Keep checking our technique pages, as I post the simple skills that
will get you taking great shots in no time at all.
I have condensed these tips and tricks down from years of coaching beginners
to shoot underwater with the minimum of fuss or flannel.
Ok, Pharrell Williams may well have been singing about something altogether different in the lyrics to last years summer hit by Daft Punk "Get Lucky" And I have changed the word night to dive, but the sentiments are the same. You have to work at it to become lucky. I was talking to some of our Lightroom workshoppers at the weekend, and we were discussing how the more successful underwater photographers can often appear to churn out shot after shot, of publication calibre and appear to be granted with as much luck as if they had gone diving with a Leprochaun buddy wearing a coat made of four leaf clovers, clutching a handful of rabbits feet!
I pointed out though, that to "get lucky" you need to work at it, and I talked about how you achieve this apparent luck in an earlier blogpost (click here).
So you have to put these things into practice, and regularly too. And "shock horror" on land as well. So don't stop shooting when you've finished the dive, work it topside too.
And by doing this you will increase your hit rate guaranteed.
If you find a subject that you think has potential, work at it. And I know I'm repeating myself here from the previous post, but sometimes things are worth repeating. Have patience and once you have got your flash exposure, and camera settings correct, stay with it. Change your compositions too, to give you options. I am a big fan of Whip Gobies and their funny little lives, whizzing up and down their high rise abodes, so when I find them and see some potential I will stick around. Macro subjects are a very good way to increase your apparent luck with your subject matter, as they usually stick around near their territories, giving you multiple shooting chances.
So here's the result of me being patient, and in total took around twenty minutes. I had watched this pair of Gobies, the coral whip will normally support a couple of pairs of them, but occasionally they have a third member who will try and get involved and spice things up a bit. As was the case here, and he seemed to be making the pair a little more agitated. So this pair kept moving around and then they moved into this position so framing vertically as it suited the composition better, I took a few shots. Around ten in total, as I know from bitter experience that tiny movements may result in small discrepancies in the focus, which isn't always apparent on the camera screen, but will shout at you mockingly when you are home and dry and viewing on your computer screen! The luck involved was something I hadn't noticed on the dive, but when viewing in Lightroom I saw that the Goby on the left was spitting out some grit and sand. Here's the shot, below.
Here a pair of Whip Gobies with the one on the left caught at the moment it spits out some sand and grit.
So next time you are taking some shots don't move on immediately after the first picture, wait and see, you never know you might "Get Lucky"