Every year we see new talent emerging at our Photo Rally. The 3 day event is designed to encourage amateur underwater photographers to compete in up to three categories, namely Wide Angle, Macro and Compact Camera category.
The most stunning Wide angle photographs often include a well lit, well focussed wall or marine life in the foreground and a diver in the background. Shooting photographs slightly upwards will help to keep the background bright.
Macro photographs are close up and clear, with one marine animal or a small cluster of plants or animals as the center of focus.
Compact Camera / Action Camera Category
The Compact Camera category is for divers with a simple compact camera in a housing, or a GoPro, MUVI, GITUP or similar action camera.
Composition is important so take a Macro type photo or a Wide angle type photo. In very shallow water with good visibility no additional light is necessary, so shoot away! Hermit crabs, scallop, pipe fish, little cuttle, plaice and dogfish all make willing subjects.
For deeper water, use a strobe or video light to illuminate the foreground of a Wide angle photo. Also you can adjust the White balance – most compact cameras and the GITUP action camera have this function. A colour filter can be placed over the lens of basic action cameras to get great results.
Using the camera’s internal flash can cause ‘backscatter’ – illumination of particles in the water, spoiling the photo. A strobe is an excellent option to use with a compact camera, as illuminating the subject from the side or above prevents backscatter and gives a nice clear image.
Action cameras don’t usually have an internal flash or the ability to fire a strobe. So how do you illuminate your subject with natural white light? Well a normal dive torch is designed to throw a narrow beam of light as far as possible, so they will create a ‘hotspot’, or very bright area at the centre of your photo, hence they are not ideal for underwater photography. A video light, however, throws a wide beam of even light with no hotspot. Video lights work very well with action cameras that don’t have a flash or the ability to fire a strobe. Modern, inexpensive video lights are available now and have 3 output settings, so you can shoot on low, medium or high output. For the best results – take a shot on each of the three settings and see what works!
For further information on action cameras, scroll down for more blog articles, or visit our website at
For further information on Video lights, scroll down for more blog articles, or visit our website at
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