While you are underwater, you should enjoy the surroundings, not fumble around with a camera. Dive, explore, record and then enjoy the fruit of your labor in the comfort of your home, among friends and family. A Paralenz Dive Camera is perfect for this exact purpose. No flash, no zoom and it is so small and compact, that you might even wonder how are you going to hold it in order to take a picture or a video. But this is the brilliant ideology behind the camera: simple and intelligent.
Set yourself for greatness
Practice makes perfect! Before you go diving, take the camera and test it. Practice with it as you would with a flashlight or a laser. Focus on an object or location, point the camera at it and shoot. Review the footage and do it a few more times. By doing this, you will start training your muscle memory to always point the camera towards the object (or underwater creature) focused in your line of view.
One of the most important factors for taking a good quality picture underwater is the selection of camera settings. Make sure that you have the right WB/DCC settings for the location of the dive. If the water is blue, go for DCC Blue and if it’s green, go for DCC Green. When diving with artificial light, make sure to have AWB selected.
Now you can consider the way you will mount the camera. The mask mount is a great way to record videos for the divers that are looking to have their hands free. With the auto record option, you set it up, turn it on, go into the water and forget about it. If you are looking to take stills from the videos, have the video settings on the 2.7k or 4k resolution. By keeping your head still and the subject in front of you, you will be guaranteed the ability to take extraordinary stills from the video.
Having the camera mounted on a pole or the Paralenz 3rd Person Viewer will give you the ability to take close up pictures without scaring the subject or triggering a defense mechanism. More than that, it is a great tool to record videos in tight spaces within a wreck or a coral formation, without risking any damage to you or the environment.
“I am watching you!”
You are underwater and you see a big, beautiful turtle and you say to yourself “WoW, I need to take a picture of that turtle!”. But what would be the best way to do it?
A good starting point is to be relaxed. Do not make sudden moves and do not rush in for the picture. Try to make eye contact as it is a form of communication without language, especially between different species.
When you manage to do that, look for a reaction. If the creature moves it’s head towards you, it is probably to observe you or your camera, which means it is the right moment to take a picture. Taking a picture of the eyes without seeing any reaction, will not yield the same results.
Try to be at the same level as the creature. As underwater creatures have a different field of view and positioning of the eyes, it will make it easier for any amateur photographer to get a nice framed picture.
Now what is left is to share your memories with friends and family. But let’s be honest, you might not always be able to frame it perfectly. The best way to fix that is to use one of the editing programs available on the market, either a paid one or a free one will do the trick. When editing the image to reposition the subject, consider using the rule of thirds. This implies splitting the image in nine equal boxes (most of the editing programs will put a grid over the image that makes the process much easier) and position the subject on one of the intersection points. For example, take the turtle mentioned earlier. You managed to make eye contact with it, got a reaction and took a great picture but it is not positioned properly. Using the rule of thirds, you can position the eye in one of the intersection points, which will move the turtle towards a side of the image, giving it a more dynamic aspect, as opposed to the turtle being in the exact center of it.
Remember that no photographer is perfect. Even if you take all the right precautions, you will still need to do some light editing (even at a professional level) in order to get the results you are used to seeing in commercials, ads or wherever on the internet.
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