Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.

Tips on Shooting Underwater Pictures and Videos
tommydive - 10/11/2016 7:13 AM
View Member Articles
Category: Photography
Comments: 2
With so many photo-taking options available today it’s hard not to splurge on opportunities as they come to us.

It doesn’t matter whether you have it while eating watermelon while sitting on the back porch at grandma’s or skydiving, it’s always a good idea to capture the moment in pictures.

So what do you do when you encounter the opportunity to take a shot while you are underwater? Fortunately, the world is so full of excellent equipment that not only takes good pictures but are specifically designed to work wherever you go. As a result, if you happen to find yourself under the water, consider these tips for making your photos the best they can be.


Make sure it’s waterproof. It might sound obvious to most people, but when it’s time to hit the water you need to make absolutely sure that the equipment that you intend to use is waterproof. Never assume that just because one piece of equipment is waterproof that everything, or even everything similar, is also waterproof. When you consider using a piece of equipment for your underwater adventure, check the manual or ask an expert to make sure your gear is waterproof.


Be safe. It should go without saying but bears repeating, that you should always make sure you are safe before you get started. Swimming pools are great places to get wonderful pictures of what goes on below the surface, but when you decide to forgo the blue waters of the pool for wider water, make sure you are safe. Scuba diving can be great fun, but make sure you know what you are doing when there’s the possibility of strong currents and big creatures with sharp teeth. As a result, always know your limits and your surroundings.


Watch your lighting. The best time to shoot underwater is when light from above is strong and direct. When it’s not, make sure you have a good underwater flash or another light source to keep things bright and cut shadows.


Stay on the surface. You don’t necessarily need to get deep to take the best pictures. Instead, staying just under the surface lends itself to some of the most interesting and beautiful pictures you will ever take.

Get close. It’s something that all photographers are taught when taking pictures on land, but it goes equally well for underwater photography: get in close. Not only does this make better pictures from a compositional standpoint, but edges become more blurry when you are in water. You can avoid much of this problem by getting in close to your subject.

Become an acrobat. When you are taking pictures underwater, why not take advantage of all the unusual capabilities you have when you are there. This includes the ability to move in unusual ways. Taking pictures of people while floating or simply swimming though the water is great, but why not shoot subjects while they are performing unusual moves under the water? It makes for more interesting and beautiful water.

Use bubbles. Taking interesting pictures doesn’t have to involve lots of props and equipment. All you need is to use something simple like bubbles to make an interesting shot

Bring in the props. Underwater photography is something that is unusual enough, so why not go for something out of the ordinary by using props? It could be something simple like shooting scuba diving pictures while someone plays a guitar, or even a wedding party underwater. Use your imagination, and you will come up with something.


Watch your colors. Water and light can play weird tricks on colors when they are on land, much less when they are underwater. Make sure you practice your shots as best as you can to ensure things come out as you expected.


Play with your angles. Try to catch your subjects from angles that most wouldn’t think of while shooting. For example, everyone has seen pictures of a swimmer from above, but it would probably be more interesting to shoot that same swimmer from underneath. Surfing is another case where the ordinary can become extraordinary with a simple change of perspective. Instead of shooting your subject while he is on the board while you wait on shore, why not join him on the board while shooting? You will be making pictures that are much more memorable.

All good underwater photography takes is some creative thought and planning.


JohnDiver123 - 14 days 16 hours ago.
Great article. Thanks for sharing. Any thought on filters?
tommydive - 8 days 20 hours ago.
Thanks for commenting this. There are many things that must be taken into consideration when it comes to filters. I think I will have to write a new article about it. For now, the only thing I can tell you is to test as much as possible :) Cheers mate!