Brian Skerry Becomes One With the Ocean

As a commercial wedding photographer, I know very little about how to take compelling underwater images. Luckily underwater photographer Brian Skerry and National Geographic have shared this short BTS video on what it's like diving with fish and swimming over coral reefs. I think it's interesting how simple but necessary the lighting setup is for this field of photography; most of us "land photographer" probably take for granted the complex lighting setups we can easily construct. Most of us also don't bring "backup gear" to our shoots because we expect our gear to break! Hopefully we will see more videos like this from other underwater photographers.

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4 Comments

Very interesting, thanks for the post :)

Brian is a friend of mine and by far the bravest person I know.

Very cool. Shooting stills or video underwater takes hundreds of dives to get your buoyancy correct. In addition you rather be by yourself down there which is a huge safety issue. As a diver with over 1000 dives and a videographer with 17 years experience I can say its a hard talent to master.
A few tips:
1) Shoot in the shallowest water possible, water filters out colors the deeper you go. As close to noon as possible.
2) Remember that everything is moving, you, the camera, the subject and all the water between you.
3) Try to be the first diver in the water from the boat. Others will kick up debris which causes back scatter.
4) Get certified thru rescue diver, you will have twice as much gear on you and likely to be out away from everyone else when shooting.
5) Learn fish behavior, knowing what they do will help you set up the shot. For example sand tigers and barracuda are extremely curious and will come right up to you, a lobster will hide. You'll also see more as flounder and sting rays are great at hiding.
6) Learn buoyancy! Become an expert in holding yourself in place while in current, being overweighted, and practice.

Here are a few videos I shot years a go with a Canon GL2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vke-r3YtQQE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8qR440PQBY

Thanks for posting - I just became a PADI certified Open Water diver this past weekend, and can't wait to start shooting underwater