Home How-To Shooting Trade Tricks: Underwater Digital For Travelers
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Trade Tricks: Underwater Digital For Travelers

Create amazing images beneath the water’s surface with your digital camera


The best time to shoot is during midday. The direct overhead light will have deeper penetration into the water and provide good illumination. Choose a shutter speed of no less than 1/125 sec. to ensure a sharp photograph. You may need to increase your ISO sensitivity to achieve a relatively high shutter speed. When shooting a fast-moving subject, increase your shutter speed to 1/250 sec.

Water magnifies objects underwater by a factor of approximately 0.7x, making subjects appear closer than they actually are. This will change the apparent focal length of your lens and produce a narrower focal length. If you want to create wide-angle images, you may want to consider a housing, such as the Fantasea CP-4, that accommodates wide-angle adapters that can be added to the front of the housing, even while underwater.

Flash can be used underwater, but you have to be careful how you do so. If you're limited to only your camera's built-in flash, reduce the distance between you and your subject. If you don't, the flash will illuminate small particles in the water between you and your subject and create distracting spots in your images. Some housings, such as the Light & Motion Tetra 5050, allow for the use of external flash units to reduce this problem and add a more powerful flash for underwater use.

When photographing, point your camera slightly upward to use the backlit bluish water as a backdrop. If you photograph a dark subject while pointing downward, you could lose your subject against the dark depths below. This technique also can produce interesting silhouettes.

With a little planning and appropriate gear, you'll be creating memorable images both under and above water.

 

 

Resources
Aquatica (514) 737-9481www.aquatica.ca
Canon (800) OK-CANONwww.usa.canon.com
Ewa-Marine (RTS Photo) (631) 242-6801www.rtsphoto.com
Fantasea (203) 637-5192www.fantasea.com
Ikelite (317) 923-4523www.ikelite.com
Light & Motion (831) 645-1525www.uwimaging.com
Olympus (800) 622-6372www.olympusamerica.com
SeaLife (800) 257-7742www.sealife-cameras.com
  

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