Why take up underwater photography?

Underwater photography can mean many different things to different people and here at Scuba Travel we recognise that you, our valued customers, have a variety of things in mind when considering what underwater photography means to you.

PhotographyYou could well be interested in photography on land and want to take your skills underwater. If this is the case then if you are at the beginning of your diving career, then you will probably quickly realise that concentrating on your scuba diving skills is of paramount importance. Good buoyancy control and a slow and considered diving style will help you concentrate more clearly on the task at hand. Reducing your task loading is very important, so the quicker that the fundamentals of scuba diving become second nature and then the quicker that you will be able to best utilise the technical photo skills you learnt on land.

You might have been scuba diving for many years, and scuba diving is one of the main reasons that you travel. And you are now looking for something else to broaden your skills base underwater, and photography seems like the next step in your learning. In this way you are able to share your dive and travel experiences with a wider audience. We all have non diving friends and its great fun seeing their often incredulous expressions when we show them a picture of a shark or a manta, or some exotic and flamboyant nudibranchs. So for you, the whole experience of photography may well be a brand new skill, and this skill learnt whilst scuba diving, will allow you to transfer these skills onto land, and many folk who have taken up photography via the medium of scuba diving, end up becoming very keen land photographers.

Your foray into underwater photography, on your scuba excursions, may be for the purposes of recording the marine life. A lot of people get into diving because they are fascinated by the incredible diversity of sea creatures, that we are afforded the privilege of observing when we dip below the waves. We can witness what lots of folk only see on television in wildlife documentaries. So its only natural that when we travel for the purposes of scuba we would want to record it for ourselves. Most modern cameras will allow us to record moving and still images with alacrity. This is great as no more do we have to describe in detail from memory alone, a new creature encounter. We have in modern digital cameras instant recall. Although sometimes the first time people use digital cameras underwater, regardless of the cameras sophistication and automation, are often disappointed with their initial results. Which is where training come into play.

We may have a very aesthetic view of the world, and love the colours and patterns that we see underwater. We see very few straight lines underwater so everything takes on a surreal and other worldly air, and with the exception of wrecks, most things we see are of an organic nature. Recording these shapes and the way the light plays differently on them through the prism of watery refraction, is a joy to lots of people, me included. So for those folk of an aesthetic sensibility, a digital camera is just another brush in their palette.

Dolphin PhotographyI think its probably the case that we all have a little bit of all of these areas that we are interested in. For me I am interested in the marine biology side of things, and diving provides a means to an end in this regard. Although photography for me has always been about the artistic and creative, and I often take pictures of fairly mundane creatures, but maybe they are presenting themselves in a situation that presses my aesthetic buttons, so I will take the shot for artistic purposes, or at least try. If I find a new nudibranch or a creature I have never seen before, I will take a simple record shot of it, so I am not necessarily thinking creatively in these situations, but I will want a good record, so I need to know how best to operate the camera.

I have outlined a few possible reasons that people may indulge in underwater photography, and truth be told I think that its quite difficult to pigeonhole us all so succinctly , as I am sure we all fit into a number of different categories. The one category that I haven't mentioned yet is the simple joy in the ownership and operation of the equipment itself, lots of us love technical and optical gadgets and gizmos just in themselves, and there is absolutely no shame in admitting it. I hold both hands up very high to the admittance of being a "neek", thats the portmanteau word made from "geek" and "nerd" by the way.

Whatever your reasons for taking pictures underwater, the important thing is that you gain some enjoyment whilst doing so. Proper training and instruction is important, as is sharing your experiences with others of a like mind. Which is why we conduct underwater photography workshops. They accommodate all types of diving photographer, from the beginner wanting to learn how to do it, to the more experienced wanting to hang out and share experiences with like minded folk.

Duxy
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