Top #10 tips for underwater videography
If you're a scuba or free diver, you may already have observed much of the natural beauty that resides in our oceans. Healthy coral reefs, schooling fish or top ocean predators all make for exciting dive buddies! Here follows our top 10 tips to get you started on how to best capture your dive experiences on video!
#1 Understand Your Camera
Before you even get into the water, get to grasp with the tools at your disposal. Lots of different cameras are good for underwater filming and they all have different settings and features that you'll need to learn to help capture the footage you want. While action cams are fairly straight forward, a micro four thirds or full frame system will normally have several manual options that can improve your footage dramatically!
Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but bubbles. That's the underwater photography motto in many corners of the world that set the standard for how we interact with the underwater world. And it's no different with video! Know your own skill set and limitations when it comes to diving and act accordingly. Touching corals or even rocks with small amounts of coral growth can have negative long term effects as it can damage the natural ways corals grow and build reefs. The same goes for fish, turtles, sharks, dolphins etc. Having close interaction with these creatures can not only be physically damaging to them but it can also lead to behavior changes.
#2 Marine Life Conservation
#3 Buoyancy and Dive Skills
Mastering dive skills like buoyancy, situational awareness and hovering is essential to avoid damaging your surrounding, getting steadier and nailing the shots you want! If you're an experienced diver your buoyancy might already be decent. However I often observe people who simply get too excited about their subject and buoyancy goes out the window. Forcing yourself to be aware of multiple factors while filming both improves your shot and reduces the chance of you hitting or touching something you didn't intend too. For new divers, there is an excellent specialty during the Advanced Open Water course called Peak Performance Buoyancy.
Ask your instructor to teach you!
#3 Boyancy and Dive Skills
#4 Steady Hands
Being noticed and accomplished as a underwater videographer means standing out from the crowd. Interesting subjects will certainly bring you attention, but it also comes down to how good you are at capturing your subjects. Developing a steady grip of your camera takes time and experience but it will make a huge difference! And whatever you do, please do not let Youtube add their motion stabilizer to your films.
The rules of composition helps us add depth to an image and draw the viewers attention to the subject in a natural way. Understanding composition and knowing when to apply it helps create more pleasing looking images and keeps your viewers more interested. That's not to say that these rules are always to be followed, but in understanding them you can also know when to go against them.