Dry Underwater Photography

Posted by on Sep 19, 2009 in Articles | No Comments

fish-jellyOkay, here is something a little different – dry underwater photography- and its easy too! These photos were taken on my Oregon Coast workshop based in Newport, Oregon, home of the Oregon Coast Aquarium. On my workshop I take the class to the Aquarium for a morning. The nice part is that they let us in a hour early so my students have the run of the place for a hour or more. Most of my workshop participants went to the indoor tanks and started photographing the amazing, other-worldly animals. They used short zoom lenses, cranked up their ISO to as high as it would go without too much noise, shot wide open, mostly hand held and hoped for the best. red-fish

 

 

As I was wandering around I took pictures of them taking pictures and also demo shots to give them ideas. None of these were serious shots and all were taken spur of the moment so they are not as good as they might have been (and not as good as my students!) but I think they are good enough to illustrate a point. And that is? Have fun! Try new things! Why not?!? With digital photography there is no penalty for trying new things. If they don’t work just delete them. Don’t photograph mindlessly. Take your time to figure out the best way to capture what you are trying to photograph but then go ahead, blast away!

jellyfishOkay, here is the secret for aquarium photography. Just like regular photography you have to pay attention to the background. In an aquarium that means not only the back of the tank but also the reflections on the glass. I found that there were lots of places to take pictures but usually only one place to take a great photo. Moving just a few inches left or right usually brought unwanted reflections or bad background colors or highlights. Once I showed my students my few pictures as examples they took some great shots. Go to the PAW website – paworkshops.net – and check out the student gallery under the Oregon Workshop heading for their great shots.blue-fish

This is much easier than holding your breath!

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