Capturing the beauty that lies under the surface of water is a skill that many of us can only imagine acquiring. Here are some tips, advice and camera settings for Photographers who want to click pictures while freediving. The first and foremost thing to be able to practise free dive photography is to learn to free dive with the utmost safety.
One is advised to strictly take a course and go under training before engaging in clicking pictures underwater. One must educate themselves about their capacity to hold their breath underwater and invest time and effort to learn the skill of freediving.
What are some things to keep in mind while capturing photos underwater using natural light?
● DEPTH OF THE WATER
Most of the aesthetic freediving photos are taken in shallow waters because the presence of natural light in those areas is in abundance. The pictures will require editing software for enhancement later, so the deeper the image has been shot in more will be the struggle for bringing out the colours in post-production techniques.
● TIME OF THE DAY IN WHICH THE PICTURE IS BEING CLICKED
The light in the captured photographs will change according to the time of the day in which they were being clicked. It is advisable to click pictures early in the morning or towards the end of the day when the sun hangs low in the sky. This provides a beautiful contrast along with multiple shadows and beams of light in one's photograph. On the other hand, clicking pictures in the middle of the day when the sun is high up in the sky; evenly lights up the images that do not appear much appealing. However, this technique can be used if one desires an evenly lit style/atmosphere.
● LENSES THAT CAN BE USED UNDERWATER
Using a fisheye lens to capture photographs while freediving is highly advisable. Wide-angle or fisheye lenses are able to capture the scenery underwater even when the diver is closer to the subject. Pictures that are captured from a closer distance from the subject look more appealing because lesser the amount of water between the photographer and the subject; lesser will be the particulate matter that floats in water between the photographer and the subject. Particulates tend to reflect light which results in a reduction of the clarity of the image.
● CAMERA SETTINGS
It is favourable to keep the ISO number as low as possible while practising freediving photography. 200 is the favourable number to keep as a constant as the shutter speed does not require much change underwater. 200-250 is enough to capture movement underwater with less to no blurring while still utilising the maximum amount of natural light available. The aperture can be adjusted by looking at the darkness of a few test shots. It is advised to capture RAW files as they are more convenient to edit on a computer later because editing underwater in your camera itself is not the most favourable thing to do.
There is so much more that goes on while capturing images underwater but this article covers the basics. One must keep their eyes open to the beauty of the underwater and play with sliders, different techniques, shadows, beams and editing software. When done with the process of capturing and editing; export the image into a JPG format to easily upload on social media.