Underwater photography and videography- Tips for divers from a UK diver!

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Why bother taking a camera diving at all?  There’s all that hassle and someone else will have on anyway. I can think of a few good reasons to take a camera. Because it’s fun.  You take pictures all the time and it’s just a fun thing to do!
Tim Long
You take them everywhere else why not take a few underwater.  You don’t have to make it THE reason to dive.  Its quite fun to have a picture of your buddy when you are diving, they would probably like it and they might do the same for you.  I am not a big fan of the selfie stick underwater, you get a lot of shake and it’s amazing how many get lost.
1. Helping you to identify a fish.
Tim Long
It may sound mad, but trying to ID fish is not always easy and having to wait until you have finished the dive to then ask someone, who didn’t see it, is frustrating.  It just takes a second to grab a photo and research it later.
2. To show someone you’ve seen something really cool.
Tim Long
Around Koh Tao, where I was working, it was not uncommon for whale sharks to appear, the biggest fish in the seven seas.  Twice I had got back on the boat with my group, only for every one else to come up from their dives going “Wow, that was AMAZING”.  I can still barely believe it myself, but I have a picture of the wonder to remind me.
Then again there are occasionally the times, possibly by sheer luck, you get a shot you just can’t believe.  And NO ONE ELSE SAW IT!!! and of course there are those times that you get the shot and your buddy does too. You’re happy, your buddy’s happy and your friendly posing sealions are too.
Tim Long
3. Just getting a really nice shot and you will get some really cool shots! Ones that will look good on your cover photo on Facebook or your wallpaper on your phone or PC. It will sit there and every now and again you will look at it, sit back, and sigh at the beauty of our wonderful oceans.
Tim Long
4. To share what you’ve seen on FB/Twitter/Instagram. You can take some photos which show what you have been up to and show them to people.  A description just doesn’t do it.  You know if you see a one line of text on a FB post, its far less likely to catch your eye than a one line with a photo or two.  At this point I would urge a degree of restraint.  A one line post with 54 pictures attached is an encouragement to skip that one.  But you’d probably click on +2.
Tim Long
Oh yes, almost forgot, money! People might want to buy the photos from you, but don’t expect to be living the high life from the proceeds of your photographic work but it can be enough to live a dive life somewhere or top up your travel funds.
It’s all good fun!  Photos make you smile and they make others smile. They make you want to get back in the water and they make other people interested in what’s in the water.  Share the beauty and the fun and others will care about it as much as you do.

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About Author

I first started underwater photography in 2003 with a Nikinos V film camera. In 2004 I went digital and started using compact cameras in housings. In 2011 having had enough of life sitting behind a desk I became a scuba instructor and housed my DSLR and trained and started working as an underwater videographer, eventually running my own business in Thailand. After smashing my head in on a motorbike without a helmet - please wear a helmet, you never know when a drugged up idiot will come around the corner on the wrong side of the road - I had a brief sojourn into working as an underwater photographer in the Canaries, before returning to the business in Thailand filming and teaching videography. I am currently having a break from the water caring fro my Mum in Northumbria, where I don't get in the water quite as often, but it does give me time to share a bit of what I've learned in over 1,000 dives with cameras in my hands.

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