Understanding Light and Diving is key to getting the most out of your dives
Light and diving is a key topic in various PADI courses. Advanced Open Water Diver, Deep Diver and Underwater Digital Photographer all cover light and diving. The concept is quite easy to grasp as your visual experience while diving is directly linked to it.
In a nutshell, light is affected by the distance it travels underwater (depth and subject distance) and topside conditions (time of day, weather and surface conditions). So it is all about how much light goes in, and how far it has to go.
The following graphic from Dive Photo Guide illustrates this concept nicely. You can see that some colours, such as red and orange, rapidly disappear when going through water.
So, you want to fully appreciate the amazing underwater world? Introduce your own light source! A spotlight style torch is best for finding small critters but a video light is better for photography.
Using a dive light will help restore colours. Get a good dive light, and get close. This will not only boost your visual experience, but it will help you find things. Even on the brightest day it’s difficult to see anything under overhangs or beneath a wreck.
Let’s take the frogfish as an example. This particular froggy was about 25 meters deep hiding in wooden rubble from a wreck. Without a dive light, it would be very easy so swim by without ever noticing its presence, as you can guess from the greenish image below.
Also, when armed with a camera, you want to show your subject in all its glory on a photograph. Your lighting technique will give life to your photos. Compare the images and see for yourself.
All of our guides carry a torch. We all consider them to be an essential component of our dive gear.
Posted in Photo Tips & Tricks on .