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We Simplify The Technical!

If you are lucky enough to have access to a pool, get creative and shoot underwater!  What?  You don’t have fancy underwater housing for your camera?  Do not despair; you can get some fabulous images using an underwater point and shoot camera or even an underwater disposable camera.

Here are tips for shooting the pictures:

Sara Underwater Photo

1. You will need as much light as possible so take the pictures in the midday sun. 2. Use a weight belt or put a weight at the bottom of the pool so you can slip your foot under it. It is really tough to stay underwater long enough to take a picture! You will need the weights to keep you down. Just be careful! 3. Have your model dive deep in the pool and then swim with her face up to the sun. Take the picture when the light is on her face if possible. 4. The problem with most point and shoot underwater cameras is that they have narrow lenses. You may not be able to take a full body picture. 5. The closer you are to your subject, the less cloudiness from the water. 6. Bubbles are another problem. Take time to let the water settle between pictures. 7. Use props such as a big frame or flowing fabrics for fun and creative photographs!

Processing is where the magic happens. Without processing, your images will look cloudy and uninspiring.

Using Lightroom, change your white balance sliders to help the color. You’ll want to add yellow and maybe a bit of red. If there is something white in your picture, you can click on that and it should fix your color. Bump up the contrast and you will see a significant difference in your picture!

With Photoshop Elements, go to the top menu and click on Enhance then Auto Color Correction. That will make the biggest difference. You may also want to use Unsharp Mask and Adjust Hue Saturation.

Using Photoshop CS, on the top menu, go to Image then Adjustment then Auto Levels or Auto Color. You can also add contrast if you like. If you want to get creative, try using some of the filters.

I also use a software plug in for Photoshop called Nik Color Effects. With underwater images, use Procontrast to help clear up the water and fix the color. Try many of the Nik filters and create beautiful art pieces.

You can create gorgeous and unique art pieces for your home with underwater pictures of your family. I have a bright and colorful 24 inch by 30 inch underwater portrait of my niece hanging on my living room wall. Try having one of your images printed on metallic or high gloss photographic paper. You will have so much fun with underwater photography!

Peggy Farren

Peggy Farren

Photographer, instructor and speaker.

Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, author, instructor and speaker. She’s been interviewed and featured on TV and in many national and local publications.

Peggy is the host of The Understand Photography Show, where we teach about travel, nature and fine art photography.  Subscribe to our Podcast or Youtube channel for new videos every Tuesday and Saturday!

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