Taking photographs underwater may seem daunting and a little dangerous for someone who hasn’t done it before, it sure was for me, but here’s a few things I learned during my journey discovering the magic of underwater photography, along with some of the gear I use for certain situations. This interview for underwater photo tips originally posted by SmugMug.
Underwater Photo Tip #1: Ask your models to channel their inner ballerina or yogi and trust them. Open body posture is key.
Underwater Photo Tip #2: I find it ideal to photograph people underwater in the late morning between 8-11am because you’re going to need a lot of natural light being underwater. Though, on occasion it’s fun to experiment with different times of day.
Underwater Photo Tip #3: Skin tones look the best within 1-5 feet of the surface. Beyond that, you start to lose the warmth and reds in their skin tone.
Underwater Photo Tip #4: You don’t always need a fancy camera or underwater setup to take a good photo. This photograph was taken on a GoPro. Read more about shooting with a GoPro.
Underwater Photo Tip #5: Working with props and clothes can be challenging underwater but worth the effort! In this shoot, I created a jellyfish from an umbrella, ribbons, and beaded curtains. Just be careful you don’t lose anything in the process!
Underwater Photo Tip #6: Within the realm of underwater photography, there’s not much in your control. It’s all about being in the moment and finding the composition within the “chaos.” Most of my favorite photographs were taken when I just let things “be” and used my camera as a way to interpret what is happening at the present moment, rather than trying to orchestrate and control any of it.
Underwater Photo Tip #7. Protect your gear. I alternate between surf housing and water covers depending on the conditions I shoot in. For a list of photography gear I currently use, go here.
Cover photo by Mark Tipple.