View Full Version : Newbie here

10-23-2007, 19:11
I love regular photography and have a Canon Digital RebelXT. I picked up a Digital Elph with an underwater housing. As you'd expect, the pictures are pretty close to plain sucking.

I'm really hoping to pick up a setup for some better shots and practice. Hopefully I'll eventually have some shots that I can print out, frame and hang on the wall.

Any pointers or suggestions for a newbie?

10-23-2007, 19:20
Hello and welcome to the forums. There are quite a few here that take some amazing photos and I'm sure they would be more than happy to help ya out. Post your questions and search the Underwater Photo Threads.

10-24-2007, 13:04
Here are just some basic pointers that might help.

1. With your current set-up, you need to get very close to your subject (no more than 3 to 4 feet away). This is for two reasons. A. To minimize the number of particles between you and your subject. B. The flash that's built into your camera is pretty weak and won't carry more than 3 to 4 feet underwater.

2. Consider buying a strobe to help with the lighting. This will allow you to get a little further away from your subject by providing more light and also by allowing you to angle the strobe in a way that minimizes backscatter (the reflection of your flash off of the particles in the water)

3. If you don't have the money for a strobe right now, try a red filter. This should greatly help with your color balance down to about 60 feet. Beyond that and red filters are not very effective.

These are just basic suggestions that might help. Practice is ultimately what's going to help you the most.

10-25-2007, 07:55
bob is right. i'm also relatively new to the UW photography world and i was amazed at how close you have to be to come out with good pictures. and the strobe helps things exponentially.

bob-about the red filter-i've always wanted to try one out on safety stops just to see the difference, any suggestions on where to get one and what the best way to attach it to a sea &sea 8000g is?

10-27-2007, 22:26
Have you watched ebay for an Ikelite housing for your Rebel? Should be able to pick up a used housing for under 1000. Not cheap, but if you want nice pictures, you'll never regret shooting a DSLR.

External strobes are essential IMHO for quality pictures, natural lighting is just to fickle; and filters are only useful in certain lighting conditions.

OK - secret to good pictures. Get close, then get closer still. Compose using the rule of thirds - divide the scene in your mind with a tic tac toe drawing, and put the focal point (the eye if shooting a critter or fish) at one of intersections between the lines. Shoot up or horizontal whenever possible. Shooting down rarely produces a quality picture.

Consider your negative space (anything that isn't the subject). Try to separate the subject from the background - lowering the f/stop helps blur the background. Conversely, if you are shooting extreme macro with high mag, shoot a high f/number to maximize your depth of field (f/20 or above - have to have a strobe)

If shooting wide angle, make sure and get some nice blue water in the background, and a sunburst also adds some character.

OK - that primer is the highlight of the multiple books I have read. I highly recommend getting a good book on uw photography; I have learned a lot from these books. here is one of my favorites:

Amazon.com: The Underwater Photographer, Second Edition: Books: MARTIN EDGE (http://www.amazon.com/Underwater-Photographer-Second-MARTIN-EDGE/dp/0240515811/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product/104-0786080-0509567)