(Last Updated on : 06/02/2010)
Today there is little left on dry land for the photographer to satisfy the insatiable curiosity of his or her lens. Underwater photography is here to the rescue of those who have an inexplicable, roving feeling deep inside them to photograph something different.
The most unusual and the most interesting type of photography
is underwater photography. This type consists of taking pictures under the water, usually by scuba diving, snorkeling or swimming. It is one of the most challenging areas in photography. It requires specialized equipments, techniques and skills to be successful in taking good pictures. Animals such as fish and marine mammals are the most common subjects, but photographers also pursue shipwrecks, submerged cave systems, underwater "landscapes", and portraits of fellow divers. A lot of obstacles are faced by underwater photographers, the most common being the loss of color and contrast when submerged to a significant depth. Underwater photographers solve this problem by combining two techniques. The first is to get the camera as close to the photographic subject as possible, minimizing the horizontal loss of color. This is best achieved by using wide-angle lenses, which allow very close focus, or macro lenses, where the subject is often only inches away from the camera. The second technique is the use of flash to restore any color lost vertically through the water column. The photographer needs to be a successful and excellent scuba diver since this photography is only successful when the photographer is a good swimmer and is sufficiently skilled.
Underwater photographers use an amphibious or waterproof camera such as the Nikonos, which is designed specifically for use underwater. underwater imaging is achieved by putting a traditional film or digital camera into an watertight underwater housing. This allows many more options, since the user can choose a housing specific to their everyday "land" camera, as well as utilize any lens in their collection. All underwater housings are outfitted with controls knobs that access the camera inside, giving the photographer use of most of its normal functions. The use of a flash or strobe is often regarded as the most difficult aspect of underwater photography. Another format considered part of underwater photography is the over or under or split image; it is a composition that includes roughly half above the surface and half underwater.
Underwater photography doesn`t take unusual physical ability, nor is it difficult to master technically. In fact, you can start taking pictures by snorkeling in shallow waters, or begin with the swimming pool. If the poetic motion of the depth, the changes of light and shade, and the shimmering ripple of the surface fascinate you, Still Photography will not be enough. It is no wonder that underwater photography is one of the most popular International hobbies. Growing by there thousands every year, millions take to the beds of oceans every year - even children are addicts, either with a spear, camera or just to look. But sooner or later they all want to record what they have seen on film.