How to Prevent Photo Colors Loss in Underwater Photography

In photography, one of the import important things in photos are colors. Light behaves differently underwater than it does on dry land. When you're shooting underwater, you're main light source is the sun. Sunlight is actually made up of many different colors, but the longer wavelength colors (red and orange) are quickly absorbed by the water, leaving everything else looking blue.

This causes objects at a short distance to appear colorless and indistinct. This effect occurs both vertically and horizontally in the water column. An object that is 30 feet away from you will look indistinct even if you both are only six feet underwater. This effect is caused by the nature of water and not the particles in it. Clean, pure water found in the coral reefs of the Caribbean also experience this effect. So, how do you prevent color loss in underwater photography?

Get Close to the Subjects

Because this effect happens over a short distance you need to get very close to your subjects. You need to be an experienced scuba diver in order to accomplish this without alarming the marine life. You also need wide angle and macro lenses in your kit because you will be getting very close. In fact, most professional underwater photographers consider distances of more than three feet to not even be worth their time underwater.

Use a Flash

Getting close to the subject helps you maintain contrast and minimize the color loss that happens underwater. In shallow water on a sunny day, this might be enough, but in most situations, it isn't. You need to use a flash to make up for lost light and color waves. Remember that most light underwater is blue. A flash helps make up for the other colors that have been lost due to water absorption. A flash also adds more light to your shot too, which is always helpful when shooting underwater.

Underwater Strobes

If you really want to step up the quality of your underwater images, then you might want to invest a couple of hundred dollars into an underwater strobe. An underwater strobe is really a waterproof flash gun that allows your light and camera to be independent of each other. You can move the light away from the camera to up the overall output and make your colors richer.

The equipment for underwater photography can be expensive. Make sure that you're properly maintaining your gear to keep everything operating properly, and you will have wonderful and colorful underwater photos.

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