Basic Underwater Photography Composition Advice

Composition is more art than it is actual science and thus, how photos are best taken is really up to interpretation. However, when it comes to underwater photography – basic composition advice will allow novice photographers to take optimal advantage of amazing photo opportunities. In this setting, having high-quality equipment does not guarantee a great shot. It is also important to have the right strategies and skills.

White Finger Starfish

Choosing the right vantage point can be critical. A lot of people are tempted to start by shooting downward. This is especially true during the first few dives. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to begin snapping pictures as soon as you enter the water, however, the results will usually be far from stellar. Taking some time to choose a more optima viewpoint is critical.

Novice photographers should spend some time working to capture images at eye level. This is a great way to explore different uses for light and color and will usually capture fish and other underwater features from better angles. Shooting at eye level will limit the number of photos that you wind up editing out of your collection.

As you progress in skill, you may want to try shooting upwards. This requires you to identify your subject and get low to it. It takes a bit more diving skill and the ability to finesse your equipment, but it will usually prove worthwhile. The best shots are usually taken from an upwards vantage point or at eye level and very few good pictures are taken by shooting down. It is important to think of how your viewer will see these images. If a picture is take beneath the actual subject, spectators will feel as though they are immersed in the water with you.

It is also good to spend time playing with the orientation of your camera. You have the option of turning your camera horizontally for landscape photos an you can also shoot vertically for a portrait. Many people start out by taking horizontal pictures only. This limits their range and often means that the miss out on the best possible shots.

Take some time to capture both landscape and horizontal images. This can be especially difficult if your target is moving, however, it will allow you to improve your range and build additional skills in managing and manipulating your equipment.

Capturing photos both horizontally and vertically also challenges you to take your time. This will mean moving the strobes even while you are afraid of having fish move out of the frame. The extra effort, however, will help you avoid later regret.

One of the most important skills to develop, however, is simply capturing your shot without scaring your subject away. For the viewer, the most important element of these photos will always be the eyes. Capturing the eyes of your subjects will engage your viewers and allow them to connect. Remember, fish will always swim a lot faster than you and thus, you will not be able to catch them from behind. It is far better to wait until a fish is actually facing you. This takes patience, however, much like shooting at eye level or shooting from beneath your target, it will allow you to get the best angle and the best overall results.

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