Capturing behavior is the ultimate challenge in underwater photography and arming yourself with as much knowledge before rolling in, can help you to achieve the most gratifying of images coming out. Being in the right place at the right time can be a large part of that pie, but did you ever notice how some shooters always seem to be in the right place all of the time? Reading between the lines will help you to discover how this happens and to make it happen for you. Here are a few of my inside tips to help you to achieve your bucket list critter photos for 2014.
1. Create a critter list of the creatures that you would like to see. As you go down the list check them off and be sure to write a little something about them to help improve your photo for the next time out. Keep this photographer’s list active by adding and checking off your goals, there is always something new to see.
2. Research the critters on your list and see what makes them tick, it’s vital and educational. What do your critters feed on, when are they the most active, how do they mate, habitats, bio-geographical regions, depth, best time of year, etc. There is a lot of data on many of these critters so take advantage of it.
3. Pack the right lenses for the job and know how they work. Many photographers fall into a trap of using a single lens for everything. I strongly encourage you to change your lens. Shooting everything with one lens can decrease the scope of your portfolio and stunt your skillset.
4. Hiring the right guide can make or break a trip. If you can use the same guide on a regular basis and let him know what you want to see ahead of time then your efforts will be greatly rewarded. Infact e-mailing the resort ahead of time is a very effective way of finding specific critters. I do this on a regular basis as it helps letting the resort and guides know ahead of time so that they can keep an eye out for certain things
5. Patience, perseverance and a good sense of humor are indispensable when it comes to underwater photography. Sometimes the unexpected will happen and not always in your favor so be ready to make lemonade and smile. Having a good laugh is better than being “that guy” on the boat.
Need some inspiration? Check out Mike’s gallery with his stories behind the images ... HERE.