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Encyclopedia > Underwater photography
Pink Anemonefish hiding in tentacles
Pink Anemonefish hiding in tentacles

Underwater photography is the process of taking photographs while underwater. It is usually done while scuba diving, but can be done while snorkeling or swimming. Image File history File links Uwanemonefish. ... Image File history File links Uwanemonefish. ... It has been suggested that Archival digital print be merged into this article or section. ... An underwater scene just beneath the surface. ... Scuba divers exploring fish and coral. ... A snorkeler amid corals on a coral reef near Fiji. ... Swimming is a technique that humans and animals use to move through water using only movements of the body, often for exercise, fun and competition. ...

Contents

Overview

watertight housing Canon WP-DC600 for IXUS v2
watertight housing Canon WP-DC600 for IXUS v2

Underwater imaging is considered an especially challenging area of photography, since it requires very specialized equipment and techniques to be successful. Despite these challenges, it offers the possibility of many exciting and rare photographic opportunities. Animals such as fish and marine mammals are the most common subjects, but photographers also pursue shipwrecks, submerged cave systems, underwater "landscapes", and portraits of fellow divers. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 365 KB) en: a watertight housing for Canon digital cameras - suitable amongst others for model DIGITAL IXUS v2 de: ein Unterwassergehäuse für Canon-Digitalkameras - passend u. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 365 KB) en: a watertight housing for Canon digital cameras - suitable amongst others for model DIGITAL IXUS v2 de: ein Unterwassergehäuse für Canon-Digitalkameras - passend u. ... Look up canon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Cameron Frost is a good photographer! Photography is the process of making pictures by means of capturing light on a film. ... A giant grouper at the Georgia Aquarium Fish are aquatic vertebrates that are typically cold-blooded; covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins. ... A marine mammal is a mammal that is primarily ocean-dwelling or depends on the ocean for its food. ... This list of shipwrecks is of those sunken ships whose remains have been located. ... Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico This article is about natural caves; for artificial caves used as dwellings, such as those in north China, see yaodong. ... Self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh A portrait is a painting, photograph, or other artistic representation of a person. ...


The primary obstacle faced by underwater photographers is the extreme loss of color and contrast when submerged to any significant depth. The longer wavelengths of sunlight (such as red or orange) are absorbed quickly by the surrounding water, so even to the naked eye everything appears blue-green in color. The loss of color not only increases vertically through the water column, but also horizontally, so subjects further away from the camera will also appear colorless and indistinct. This effect is true even in apparently clear water, such as that found around tropical coral reefs. Color is an important part of the visual arts. ... Look up Contrast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up depth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary In classical physics, depth is a distance measured vertically from top to bottom (height) or horizontally from outside to inside (thickness). ... The wavelength is the distance between repeating units of a wave pattern. ... Prism splitting light Sunlight in the broad sense is the total spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. ... The pelagic zone is the part of the open sea or ocean comprising the water column, i. ... Part of a coral reef. ...


Underwater photographers solve this problem by combining two techniques. The first is to get the camera as close to the photographic subject as possible, minimizing the horizontal loss of color. This is best achieved by using wide-angle lenses, which allow very close focus, or macro lenses, where the subject is often only inches away from the camera. In practical terms, serious underwater photographers consider any more than about 3 ft/1 m of water between camera and subject to be unacceptable. The second technique is the use of flash to restore any color lost vertically through the water column. Fill-flash, used effectively, will "paint" in any missing colors by providing full-spectrum visible light to the overall exposure. One of Canons most popular wide-angle lenses - 17-40 mm f/4 L retrofocus zoom lens. ... The focus or image point is the point where light rays, originating from a point in the object, converge [1]. The principal focus or focal point of a lens or parabolic mirror is the point onto which collimated light parallel to the axis is focused. ... Soda bubbles in a glass — a macro photograph. ... Running water frozen by flash. ... Full-spectrum light is light that covers the entire spectrum from low ultraviolet to infrared and above; in particular, sunlight is full spectrum. ... A photograph with an exposure time of 25 seconds In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the sensor (photographic film or CCD) during the process of taking a photograph. ...


Since underwater photography is often performed while scuba diving, it is important that the diver-photographer be sufficiently skilled so that it remains a reasonably safe activity. Good scuba technique also has an impact on the quality of images, since marine life is less likely to be scared away by a calm diver, and the environment is less likely to be damaged or disturbed. There is the possibility of encountering poor conditions, such as heavy currents, tidal flow, or poor visibility. Generally, underwater photographers try to avoid these situations whenever possible. Marine biology is the scientific study of the plants, animals and other organisms that live in the ocean. ... This article is about tides in the ocean. ... In meteorology, visibility is a measure of the distance that can be seen clearly at any given time. ...


Camera Equipment

Image:Nikon Nikonos 5.jpg
A Nikonos V amphibious camera

Underwater photographers have two basic options for equipment: The Nikonos System Nikonos was the name given to a series of 35mm film cameras specifically designed for use underwater. ...


The first is using an amphibious or waterproof camera such as the Nikonos, which is designed specifically for use underwater. Nikon discontinued the Nikonos series in 2001 and it is a 35mm film system, so it is somewhat obsolete, but some photographers still choose this approach. Waterproof fabrics are usually natural or synthetic fabrics that are laminated to or coated in some sort of permanently waterproofing material, such as rubber, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU), silicone elastomer, and wax. ... The Nikonos System Nikonos was the name given to a series of 35mm film cameras specifically designed for use underwater. ... Nikon Corporation )   (TYO: 7731 ), also known as Nikon or Nikon Corp. ... 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 135 Film Size, Kodak Tri-X 400 speed 135 (ISO 1007) is a film format for still photography. ...


More often, underwater imaging is achieved by putting a traditional film or digital camera into an watertight underwater housing. This allows many more options, since the user can choose a housing specific to their everyday "land" camera, as well as utilize any lens in their collection. In practice, underwater photographers only use either wide-angle lenses or macro lenses, both of which allow close focus, thereby eliminating the need to have excessive water between the camera and subject. Because it is impossible to change film underwater, and digital media can hold more shots than a roll of 35mm film (no more than 36 frames), underwater photographers today typically choose to house their regular digital camera. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Pink Anemonefish hiding in tentacles Underwater photography is the process of taking photographs while underwater. ... One of Canons most popular wide-angle lenses - 17-40 mm f/4 L retrofocus zoom lens. ... Soda bubbles in a glass — a macro photograph. ... The focus or image point is the point where light rays, originating from a point in the object, converge [1]. The principal focus or focal point of a lens or parabolic mirror is the point onto which collimated light parallel to the axis is focused. ...


All underwater housings are outfitted with controls knobs that access the camera inside, giving the photographer use of most of its normal functions. These housings also have connectors to attach external flash units, since any flash on the camera itself will be blocked by the housing. Like the Nikonos, housings are made waterproof through a system of silicone o-rings at all the crucial joints. Running water frozen by flash. ... The Nikonos System Nikonos was the name given to a series of 35mm film cameras specifically designed for use underwater. ... Typical O-ring and application An O-ring is a loop of elastomer with a round (o-shaped) cross-section used as a mechanical seal. ...


There are optical issues with using cameras inside a watertight housing. Because of refraction, the image coming through the glass port will be distorted, in particular when using wide-angle lenses. The solution is to use a dome-shaped or fish-eye port, which corrects this distortion. Most manufacturers make these dome ports for their housings, often designing them to be used with specific lenses to maximize their effectiveness. The Nikonos series allowed the use of water contact optics: ie, lenses designed to be used whilst submerged, without the ability to focus correctly when used in air. There is also a problem with some digital cameras which do not have sufficiently wide lenses built into the camera. To solve this, there are housings made with supplementary optics in addition to the dome port, making the apparent angle of view wider. The straw seems to be broken, due to refraction of light as it emerges into the air. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Table of Opticks, 1728 Cyclopaedia Optics ( appearance or look in ancient Greek) is a branch of physics that describes the behavior and properties of light and the interaction of light with matter. ... A cameras angle of view can be measured horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. ...


With macro lenses, the distortion caused by refraction is not an issue, so normally a simple flat glass port is used. In fact, refraction increases the magnification of a macro lens, so this is considered a benefit to the photographer, who may be trying to capture very small subjects. Soda bubbles in a glass — a macro photograph. ... Magnification is the process of enlarging something only in appearance, not physical size. ...


Underwater Flash

Wide-angle image of French Angelfish with proper balance between flash and sunlight
Wide-angle image of French Angelfish with proper balance between flash and sunlight

The use of a flash or strobe is often regarded as the most difficult aspect of underwater photography. Some common misconceptions exist about the proper use of flash underwater, especially as it relates to wide-angle photography. Generally, the flash should be used to supplement the overall exposure and restore lost color, not as the primary light source. In situations such as the interior of caves or shipwrecks, wide-angle images can be 100% strobe light, but such situations are fairly rare. Usually, the photographer tries to create an aesthetic balance between the available sunlight and the strobe. Deep, dark or low visibility environments can make this balance more difficult, but the concept remains the same. Many modern cameras have simplified this process through various automatic exposure modes and the use of through-the-lens (TTL) metering. The increasing use of digital cameras has reduced the learning curve of underwater flash significantly, since the user can instantly review photos and make adjustments. Image File history File links Uwangelfish. ... Image File history File links Uwangelfish. ... Genera Apolemichthys Centropyge Chaetodontoplus Genicanthus Holacanthus Pomacanthus Pygoplites See text for species. ... Running water frozen by flash. ... U-shaped Xenon Flash Lamp A xenon flash lamp is a gas discharge lamp designed to produce extremely intense, incoherent, full-spectrum white light for very short durations. ... One of Canons most popular wide-angle lenses - 17-40 mm f/4 L retrofocus zoom lens. ... Alternate meanings: Cave (disambiguation) The outside world viewed from a cave A cave is a natural underground void. ... This list of shipwrecks is of those sunken ships whose remains have been located. ... Prism splitting light Sunlight in the broad sense is the total spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. ... Through-the-lens (TTL) metering is a photographic technique in which measurements (usually of light levels) are made through the lens of a camera. ... The learning curve effect and the closely related experience curve effect express the relationship between experience and efficiency. ...


An added complication is the phenomenon of backscatter, where the flash reflects off dirt or plankton in the water. Even seemingly clear water contains enormous amounts of this particulate, even if it is not readily seen by the naked eye. The best technique for avoiding backscatter is positioning the strobe away from the primary plane of the camera. Ideally, this means the flash will not light up the water directly in front of the lens, but will still strike the subject. Various systems of jointed arms and attachments are used to make off-camera strobes easier to manipulate. Backscatter is the reflection of light, radar, radio, or other electromagnetic waves directly back to the direction they came from. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Macro image of a Whitemouth Moray Eel using 100% flash for the exposure
Macro image of a Whitemouth Moray Eel using 100% flash for the exposure

When using macro lenses, photographers are much more likely to use 100% strobe light for the exposure. The subject is normally very close to the lens, and the available sunlight is usually not sufficient. Image File history File links Uwwhitemouth. ... Image File history File links Uwwhitemouth. ... Genera See text. ... Soda bubbles in a glass — a macro photograph. ...


There have been some attempts to avoid the use of flash entirely, but these have mostly failed. In theory one could use color filters to overcome the blue-green shift, but this can be problematic. The amount of shift would vary with depth and turbidity, and there would still be a significant loss of contrast. Many digital cameras have settings that will provide color correction, but this can cause other problems. For example, an image shifted toward the "warm" part of the spectrum can create background water which appears purple or pink, and looks very unnatural. There have been some successful experiments using filters combined with the RAW image format function on some high-end digital cameras, allowing much more detailed manipulation in the digital darkroom. This approach will probably always be restricted to shallow to moderate depths, where the loss of color is less extreme. In spite of that, it can be very effective for large subjects such as shipwrecks which could not be lit effectively with any strobe. In photography, a filter is a camera accessory consisting of an optical filter that can be inserted in the optical path. ... Look up depth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary In classical physics, depth is a distance measured vertically from top to bottom (height) or horizontally from outside to inside (thickness). ... Turbidity standards of 5, 50, and 500 NTU Turbidity is a cloudiness or haziness of water (or other fluid) caused by individual particles (suspended solids) that are generally invisible to the naked eye, thus being much like smoke in air. ... Look up Contrast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Digital cameras are a remarkable advance in technology. ... Colour Correction by using Colour Gels, is a process used in Stage Lighting, Photography, Television, Cinematography to name a few disciplines, the intention of which is to alter the overall quality of the light, measured on a scale known as Colour Temperature. ... A raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of a digital camera or image scanner. ... Digital Darkroom is a phrase used to describe all of the software and techniques used in digital photography that have replaced the old darkroom equivilents, such as enlarging, cropping, etc. ...


Although digital cameras have revolutionized many aspects of underwater imaging, it is unlikely that flash will ever be eliminated completely. From an aesthetic standpoint, the flash often adds "pop" and helps to highlight the subject. Ultimately the loss of color and contrast is a pervasive optical problem that cannot always be adjusted in software such as Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is a bitmap graphics editor (with some text and vector graphics capabilities) published by Adobe Systems. ...


Split Images

Over/under image of a dock in Vermont farm pond
Over/under image of a dock in Vermont farm pond

Another format considered part of underwater photography is the over/under or split image; it is a composition that includes roughly half above the surface and half underwater. The traditional technique was pioneered by the National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, who used it to capture scenes above and below the surface simultaneously. Split images are popular in recreational scuba magazines, often showing divers swimming beneath a boat, or shallow coral reefs with the shoreline seen in the background. Image File history File links Splitpond. ... Image File history File links Splitpond. ... The National Geographic Society was founded in the USA on January 27, 1888, by 33 men interested in organizing a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge. ... David Doubilet is one of the most famous underwater photographers[]. He was born in New York in 1946, and started taking photos underwater at the young age of 12. ... Scuba divers exploring fish and coral. ... Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef. ...


Over/under shots do present some technical challenges beyond the scope of most underwater camera systems. Normally a wide-angle lens is used, similar to the way they are used in everyday underwater photography. However, the exposure value in the "air" part of the image is often quite different from the one underwater. There is also the problem of refraction in the underwater segment, and how it affects the overall focus in relation to the air segment. There are specialized split filters designed to compensate for both of these problems, as well as techniques for creating even exposure across the entire image. Some photographers will also rely on extremely wide or fisheye lenses, which have enough depth of field to overcome any differences in focus. One of Canons most popular wide-angle lenses - 17-40 mm f/4 L retrofocus zoom lens. ... Fast shutter speed, short exposure Slow Shutter speed, long exposure In photography, exposure value (EV) is a value given to all combinations of camera shutter speed and aperture that gives the same exposure. ... The straw seems to be broken, due to refraction of light as it emerges into the air. ... The focus or image point is the point where light rays, originating from a point in the object, converge [1]. The principal focus or focal point of a lens or parabolic mirror is the point onto which collimated light parallel to the axis is focused. ... In photography, a filter is a camera accessory consisting of an optical filter that can be inserted in the optical path. ... Fisheye 15 mm (type: equisolid angle), 35 mm-film, cropped by slide-frame. ... An example of very shallow depth of field in a macro photograph. ...


Digital darkroom techniques can also be used to "splice" two images together, creating the appearance of an over/under shot. Digital Darkroom is a phrase used to describe all of the software and techniques used in digital photography that have replaced the old darkroom equivilents, such as enlarging, cropping, etc. ...


Timeline

  • 1856William Thompson takes first underwater pictures using a camera mounted on a pole.
  • 1893 — Louis Boutan take underwater pictures while diving using a surface supplied hard hat diving gear.
  • 1914 — John Ernest Williamson shot the first-ever underwater motion picture.
  • 1923 — W.H. Longley and Charles Martin takes first underwater colour photos using a magnesium powered flash
  • 1957 — The Calypsophot camera was built by Jean De Wouters and Jacques-Yves Cousteau. It would later be produced by Nikon as the Nikonos, the best-selling underwater camera series.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Underwater Photography Guide | Photography | Print Photos (725 words)
Photography is an all encompassing term used for all types of image capture but there are in fact distinct variations in the manner in which photography is approached in different genres...
Photography is so much a part of our culture now that we hardly even notice all the places that it exists...
Photography is a diversified field of creating a spectral variety of art...
Underwater photography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (797 words)
Underwater photography is extremely challenging due to the difficulty of capturing the image of a moving object, such as a fish, while the photographer is also moving, while also considering other factors like limited visibilty due to suspended particles.
One particular challenge in underwater photography is the use of a flash.
To overcome the problem of backscatter, good underwater flashes are mounted on an arm-like assembly, that fires the flash at the target far away from the lens.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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