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Tom_.park

My top 5 tips to immediately improve your Underwater Photos!

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Hey guys!

 

My name is Tom Park and i'm a Dive Master and Pro Underwater Photographer from Australia. I get asked this all the time so I made a video with my top 5 tips and tricks to improve your UW photos. I hope you all enjoy and learn something from this :)

 

 

Happy shooting!

 

Tom

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Interesting video.

Can you re-post it with slow motion audio?

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You need to watch a youtube video on how to immediately improve your out of water audio recording. I could not watch past the first 20 seconds.

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Excellent and very helpful.

 

Thanks Tom!

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All very good advice, and concisely summarized. To recap:

 

1. Get close to your subject, and then get closer. Particles in the water between you and the subject scatter light, reducing contrast, resolution and preferentially attenuate shorter wavelenghts of light (i.e. your reds, oranges and yellows).

 

2. Use custom white balance and/or red filters to rebalance the color spectrum in SHALLOW water (10m or less ideally)

 

3. Use artificial lights (strobes, video lights) to bring back warm colors and create subject/background separation, especially in deeper waters where white balance alone is insufficient

 

4. Shoot subjects from eye-level or below (in general) to increase the viewer's connection with the subject and help simplify the background

 

5. Approach subjects slowly and methodically. Don't chase -- everything under water can move much faster than you can if it has a mind to escape you, and no-one cares about your shots of fish tails or a turtle's ass.

 

Definitely need to find a less echo-y room though to record the audio in :)

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Simple very helpful tips to put into practice every dive

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Thanks Tom. Great reinforcement of tips I've heard in the past but also a question.

My understanding is that colour gets lost due to the distance in the water column light needs to travel. This includes both vertical (depth) and horizontal. That means any manual WB picture will only be good for the distance away from the camera the sample is. I find this the challenge. Sometimes, I'll take my grey card and put it near the subject I will be shooting, like a wreck, take a picture, remove the grey card and take my pictures. I then sample the grey card in LR to get the correct WB.

I find I am always chasing WB underwater given the amount of water between the light source, subject and my camera.

Here's an illustration of what I'm talking about. You need to get your WB reference from where the fish is.

post-45315-0-84196200-1548418115_thumb.jpg

Edited by DS256

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Thanks Tom. Great reinforcement of tips I've heard in the past but also a question.

 

My understanding is that colour gets lost due to the distance in the water column light needs to travel. This includes both vertical (depth) and horizontal. That means any manual WB picture will only be good for the distance away from the camera the sample is. I find this the challenge. Sometimes, I'll take my grey card and put it near the subject I will be shooting, like a wreck, take a picture, remove the grey card and take my pictures. I then sample the grey card in LR to get the correct WB.

 

I find I am always chasing WB underwater given the amount of water between the light source, subject and my camera.

 

Here's an illustration of what I'm talking about. You need to get your WB reference from where the fish is.

 

 

 

If you're shooting stills (not video) could you not just use RAW (and Auto colour) and then adjust the colour balance in, say, LR?

That's worked just fine for me with various Nikon DSLRs and I've never had to tinker over much with WB.

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Tim, same issue. How do you select the grey/white sample point based on the distance and what your subject is? I've taken that approach before selecting the sand pan but sometimes that's many feet behind my subject which will distort the colour of the subject.

 

I find the white reference WB shot Tom was talking about more useful when you are not using your own light source.

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Good suggestions. Do you have your own web site?

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You are right, sometimes one forgets these little things like getting close or shooting from below/ eye level, and then at times just these few small things make pictures stand out. Great tips. Thanks for sharing

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Nice video for the education. Thanks very much

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Really great tips thanks for sharing. Posts like these help someone like me just getting in the game.

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