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5 Tips For Pro-Looking Photos From Your Compact Camera System

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5 Tips For Pro-Looking Photos From Your Compact Camera System


SHOOT IN RAW MODE

RAW is an uncompressed file format that captures 4000 color tones. JPEG is a compressed format with 256 color tones. Using RAW files gives images greater color depth and smoother gradients, especially in blue water backgrounds. If you can only shoot JPEG, use the highest quality and largest file size possible for best results.


For this stunning image of a green moray eel, Jim Decker used a Canon Powershot G16 compact camera. Many different manufacturers make housings for this popular model. Using an external strobe really brings back color and contrast to this image.

ADD AN EXTERNAL STROBE

Water eats light the deeper you go, and along with it, colors - especially red. Dedicated underwater strobes on articulated, adjustable arms will allow you to properly position your flash to avoid backscatter. They will also provide much more light than the internal flash.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR EXPOSURE

Underwater, auto exposure modes usually over expose the background, and underexpose the foreground. If your camera doesn't have a manual exposure mode, us the "P" mode (program auto) and set your ISO to 100. Use exposure compensation (the +/- button on the camera) to darken the background and create better contrast.

GET CLOSE

In underwater imaging, getting closer to your subject will create better contrast and clarity by limiting how much water is between the lens and subject. It also helps reduce the appearance of backscatter in your image.


Not only is the Sony RX100 MKII a top performer on land, but underwater it's also a great image-maker. Many different housings are available for the RX100 MKII from Ikelite, Recsea, Sea & Sea and Nauticam. Using macro mode, Jim Decker was able to get very close to this Arrow Crab to fill the frame and keep the focus.

ALWAYS USE MACRO MODE

Most digital cameras won't focus closer than 18 inches, unless you use macro mode. A wide-angle lens makes objects appear closer than the actual distance, so you still need to use macro mode at all times with a wide angle lens.





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Rear Curtain Sync - Put motion in your underwater photography
The team here at Backscatter is celebrating recent advances in TTL circuitry for underwater housings. You can read a summary of these new options in our TTL roundup article. Personally, I’m most excited with the ability to use rear curtain sync with Canon DSLR cameras.



Sunballs - 7 Illuminating Tips to Get Better Shots
Though they are beautiful to see underwater and they add a stunning element to your underwater photos, sun balls can be tricky, as you'll be shooting at the limits of your camera's capabilities. These tips will help you get the most out of your SLR or mirrorless camera.



The Best DSLR Camera Settings for Underwater Photos
Let's face it, while today's DSLR cameras have tons of features and menu items for customization, that can be overwhelming to the new shooter, or to one who makes only a couple of dive trips a year. Worse yet, some settings could give the false impression that your equipment is faulty, when a simple setting change solves the problem. Here are our best tips for getting started.



Mastering Macro Underwater
Generally, anything small enough to fit within a 5-by-7-inch area is considered macro. Lots of subjects fall into this category — fish, crustaceans, abstract details and more. Photographing subjects this small requires getting close and using special macro lenses.



Wide-Angle – Easy Tips for Underwater Photos
Anything that’s larger than a basketball should be considered a wide-angle subject. By using a wide lens with at least 100 degrees of coverage, you can get within inches to a few feet of your subject and still maintain an expansive background.



Strobe Placement & 8 Easy Tips for Lighting Your Subjects
One of the most frequent underwater photography questions I hear is, "Where do I put my strobes?" While there is no single solution that works for every situation— and rules are meant to be broken— here are some tips that will help you get the light in the right direction.


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