We all know Scuba Divers Underwater pictures like “Here I’m underwater making a funny face to the camera” or a photo of guys on the side of the sunken ship in a messy structure, with bubbles hiding their faces and pipes fluttering in all directions in the style of senior photos”. These are nice and amusing photos of the guys and there’s nothing wrong with them. But I want to believe that you, as photographers or future photographers, want a little more than that. Good shots of divers can be a bit more challenging to do than you can think. Talk to your Dive Buddy before diving and explain to him what you want to photograph and how he fits in photography. In diving photography, as in life, communication between people and coordination of expectations are very important. I hold that good diver photographs should be planned and preconceived rather than left to chance. Think and decide before you dive what you really want to achieve: whether the photographed diver will be the only subject / major in photography, or that he or she will integrate with it by interacting with an object or other objects. In any case, a good photograph of divers in the water requires cooperation between you and the photographer.
Here are few tips:
- Take a few minutes before the dive, where you and the photographed diver will decide on a number of agreed signs that will allow you to place the diver in the place and at the desired angle. Simple hand signals may save misunderstandings and embarrassment afterward.
- If you know the site you are going to dive in, think of an interesting spot like a soft colored coral, fan or pipe organ, whose inclusion in the frame along with the photographed diver will add value to the photo.
- Explain to the photographer what is going to be photographed and how you want to place it relative to the object.
- When you reach your destination, place the diver in the chosen location and zoom in to the desired distance, so that the diver and the additional attraction you take will fill a significant part of the frame.
- In order for the result to be interesting and natural looking, it is not recommended that the diver look directly at the lens. Instruct him to look carefully at the coral, sponge or whatever you chose as a supporting object in photography. If the diver does not look in the desired direction, remind him by a gesture of patting two fingers on your mask and pointing your finger to the desired place afterward.
- Decide if you want the bubbles from his regulator to appear in the photograph or not. You need to synchronize the photograph with the breathing rate and bubble output of the photographed and not vice versa.
Photographs of particularly successful divers are photographs of interaction between the photographed diver and various fish. Fish suitable for the mission are short-lived fish that can be approached within a short distance and convenient for photography. Fish that will meet this need: antiners, ostriches, scorpions, sea horses, and so on. Most of them can be found quite easily in Eilat. You can photograph the diver looking at the creature so that an entire body or half of its body will appear in the frame or decide on a tight, dense frame where only the head of the diver will be photographed with the object. In order to get the full impact, it is important that the diver and the object be very close to each other, between a few centimeters to a distance of half a meter.
Lenses suitable for diving photography are lenses at focal lengths ranging from medium range 50 mm for indoor and object photography, or wide angle lenses ranging from 12 mm to 28 mm ranges to suit whole body/torso and object shots. You can also use fish-eye lenses, just keep in mind that taking pictures with them at close range will cause deformities of fish-eye lenses.