Underwater Photography Tips

Underwater Photography Tips to Help You Capture the Marine Life in a Stunning Way

One simply cannot deny the fact that underwater photography is something that a lot of people look into and why shouldn’t they, it looks so good and everyone should focus on it. However, we have to keep in mind the fact underwater photography is not for everyone and there are a lot of tips that people could end up needing and similarly, you could end up in need of some tips and we are going to take a look at those in this post.

The post explores some underwater tips that you would be in need of and in addition to that, we will also explore some challenges that most photographers face in underwater photography. Let’s not waste time and have a look.

Common Challenges Faced in Underwater Photography 

Now, when you are talking about underwater photography, the challenges are obvious. As a photographer, you might not know where to get started or what to do, in the first place and because of that, the challenges can occur. I am going to talk about some common issues that most photographers face when it comes to going underwater with a camera.

1- Protecting the Equipment

Now, standard camera equipment might offer weather sealing and whatnot, but it is time to know the fact that these cameras are not prepared to be dipped into water. This is where our first problem comes into play because we have to do everything to protect the camera equipment and there are a number of ways to do that. You can buy waterproof camera boxes that you can use to take the camera underwater, alternatively, you can even go for cameras that are specifically built for snorkeling and diving, and that should help you even more. The point is, do not, under any condition, take your camera without the appropriate protection.

Rely on the Flash

2- Dealing with Magnification

Another thing that you have to keep in mind when going underwater is that you might realise that looking at the underwater world through your diving mask might result in some confusing magnification. So, there can be a lot of guessing involved, and only through that, you will be able to take the picture that you are trying to take with ease.

3- Capturing Motion

Capturing motion the right way when doing underwater photography is another thing that a lot of people run into often. Considering how most of the times, your subjects are going to be on the move, it can be difficult to effectively and efficiently capture the motion and therefore, becomes a frustrating issue for a lot of people and it is best to learn how to overcome this problem.

4- Light Getting Dimmer

As you move deeper in the water, you will realise that the light will start getting dimmer as the rays won’t be able to enter that far. However, you will actually go ahead and bring your own light underwater and that is what I would suggest to all the photographers because it is actually something that is a smart move. If you are planning on going that deep, it is always better to have something that can help you get the pictures.

Capturing Motion

The Best Tips for Underwater Photography  

Now that you know the challenges that are faced by most photographers when going underwater, it is also important to know the best tips for underwater photography. I do understand that more seasoned photographers would not want these but hey, they are here to help you so let’s not waste time and have a look shall we? It is for your convenience, after all, and should help you take the pictures that you want without any issues that might otherwise come in the way.

1- Understand How Light Behaves Differently

The first thing that you need to know is that when you are going underwater, the light is going to behave a lot differently. For instance, when you are underwater, everything is going to appear blue and the deeper you go, the more blue you will be seeing, and at one point, you will only see blue. So, if you are looking to take photos underwater, you should keep this in mind.

2- Changing Your Camera Settings

Now that you know how light works really differently underwater, you have to keep in mind the fact that you might have to change the camera settings a lot more. You will need images that are properly exposed without looking like they were taken using an ancient camera. I would set the ISO to auto, and the shutter speed to at least 1/200th of a second. Sure, you can always experiment, but be sure that your pictures are coming out the right way.

3- The Direction is Sun is Still Important

It is true that light behaves differently underwater but that does not mean that we can totally overlook or ignore the angle and direction of the sun. For instance, if you are shooting towards the direction of the sun, you can see a lot of backscatter and silhouettes as opposed to shooting opposite to the direction. Yes, it is complicated and you will take some time learning it but it works well after you’ve mastered it.

Underwater Photography

4- Rely on the Flash

I know we have talked against flash a lot but when you are talking about underwater photography, I think that relying on the flash is something that everyone should be doing. You can look into various kinds of flash because honestly, you will need to have access to the right amount of light is helpful under water and we simply cannot overlook or deny that. If you are looking to take the best pictures, this is the best way you can do it and that too, without any confusion.

5- Using Macro Lenses

The world underwater is bustling with beautiful and thriving life and has a lot of details for you to indulge in and if you are looking for the best experience, I would highly advise that you use a macro lens with a wide aperture. You will be able to capture some insane details in the images and get the experience you are looking for.

6- Respect the Subjects

While you are underwater, you have to keep in mind that you are taking care of the subjects and respecting them. You are visiting someone else’s world and there, you have to play by their rules. I do understand that things can be confusing and scary for a lot of people but imagine the fear the marine life faces? It is better that you are respecting them and not going way too close.

Settings for Underwater Photography

7- Testing the Waters 

When you are going for an underwater photography expedition, I would highly suggest that you are testing out the waters. This means that you need to check the water condition and whether or not it is safe to take a dive. You don’t want things to go wrong in the process, as that can be a scary idea and people normally look to avoid such situations for the sake of safety.

8- Always Edit Your Images 

Another thing is that you should always look to edit the images you are taking because simply put, they are going to help in expressing things better. With properly and thoroughly edited images, you will have a much better overall experience and that too, without any complication that otherwise could come in the way. So, be sure that you are aware of what you are doing.


There you have it, folks. If you have been trying to get a good grasp at underwater photography and you are not sure what needs to be done to successfully implement this, the article is for you so you do not run into any issues and you are able to take the best pictures whenever you have decided to take your camera underwater. 

Frequently Asked Questions

You can follow all the things that we have mentioned in this post and make sure that you are taking care the photography needs the right way so you do not run into issues.

There are several settings that you can go for when it comes to underwater photography but I would highly suggest that you keep your camera on manual and be very mindful of your surroundings and changing settings.

You can take any camera underwater by using an underwater housings. These are available for almost all cameras, so you do not have to run into any issue with compatibility.

Furqan Shahid

Furqan Shahid

Hi! I’m Furqan Shahid, founder of SnapDirector. With a decade of experience capturing countless moments, I’m here to guide you on your photography journey and save you from gear pitfalls!

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