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Taking your camera underwater for the first time can be an extremely daunting experience, but the opportunity to capture some of the breathtaking beauty beneath the ocean is a rewarding adventure. The thought of getting started puts a lot of people off, so here's a guide on all you need to know about continuing with photography in the underwater world from gear to locations.
Where to start?
Underwater photography isn't the type of photographic exploit that you'll just be able to read about and then go out and try, there are many elements there are many safety concerns and diving issues you'll want to overcome before you go anywhere near any water. But take a look at the photographic examples in this tutor, and you find that shooting underwater is not only a chance to capture some of the incredible sealife and coral that live in the vast oceans that surround us, but can also be a creative means for other types of shoots, such as portraits or fashion.
So even if you don't fancy some deep sea diving to go in search of unknown crustaceans, you still may be able to put some of these tips into practice in your photographic work.
Equipment: The Camera
As far as equipment is concerned, there are a few things that you'll need to get started. A basic underwater kit will consist of a camera body, waterproof housing, a strobe and ideally, a good macro lens and a good wide-angle lens.
First up, the camera itself. There aren't any particular requirements that make a camera especially good for underwater photography, so you don't need to go out and buy a new fancy camera. In fact, in the right hands, a compact camera with manual controls has the capacity to take produce some great photographs. Being so light, mobile and relatively cheap, this can be a good place to start, however, choosing to use a DSLR does have some significant advantages, such as full manual control of exposure settings, the ability to use different lenses and a larger sensor.
If you're specifically choosing a camera to use for underwater photography, it's important to consider the qualities which one would usually look for in a good camera, manual control, lens compatibility, RAW mode, but in particular for underwater photography, it's important to consider the battery life, the quality of macro mode, autofocus capabilities and also what waterproof housings are available for the camera.
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