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underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
san antonio
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underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

I am a Snorkler, unable to scuba dive.

I want to take photos if possible while snorkeling.

Will I be able to get close enough to reef and/or sealife for good photos?

Is a strobe a must or built in flash systems.

Is a strobe needed at the depths I will be snorkeling in?

We I be able to utilize a Macro lens?

thanx for any advise given!

Tulum, Mexico
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1. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

Will I be able to get close enough to reef and/or sealife for good photos?

Maybe. It depends on how deep the reef is. In some places it breaks the surface. Can you free dive? That will get you closer. In general - the closer the better.

Is a strobe a must or built in flash systems.

Some kind of flash is a must. An external strobe is better (less backscatter) but not as big a deal for shallow snorkeling in clear water.

We I be able to utilize a Macro lens?

Again, it depends on how close you can get. I tooks some macro shots of urchins on a wall because I could get within a foot of them.

Some Coz underwater photos:

http://webkatz.net/Mexico/Cozumel04.html

These are all taken with a Olympus C5050 digital camera in an underwater housing using the internal flash.

Hope this helps,

Dave

san antonio
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2. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

thanx Dave!

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

Firstly what type of camera system do you intend to use?

Secondly the need / ability to use a macro lens or switch a digital camera over to macro depends on your ability to free dive to the needed depth long enough to frame & photograph your subject while also trying to stay down. When diving you have weights to keep you down, so it is a much easier task. If I were going to Cozumel (which I regularily do) and wanted to get good underwater photos by only being able to snorkel then I would either snorkel the areas on both sides of the Presidente which are rich with marine life and coral formations but also shallow, snorkel the area between the La Cieba hotel and the public beach (very small beach) just at the south edge of town, or make arrangements to do a snorkel tour that took you to Columbia shallows.

Depending on your equipment, and whether the sun is shining brightly combined with the depth that you are trying to take the photo will dictate the need for a flash or strobe. A built in flash will produce more backscatter than a remote one, but also adds to the cost and ease of use. You must realize that under most underwater conditions taking a photo of something more than 15 feet away produces poor results unless the lighting (natural light) is ideal. The water filters out too much of the light spectrum.

If you intend to use a digital camera you can learn some very good information from the Canon camera people who have put a good guide to underwater digital photography at this web site. www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/uwphoto/index-e.html

Los Angeles, CA
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56 posts
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4. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

Any advise for buying a GOOD disposable camera??? Or should we get an inexpensive underwater camera??? We have a digital camera, but we were told they no longer offer the underwater case for it.

Ottawa, Canada
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6,446 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

This may be a duplicate message, it didn't appear the first time I sent it so I copied and pasted it here to try again.

Secondly the need / ability to use a macro lens or switch a digital camera over to macro depends on your ability to free dive to the needed depth long enough to frame & photograph your subject while also trying to stay down. When diving you have weights to keep you down, so it is a much easier task. If I were going to Cozumel (which I regularily do) and wanted to get good underwater photos by only being able to snorkel then I would either snorkel the areas on both sides of the Presidente which are rich with marine life and coral formations but also shallow, snorkel the area between the La Cieba hotel and the public beach (very small beach) just at the south edge of town, or make arrangements to do a snorkel tour that took you to Columbia shallows.

Depending on your equipment, and whether the sun is shining brightly combined with the depth that you are trying to take the photo will dictate the need for a flash or strobe. A built in flash will produce more backscatter than a remote one, but also adds to the cost and ease of use. You must realize that under most underwater conditions taking a photo of something more than 15 feet away produces poor results unless the lighting (natural light) is ideal. The water filters out too much of the light spectrum.

If you intend to use a digital camera you can learn some very good information from the Canon camera people who have put a good guide to underwater digital photography at this web site. www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/uwphoto/index-e.html

Tulum, Mexico
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797 posts
1 review
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6. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

Marengo - check eBay for a case. They pop up there from time to time. Or look at Ikelite.

san antonio
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46 posts
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7. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

I would like to use a film camera...

Any brands of cameras you would recommend over anyother..

looking for starter model under $200

THANX Cicopo

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7,681 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

For Christmas I recieved a Reefmaster Sealife Model SL511 camera. I used it in Cozumle on our trip in December and was not exactly thrilled with the results. Then I found out I was given bad advice as to which film to use. I was told that when snorkeling 100 and 200 speed films would do well due to the shallow depth and bright lights. WRONG. You need 400 or 800 speed film to work well under water.

This last trip I used 400 speed film and the added strobe and picture quality improved 10 fold. I will be adding some of the pictures to the reviews I give for the Coral Princess, Tucan Sailing Adventure, and the Don Diego/Neptuno trip we took. Look for them to be posted in a few days.

The SL511 is currently available from Leisurepro.com for $145 and the strobe is an additional $150.

If you want to go with a disposable camera I highly recommend the ones that you can refill. They cost a bit more initially, but since all you need to do is add film and change the batteries once in a while, in the long run they will save you a lot of money.

When you go to get your film developed I get just the CD and then go back and have any pictures I want made from the CD at Wal-Mart or Wolf, depending on how big of a print I want. for 4x6 Wal Mart is fine. For 8 x 10 I go to Wolf.

Maryland
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66 posts
11 reviews
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9. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

I use a Canon Powershot with an underwater housing unit. I find that even with the built-in flash that the pictures have a haze or blue tint. Only in the best conditions do I get a clear shot. Recently I downloaded Picasa which is free from Google's website and used it to edit my underwater photos using the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button and it's unbelievable what the program does. The fish and coral seem to pop out at you!

I love the program and can't believe it's free. So even if your pictures don't look that great, it's amazing what a little editing can do.

Maryland
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66 posts
11 reviews
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10. Re: underwater photography tips or advise needed!!

To see difference Picasa can make:

community.webshots.com/album/317400276eEnhsa