Going on a snorkel or SCUBA dive is very much like exploring another world. It’s so amazing, but sometimes it can be difficult to fully describe your experience to others. When I first started diving, I discovered that words were often not quite enough. Each dive I went on was filled with so many beautiful and interesting things, I knew I had to find a better way to tell my friends and family. That is why I decided to try my hand at taking underwater photos! I love being able to use my own pictures to share the underwater world!
Learning how to take photos underwater is a fun and exciting skill to practice. You don’t need much to get started, in fact you can use a regular disposable underwater camera to get the basics down. There are also cool waterproof digital cameras, and there are underwater housings (completely waterproof cases) designed for almost every camera on the market. Before deciding which option is best for you, be sure to learn about the pros and cons of each (or visit our Facebook page to ask us for some pointers).
No matter what kind of camera setup you have, just remember that you don’t have to have an amazing camera (though it helps!) to take a great photo. Taking photos is all about finding a good subject, framing it well, and making use of the ambient light. With underwater photography, you also have be aware of movement, because underwater, everything moves! If you spend a little time practicing finding and framing subjects, then practicing getting them in focus you will be well on your way to taking great photographs. As with all new skills, this certainly takes patience and lots of practice!
The best way to really hone your skills (or start learning them) is to take a class from someone who already knows the tricks. During our summer scuba diving camps, Sail Caribbean Divers offers a PADI Digital Underwater Photography specialty certification. To get the most out of these dives, it is recommended that you get your Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty first or that you are very comfortable maintaining your buoyancy while diving. And don’t forget, underwater photography is not only for scuba divers – some of my favorite photos were taken while skin-diving/snorkeling!
If you have any underwater photos you’ve taken that you’re proud of, send them to us! We’d love to see them and share them with other Sail Caribbean students – tag us in your photos on Facebook and Twitter!
Also, be sure to check out Armando Jenik’s work, our own professional underwater photographer!