New editor at Amanzi Mag and new contributor underwater photography specialist Fiona Ayerst, gives us 5 considerations for a truly great underwater photograph as well as and how to quickly improve your underwater photos:
One of my students said to me that he understood the technical elements of underwater photography, but was grappling with how to give feeling to his underwater shots. I panicked! Had I failed in my quest to teach? When I got past my egotistical reaction and really thought about it, I realised that he is exactly at the place I got stuck in for many years. When you begin to think deeply into- the elusive quest of all great artists- what is it that makes an underwater photograph truly great- then you most probably already have the basics covered. If not, then start with the basics and get your technique perfect. If you are at the right stage then – How do you give a photo that “wow” factor?
5 considerations for a truly great underwater photograph
Here are five important factors to consider once you have the technical skills down pat!
- Visualisation: Always visualise what it is you are going to shoot. In this way you work out what you want to say in and with your image before you have even taken it.
- Peak of the action: Know what the subject is going to do next and anticipate what will happen so that you get the shot just at the correct time. Get to know how your subjects behave.
- Adjust your mindset: If you are really serious about getting that “wow” factor in your shots then you have to live; eat and breathe underwater photography for the entire time span that you are shooting. Try to set aside a week or two to travel to a place famed for it’s sea life and guides and then settle into an introspective way of life that is geared to helping you achieve your quest. You may have to be selfish for a short while.
- Have careful regard to your composition: “Bulls-eye” shots rarely work and there are some basic rules, such as the rule of thirds, which, if applied- can take your photos from boring to “wow” in a very short time. The photos that stand out are the ones in which compositional elements add to the picture in such a way as to have the viewer believe he is part of the scene and that he truly understands the subject in that split second.
- Look for unusual angles to ordinary subjects: few shots that look good in fish identification books have any artistic merit.
Last but not least- get out there; live your dream and have fun taking your shots.
2 February 2015