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A brief introduction to Underwater Photography for the travelling Diver by Tony Baskeyfield

"A friend of mine has a stunning underwater picture hanging on his wall. Taken whilst diving in Dubai. It is of a shoal of yellow blue lined snapper that completely filled the picture. I thought, wouldn't it be great to have a pic like that on my wall at home?
This was something I'd like to have a go at."

Know the feeling? How many of us would love to have just one nice picture of ourselves diving, being intrepid, going boldly, etc. We divers are known for our obsessive behaviour. This started a long chain of obsessive events that has led me to want, not just a good shot for the wall, but more. More of everything. More diving. More pictures. More locations. Any excuse to get into the water with a camera. To take better pictures, get more lenses, get better results.

Over the years I have drifted to and from underwater photography. I started in the Red Sea with a Nikonos IV during a week's trip in 1982. The results were awful. So I didn't touch a camera for 6 years. I bought a cheap Hanimex compact film camera whilst at Scapa Flow. I got good photo album print quality results & occasional better shot.

Blue Lined Snapper
Fuji finepix S2 Pro
Sea and Sea Housing
Two YS 90 flashguns
16mm Nikon lens
F 8 @ 125th/sec
ISO 200

It wasn't until I met up with other underwater photgraphic enthusiasts that I got the guidance, advice and in the in-water help. This helped me so much that it transformed my work. So much so, that I now shoot professionally. I've only just scratched the surface. There are so many places to shoot, and so many subjects there for the taking.

So get advice, go on an under water photographic course. The BSAC Underwater Photography Course is a brilliant way to get started. Developed in conjunction with DIVE’s Charles Hood, Underwater Photography is a high quality course that has been launched in response to growing demand. Fun and enjoyable, the course will improve and develop a diver’s underwater photography skills and has been designed to cater for all levels, from divers who have no previous experience of using a camera underwater to anyone wanting to improve and develop their techniques.  Get involved with other photographers if you want to take better pictures.

If you'd like to take up underwater photography, here are some simple guidelines that will maximise your results, minimise the expense, but most of all give you maximum fun.  Underwater photography combines all of the knowledge and skills of diving with taking photographs. Your photographic knowledge and diving skills will dictate the choice of camera. To learn more look at BSAC Underwater Photography Course

Underwater cameras cost upwards from around £15 for a disposable. If you just want to take fun pictures of your diving holiday, a simple compact camera inside a waterproof housing will give great results. They are small and easy to slip into a BC pocket. Just point and shoot. The camera will sort out the tricky calculations to get the shot.

Enjoy this section of the website, you'll find hints and tips on underwater cameras, including product reviews.  We also have the ever popular Travel Club Photographic Awards - why not enter!  There are classes for beginners and for experienced photographers. 

Finally, don't forget safe diving practices. Be safe and don't push the limits to get that shot.

Tony Baskeyfield - BSAC Travel Photography Correspondent