Bump Up Your Underwater Photography Game with Awesome Color


Last Updated on July 3, 2023 by Snorkel Ken

“Hi. I’m Tom the Turtle. I’ll be eating here.”

Let’s get you taking some great underwater photos with the vibrant color that you’d expect!  Remember, you don’t have to be a professional photographer or even a serious hobbyist to take a great underwater photo.  It’s okay that some of your photos come out like crap. It’s part of the fun and the learning process, actually.

Here’s some ways to make your underwater photos come with blazing color:

*Make sure the camera is on forced flash..that is, the flash goes off on every shot and not on auto flash which is when the camera will only flash when it says that it’s dark enough. Flash is your friend.

*Get as close as you safely can to the subject to take the photo.  Red light is filtered out by water and the more water that is in between your camera and your subject makes it even worse.

*Always shoot in manual mode  and stay away from auto.

*If you’re close to the surface, sure, you can get decent color but the deeper you go (even as shallow as 3 feet) then the water starts to bend the light and the ambient light gets dimmer and the colors start to fade.

Using a Flash479408902_od7yf-s

*Try to keep your subject about a foot away as long as it’s safe to do so.

*If it’s already pretty bright try not to use the flash because the shutter will engage and your light will get muddled.

*Shoot in manual mode.

*Expose with care and with skill.  Some colors will get blown out when exposed improperly.  If you’re just using digital images then there are ways to fix with editing software as well.

Using Natural Light

For the most part on snorkeling vacations, we’ll be taking underwater photographs as hobbyists…amateurs.  Using natural light or a simple built-in flash is what the majority of us will working with.  So, here’s some tips for using your underwater camera with just the natural light you’ll have available.

*Manually use the white balance on your camera or just shoot the photos and edit in your photo editing software.  Again, this is if you want perfect underwater photos.  If you’re happy with what you have then there’s no need to obsess.

*The sunnier the day and the calmer the water then the brighter and clearer your photos will be.  There is “good” snorkeling water and there is “bad” snorkeling water.  You’ll know the difference when you see it!

*Always, always shoot with the sun behind you and use its natural light to brighten every thing you photograph.

*If you can get a good red lens filter for your camera then go ahead and get one.  This will help bock out some of the blue spectrum and make your photos look more natural in color.



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