What Sports Photography Has Taught Me About Underwater Photography and Visa Versa

• Photo • Photo • PhotoUnderwater Photography: by Dale ShecklerI have only one hobby (I made diving my job a long time ago). That hobby is sports—youth sports to be specific. I coach and watch (my boys mostly) and enjoy taking action photos and sharing them with the players. Like underwater photography, I have learned to hone my skills of sports photography over the years. And I have noticed, in spite of what appears to be obvious differences, I have learned a lot from sports […]

Underwater Self Portraits

How many times have you wanted a picture of yourself while diving in a beautiful kelp forest, but there is just not a capable or willing underwater photographer around. There is a fun, simple, and effective way of taking your own picture underwater. To take a self-portrait on land, you have the options of either a timed shutter release where you activate the camera, and then you have a few moments to get into place or a way of remote triggering the shutter. While this […]

Macro Photography with Models

I have always felt that some of the most effective underwater photos are those with models—other divers in the shot. These shots allow the viewer of the photo to vicariously place themselves in the underwater scene. The emotional connection with the image’s beholder is greater. The vast majority of underwater photos involving models are wide-angle shots. But a more challenging, and equally effective method is macro photography with another diver in the shot. To achieve effective results in this department requires a very cooperative model, […]

Dive Camera-less to Improve Your Photos

Digital photography, as great as it is, has turned us into sloppy photographers. With large capacity memory chips, we can shoot and shoot away with little consideration to exposure, framing and composition. More experienced photographers have overcome this tendency with better attention to the above mentioned details. But one important technique still seems to go disregarded—a full appreciation of the animal subject’s appearance, intricate detail, habitat, and behavior patterns. Knowing your animal subject intimately is key to getting the best photos possible. I am not […]

How to Optimize Your Photos in Poor Visibility

We would all like to dive in water with 200 feet of visibility, bright sunlight and a plethora of photogenic critters. Well, sometimes we do, but many times we do not have visibility quite that good. While it is unlikely you will ever get as good a photograph with 10 feet of visibility as you would with 200, it is possible to get acceptable images with the right equipment and technique. There are three problems with photography in poor visibility. First, the particles in the […]

Hold That Camera Steady!

Take a basic photo class at your local community college and one of the first things they will teach you is to simply “hold the camera steady.” The still camera, film or digital, does not capture just a “moment” in time but actually a period of time, however small. Depending on your situation it could be 1/30th of a second, 1/125th of a second or 1/250th of second; it is duration of time. And during that span of time, things move. While your subject may […]

How to Hunt for Photo Opportunities

Sometimes when I’m out photographing, I think to myself, “I’d have made a really good predator.” When you think about it, that’s exactly what we are when we put a camera in our hands. What we’re hunting for are good photo opportunities. And there are some things you can do to improve your chances of getting a good shot. SEE WHAT YOUR LENS SEES If you’re shooting macro, think of small things and don’t be looking for whale sharks. If you’re shooting wide angle, think […]

How to get better Shark images

Sharks have an image problem. On one hand those who do not know them very well think of them as indiscriminate, savage killers; while those who have spent time with them in the water think of them quite differently. Silent, curious, graceful, sleek…. The words used are descriptive of their beauty not our fear of them. Fact is sharks are one of the most fascinating, beautiful subjects a photographer will ever encounter. They are, however, not the easiest animals to photograph. Believe it or not, […]

Photo Flashes and Their Uses

So now you’ve got a camera, you’ve made a lens choice, you’ve selected your ISO, and you’ve got an understanding of the relationship between shutter speed and aperture. Are you ready to make pretty pictures underwater? Almost. But first, we’d better fire up your flash. You may remember being introduced in your basic scuba class to a guy named Roy G. Biv. He’s fictional but gives us a reminder of the way colors “disappear” as we go underwater: Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green, Indigo, and […]

Developing an Eye for Photos

Once you’ve gotten the hardware that you need, and you’ve started to experiment with and perhaps even master some of the mechanical aspects of taking a picture, you now need to learn how to take “good” shots. And that means you need to develop your “eye” for photos. You can buy the best equipment in the world, have a thorough understanding of aperture, shutter speed, strobe distance, animal behavior, and the like, but if you don’t take time to develop your eye, all you’ll end […]

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