Saturday, 7 July 2012

Underwater Photography - Part 3

Now...chances are that some or most of you have gone to the sea before and you've tried snorkeling/freediving. As such you'd probably be thinking to yourself by now "Yeah Right!! As if you can ever stay still long enough in one spot to compose and take a shot!!!"

You're is indeed difficult to hold a steady position/angle simply due to the waves and current in the water. Not to mention the fact that out to human physiology/buoyancy if you dive down a couple of meters, your body is going to want to float upwards naturally. SO...when you've dived down or when you've snorkeled to your "spot" here's what i suggest....

Tip #4. Grab onto something!!

But BE CAREFUL!!!! There are many things in the marine world that can hurt you, quite a lot of them have very sharp spikes/teeth and some even have venom! On top of that coral themselves can be very sharp and will easily graze/cut you. Finally, be careful not to damage the coral, they are living organisms too!

By grabbing onto, say a large rock with one hand, you'll be able to stay underwater without having to constantly swim downwards. Plus with your other free hand you can be holding onto your camera and snapping away.

Grabbing on will give you those precious few seconds to steady yourself, compose your shot, take the shot and then shoot up for AIR!!!! I know this sounds crazy but after doing this a few times (and over a few days/weeks) you'll find that you'll be able to stay underwater for longer periods of time. You'll still need air of course but your body will be accustomed to you holding your breath. This leads me to my next tip...


Tip #5. Once you've reached your spot, be calm!

When i first started to do this i was flapping about trying to get the shot, kicking my fins/legs frantically trying to keep myself at the right depth (i hadn't learn Tip#3 yet, i.e. to grab on to something). But in doing so all the marine life got scared off!! So try your best to be smooth, quiet and calm when diving down to your spot. Once you've reached your spot, just compose  your shot and stay still for as long as you can (or as long as your one breath will allow you too). You'll find that the fish will come back, the colorful clams will open back up, the little playful clown fish will swim out of their shelters and you can snap away to your heart's content! But they will not come out if they fear you......

Try your best not to be flailing your arms about, or kicking the sand up, the faster you blend into your surroundings, the faster the marine life comes back out! The shot on the left was taken at about 7m and it didn't take long for the fish to come back out once I settled near the coral at the bottom. It was really amazing to see the three brightly colored yellow fish almost dancing in synchrony!!

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