Underwater Photography Tips


  • Always hand your camera gear to and from the boat on boat dives. Don't dive in with camera in hand; you can easily flood a camera that way. Always hand carry camera equipment on shore dives to keep it from bouncing around.
  • Take your own camera rinse bucket on dive boats to avoid having your camera thrown in with everyone else's. A small cooler works well and you can use it to carry camera gear while traveling.
  • Use quick release clips on your BCD for holding cameras and lights. This provides a safer, hands-free method of carrying camera gear during ascents, descents and rough conditions.
  • Be aware of dragging gear which can damage any archaeological remains or marine life.
  • Be aware of dive gear, kelp, bubbles, etc. floating in front of the lens.
  • Learn the capabilities of your particular camera setup.
  • Use Kodachrome for higher contrast (silhouettes, etc).
  • Use Fujichrome for softer contrast, finer details and richer colors.
  • To get a darker background, use a smaller aperture and higher strobe power to fill in the foreground.
  • To get a lighter background, use a wider aperture and less strobe power to fill in the foreground.
  • Shoot at an upward angle to produce a more dramatic image.
  • Isolate the subject from the background so it stands out.
  • Make use of empty space for commercial applications so text and other graphics can be added to the image.
  • Use modeling lights on strobes and try hand holding one strobe when shooting wide angle.
  • Use fill lighting on most wide angle shots to bring out the foreground color.
  • Stop down 1-2 stops when shooting silhouettes (or use
    meter reading to get a medium toned area off to the side of the sun).
  • Stop up 1-2 stops when shooting at a downward angle
    with wide angle lens.