Dive into underwater images with an interchangeable-lens digicam and housing

All the pictures proven on this article have been taken within the Banda Sea in Indonesia on a Wetpixel expedition. For 12 days, a small group of photographers lived aboard the Damai II dive boat as we moved from Ambon to Kaimana on the island of Papua. Above: The underwater panorama has an alien look about it. The solar ball is alongside the curved fringe of a phenomenon known as Snell’s Window.

Underwater images would be the most specialised type of nature images there may be. It is gear-intensive, you are working in an surroundings the place people aren’t supposed to have the ability to survive, and it requires being nearer to the topic than something on land apart from macro work. Like many individuals, I used to be drawn to underwater images by my love of the ocean and an attraction to the unbelievable colours in underwater pictures I had seen. In 2006, because of PADI, I had a possibility to develop into an authorized scuba diver and to take the PADI Digital Underwater Images course. That have modified my life.

Among the dive websites have been teeming with extra fish than I’ve ever seen at a time earlier than or since.

Greater than another side of nature images, digital cameras have enabled would-be underwater shooters to shorten the essential studying curve. Inside every week of taking my first underwater photograph (which basically was an underexposed, blurry gray-green mess), I used to be capturing sharp, well-exposed, colourful and rewarding photographs. That is extraordinary. I had the technical fundamentals sorted out, which freed me to embark on the rather more rewarding journey of on the lookout for compelling photographs, watching animal habits and discovering underwater scenics.


Clear, shallow water offers you a chance to indicate dry land within the background.

Underwater images remains to be extremely specialised and gear-intensive, but it surely has develop into dramatically extra accessible over the previous decade. The power to shoot, assessment on the LCD, alter and shoot once more has revolutionized the educational course of.

Fundamentals Of Underwater Taking pictures
Get Shut. Greater than another type of nature images, it is essential to get near the topic while you’re capturing underwater. It is a problem, to make sure. You are coping with surge and present, and also you’re making an attempt to not contact something—and that is all whereas controlling your respiration and being attentive to the truth that you are underwater! With all of that to consider, getting shut is not straightforward, but it surely’s important to creating compelling pictures.


Urged Assets
Wetpixel.com is an excellent useful resource for anybody excited by underwater images. The group there may be extraordinarily educated and useful. DivePhotoGuide.com is one other glorious information supply. The most effective how-to e-book I’ve seen on underwater images is The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge.

Getting shut presents some particular challenges, notably with regards to lens choice. Due to the phenomenon of the digital picture, to render a pointy photograph, you should be utilizing a lens that may focus shut or you should use a diopter. Interchangeable-lens cameras are housed in watertight (hopefully!) housings with interchangeable lens ports. Most underwater scenics are photographed with very wide-angle lenses with dome ports. It is due to the optical traits of the system and dealing in water that we now have to cope with the digital picture. Your automotive mirror says objects are nearer than they seem. Once you’re capturing with a dome port, the other occurs. Objects seen by way of the dome port are farther than they seem. That is the digital picture. Additionally, the digital picture is significantly smaller than the precise topic. (The explanation we use a dome port is as a result of utilizing a flat port with wider angles ends in chromatic aberrations and sharpness points, particularly on the corners and edges of the body. A dome port is a obligatory evil.) The time period “digital picture” can create confusion as a result of it makes it appear as if it is a trick being performed in your eyes. So far as your lens is worried, nonetheless, there’s nothing digital about it. If the lens cannot focus as shut because the digital picture seems, the picture will not be sharp.

Shoot Up. Following this recommendation will make the one greatest enchancment in your photographs, and it truly is that easy. Simply shoot at an upward angle. This lets you emphasize the topic, cut back muddle and distractions within the background and, relying upon the angle, it offers your pictures some perspective by exhibiting the floor.

Mild It. Underwater lighting tools is heavy, cumbersome, finicky to make use of and costly. It is also extremely essential, particularly while you drop under about 10 ft. Giant strobes was the norm for underwater shooters, however at the moment there are attention-grabbing choices with steady lights. And, after all, for capturing movement, steady lights are a necessity.

The X Issue. Like all nature images, there’s an X think about underwater photographs: understanding what you are seeing. Past the ideas I discussed, the most effective factor you are able to do to create particular pictures is study what you are photographing. A couple of of my favourite underwater photographers are Alex Mustard, Douglas Seifert and Tony Wu. They’re extraordinarily educated in regards to the underwater surroundings and it reveals of their photographs. Mustard is a marine biologist with a PhD who resides within the UK. Spend a while taking a look at his pictures (amustard.com), and you may see that X issue. Armed with the proper gear and enthusiasm for making lovely underwater pictures, spend some effort and time finding out and observing the surroundings and the interactions—you will discover your pictures will enhance in lock step.

Left: Coral buildings at all times make for engaging and colourful photographs. Taking pictures at an upward angle retains the background uncluttered. Proper: The purple mantle of this balled-up anemone with its resident clownfish caught exterior is a comparatively uncommon sight. All photographs: Canon EOS 7D, Sea&Sea MDX-7D housing, Tokina AT-X 107 DX 10-17mm fisheye lens

 



Canon 100mm Macro; Tokina AT-X 107

My Gear
In panorama images, everybody has their favourite lenses. Due to the peculiar necessities and challenges of capturing underwater, many photographers are inclined to gravitate to a confined assortment of glass. For photographers capturing with APS-C cameras, the Tokina AT-X 107 DX 10-17mm fisheye has been a mainstay, and it is the lens I exploit on my Canon EOS 7D after I’m capturing large angle. The Tokina’s minimal focus distance of 6 inches makes it superb for capturing with each a big dome port or a mini-dome.

After I’m capturing with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III, I exploit a Canon EF 8-15mm ƒ/4L Fisheye USM lens for many of my wide-angle work. I’ve a zoom gear for the lens, however most of the time, I simply preserve it at 15mm. The Sigma 15mm ƒ/2.Eight EX DG Diagonal Fisheye is one other well-liked lens for full-frame underwater work.


Sea&Sea YS-250 TTL Strobe

For macro, I exploit a Sigma Macro 50mm ƒ/2.Eight EX DG or a Canon EF 100mm ƒ/2.Eight Macro IS USM on each the 7D and 5D Mark III. I discover the 100mm is tough to make use of if there’s surge or present due to the longer focal size and narrower area of view.

My 7D is housed in a Sea&Sea MDX-7D aluminum housing. The 5D Mark III is in a Seacam Silver 5D Mark III aluminum housing. I’ve flat ports, in addition to 8-inch dome ports and 4-inch mini-domes for each housings.

I exploit Sea&Sea YS-250 TTL strobes. They’re massive and heavy, however they pack quite a lot of energy, and I just like the rechargeable battery packs they use. After I’m capturing video with both DSLR, I exploit a pair of Mild & Movement Sola 4000 lights or Sola 2000s, relying on the scenario. The Sola 4000s have quite a lot of energy, however they’re additionally massive and heavy.

Sea&Sea MDX-7D; Seacam Silver 5D Mark III ; Mild & Movement Sola 4000

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