Underwater Photography Article Center

Twenty-one underwater photographers boarded the Solmar V dive boat in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on June 23rd expecting to steam the next 25 hours to the Revigadagos Islands, aka "The Socorros", 250 miles offshore. Alas, "Amanda" had other ideas.

Having built up to a Category 4 Hurricane, Amanda was an early violent storm a few hundred miles south of Socorro Island and heading straight for the area we were to dive. Needless to say, the Captain told me that we had to make a big change and head north into the Sea of Cortez.

Trip Report - Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary - July 2014 - By David Todd

Recently I had a chance to dive on some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world off the coast of Galveston, Texas in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Gulf is not known for it’s pristine waters. With two-thirds of the US draining into it, it tends to be muddy, filled with oil and gas platforms and wouldn’t be most people’s first choice when searching for a dive destination. Those folks are missing out....

On our recent shop trip to The Sea of Cortez, I left behind my trusty, but large, D800 Nauticam rig and decided to try a new mirrorless camera: The Sony a7 full-frame camera in a NA-A7 Nauticam housing. The Sony a7 (and a7r, a7s) are very impressive; the first full-frame camera in a mirrorless body! With it being much smaller and lighter than the D800, it was easy to carry around. Performance was very good, the camera is very comfortable and solid to shoot...

By Bill Van Antwerp - A couple of weeks ago someone suggested that the Sony RX100 generated far nicer photos than the Canon SL1. Having shot both of them on land, I was not convinced. However underwater it might be a different story. So thanks to Andy Sallmon our local Sea and Sea representative, I got the chance to take both diving near Catalina Island. The Canon SL1 is a digital SLR and the Sony RX100-II is a point and shoot with a similarly-sized sensor.

Setting up a GH4 for Diving by Peter Walker
To a lot of you who’ve been shooting video with DSLRs for some time, the settings on the GH4 might be a bit “ho hum”. But, for me, shooting camcorders for the last 10 years, it’s been a sea-change. I spent a lot of time studying the settings and came up with something that works for me. I thought that I’d share it.

Here's some tips and tricks for the care and use of your gear that you may find useful, or make your life easier! These are taken from our Facebook page — like us there for more Tips o' the Day!

A “newbie” photographers experience with the Sony RX100 II with the Sea and Sea MDX housing.
By David Todd

I recently got a chance to shoot the Sony RX100 2 in a Sea and Sea MDX housing for a week during a live-aboard photo expedition in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. During the trip I got a chance to use the set up in a variety of different conditions and arrays.
It was a big step up for me, first time using a new camera, new housing, dual strobes, wide angle and macro lenses and had it’s share of frustrations but in all a huge improvement over my G10 set up.

We went over to the Big Island for a week of “cillaxing” in February. Staying in a condo, we enjoyed several long drives around the island to visit the Volcano National Park, Hilo and the north end...

I managed to get out with Jack’s Diving Locker on one of their limited load trips one day. They did a great job with only 4 divers on a boat made for 8 or 10, for photographers it’s well worth the extra cost.

Fourteen brave folks came along on our first shop trip to Taveuni, Fiji this October. The long flights from LAX through Nadi to The Garden Island Resort went smoothly, and the friendly staff greeted us with warm welcomes and traditional songs. Our rooms were spacious, with fresh tropical flowers, and spa style bathrooms...

Rainbow Reef, in the Somosomo Straits between Taveuni and Viti Levu was a short 20 min run out, and had a great variety of dive sites, from top-of-the-reef hard corals, sandy slots, to short/deep walls and caves. Currents were up and down, and really took the experienced guides to figure out.

Fourteen underwater photographers joined Optical Ocean sales owner Jack Connick on an expedition to the Rock Islands of Palau in late November of 2013. After a long flight, they joined onboard the Palau Aggressor liveaboard on an extended, 10 day cruise.

Good Things Come in Small Packages
A DSLR user tries out "going small" with the Olympus OM-D E-M1.
By Jim Boon

On a recent live-aboard trip to the Sea of Cortez, I had the misfortune of flooding my housing on the second dive of my trip. I was heartbroken at losing my favorite lens and a darn good DSLR camera body. At that very moment, I was looking at the next seven days of being on a live-aboard with twenty other camera-divers and I would not be taking any photos.

As word of my camera flood went around the boat, our trip leader Jack offered to loan me a new Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera in an underwater housing. Pretty hard to turn down that kind of an offer! I was excited to get my hands on one these new micro four-thirds size cameras in such a robust housing.

A look at the software you can use to edit and improve your photos with an emphasis on DXO Pro.
By Jim Garin

Today, it is very easy to take almost any digital camera, take a picture and have it come out pretty well. Cameras have auto face recognition, smile recognition, pet recognition and more modes than one could possible use. Even phones can take reasonable images.

But as soon as you take a camera underwater, all bets are off. At most a camera will have an underwater setting…one that only works underwater for bright tropical conditions, and divers aren’t always diving in those places, or with artificial light sources like strobes.

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