Underwater photography in Cape Town waters is challenging.

We don’t often have the visibility our more tropical neighbours take for granted. Because water is much denser than air and absorbs light very quickly, the further you are from your subject, the more likely it is that your images will turn out dull, blurry and with a blue-grey hue. Minimizing the amount of water between your camera and the subject will help you get a clearer, sharper, and more colorful image.

Additionally, this will also reduce the occurrence of that darn backscatter we talked about.

When you’re underwater things can seem a little distorted, especially through a dive mask so while you might think you are super close, chances are you can get even closer. Taking photos of coral and fish is one of the instances where getting closer means achieving better images. Of course, now that I’ve said that, please don’t go scraping yourself across the coral or harassing fish just for a photo. Just nudge that little bit closer to compose an image that focuses almost entirely on the subject.

Taking macro of underwater details means zooming into the colours, patterns and textures. If you’re floating a meter or more away you’ll find what you saw in person won’t be transferred through your images. Look for the unique elements of what you are photographing and then decide how it’s best to compose it to showcase all of its beauty.