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How to Take Pictures Underwater: 3 Tips for Beginners

An underwater photograph taken from a level perspective

Underwater photography isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Even if you’re good at natural photography, you’ll find it challenging to adapt to taking pictures underwater. The odd lighting conditions, the weird perspectives, and the inability to move around freely make taking pictures anything but easy.

We interviewed Red Sea diving experts in Aqaba for their professional advice on how best to take pictures underwater. This article shares three of the most important tips we noted.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into it!

1.Don’t Take Images From The Top

Many people make the mistake of taking pictures as they’re diving downwards. This results in very cluttered and flat images. When you’re above your subject, the background is the sea floor—which isn’t much farther from your subject. This minimizes your lens focus and makes it harder to distinguish between your subject and the background. The seafloor is also probably getting as much light as your subject, limiting your photographs’ ambiance.
Instead, get to the same level as your subject or below your subject to capture the picture.

Your subject will stand out far better against a plain background.

2.Get Closer to Your Subject

Not a lot of light reaches the seafloor. Most professional underwater photographs you see use strobes to illuminate the subject. As a beginner, you might not have the budget to purchase these. You can also try using an underwater torch.

However, there’s a way you can tackle this. Instead of taking pictures of entire sceneries, choose a subject and don’t shoot deep. Instead, use ambient light. You can adjust the white balance in an editing program like Lightroom or Dive+, but if you shoot in RAW mode, it is easier to do so.

3.Use the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a common tool photographers use to accentuate the subject in their photographs. You divide your photograph into three planes horizontally and three planes vertically. Your subject should be in the central box or at one of the junctions between the lines dividing the picture.

A close-up photograph taken while Red Sea diving in Aqaba

Your underwater photography skills are limited by how good you are at scuba diving. Improve your diving skills with the Deep Blue Dive Center at the Gulf of Aqaba. No matter your skill level, we can make you a better diver with our PADI Beginner Courses and PADI Pro Courses in Aqaba.

Want to train at the best dive center in Aqaba? Sign up with Deep Blue today