Underwater Photography – Just Point and Shoot

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Underwater Photography – Just Point and Shoot

Underwater Photography is just as easy as Point and Shoot, Right?

Underwater Photography Sand Tiger

Sand Tiger inside the Aeolus

Now, I have been taking underwater photos for awhile.  Before that, I had a decent album of outdoor photography, but always looking to improve that.  One of the questions that I get asked the most is, Why do I take so many photos?

The easy answer is, because I understand that I will have to take about 30 photos to find one that is correct.  Now, were there other things wrong with the previous 29?  A couple of them, there could be.  Back scatter is a huge problem in some environments.  So working the lighting so that you minimize or reduce the back scatter could take some time.  That, and your subject has probably moved, so you are in the position of setting up again.  Adjusting where your lights are to illuminate the subject while trying to keep the photo from looking like a snowstorm in January.

Then there is the lone fish that has decided to “Photobomb” your subject.  On our last scuba diving trip, I have a nice set up of a sand tiger shark, only to have his head replaced by a Spanish Grunt.  Thus, one of the problems that you might run into when you are taking photos in places where there is an abundance of wildlife.  Hey, we want to show you the fun of diving and all that you can see underwater.  Besides, they are not paid models, so sometimes you have to take the good with the other stuff.

So can I get a little frustrated during my underwater photography?  Yep is the easy answer.  There are plenty of times, I feel like I am carrying a cinder block around underwater instead of a camera.  I also think that I am using it about as well.  It always reminds me of an adage I was told, on an underwater photography dive, you are going to have great and enjoyable dive or a dive that you just want to pull the plug and make your ascent to the surface.  I have gotten past the latter feeling.  Even when things are not going well with the camera, I still enjoy the dive.  Heck, I am doing something that most other people don’t have the ability to do, that is scuba dive.

Why then take a professional grade camera underwater?  Why not just take a little point and shoot camera for underwater photography? Part of it is that I look cooler with the camera and housing with strobes than just a point and shoot.  Ok, kidding….maybe.  I have seen photographs from a variety of point and shoot cameras and some look amazing.  Some of the point and shoots will rival the greats in underwater photography.  Reason for this?  It comes down to the photographer first off.  How do they compose the photo.  Then the other thing is understanding the capabilities and limitations of the camera they are using.  They keep the camera in the capability that produces the best photos.  They keep it simple and just take photos.  This is true for any camera in underwater photography, but point and shoots, it is especially important.

After all this, what do I want to say about underwater photography?  Get diving, take your camera and go take photos.  Don’t look for the perfect photo, take a bunch that are close to perfect and you will probably find that one of them are perfect.  You only learn what you and your camera can do when you take photos.  You find out what you can’t do, but more importantly, you find out what you can do.  Then keep working to perfect that.  Underwater photography can be challenging, not taking that away.  Still you can have the best dives of your life and the ability to show all your friends why they should be scuba divers.