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.
I have already mentioned a couple of times in the newsletter, how a wide angle lens added to your camera can make such a difference. Newcomers to underwater photography often don't quite understand exactly why an expensive wide angle lens is considered so vital. However when people do first use and then see what a huge difference to the quality of their shots, especially the scenic reef or wreck pictures, then the financial outlay definitely feels justified.
Even super zoom compact owners can now get in on the act though as Inon have just made an adapter for some of them.
"It's still £500 quid or so" I hear you protest, "what will it really do for my pictures?"
Well, its all down to simple physics and understanding shooting in water. Water is much denser than air, and in that water is lots of visibility effecting particles. This combination of extra density and particulate both contribute to reduce the clarity between us and our subject matter. So with this in mind it makes sense to reduce that distance to as close as possible, thus reducing the water column.
If your subject is large, a wreck say, then without a wide-angle lens you may have to get back as far as 20 or 30m or so to get the whole of the boat in. With a wide angle lens attached, widening the field of view, then this distance can be reduced to only a few metres. This will dramatically improving contrast, clarity and colour in your shots. It's not just wrecks and larger reef scenes that will benefit though, pretty much anything will look better if you are considerably closer to it, perhaps even your buddy!
Here is a before and after example of the stern of the Kingston the shot on the left is from around 10m away and the much clearer one on the right is with the Inon wide angle lens which has a field of view of around 100deg attached to the same camera.
I heartily recommend that before you buy a new camera, and it's to be used underwater, then please get in touch, I might be able to save you some money and give you advice as to whether or not the camera you are thinking of buying is able to take a wide angle lens and is good for underwater photography or not.
I still keep abreast of all the latest photography news, and I am only at the end of the phone for a chat, to ask about the latest UW photo kit or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Better still come on one of my workshops and see what a difference a wide angle lens makes for yourself, before committing to a purchase. I have kitted out our hire kit with a wide angle lens, it was the main criteria before getting our hire kit that this would be possible, and for underwater toggery it comes very high on the list of essential features, pretty much above all else.