taught by one of the big names in underwater photography, that was tied to a trip with that person...frink!..(excuse me, I sneezed while typing), that people would want to be involved with that.

11-18-2015, 12:22
I think that if you guys hosted a workshop taught by one of the big names in underwater photography, that was tied to a trip with that person...frink!..(excuse me, I sneezed while typing), that people would want to be involved with that.

Interesting point--who do you think should be on a list of names that should be considered? There has to be more than just one, right?

11-18-2015, 12:23
You know, something like the beautiful bahamian waters. You might need two boats for all of the people.

SEMO Scuba
11-18-2015, 12:57
I think a general photography class tied to a underwater photo class would be more helpful. Most people that take good underwater photos understand aperture, shutter, and ISO settings. You likely will take mediocre to poor quality photos underwater if you do not understand what to chose in those settings, and shoot in either manual mode or shutter priority mode. Shooting in manual mode or shutter priority are probably the only way you will get very good pictures on a consistent basis. A strobe is necessary for good color, unless you are shooting in shallow water with a good amount of ambient light. A strobe will allow you to use fast enough shutter speeds to avoid blurry photos.

If you shoot in Auto mode the camera is going to choose a wide aperture, a slow shutter speed, and a high ISO. The wide aperture will result in a shallow depth of field which is good sometimes. The high ISO will equate to grainy lower quality photos, which may not matter much if you do not print your pictures. A slow shutter speed will create blurry, out of focus pictures. A blurry photo is not very appealing regardless of other content.

A point & shoot or DSLR can both produce good quality photos with the correct settings, and either a strobe or good ambient light.

11-18-2015, 18:02
Maybe Ned Deloach or Adriana Basques.

04-09-2016, 06:50
It doesn't matter as long as you dive with splits.:smilie40:

ia :smiley20: