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Underwater Photography

As a former dive instructor one of the things that surprised me most was watching first-time underwater photographers in the water.  On several occasions I saw photographers so intent on chasing down fish in the viewer that they literally crashed headlong into a coral reef or another diver.

I discovered to my dismay that underwater photographers weren't necessarily skilled divers who took up an interest in photography: they were novices distracted by technology that made them oblivious to the environment and dangerous to those around them.

Which brings me to the first point in Basic Underwater Photography:

1. Master your dive skills before practicing your photo interest.  SCUBA is a life-support system, and requires practice and concentration. An inattentive diver is not only dangerous to himself, but everyone around him. This factor cannot be stressed enough.

A novice diver needs to master the basics skills of steady breathing, neutral buoyancy, safety awareness and decompression tables, so that they all become an automatic reflex. Once that occurs, the diver will be able to concentrate on such photo factors as exposure, focusing and composition. 

In addition to the obvious safety factor, there is another appreciable benefit to being completely at ease in a SCUBA environment: clumsy divers make poor photographers.  Here's why...


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