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Recent Underwater Articles

OM System Announce the New TOUGH TG-7 Adventure Camera

Historically, the Olympus TOUGH cameras were well respected by outdoor adventurers, divers, and those who work in extreme environments. The New OM System TOUGH TG-7 has taken a huge step forward with a host of exciting new features.

How Much Risk Are You Willing to Take for Your Photography?

It’s a subject not often addressed but significant in the process of creating images. There are domains where risks have to be assessed, evaluated, and prevented. Taking risks is sometimes necessary, although that encompasses many different aspects, and the stakes are also diverse. It mostly depends on your photo field and where you are on your photography journey.

What It Looks Like to Shoot an Entire Short Film 100 Feet Underwater

The process from concept to actually shooting a short film can have a lot of moving parts that quickly balloon the overall size of a project. Unforeseen problems will inevitably arise, budgets, schedules, and resources, all putting stress on the crew. Now, imagine choosing to shoot the entire film underwater and at times at a depth of 100 feet. This is exactly what Josiah Gordan envisioned for his film "Angelita."

The Least Expensive Way to Shoot Underwater in a Pool

This entire summer, I have been trying to include elements of water in many of my photoshoots. In today's behind the scenes video, I team back up with Krystal Xamairy and attempt to photograph her in a pool using a fish tank and a few strobes. The results are pretty interesting, to say the least.

How to Take Over-Under Photos In Water

One of the things I love most about photography is the challenge of creating something new and refreshing. In today's behind the scenes video, I thought it would be fun to try to capture some family photos with a split view above and under the water.

How to Photograph Ink and Paint in Water

One photography technique I've always been interested in learning is how to photograph ink in water. The resulting images are beautiful on their own, but having a library of ink clouds and paint explosions for use in composite work is also super valuable. In this video tutorial, I'll show you some of the best tips and tricks I've learned capturing ink in my own studio.

Beneath the Surface: The First Time-Lapse to Record Coral Bleaching

Scientists are constantly capturing the devastating effects of environmental decline all over the world. However, doing so underwater has always proven to be a challenge. In the latest documentary binge watch, a team has successfully shown just how the world below the surface is declining at an advanced rate.

Tips for Starting Out in Pet Photography

Pets are considered by most as family members. Some prefer cats, others prefer dogs, and some even are drawn to the the flying kind of lovable companions. While most think of only photographing their beloved fur babies as a hobby, have you ever thought about turning it into a marketable portion of your company?

Composing Underwater Images

I recently co-hosted a Webinar on underwater and wildlife photography with my fellow Fstopper’s writer, Mike O’Leary. During that half hour general discussion a participant asked for advice on composing an image underwater. While composition underwater can be a little tricky at first, I’ve put together a short list of things to keep in the back of your mind when you are first getting started.

Nature Photographers and Filmmakers Wanted

Calling all nature photographers and filmmakers. A groundbreaking new media platform designed to connect more of us to nature is launching its apps' first beta iteration this week.

Photographing Whale Sharks

Photographing whale sharks tends to be a top bucket list item for many underwater image-makers, and for good reason. The largest fish in the sea, whale sharks offer uniquely special photo opportunities. For those of you who have yet to photograph one of these gentle giants, I’ve put together a few tips to keep in mind for that first encounter.

Behind the Image: Prepare for the Unexpected

In my last "Behind the Image" article I talked about looking where other photographers aren't. This week I'd like to talk about the importance of being ready for just about anything — particularly when it comes to wildlife photography, as well as how images can impact our behaviors.

Behind the Scenes on a Budget Pool Shoot

Not everyone has access to a pool to do portrait shoots in the water, or maybe there are times when the weather isn't ideal or warm enough to do those types of shoots in an outdoor pool. If you do not have a big enough tub, a kiddie pool could work.

Four Reasons Why Underwater Photographers Should Travel Together

When I moved to Singapore in 2010, I picked up both scuba diving and underwater photography. As many divers do, I began traveling with my local dive club. It was a great group of Singaporeans and expats and I loved each and every adventure.

Quick Tips to Get the Shot in Any Condition

Photographing underwater possess its own challenges even in clear visibility. Coming into a body of water you are unaware of the conditions can make or break you, only if you allow it to.

Between the Lines: A Beautiful Short Film

Once in awhile, a story teller is able to capture something of what it means to be a photographer. Between the Lines is a short film showcasing beautiful cinematography and scenery. It is artfully and masterfully crafted and is possibly the most inspirational 13 minutes you will watch this year.

Conservation Photographer Paul Nicklen Spreads a Little Love for the Manatees

Everyone's favorite aquatic marshmallow, the manatee, is having a bit of a moment. Just a couple weeks ago, Florida's warm waterways set the mood for a sizable manatee orgy, causing traffic jams on nearby roads. Rubberneckers first thought they were witnessing a whale in distress, but it was just good old fashioned sea cow polyamory.

Olympus Announces Updated TG-6 Underwater Camera

Olympus has just recently announced its newest edition of the TG underwater series of cameras. While not a gigantic step up from its predecessor, it comes with enhanced features sure to grab interest to anyone interested in underwater photography.

OPTIC: Outdoor, Photo/Video, Travel, Imaging Conference in NYC

If you are an avid outdoor photographer like myself and will be in the New York area next week, you’ll be delighted to know B&H Photo and Video is holding their annual OPTIC Outdoor, Photo/Video, Travel Imaging Conference this coming June 2-5.

Smoothing Out Backscatter with Adobe Lightroom's New Texture Tool

It has been some time since Adobe last released a new control to Lightroom, and as such, I was very keen to try out their latest addition — the “Texture” slider. Since a good majority of my work is underwater, I was of course interested in what value it could add to underwater images. As I have quickly learned, this new feature is a great tool for underwater photographers — particularly those who struggle with backscatter in their images.

Hands on With the New DJI Osmo Action

A few months back, the GoPro Hero 7 was released with some incredible in camera stabilization. This camera caused a ton of hype, but with DJI's new Osmo Action, GoPro could be in trouble.

How Photographer Brett Stanley Shot This Underwater Album Cover

In mid-2018, photographer Brett Stanley got a call from Jason Foster, who is the manager for Natalie Mering’s band, Weyes Blood (signed to Sub Pop). Take a moment to go listen to some of their tracks before continuing this story. Or, never mind, stay here! Keep reading!

Are You a Dreamer or a Doer?

Most photographers dream of being recognized on a large scale for their work. But for Russell Ord, an Australian-based, internationally awarded photographer, action on dreams means the creation of a new reality.

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Plans are good. Most of us live by plans, and we like things to go as planned. But sometimes just showing up and going with the flow can yield immense rewards for photographers. There is nothing wrong with wanting to know what to expect so you can plan appropriately, but sometimes we just need to let go. Here are a couple of examples of some amazing moments I would have missed if I had stuck to plans and took shelter in my comfort zone.

6 Tips for Photographing Sharks Safely

Shark photography is a popular and exciting part of shooting underwater. Many photographers travel the world over to get up close and personal with these mysterious creatures. If you are planning to start photographing sharks, it’s important to have a read through some of the items below to keep yourself and the very creatures you are in awe of safe.

Ocean Art Competition Winners Highlight the Beauty of Our Oceans

The 7th Annual Ocean Art underwater photography competition winners were announced this week. The competition sorted through thousands of entries from across 70 countries and consisted of 16 categories ranging from Wide-Angle and Super Macro to Cold Water and Marine Life Behavior. The Best of Show image was awarded to Duncan Murrell for capturing an image of three giant devil rays in the midst of an underwater ballet.

Proper Etiquette for Underwater Photographers

As more and more photographers find themselves shooting below the waves, it’s important to discuss proper underwater photography etiquette, reflect on our own behavior underwater, and address poor behavior when it occurs.

The Economic Value of Underwater Macro Photography

Could a very niche genre of underwater photography, that people travel great distances for, be capable of protecting bizarre critters few know exist? During a visit to the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia — a mecca for macro photographers — I met with Belgian researcher Maarten De Brauwer to learn more about his research into the economic value of muck diving and underwater macro photography.

What to Consider When Purchasing an Underwater Housing

Trying to choose the right underwater housing can be overwhelming. Depending on the camera body you have, an underwater housing can easily be double what the camera cost. How can you be sure it’s the right fit before you splurge on this expensive piece of gear?

My Workhorse Lens for Underwater Photography

New underwater photographers often ask me what my favorite lens is for creating underwater images. And while I have a few different lenses that I shoot with underwater, none get used more than my Tokina AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX Fisheye Zoom Lens. It is lightweight, great for travel, and has a very short focusing distance, which makes it ideal for close focus wide angle underwater photography.

Great Destinations to Practice Underwater Photography

Are you new to underwater photography, or need to brush up a bit? Unsure where to get your feet wet first? While there are many ideal places around the world that are perfect for beginners, I've compiled a few of the spots that I love for their calm conditions, easy entries, and photographic opportunities.

What to Expect When Photographing Sea Lions Underwater

If there is one creature I could spend the rest of my days photographing it is the California sea lion. These acrobatic pinnipeds commonly known as the “puppies of the sea” never disappoint and are by far the most playful of all marine life I have encountered.

New Collaboration: GoPro and PADI

Last week GoPro and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, commonly known as PADI, made an announcement in Las Vegas, Nevada about their new collaboration.

A Quick Look at Surf Photographer Ben Thouard's New Book: 'Surface'

Sometimes, it can feel really daunting to try to create original images like no one has ever seen before. With social media oversaturated with photography, it often seems like we have captured it all. So, when I came across surf photographer Ben Thouard’s tropical landscape images captured through the back of a breaking wave, I was a little jealous, but more so inspired and hopeful.

Take Any Camera on Your Next Water Adventure

If you are not ready to plunge into the price tag of the hard case underwater housing but are serious about wanting to get into more shoots working with the element of water, Jake Kelsick has tested out the capabilities for your new adventure.

Kayaker Slapped in Face by an Octopus-Wielding Seal

This one is for real. An octopus-wielding seal singled out a particular kayaker from the group and made it very clear his presence wasn't welcome in another moment of pure, spontaneous, GoPro gold.

Photographer Captures Amazing Footage of Humpback Heat Run

Australian wildlife photographer, Scott Portelli, has spent the better part of two decades freediving with humpback whales around the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tonga. In this video, Portelli, one of Australia's top wildlife photographers, captures stunning aerial and underwater footage of one of nature's most amazing events—the heat run.

Nine Tips for Photographing Great White Sharks

As we are now in the middle of the white shark season in Guadalupe, Mexico, many shark lovers are preparing to make their way to the waters surrounding the volcanic island situated 150 miles off the western coast of the Baja Peninsula. Having photographed white sharks in various locations around the globe, I thought I’d put together a few tips for anyone keen to shoot them for the first time.

A great white shark investigates cage divers

1. Fish-Eye and Wide-Angle Lenses: While I mostly shoot underwater with a fish-...

Photographer Shares Shocking Images Commercial Fishermen Don't Want You to See

Brian Raymond, a lifelong fisherman turned shark dive operator and photographer, recently shared some powerful and disturbing images he captured of bycatch in the waters off of southern New England. Bycatch refers to unintended species that are caught while fishing for another species and is a regular occurrence in commercial fishing.

Review of the AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm Lens

Wide angle lenses are favorites for real estate, landscape, and underwater photographers. The AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm proves to be versatile in wide angle focal lengths with a maximum aperture of 4.0 allowing consistent illumination. Curious how it would perform below the surface, it tagged along in a recent shoot.

Fourteen Little Things You Should Carry in Your Underwater Camera Bag

Over the years, I’ve acquired an interesting array of “tools” that I use for setting up and maintaining my underwater camera housing. I wish I had known earlier about some of the items I travel with, as they have made my life quite a bit easier. Most of what I carry with me has been a result of trial and error, and I’d like to pass along that information to any budding underwater photographers out there.

Creating Over-Under Water Images

I never tire of creating over-under water images, a technique advanced and popularized by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet. The over-under or half and half image provides a window into two very different worlds in a single frame, and if done well can be a powerful tool in fostering a greater appreciation for the other 71 percent of our planet.