Exposure, exposure, exposure...|
I cannot emphasize how important this is. With underwater photography, most likely, you
are using at least one external flash unit. Remember that max distance you will get on it
is about 10 feet. If you have one "On the camera" only, expect it to go about 3-5 feet, or less
depending on the conditions u/w. Remember that flash exposure is calculated as from "Flash to subject distance,
NOT subject to camera distance" it makes a difference. The hard part of this is "Fish". Fish can have all kinds of
reflective properties. Some fish reflect like mad, over exposing your picture, "Grrr..." is
a common reaction when this happens and that fish is now gone. Plus, the opposite also
happens. That picture you took of the Giant Black Sea Bass looks black, when u/w it looked
silver with black spots. This is where the digital advantage is, you can see your results
right there, u/w. But how do you get that silver coloration that you saw?
If there is enough light u/w, consider shooting with available light, no flash. Reducing
your flashes strength also helps. You can also move your flash unit(s) way out to the left
and/or right. GBSB can be very difficult to get your shot right. If your camera has override options, use "Aperature priority" whenever
you can over "Program mode", your pictures will come out much better. I shoot in
manual mode u/w, yes, I will mess up a few pictures, but I can control my contrast much
better than shooting in program mode.
If you shoot RAW and JPGs (Something I
highly recommend), set your white balance to "Cloudy day", this will give you a "warmer feeling" picture.
Remember that as the camera sensors get better & better, they are attempting to take your picture exactly how it "sees" the scene.
Using "cloudy day" should work on about 99% of your work, warming the picture tone, much like films do in film
cameras. If you have Photoshop/Lightoom, you can actually change the white balance as needed, part of post processing. So shoot in
RAW/JPG and "Cloudy day", and move towards manual, just get off Program Mode, your results will be obvious and much
The 2 pictures to the right are shots I took with a simple Nikon "Point & Shoot" camera. The only difference between
the 2 are the White Balance when the camera is in "Auto" mode. The one on top is set for "Auto" and the lower one is set for
"Cloudy day". Do you see the difference? This usage is not for "Every" picture, but it can be done for many pictures.
Decide what works by experiementing with your picture taking.