Scuba Diving – How to Get Started In Underwater Photography

While you are scuba diving, you are no doubt amazed by the beauty and grace of the underwater world and wish to share it with your family and friends who you have not been able to convince to go with you as of yet. Or maybe you just want to capture photos of your experiences so that you can keep them for your own enjoyment. No matter the reason, most people have a great desire to begin learning underwater photography fairly early on in their scuba diving career.

If this sounds like you, you have likely already begun browsing your local scuba dive shops for equipment and started reading up on articles and information published by underwater photography professionals. While you can find a lot of information in this way, a lot of it is technical and hard to follow. For this reason, the best way to learn how to take pictures underwater is to start taking them and then learn through trial and error.

Your first underwater camera will likely be a disposable water-proof camera that works great for taking pictures in shallow depths. This will get you used to taking pictures underwater but is not ideal for taking photos in deep water. The next step up from this camera is the amphibious camera. This camera is small, lightweight, and ideal for beginning underwater photography in deeper waters. You can also take a normal land camera, house it, and outfit it for use in underwater photography. While this is the most expensive option, this is the equipment that produces the vivid, breathtaking photos featured in magazines. Whatever equipment you choose, two things that you cannot take underwater photos without are an external flashgun and interchangeable lenses.

Once you have your equipment, the best way to begin is to start taking pictures. Be sure to stock up on lots of film and take several shots of each subject. This way you can compare shots and learn from your own underwater photography mistakes. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Get close to your subject. One reason why underwater photography is so challenging is that matter is suspended in the water between you and your subject. The flash reflects off of this material resulting in blurry, obstructed pictures.

Start photographing small objects first. This will allow you to preset your equipment before you dive. Use a flashgun to provide white light as monochromatic blue light is the only light that penetrates deeper water. Artificial white light is vital in underwater photography for producing sharp, colorful images.

Position your flashgun correctly. Your flashgun should be positioned a good distance from the lens axis to avoid reflection of light off of suspended matter otherwise called back scatter.

After you get a feel for underwater photography, you will find that you can easily learn as you go. Take lots of film as this is the cheapest component of underwater photography. Compare shots, learn from your mistakes, and you will soon be wowing your friends and family with more than stories. You’ll have the photos to back them up.

Wedding Photography Mistakes Amateurs Need to Avoid

Wedding shooting can be one of the most difficult assignments a photographer can come by in his lifetime. A lot is at stake here and photographers usually make loads of mistakes while they are looking for the right kind of photo at weddings.

Step 1: Inexperience

Anyone who owns a DSLR or any other advanced compact camera system has to be called for a wedding photography some time or the other. Shooting a wedding is mighty big job and must not be left on the shoulders of an inexperienced. In case you are being paid, ensure that your commitment actually pays off. Ensure that the couple in question knows all about the situation they are about to face.

The perfect kit makes the job perfect. To this ensure, two decent cameras, selected lenses and a couple of flashguns added to it.

And in case you are not confident enough just accept the role but as the second photographer, this means you will be shooting from alternative angles, having duplicate shots and take a couple of the pro’s shots. This will all add to your experience.

Step 2: Exposure

The next big trouble is set in form of the color combination of the costumes of the bride and the groom. The biggest headache to every photographer is not to overexpose the bride’s white dress, while he tunes in to the details in the groom’s suit.

If over exposed, the dress will be set as an uniform mass of white light, that can be put to no further use. While any underexposure will make it look grey and grubby. Underexposure can be corrected post photography, with a little noise, but it must be a little so as not to lose on the groom’s dark suit.

An ideal photograph is one that produces an image which has the details finely lined throughout the range of the tonal area.

Use digital cameras, the features of this will have a huge range of advantage over the film cameras. Check the exposure immediately after you take the picture and adjust the exposure accordingly. The auto-exposure bracketing facility is used to take a sequence of images without any extra cost and in quick succession.

The histogram view to your camera, aims to produce images that actually has a peak towards the end right side of the scale. To make things easier, turn on the cams highlight settings. This will warn you of over- exposed areas, so that you can shoot again.

Avoid These Four Amateur Mistakes When Traveling With Your Camera

People often think that I am a ‘travel photographer’. Well, I’m not. What I am is a photographer that travels. There’s a world of difference, but that’s another story. Because of this confusion, I get asked a lot of questions.

“How do I become a travel photographer?” is the first question. Running a close second is “How do I shoot on my travels?” I’ll try answering the second question.

Traveling to photograph can be loads of fun. But not just anyone can look through the viewfinder and make a photograph. Having a camera doesn’t make you a photographer anymore than handing me a paint brush makes me a painter.

So, just how can a person be a good travel photographer and stand out from the crowds of tourists?

You have to realize that travel photography is more than just looking through the lens and pressing the shutter button. Taking great photographs is even more detailed. The bedrock under any good travel photographer is a passion for the art. And this is something that you can only learn through practice – taking photographs until you’re tired of it and then taking some more.

The old joke is: “What do you a call a travel photographer without experience? An amateur.” One of four problems will arise for the amateur who travels and takes photographs. A. They will have a difficult time capturing pictures that are stunning. B. They will have a difficult time learning to deal with the local culture. C. They are challenged by the task of setting up their equipment for best results. D. All of the above.

Here are four amateurish mistakes to avoid so you can monetize your passion for photography.

Mistake #1. Not Bringing Along the Right Equipment
Remember to bring along the equipment appropriate to the shots you want to get. If you’re planning on shooting landscapes, then you can probably leave the flash at home, but make sure to bring a tripod. If street photography is your aim, then forget the tripod, leave the flash behind also and bring some fast glass. If you don’t know what “fast glass” is, that should be a clue that you’re not ready to travel as a photographer. And I’m not going to give you a hint. Be resourceful and look it up. Regardless of the motivation behind your photography on the trip, make sure NOT to bring more equipment than you need. Too much equipment will mean too much weight to carry around and you’ll just get tired and frustrated.

Mistake #2. Not Using A Camera’s Automatic Settings
Many of the best shots in photography are literally “here-one-second-gone-the-next”. Unless you’re well versed in the settings on your camera, the best thing to do is just leave it on the Automatic setting. That way when the image of a life time happens in front of you, you don’t have to waste time fumbling with the shutter speed, aperture setting or some other knob on your camera. Getting good photographs about the locale requires a sense of readiness along with a photojournalist’s instinct. Be ready to point and shoot whenever an opportunity presents itself

Mistake #3. Not Being Polite Or Respectful To Local Customs
Getting candid shots of people out of doors in strange towns – or even your own home town – is called street photography. When you take photographs in a foreign place, you need to be aware of the culture and customs there. Here in the U.S. everyone that is in public is fair game for a photographer. The Constitution gives that to us. It’s not like that in other countries though. I was doing a shoot one time at the Pyramids and a friend that was along pointed her camera at a Muslim woman that was passing by. Take a photograph of a woman in certain Middle Eastern countries could land you in jail. Make sure you know the local laws and customs about photographing people. It could save you time and aggravation in the long run.

One good idea – if you can do it without looking suspicious is to use a long zoom. That way you can get your shots without causing any discomfort to the locals.

Mistake #4. Not Scheduling the Photographs
Yes, I know its vacation and you don’t want to think about schedules. But you do need to think about what is the best time of day to get that photograph. Some shots just look better at dawn while others look better in the early morning or early evening hours.

Landscape photographers find that photographs look best when captured during the “golden hour” – that hour just after sunrise and before sunset. Street photographers know that late morning and early afternoon are the best times to get a bright light with lots of contrast. So know what you’re going to shoot and then schedule your shots around that.

These are just a very few of the mistakes that most amateurs make. If you avoid them, then you will get the most out of your travel photography.