The Training Room: How To Take Great Underwater Photos

Water |
Coming up for the air: The women of Lady Adventures show us how to make the most of our underwater cameras.

It was Florida’s unbearable summer heat that first sent Genevieve and Sara into the water, a move that introduced the friends and cofounders of the blog Lady Adventures to a long list of amphibious hobbies, such as snorkeling, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and underwater photography. “Our first adventure together to Devil’s Den spawned our undying love for underwater photography,” explains Sara, who is often working behind the lens on land during the week as well. “We took one look at the awe-inspiring view of the underground cave, the gorgeous rock formations, and clear blue water and decided to put our LifeProof iPhone cases to the test.” What followed was “pure magic” and a new hobby that’s resulted in some fantastic photographs. Here, Sara lends up some field-tested tips for improving our own underwater snaps:

Be sure to select a spot with clear water. Natural blue springs or blue ocean water are the least murky and provide an excellent blue backdrop for your photos. When shooting in the ocean, be sure the photographer uses goggles to help with vision issues!

Where there is light, there are beautiful photos. Stay away from dark and shadowy areas of the water, focusing instead on the sections of the water where the sun is shining down and illuminating the water. Reflections of your body will dance along the top of the water so be sure to angle your camera to capture the top of the water, as well.

Take photos rapid-fire. Many of our best shots are the third or fourth in a sequence—when using a GoPro, we set it to take 10 or 30 shots in a row depending on what we are trying to capture, such as a mid-air leap or a dramatic pose. Also, be sure to start pressing the shutter about two seconds before you think you should start taking photos so that you don’t miss a stellar beginning shot.

Exaggerate to the maximum. Since you are underwater, be sure to explore shapes with your body —the same physical barriers don’t exist in water as they do on land. Twist, contort and play!

Always be sure your equipment is fully charged and in the correct underwater protective housing. The last thing you want to happen is a malfunction due to wet equipment meaning you could potentially lose all of your beautiful photos!

Get creative with where you place the camera! Some of our best underwater shots are the ones that are half above water. The bonus to using a GoPro Hero 3 is the capability to take photos remotely from your phone, which allows both people to be in the photo.

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