Dear readers – we have set out to become skilled and confident underwater photographers. As in, photographers who photograph underwater. So far we have talked about camera choice, shutter speed, aperture (more here) and ISO [links here]. But we have not discussed any underwater aktschn so far – we have not gotten our camera setups wet yet.
Almost Time To Get Wet
I promise, by the life of my favorite goby, that we’ll get wet very soon. In fact, we still need to discuss proper housing care and assembly, and then we’ll chat about our first camera-carrying dive!
Where to go from here? One thing to do is to practice, with your camera, on land. Henri Cartier-Bresson famously said that “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”. That might have been a bit of an overstatement. But naturally it’s very true that practice is important.
Listen to Marty!
Marty Snyderman almost as famously said that “Digital photography makes the path to mediocrity easy.” What he meant is that you can take a shot, look at the result, correct some of your settings, take another shot, and repeat. You will eventually end up with a well-composed shot. It will probably not be a shot which wins the National Geographic Shot of the Decade award, but, at least it will be a well-exposed photograph. Try to get to that stage!
Marty meant what he said jokingly (I think), in the sense that the advantages of digital (versus analog, film-based) photography will only help you in the beginning, but not to become a really good photographer. I think he had a point, however this help in learning early on by being able to look at your images right away should not be underappreciated. Shoot, look at the image, change the settings, and shoot again! Greatness can come second.
Look at Nice Photographs
Another thing to do for you at this early point in your photo career is to look at other people’s work, and take note of the settings. If you are using Facebook, the Underwater Macro Photographers group is a very useful resource. Photographers post their shots there, and always include all the camera setting information. The Underwater Photography Online Magazine is another very good resource where you can see great underwater shots plus all the camera and camera setting information. Learn from the pros!
Next week: your camera housing, how to set it up, and how to take care of it! Photographic greetings from the Philippines! If you have any questions or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org