Engbretson Underwater Photography

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News From Behind the Scenes at Engbretson Underwater Photo and Stories about the Freshwater Environments We Visit.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Difficulties of Underwater Photography

Underwater Photography in Freshwater:

What's it like taking pictures underwater?

Conditions underwater are very hostile to a photographer. The lakes and rivers where I shoot are generally very cold. Currents can be strong, and visibility is always an issue. Underwater photography is inherently tricky. Water is 800 times thicker than air, and there's always particles floating around or algae and things like that, so you're never going to get the really "clean" look you can get shooting through air. The water is often cold, the fish can be elusive, and you've got to always be concerned about your air supply, so there's a lot to think about. The light underwater is very poor too, so often I have to carry bulky underwater strobes to illuminate subjects in deeper water. Then there's finding the fish. Sometimes that can be hard too. If you can imagine taking photos on a dark, cold, foggy, windy day… that sort of comes close to the every day conditions of the environment I work in.