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The importance of using a wide lens in underwater photography

omri y

Many times we find ourselves marveling at a picture taken by a reputed photographer over and over, when we ask ourselves: “How did he photograph that?” Or “What technique did he use?”

Pay attention!

I’m going to tell you one of the most popular techniques among underwater photographers that will give you results that will bring others out:

Wide and near = quality and drama!

Remember that before you pull the trigger and take the desired picture and the results will not be long.  Of course you should also consider the direction of light, that the focus will be in the desired place and composition but I will review why you should focus on each of the tips listed above. In underwater photography there are two main types of photography – macro photography and wide-angle photography. How wide you ask? The answer is very simple. The wider the lens is, the better, as it will be sharper, more colorful and more dramatic and jaw dropping.

The water itself is a dense and bad optical element that greatly detracts from the quality of the picture and contains particles and other vegetables that damage the sharpness and contrast of the resulting photograph. In addition, water filters light for us (see article on light and color) also above us depending on the depth of photography and between the lens and the object. In order to overcome these problems we will strive to minimize the amount of water between the lens and our object.


A wide lens is the solution that is especially required for this purpose because it “sees” a large field of vision so that we can approach the photographed object and still include it in its entirety and arrange our composition at a minimum distance. Where does the drama come from?

Wide lens has an optical structure that gives it a very unique feature that comes to our advantage when you know how to use it. The feature I’m talking about is drama!

The wide lens actually enlarges what is close to it and reduces what is far from it, thus enabling us to control proportions and low photographic angles. When we are closer to our object, we magnify and magnify it in the picture! Of course, the wider the lens, the more extreme the drama will be, and the more exciting our image will be.

The convenience and ease of a wide shot:

Wide-angle photography gives us the option to get wonderful images from our camera, even without artificial lighting (flash / s) by using sunlight.  In this case, I would strongly recommend a color filter because the water filters the light for us (see light and color) and the images in this case may come out of milky, pale and colorless. It should be remembered that a broad lens, as it is, “sees” the world with a wider field of vision and we can use the sun that can easily illuminate the scene from the picture.  Artificial lighting (underwater flash), on the other hand, whose area of light scattering is limited, can be used in selective lighting that does not illuminate the whole scene. Alternatively, two powerful flashes can be used to cover the wide field of view. When we bring artificial light with us, we need more knowledge in the operation of lights, the direction of light, and consideration of the shadow waterfall and the parts we want to illuminate in the frame.

So bottom line – why should you shoot with a wide lens? Because by doing so we are possibly reducing the amount of water between the lens and the object, thereby obtaining a higher quality picture. Because the lens creates a drama that will arouse admiration of the viewer when seeing the pictures. Because you can easily get beautiful results with sunlight without expensive flashlights. Because now you can take pictures similar to those coming out of professional cameras with expensive cases. Because when you install a wide lens, go back and read this article again and you will see my beautiful pictures.




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