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Underwater Photography and Video

View Finders and External Monitors

Stock view finders on camcorders typically don’t cut the mustard underwater. They are designed to have the eye placed right up against them to be useful. Underwater, the camera is in a housing, and the operator is wearing a diving mask, so the eye ends up too far away to effectively use the camera’s view finder.

Housing manufacturers have come up with several solutions to work around this problem. One is to fit the housing itself with a view finder magnifier. This simply magnifies the camera’s stock view finder making it easier to see underwater and through a diving mask. This is a relatively inexpensive solution. However, you generally need to put your mask right against the housing to see the image.

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Getting Started in Underwater Photography

Photo: Brian Dombrowski
Photo: Brian Dombrowski

It’s fair to claim people share one common motivation for becoming certified scuba divers: The underwater world is full of amazing things to see. Living tropical coral reefs, shipwrecks laden with historical artifacts, and caverns with ancient geological formations offer unique and exciting visual experiences to those choosing to explore them as divers.

With so much to see underwater, it only seems natural for divers to consider some form of underwater photography sometime during their diving career. Photos and video are great ways to preserve, relive, and share a diving experience with others, whether they be divers or not.

A decision to begin underwater photography must go beyond just an interest in taking pictures underwater. Here are some things to consider.

Diving Skills

Foremost, one needs to first evaluate their skills as a diver. Being a safe and sufficiently confident diver is mandatory. Superior buoyancy control is a must. Performing underwater photography requires a diver to multitask. That is, be able to safely dive and control buoyancy while simultaneously composing and taking pictures. Being a safe diver is your first responsibility. Learn how to master your buoyancy control first. If you’re ready to multitask as a photographer underwater, your buoyancy should be not only controlled but nearly second nature.

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Basic Shooting Techniques

Our Basic Shooting Techniques section helps to bring together facts from all the other sections to improve your underwater photo shooting knowledge. This section also touches on subjects that impact your ability to have an opportunity to shoot, as well as shooting technique itself.