Are you Ready to Dive with a Camera?

The world of Underwater Photography has grown enormously in the last few years with the advancement of ‘sport’ cameras like the GoPro. Several of my guests have shown up to do a Discover Scuba Dive or Try Dive with their own Underwater Camera.

In theory this is great. I appreciate that people want to be able to capture these moments and share them with friends and family. One of my favorite things is to take their camera for them and get a good shot of the whole group!

Unfortunately several of my guests, even those that are fully certified, are not ready to dive and use a camera! Check out the info below to find out why!

Underwater Photographer Stock Image

Reasons using a camera makes your dive more difficult:

5. There is a big chance you will loose or damage the camera

It takes practice for divers to learn how to enter the water without dropping their rig or hitting it on the side of the boat. Then if they get distracted or something goes wrong underwater a LOT of divers will drop their camera. If it has a floating back or wrist strap the odds of being able to find it after the dive are a minimum. A camera with a floating attachment will shoot to the surface too fast for you to follow and start drifting in the current/waves right away.

4. It messes with your buoyancy.

This is true even for small compact cameras but as you get into the big rigs this becomes a huge problem. When they start taking photos or videos divers forget to concentrate on their breathing. A lot even start kicking subconsciously. This is what we call a floater…  and yes there is a reason it sounds like the contents of a toilet.

3. It makes for an inconsiderate buddy

Where is my buddy? Oh great taking another video of a Parrot Fish as the group leader goes ahead. Good thing we will probably never actually watch that video.

2. It wastes air

All that moving around for the perfect shot and fuffing about with settings makes you breath harder and waste air. Then forget about it if something interesting comes by, most divers are off in a flash to get their shot without even glancing at where the group is or how much air they have.

1. You stop paying attention

One Turtle or Shark or Sea Fan becomes such a distraction that divers have no concept of things like their Dive Time, Remaining Air, or where the group is. Then to get the perfect position most people are ready and willing to lay on, kick, or lean against ANYTHING in the vicinity. This includes Dive Guides, Dive Buddies, and rare pieces of Coral. Way to go- You got a photo you probably won’t ever look at again at the cost of a barrel sponge #winning #justkiddingyousuck

So how do you get started diving with a camera without being a photo-douche?

Here are my top tips to start diving with a camera!

When you want to start diving with a camera I suggest you sign up for a shallow easy dive for your first trip out. Don’t worry about the camera until you are on the bottom! Take it slow and remember to pay attention to safety FIRST photos SECOND. And of course sign up for the Underwater Photo/Video Specialty at your local dive shop.  If you will be visiting St. Maarten I have a great recommendation for an Underwater Photo Course on the island!

Comment your best Underwater Photo tips below!

Professional Underwater Photographer Daniel Norwood photographs a small Caribbean Reef Shark on SXM. Photo by Leslie Hickerson

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