Are you keen to start taking photos under water, but unsure about the gear involved? This course covers at length the equipment which you need for underwater photography, to help you make educated decisions when selecting your gear.
Let’s start with a free overview of the 24 pieces of gear which form part of a (very) complete underwater photography setup. You will not need all of them at first, but at least you will know what is out there. I will assume that you a complete beginner, so I will take time to show you each of these 24 items, name them and briefly explain what they do:
- Cameras: we will see action cams (such as the GoPro series), compact cameras, DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras.
- I will show you several underwater camera Housings, as well as external viewfinders.
- Flat ports and Dome ports: these are the windows through which your camera sees the underwater world, I’ll briefly introduce mini-domes, full sized domes, flat ports (also called macro ports) and port extension rings.
- Wet lenses: we will look at wet diopters, wet wide-angle lenses and macro-to-wide conversion lenses.
- I will show you underwater flashes (which we call strobes) and how they can be connected to the camera, via fibre optics or electrical sync cords.
- Handles, housing trays, strobe arms and clamps: I will introduce the option you have to get a comfortable hold on your housing, and the elements which allow you to attach strobes or dive lights to a housing.
- Floats: these are much needed accessories to make it more comfortable to take photos while diving.
- Housing Lanyards: making it easier to carry your complete underwater photography kit.
- Focus lights: they help your camera focus and can double-up as a dive light.
- Snoots and reduction rings are useful lighting accessories: they modify the shape of your light beam, to allow for more creative lighting.
- Tripods: we may need them to setup a camera trap or remote strobes or dive lights.
- Remote Strobe triggers: as the name implies, these are how we relay the camera instructions towards flashes positioned away from the housing.
Again, don’t take this as a shopping list: you will not need all these 24 items at first. In fact, many underwater photographers have spent their whole career without using remote strobe triggers or snoots. Still, you know they exist and can help you push your creativity further in the future.
Now that you know “who is who”, let’s have a look at the lessons included in this Course:
- Choosing a Camera: I will discuss the 10 camera specs to consider when choosing a camera for underwater photography. For each, I will explain how the different types of cameras compare (action cameras, smartphones, compact cameras, DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras).
- Which Lenses for Which Underwater Photos? DSLR and Mirrorless camera users can choose from dozens of lenses, but only a few of them are really suited to underwater photography. I will recommend 5 types of lenses, share examples of the images you can take with them, and spell-out their pros & cons.
- Choosing a Housing for your Camera: don’t rush to buy the cheapest housing compatible with your camera. It might end-up being the best compromise for you, but be sure to consider the 7 criteria explained in this lesson, when making your choice.
- Dome Ports & Flat Ports: this lesson explains when to use which, and lays out decision criteria when choosing a dome port for your wide-angle lens, or a flat port for your macro lens.
- Compact Wet Lenses: if you take your compact camera, an action camera or your smartphone when diving, then your housing has a fixed flat port. This lesson explains how Compact Wet Lenses can diversify the sort of underwater photos you can take.
- Choosing a Strobe (Underwater Flash): there is no strobe that is small, powerful, recycles fast with great quality of light. Choosing a strobe is always a matter of compromises, and this lesson will help you make that decision, as I explain the 16 criteria to consider and share my thinking about the trade-offs which I accepted for my own strobe purchases.
Enjoy the Course!