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Maldives - Things to do - Scuba Diving - Photography

Maldives - Underwater Photography

Things to do > Scuba Diving > Photography

Underwater photography | Basic tips

Underwater photography

Many underwater photographers agree that Maldives is the best place in the world to photograph fish. Mainly because nowhere else is there such form and variety of fish and coral life. The best dive sites for photographing large pelagic fish such as sharks, mantas or jacks are the atoll passes or channels. Currents are often strong in the channels and it may become necessary to hold on to something to remain still. For good images of colorful fish and corals, dive in the 'thilas' or shoals inside the atolls. The conditions in these often are suitable for you to calmly and carefully frame your shots. While UW cameras are available for rent at most dive schools in the Maldives, you may not be able to get the exact equipment you require.

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Basic tips

General Tips

  • Keep your camera still when shooting
  • Shoot from the reef bottom whenever possible.
  • Squeeze the shutter, don't punch it.
  • Exhale just before you shoot.
  • Keep your arms in, stabilize your elbows against your body.
  • Maintain slightly negative buoyancy if there is a surge.
  • In midwater, control your buoyancy with breathing only.

The easy recipe for holiday photographers

  • Use ISO 100
  • Set the camera to 'A' (Nikonos) or 'Aperture priority' (SLR)
  • Set the strobe on TTL
  • Set an aperture of:
    o f/11 between the surface to 10 m (33 ft)
    o f/8 between 10 and 20 m (33 and 65 ft)
    o f/5.6 or f/4 in water deeper than 20 m (65 ft)
  • Nikonos: preset focus for 90 cm (3 ft), with either a 35 mm or 28 mm lens and stay between that and 1.2 m (4 ft) away from the subject.
  • SLR: Prefocus 50mm lens for 90 cm (3 ft) and get this distance from your subject, then fine-tune focus.
  • Compose and shoot.

Maintenance of photographic equipment

  • Thoroughly rinse all equipment after each dive.
  • Leave them in fresh water for a few minutes if possible.
  • Spray an anti-saline liquid over all parts in order to eliminate traces of salt crystals.
  • Check all accessible O-rings at least once a day, carefully clean their seating and gently lubricate them to keep them soft and elastic.
  • Get your equipment checked by a specialist at least once a year

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