An Underwater Photography Starter Pack

Friday, December 16, 2016

An Underwater Photography Starter Pack


Taking the plunge into underwater photography can be a big step in a couple of ways. Underwater cameras are not inexpensive and, in most cases, the housing to keep water out at deeper depths can be as expensive as the camera itself.

Taking pictures can be challenging because of the limits to adjustments you can make to your equipment once you are in the water and the medium itself forces photographers to learn new techniques and modify picture taking habits to get decent results.

Although it sounds like a lot of bother, and it is, when all of the aspects are working in sync underwater photography can be absolutely stunning. The chance to digitally capture the animals, plants and majestic scenery of the underwater world is worth the cost and time it takes to become an expert in the field.

Gearing up before you go

When it comes to your gear, you have to understand that the medium you will be working in is the enemy of 90 percent of the gear you will use. Digital cameras have less moving parts than older analog cameras, but they have many more delicate electronic components that the merest hint of water – especially sea water – will destroy in a heartbeat.

This is the primary reason that even waterproof cameras need a housing when diving. Although it makes using the camera awkward and changing lenses or batteries impossible, the housing can protect your investment if a seal fails on the camera itself. Waterproof and water-resistant cameras still have openings and slots that allow access to the inner workings. No matter how good an off-the-shelf seal seems, they were not designed to withstand the rigor of being constantly immersed.

Don’t forget the other side of the equation, as well. Diving gear – tanks, wet suits, regulators and more – can be costly, too. Training and practice dives all add to the cost of your underwater adventure. This, however, shouldn’t dissuade you from learning how to take quality underwater photographs, but it should be factored in when it comes to how much the hobby is going to cost you.

Underwater Photography

The waterproof camera is your first step

The most important piece of equipment should also be your first. A good underwater camera is, obviously, essential to underwater photography and it needs the functions and options to make quality photos, be easy to operate, have plenty of accessories and be durable. With all of these qualifications, it’s easy to see why underwater cameras are so expensive.

The Olympus TG-4, in the lower middle range of cost, durable and packed with options, it is a good choice for beginning underwater photographers as well as seasoned veterans. If it has a disadvantage, and this varies by opinion, is that it has a limited selection of add on lenses. Currently, a teleconverter is available that gives the camera a greater focal length and strengthens the optical zoom feature of the camera.

Related articles

Don’t forget the flash

In addition to the camera and housing, you will need at least one, and preferably two, underwater strobes. Unless the water is perfectly clear and you are not too deep, you will need an external light source to reduce backscatter and to compensate for slower shutter speeds used due to depth. Decent strobes generally cost in the one to two hundred dollar range and, with practice, can make a huge difference in photo quality.

There are three main aspects to remember when buying a strobe. The first is power. When it comes to strobe lights, the stronger they are the better. The second is the recycle rate with a strobe that can recycle to a full charge within one second being optimal. The third aspect is size. Smaller and lighter is better because you have to lug one or two strobes along with your camera and other gear.

Putting it all together

Probably the most important thing about underwater photography is getting stuck in and taking pictures. If you can’t afford everything, start off small and hit the water. Take pictures under all conditions and see what you can and cannot do with the available equipment.

Upgrade over time and use the time to sharpen techniques and learn both your and your equipment’s limitations. Starting small allows you to learn how to take good pictures with non-optimal equipment and when you finally have the best that money can buy, you have already got the basics of underwater photography down. You will never take an underwater photograph sitting in your chair at home. Getting up and moving forward can start you down the road of a lifelong hobby. In every endeavor, taking the first step is always the most difficult, so get up and start now. There is no better way to learn from your mistakes than to make a few.

By  Ian PearsonEmbed

Author Bio - Aside from primary area of interest and expertise in business consulting, Ian could be tagged also as a passionate sports fan, nature and photography enthusiast, always trying to keep up to date with tech innovations and development, with particular interest in trying to master the fine art of Social intelligence.


Post a Comment