An open water dive is one of the most wonderful experiences in the world. The underwater realm is home to spectacular life forms, a universe of colour and sound impossible to experience anywhere on the planet’s surface. It makes sense for people to wish to make a record of this mind blowing adventure. This means waterproof cameras. Choosing the right equipment may be a little confusing. Even the decision of either renting or buying the camera is a tough one.
If you are a passionate and frequent snorkeler or diver, you may want to use your underwater camera quite often. If you think about taking your diving experience to the next level by becoming a professional, you may also want to record and track your progress. Eve if you want nothing more than enjoying a family diving holiday to the full, you may still want to own your camera, so that you can make use of it whenever you want.
If you can afford the price, take a look at the Olympus Tough! TG-5. Together with its waterproof housing, this camera will cost you about £620 but you’ll get excellent value for your money. This camera features excellent colour processing and noise control capabilities, as well as a very robust built.
If you don’t have such a lavish budget, you may want to consider the Nikon Coolpix W300. Priced around £390, this camera is waterproof up to 30 metres without the need for housing. The high resolution monitor and the good zoom range recommend this camera as one of the best choices for amateur underwater photographers.
If you prefer to have your own kit but you wouldn’t want to splurge, you can buy the £99 Fujifilm FinePix XP130. Waterproof to 20 metres and very easy to use, this can be the ideal camera for your family diving holidays. It doesn’t offer the image clarity of more expensive models, but it can help you documenting your adventure and creating memories.
Now that you’ve either bought or rented your camera, how do you put it to good use to capture those memorable moments? Even the best camera will only be as good as you are. Those diving moments can be unique, so you must be ready to capture them as they occur. You won’t be able to do this unless you master your photography technique.
Capturing the best shots calls for both diving and photography skills. To be able to focus on the details of taking the shot while exploring the underwater world, you must be confident in your diving skills. This is why our PADI Digital Underwater Photography course as a diver is available only to PADI Open Water Diver qualified students. If you don’t have this qualification, you’ll be able to take this course as a snorkeler – helping you to achieve your very own Borneo Dream of taking stunning pictures underwater!
The closer you are to the surface, the easy it will be to take great shots using natural light. Morning light, particularly, can do wonders for the clarity of your images. Deep water images, though, will call for the use of flashes or strobes from different angles. Beware not to interfere with the surrounding habitat or with other photographers.
Learning how to use the light will improve the colour of your images. Choose a camera model that allows for white balance control. This will enable you to correct blue hues to your underwater photos. Ultra wide lenses and low aperture settings will allow more light to enter the camera, thus producing better images in terms of details and background noise control.
Editing can hugely enhance your images. You can crop and sharpen them, correct their white balance, and enhance colours to create the perfect look and feel. After taking our Level 2 PADI Digital Underwater Photography course, you’ll receive all your photos to play around with them as you wish.