Lava Light Lessons #36…Underwater photography

This one is about the basics of underwater photography…the very basics of it.

-Never bother to try to get a shot with one of those disposable cameras they sell you on boats…complete waste of time and money.

-Keep the sun to your back.

-Get close to the subject. All great shark shots, for example, are taken really close to the shark. My dolphin shots below are taken within feet of the dolphins. The more room between your camera and the subject, the more ocean junk will be in your photos…and there is more of it than you suspect.

-Animals in the ocean are moving surprisingly quickly. I try to shoot at 1/750th of a second or faster…up to about 1/2000th.

-The deeper you go, the more color you lose in your shot. The great color is in the first 15 feet.

-Stay calm…thrashing around causes bubbles and they will get in your shot. Try not to let a shark grab you and shake you, you will lose the horizon in your shot and, perhaps an arm.

-For little animals you need a macro lens…like a 65 or 100 mm.

-for bigger animals, like a dolphin or manta ray, wide is better. I shoot a 15mm fisheye or an 18mm prime lens.

-Look for unique. Try to get your shots of an animal doing something…playing, jumping, biting, eating, mating…something.

-have your head on a swivel. I am constantly checking around, over and under me, to see what other animals may be joining in on the fun. A shark surprise is not a fun surprise.

-stay calm at all times and fire away. I love underwater photography and bet you will, as well. Aloha.

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