Most of the photos we take in the ocean are of animals, corals, and other little critters. But why not also include a diver in your photos, or even capture nice underwater portraits of them? Adding divers to your photos adds an extra dimension to them. It also very nicely portrays the interaction between the diver and the animal, which helps illustrate the human element of scuba diving. The viewer will be able to better perceive the actual scale of the scene within the photo – even more so when you use a wide-angle lens.
This concept can even be as simple as why not just take a cool shot of your buddy underwater?
In some cases, I can imagine an underwater photographer may feel a bit too advanced to capture simple moments of divers with their thumbs up? To me, it is a very rewarding process to work with divers as underwater models. In my experience, they love to have their pictures taken underwater or maybe even more excited to see themselves in a photo alongside a turtle, porcupine fish, shark or any other beautiful animal.
Here are my 10 tips to taking stunning underwater photos of divers.
#1 Be A Good Diver
Good buoyancy control is key and must be second nature. Learning how to hover in different positions is a great start. A good way to achieve this is to practice first with your model in a sandy, shallower area. You can both kneel and try different lighting and angles. But be careful not to stir up the sand, as that will ruin your photo!
For example, I once photographed an underwater wedding alongside an underwater videographer who didn’t have his buoyancy control in order, landed in the sand several times close to me, essentially disturbing the opportunity to take my perfect shot. I was forced to get much closer to the bride and groom to reduce blurry shots…
Once you are ready to swim and, for instance, take some nice shots along the reef wall, you must be sure to create enough distance between yourself and that wall while you position yourself for the perfect shot. The last thing you want is to crash into a barrel sponge while getting your settings right. Finally, never hold on to a piece of coral while focusing – that is so NOT done! In the beginning, diving skills are even more important to learn than photography skills.
Read more of my publication on Mozaik UW Camera’s blog : https://www.housingcamera.com/blog/underwater-photography/10-tips-for-shooting-stunning-photos-of-scuba-divers