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Class Shot
the red sea is a perfect environment for all levels of underwater photographers. even snorkeling visitors have wonderful opportunities to take
home beautiful ocean images with the simple and highly affordable point-and-shoot compact cameras. the clear waters and generally calm
conditions provide perfect opportunities to capture all manner of underwater subjects from the surface or in the shallows.
the camera’s semi-automatic setting, where you can adjust some of the controls such as film speed and exposure value, is the best choice for a
snorkeller. on most compacts this is the p/programme mode but on others such as the Canon ixus or Fuji Finepix range is called the m mode. For
most subjects at the surface, a film speed of 200 will ensure sharp photographs. if the subject is completely static, however, opting for 100 will
give you richer, punchier colours.
reflections at the ocean’s surface can be used
to take stunning photographs. the dappled
light dancing over a sandy shallow bottom
is a fabulous background and beginners can
capture excellent underwater shots. to capture
these, simply leave your camera in p/programme
mode and keep the flash switched off. opt for
a film speed of either 100 or 200. then using
the Function menu on your camera, choose the
exposure Value mode (this is disguised as a 0+/-
in Canon’s range of cameras), and decrease this
to a minus one to ensure the dappled light really
stands out. this is also a really useful tool when
snapping schools of baitfish near the surface.
their silver scales often reflect light. By increasing
the shutter speed of the camera through
this simple control, the colours of the fish are
darkened, as is the dappled light beneath them.
this is shown in this photograph taken at the
surface of the pier at the Coral Hilton in nuweiba
(picture top right).
Shallow dwellers
you will often find some of the seas shyest
creatures hiding in the shallows. little sea-moths
scuttle around in pairs in just a couple of metres
of water, as well as cuttlefish (see picture bottom
right). i found this particular cuttlefish in just two
metres of water. By simply holding my breath
and ducking down, i used the built-in flash on
my camera to add just a little kiss of light to the
subject. remaining as quiet and still as possible
in the water is paramount to ensure the best and
least threatening interaction with any marine
The big stuff
Dolphins, of course, are among the main stars
of the sea. they are frequently seen when out
and about on boats around the red sea. again,
simply leave your camera on programme or semi-
automatic mode where the camera chooses the
correct aperture and shutter speed. remember
to choose a film speed of 400 for fast moving
subjects, such as dolphins to ensure that the
photos are sharp and not blurred.
Finally, a wide-angle lens can be a great benefit
when photographing large subjects such as these, enabling you to
get as close as possible to your favourite subjects. Wide-angles are
also great for nurturing your creative streak while shooting split-level maria runs tailor-made underwater photography trips
shots of the sea and surrounding beaches or mountains. keep as still
for Digital Compact Cameras for all levels in nuweiba,
as possible, gently turn the wide-angle lens a quarter turn to let out
egypt with emperor Divers.
any trapped air, and shoot with the camera’s lens half above and half
underwater at the same time. Choose an eV (exposure value) of minus
one again to darken the colours.
Find out more:
issue 2 august / september 2009 27
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