The magic of underwater photography

Images from a world apart

Unterwasserfotografie - Foto: Unterwasserfotograf
Underwater photography is the practice of capturing the brilliant images portrayed by the life and wonderful marine growth that can be encountered beneath the sea. The equipment for this activity is available to anyone who can swim or kick a pair of fins; inexpensive, 'point 'n' shoot' cameras or top-of-the-range equipment - the choice is yours.
A new world underwater
Some people tend to specialise. For example, wreck divers like nothing more than snapping historical-style photos of renowned shipwrecks they've dived on. Others, dedicated amateur nature lovers, take their camera to the deep to capture the images of brilliant reef fish or perhaps the stunning coral growth that abounds in areas like Australia 's Great ßarrier Reef and Whitsunday Passage. Whatever your particular interest, underwater photography can open up a new world of interest.
PADI courses in underwater photography
For those who take up underwater photography in a serious manner, the majority of PADl (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) - authorised dive shops conduct courses in the art. In addition to studying photography in a classroom situation, most PADI dive shops offering the course will include at least two accompanied underwater photography dives. The course will typically cover the scene from basic photography principles right through to the correct method to apply these principles underwater. A student will be taught about camera settings, lens choice, flash, and various equipment configurations.

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Foto: Rotfeuerfisch
Be familiar with your gear
lt's advisable if attending a class to use Your own camera equipment. Knowing and being totally familiar with your own gear is a must, just ask any skilled photographer. ldeally, you will know and understand every relevant feature your own equipment offers, be it the camera body, the flash unit and the lenses you intend to work with. There's no need to start out with the best equipment; small waterproof cameras offer a perfect way to become involved.

Shoot, shoot and shoot
Of course, there's one sure-fire way to become proficient - shoot, shoot and shoot, photos, that is! There's absolutely no substitute for experience and the only way a budding photographer can gain experience is by taking photographs. A good tip is to take several photographs of different subjects, using varying angles and exposure techniques. Take brief notes to record what you did, what worked, what didn't. It really doesn't matter whether you were 'bitten by the bug' and become a dedicated underwater photographer or you simply remain a 'point 'n' shoot' photographer with only basic equipment. Whichever path you choose, underwater photography will open up a totally new world.

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