Waterproof smartphone cases and water-friendly recording technology give water enthusiasts unprecedented access to underwater photography capabilities. If you own a pool, use the clear water to stage any number of photo shoots. Capture your dog leaping into the pool or a child diving for a toy. Here are tips for getting the best shots.
Before you start snapping photos, make sure all swimmers are safe. Get in and look around before you reach for your camera. If you’re in the ocean, be aware of areas where there might be strong currents or dangerous marine life. Inexperienced swimmers should wear lifejackets. Never dive in shallow or rocky areas.
Get familiar with your camera while you’re on land. It’s much harder to see settings in bright sunlight with water in your eyes, especially if you’re treading water.
Use Your Camera’s Underwater Mode
Light waves act differently beneath the surface. The deeper you go, the fewer colored wavelengths make it through the water’s density. If your camera has an underwater mode, it adjusts to filter out blue and bring you a full spectrum of vivid colors.
Shoot in Bright Light
The best photos are taken on bright days with plenty of sunshine. Bright clothing almost seems to glow when sunlight hits it under water, making your photo extremely vivid. If you’re swimming in deep or murky water, use a flash.
Shoot Near the Surface
The water’s surface is reflective on both sides. Experiment to see if you can catch both the object you’re photographing and its reflection from below. Play with sunbeams and the reflection from water’s movement. Try taking a picture with your lens half in and half out of the water to capture the world above and below.
Underwater photos are lighthearted. Make crazy faces with bubbles coming out your nose. Stage and photograph an underwater ballet where subjects are frozen in acrobatic positions.
Try Shooting from Below
Dive deep and shoot up toward the surface. Capture your subject as they enter the water for awesome backlighting.
Have an Underwater Photo Booth
Gather props and invite friends. Grab your mermaid tail, oversized sunglasses, pirate swords, and anything else you can think of to go with your nautical theme. Stage photos using props for a whole afternoon of fun.
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