Photo Tips 1

For more information on classes, trips, and photography schedules and costs - E-Mail Peggy Goldberg at pgoldberg@goldenimages- or talk to her in person at 352.591.1508.

Tips and Tricks of the Trade

If you are new to  underwater photography, what do you need to get started? There is a variety of equipment you could use, from a disposable camera that can operate to 10' underwater to point and shoot cameras in a waterproof case to a Nikonos (where you can use several types of lenses and go to 165') to your regular SLR in a housing (and go to 300').  Bonica, Sea& Sea, Nikon are just a few of the companies that make waterproof cameras.  You usually get what you pay for; you will have less flexibility in the choice of lenses, apertures, strobes and shutter speed choices with the lower priced systems.  If you choose to house your camera, you will have the most flexibility and control of your camera and strobes, but at a greater price.  O.K., let's say you have a camera that you can take down while snorkeling or scuba diving...what are you going to do with it?

TIP #1

No photograph is worth doing damage to the underwater flora and fauna, so make sure  you don't touch anything or kick up any silt...not only will the silt adversely  affect your pictures, but what appears to be bare sand to you is usually the  home of some small critter. Do not chase or harrass any wildlife and you will find they will actually come to you! You might want to practice with your camera  in a pool. Take pictures of people, plastic fish, anything you can think of. Work on your buoyancy skills with the camera in your hand.  You cannot take good  pictures if you cannot control your position in the water. If you are snorkeling, be very comfortable with being able to hold your breath and stay still. On the surface, keep your fin kicks under the water for efficiency . You don't want to scare your subjects. Become one with the environment.

The plane at 100'  in 40 Fathom Grotto taken with a Nikonos V/ 15 mm lens at f2.8 for 10  secs hovering still at 110'


TIP #2

Get close to your subject! I mean within 3'!!! Make sure you know the minimum focusing distance for your lens, but work as close as possible. You are not taking landscape photography! This is especially important if you use a strobe....and that is a whole book in itself. I suggest you not use a strobe at first, and take natural light photography until you get comfortable with handling the camera. The strobes on the "point and shoots" and disposables are too close to the lens - underwater it creates a problem with the backscatter that is caused by particulate in the water...your photos will look like they have "snow" in them.

Galapagos Shark  off Cocos Island, Costa Rica taken with a Nikonos V/20 mm lens at f 11 at 60th sec. (Shark is less than 2' from lens)


TIP #3

Look up! Ignore everything you know about land photography - we do shoot into the sun, with our subject either in the sun glow or with the sun just above the subject. Do not shoot down to your subject, it will be flat and uninteresting. And finally, Shoot, Shoot, Shoot!! Learning underwater photography is a never-ending learning process. I hope your interest is piqued enough to give it a try...these tips should help get you started. Any questions? I'll be glad to help...just e-mail me at:

Criniods and Sponges on wall in Dominica taken with Nikonos V/ 15mmlens at f11 at 60th sec. (Wall is around 3' away at around  70')

[Home] [Articles] [Classes] [Commercial] [Photo Tips] [Photo Gallery]

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Copyright 2000-2021 Golden Images, Inc. All rights reserved.