Take an Underwater Photo

He may be best known for his amazing images of great white sharks, but MICHAEL MULLER shoots a lot less intimidating underwater subjects. And you can, too.

Apr 16, 2012
Outside Magazine
Underwater photography

Underwater photography    Photo: Michael Muller

Michael Muller

The photographer at work

How to Approach an Underwater Shot: Depends on what I’m shooting. A portrait? A shark? My kids? There are two kinds of shoots, one using a nice camera, like an SLR, that I’m putting in a housing. And then there’s the pure fun ones, with point-and-shoots. There are 11-, 12-, 14-megapixel cameras that are waterproof and go down to decent depth and take amazing pictures. That’s what I used when I’m on vacation with my family.

On Equipment: First off, THE place for all things underwater, like professional housings, is backscatter.com. They have everything and are the best. For point-and-shoots, I like the Nikon Coolpix AW100, the Olympus Tough 8010, and the Canon Powershot D10.

On Processing: Set the image file to “raw.” That will allow you to adjust the picture later using (Adobe) Bridge, (Adobe) Lightroom, or one of those programs. You have to adjust the temperature of the images. That will allow you to get real skin tones rather than the image being all blue.

On Shooting People: Tell people that you’re shooting to let all the air out before you go under water. Otherwise your lungs are like balloons and you float to the surface. Also, if you don’t let your air out you look like a pufferfish.

On Lighting: Experiment with a flash and with natural light. You can also try bracketing. Once you get the effect that you like, you can shoot the rest of your session that way. The great thing about digital cameras

On Shooting Fish and Sea Life: Get your camera ready before you swim over to it. If you see something, pause, get your camera to your face, then slowly approach. You can even shoot as you get closer.

Filed To: Adventure

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