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

u/w photography help
tmacbeth - 5/14/2011 11:53 AM
Category: Photography
Replies: 4

Hey all...I’m a diver of 30 yrs and want to learn basics of U/W photography. I have an Olympus Tough 6000 w/ Olympus PT-047 housing. Took some shots but all too blue and not too good. I know nothing. Do I need an external flash? Am I not close enough to subjects? We are going to Bonaire in a week and I would really like to take better shots. Can anyone help me?
LatitudeAdjustment - 5/14/2011 3:51 PM
Without an external strobe your best pictures will be close-ups, really close. Look thru your menu for a cloudy day setting, most Olympus’s have them and set the flash for always on. Some shooting modes like iPhoto won’t let you control the flash so you may need to change modes.
kc_moses76 - 5/14/2011 11:14 PM
The best cheap way to do it is using custom white balance, since your camera doesn’t have that setting, you’re left with strobe/dive light, which mean extra stuff to carry and manage.

The next cheaper solution is adding a red filter. Look into that and see if they have red filter for your housing, worse case is you would just take a piece of red plastic and stick it inside of your housing.

Basically you need to understand what water does to light. As you go deeper into the water, the red color get filter out by the water, that’s why all your photos are very blue. You need to add more red back to the picture through filter, or use custom white balance so the camera know how much red to add back to the picture.
RAWalker - 5/15/2011 2:57 AM

There are 3 ways to improve the color balance for underwater digital photographs 4 if you consider post processing in Photoshop or a similar software.

1) custom setting the camera’s white balance using a white board slate. This isn’t easy even if your camera can do it. the slate needs to be set at the same distance and orientation as the subject. With subjects that move or a change in the light environment from things like schools of fish passing or clouds it becomes very hard to compose a shot.

2) Colored Filter lenses can fool the camera into changing it’s auto white balance and improve the general color quality. Althought the color improves you still need to get in close to the subject due to the water filtering the overal amount of light at depth.

3) Strobe/s The most effective way to improve color and the image depth is to bring the light to the subjects. Even small strobes improve color but they need to get in close to be effective. The farther away and larger the field of view the greater the need for more powerful strobes and sometimes multiple strobes. An additional advantage of multiple strobes is reduction and elimination of shadows. You should consider what your photographic desires and requirements are as it could require a considerable investment.
allstarwa - 5/28/2011 7:51 AM
I haven’t been at the game long, but everything I have read and done is strobes, especially if you get under 40 feet with awesome visibility. The pictures I have taken with and without are remarkably different..... Now I just have to figure out better placement all the time.