How to Take an Underwater Photo

Easy to use underwater cameras help millions of divers and non-divers experience a part of the world which is essential to our survival. With a SeaLife Camera, you can enrich your life by capturing valuable impressions in the underwater world. Following these basic tips ensures that you will take amazing underwater photos that will impress your friends and keep your memories alive. Here’s how to take underwater photos:

1. Control your buoyancy – While underwater, be very calm and patient. Let that curious fish get closer and closer. Get up-current from a good spot and drift motionless along with your camera in ready position. To stay in a camera-ready waiting position, approach your subject facing the current.

floating underwater deep sea diver
Photo by Stephen Frink

2. Find crystal clear water – No matter what equipment you use, good underwater pictures require crystal clear water. Keep your shooting distance to 1/10 of the visibility. For example, if the visibility is 40ft / 12m, keep your shooting distance inside of 4ft / 1.2m.

sea turtle kubu indonesia sealife
Photo by Tobias Friedrich

3. Avoid backscatter – Don’t stir up the sand and debris on the bottom. Avoid using the camera’s built-in flash. The built-in flash is very close to the camera lens and illuminates all the particles in front of the lens. If using an external flash accessory, aim the flash toward the outer edge of the picture from, not towards, the center of the image.

ocean diving photo backscatter sand
Photo by Bjorn Harms

4. Shoot up, not down – Get some of the blue water in the picture. Colorful coral in the foreground will stand out against a mystic blue background. These color contrasts will add depth to your pictures (left). Shooting down (right) normally results in poor contrast between the subject and background.

Ocean floor photography Tobias Friedrich DC2000 sealife camera           Fish in coral shot on SeaLife underwater camera

5. Know your distance – When taking pictures of your buddy, he or she should be no more than 6ft / 2m away for a good picture. Use the wide-angle lens accessory for group shots, so you can get everyone in the picture and still keep your shooting distance within 6ft / 2m.

Young diver with SeaLife underwater camera


6. Keep it simple – A photo without much color, such as a silhouette against the blue water background, can make a dramatic image.

Humpback Calf - Tonga - Cathy Hart - Micro 2.0
Humpback Calf – Tonga – Cathy Hart – Micro 2.0

You don’t have to be a professional photographer or diver to take a good underwater photo! Keep calm, learn the basics and remember to have fun! SeaLife Cameras make taking underwater photos simple and easy and are a great way to immerse yourself into the world of underwater photography!