SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 21, February 2017 - Page 108


The mistake some people make is shooting from the top down. If you do this, you’re going have a ton of pictures of fish backs and not the epic shots of them staring you in the face. Get on their level. Being at eye-level will allow you to get really great pictures of the sea life.


GoPro’s aren’t known for their fast shutter speed so you’re going to need to steady yourself while getting the shot. Set yourself up and stabilize your buoyancy so that you’re still when you take the shot. If there’s a rock or sand by you use two fingers or a pointer stick to steady yourself while you take the shot. If you use your fingers fan the area with your hand to make sure you’re not putting your fingers on something alive and make sure your not grabbing onto coral, they’re living too.


When you go below 10 meters, you lose the color red. Getting a red filter will put the color back in your pictures and save you the headache of trying to correct it post processing later. You can get a filter for ~$30 through Amazon. Polar Pro makes some good ones.


Change your settings while you’re underwater. See a big school of fish? Change your setting to wide angle to get the best shot. See a cool Moray eel? Change it to medium view for a narrower shot. Play with the views underwater to see the difference the shot makes.


I set my GoPro to burst mode 10 pictures per 3 seconds. As much as you can steady your self, I still like to shoot in this mode, because it helps me set-up my shot. I press the button, and I have 3 seconds to make sure I get the best shot. I tend to grab one of the shots in the middle. Those are usually the ones that turn out best and are in focus.


Although you can’t change too many settings in the GoPro, you can change some using ProTunes. Here are the settings for my GoPro Hero4. Check your manual for other models.White Balance is set to Auto. I set my ISO to the highest speed (800) and low light on so the shutter speed is at the maximum it can handle underwater.


7 Tips for Using a GoPro Hero4 Underwater

You’re taking pictures of wild animals. Being in the open ocean is different than being at an aquarium where the animals are confined to a small tank. These critters have miles and miles of water to call their home, so if they swim away from you be patient, there will be others. Take the time to look under rooks and in holes too, some cool eels and rays like to hide in there. Keep your eyes peeled. The perfect shot may be right in front of you.

February 2017 - Conservation Photography