Underwater Photography is used for scientific purposes for example in the field of underwater archeology and also for journalistic, artistic or personal hobby. Most of us have seen Underwater Photography in good television channels like Discovery Chanel, National Geographic etc. Today we will go through the topic on Underwater Photography covering the technical aspects.
General aspects of Underwater Photography
In 1856 William Thompson was the world’s first known person do perform Underwater Photography. Since 1990, there were various SLR and Film Cameras with Underwater Housing was available for Underwater Photography; with the boom of digital cameras many popular models of housing for underwater photography are available now. Underwater photography when compared with the photograph above water, that is the normal photography, is a particular challenge for the photographer due to various factors.
Water compared to air has a higher refractive index (1.33) and it is lower than the front window of the underwater housing made ??of glass (1.45 to 2.14) or polycarbonate (1.585). This means that all objects behind those glass or plastic plates are imaged slightly larger and closer than they really are. In addition, water filters, depending on the depth of specific depth can lead to a green or blue tint. The absorption of the electromagnetic wave spectrum begins in the infrared at a wavelength of 700 nanometers (nm) and in the red component, which is apparent already from one meter depth in the photo with a green tint effect making Underwater Photography difficult process.
Image : Mariana Trench Dive By James Cameron (at - 35,837 Feet),
deepest possible place for Underwater Photography!
Suspended matters in water limit the transparency of the water compared to air. Good conditions allow underwater visibility of 40, 50 meters or in extreme cases, by 100 meters. Poor transparency of the water means visibility of ten meters or less, to zero visibility, again a barrier to Underwater Photography.
Another major challenge for underwater photography is due to the fact that, fish or marine mammals are almost always in motion and therefore difficult to position the image and focus. Also the flow of water can make it difficult to hold the camera in Underwater Photography.
Equipments used for Underwater Photography
Now, it becoming obvious to you that, Underwater Photography needs some special settings and addons. Additionally, the presence of dangerous creatures (whale, shark etc.) are serious problems with Underwater Photography.
Disposable underwater cameras are straightforward and inexpensive Underwater Photography instruments, aimed at the ammeters. There are some digital camera models that are suitable without additional housing for underwater photography. However both of them usually has a limitation of working depth of 15 meters.
Underwater Housing are available from accessory suppliers for “wrapping” our usual cameras for Underwater Photography. Underwater cameras with viewfinder makes direct the view through the viewfinder difficult because of the diving mask.
The best time of day for underwater photography without artificial light source is, unlike normal Photography is at noon between about 11:00 and 14:00 clock, since the light falls almost vertically into the water. There are special filters, reflectors, flashguns are available for Underwater Photography. As you can understand, in Underwater Photography apart from normal diving risks, there are many difficulties.