Shooting underwater requires consideration of both the environment, the creatures who live there, and your fellow divers.
- [Instructor] In this movie, we're going to talk about wide angle etiquette. And this includes how to interact with the environment so as not to damage it, of course, as well as how to interact with your fellow divers. And for this topic, because he knows so much more about it than I do, I'm just going to turn things over to Hergan. - [Hergan] So we're going to start things off with a section we're going to call, no shot is worth it. And the fact is, no shot is worth it. And what we mean by that is no shot is worth damaging coral, or any other part of the underwater environment with bad buoyancy.
This is just unacceptable behavior. If you can't take the shot without damaging something, just don't take it. Try to find something else to shoot, cause no shot is worth damaging the underwater environment. Some of these corals take months or years to grow inches, and so even just a little bit of damage by five or six divers can really decimate a pretty significant stretch of coral. Don't chase or harass the wildlife. These are wild animals, this is their environment, and we're moving in to their environment.
We don't want to chase them away, because they're not going to be around then for other divers when they come to the site. And this is especially true with big animals. So, a lot of these big animals are naturally curious, and if you just sit, relax, and wait, they'll keep coming around once they get used to you, and once they realize that you're not going to chase them. If you're the one who chases the wildlife, chances are you're going to become pretty unpopular with the rest of the group pretty fast. So now let's take a look at interacting with other shooters or other divers.
So, most of the time, as the photographer, either wide angle or macro, but in this case, specifically wide angle, you're going to be spending more time on a subject than a non-photographer, who's probably going to swim up, take a look, and then swim away. So, be a nice guy or gal, and let those non-photographers take a look at the subject first before you move in to take your shot. The next thing is don't flash your strobes in somebody's video. Flash in video does not look good. Wait to make sure that they're done shooting before you move in to take photos.
Don't swim through other people's shots. If you see somebody set up on something, don't swim in front of them. Just wait behind them and wait till they're finished. If they're taking a really long time, just swim up, tap them on the shoulder and let them know you'd like to go, and they'll probably take a break and let you know it's okay to go. But don't just swim through other people's shots. So if you're in an environment with other shooters, one thing you really want to do is share. And the way we do that is take a couple shots, back out, and use that time to review your images, get your settings reset so you can move in, and nail it the second time around.
It's better to do that than spend excessive time on the subject, reviewing your images, adjusting, and reshooting. It's really going to frustrate the other people, who would like to move in for a chance to shoot as well. So, if you found a really nice scene, let's say a really beautiful stretch of coral, and there's a particular group of fish hanging out behind that coral, and you've gotten some really nice images from it, you're pretty much satisfied with what you have. Make sure you share that with somebody else instead of just swimming off. And this is kind of a pay it forward situation where, if you show other people cool setups, they're going to show you cool setups as well.
- Wide-angle optics
- Blending and contrasting exposure
- Controlling exposure with aperture
- Lighting underwater
- Shooting on walls and slopes
- Composing underwater shots
- Capturing rays of sunlight
- Going in for close focus
- Post-processing in Lightroom