When taking photos underwater, we are busy diving and our remaining attention tends to focus on finding a subject, positioning ourselves and framing that subject in a pleasing composition. All of this is important, but quality lighting will make the difference between a good photo and a great photo.
Topside nature photographers know it very well: they wake up very early to work with the best quality of light… but they only have to worry about sunlight. On the other hand, studio photographers juggle with multiple artificial light sources: flash, strobes, continuous lights or a mix of these… but they work in a controlled environment without ambient light.
However we, underwater photographers, are a different kind of beast with our own challenges:
- We are outdoor photographers, who work in a liquid environment where everything is in motion and setting up a tripod is often unpractical or simply impossible.
- We have to carry our own portable studio with 1 or 2 lights, because the vast majority of underwater subjects or underwater scenes look best with artificial lighting, or a mix of artificial and ambient light.
This Underwater Lighting Course will help you deal with all that complexity and take your images to the next level.
Watch the introduction video for more details, or read-on for a brief overview of the course’s content.
The Underwater Lighting Course is split into 6 lessons, which you can take at your own pace, in the order that suits you best:
- Why we need lights: delving into the 4 reasons why underwater photographers use artificial lights in the majority of their photos.
- Strobes vs Continuous Lights: exploring what sort of light is best for underwater photography. You will learn the pros & cons of strobes (underwater flash) and video lights or just dive lights.
- Strobe controls: looking at the various controls available on an underwater flash and how to use them.
- TTL vs Manual: explaining the pros & cons of controlling the power of your strobes manually, or letting the camera decide, using the TTL mode.
- 1 vs 2 strobes: do you need 1 or 2 strobes for underwater photography? This lesson explores the scenarios where a single strobe will work very well (even work best) and those where a second strobe is necessary.
- Backscatter & Hotspots: learning how to position your lights to avoid or minimise backscatter and distracting hot spots.
As always, I will use clear diagrams and a many underwater photos examples to make complex subjects clear and faster to learn.
Enjoy the Lighting Course!