How to Take the Perfect Underwater Photo this Summer

Summer is well underway and it's been an unusually hot one here in the U.K! The sunshine brings a whole abundance of new opportunities to shoot, from golden hour to summer adventures, but our absolute favourite is jumping in the pool (or if you're brave enough for the ocean!) for some underwater photography. 

Underwater photography can be an intimidating thought, but if you're willing to experiment it can be really rewarding. We're sharing our tips and tricks to not only keep your equipment safe, but also to get the most out of the experience.


Keeping Your Equipment Safe

First things first, you want to keep your equipment safe. There are a few options here and all at varying prices and style, so it really depends on the equipment you have and how much you are willing to invest. As always, it's important to test your housing before using it with your expensive gear. 

Dicapac

For DSLRs we recommend using a Dicapac. This affordable underwater housing works for all DSLR cameras and was used to shoot all of the featured images in this post by Abigail Fahey Photography

GoPro HERO 6

If you don't have gear already another option if you would a more compact option also capable of high quality video is using a GoPro HERO 6. There is no need for housing on the latest GoPro - just simply jump in and start shooting!

Waterproof Phone Case

If you are looking for an affordable phone case to keep your phone protected in around the pool or beach and taking surface level water photos check out our waterproof phone case




Shooting Tips

Shooting underwater is a completely new experience to shooting on land, which is why we are sharing our tips on how to get the most out of your images. 

1. Choose a Quick Shutter Speed

To get the fantastic splash images and underwater movement choose a quick shutter spped to freeze the moment and for the most clarity.

2. Use Spot Focus Mode

For the quickest focus choose spot focus mode to get the sharpest images. 

3. Set a Manual White Balance

When shooting underwater you are bound to get all sorts of crazy colours due to refraction and the colour of the water, so expect blue and green casts. Setting a manual white balance will help counter balance the colour casts and save you time in post processing.




4. Shoot in RAW Mode

Shoot in RAW mode so that you are better able to control your images in post processing and collect as much digital information as possible. 

5. Get Close

The lower the visibility the closer to your subject you need to be in order to get sharp images and to avoid backscatter. Avoid shooting a subject more than 2-3ft away if possible to avoid "shooting through too much water".

6. Don't go too Deep

Skin tones tend to look their best between 1 - 5 feet from the surface of the water, beyond that you begin to loose warmth and red tones in the skin.

7. Always Think About Light

It can get dark underwater quickly, so it's important you think about how that is affecting your photo. If you are shooting during midday try shooting from bellow and looking up in order to get a nice fill of light. If you are adventurous and would like to try shooting at night stick close to the pool lights or bring an underwater off camera flash or flashlight.

Post Processing

When shooting underwater the colours tend to become muted and muddy so we recommend:

1. Increasing your Saturation

2. Boosting your Clarity

3. Upping your Contrast

Most of all, have fun here and experiment with your images to see what works best for you.



There you have it, our underwater photography tips and tricks. Have anything to add? We'd love to hear from you on InstagramFacebook or Pinterest or have your images featured by using the hashtag #giveityourbestshot.



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