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Taking a great underwater photo

By Trish Brennan , 17 February, 2016

What better way to remember your SwimTrek experience than by shooting some good photos. I don’t have any photography skills but with lots of trial and error with underwater photography, and listening other swimmers, I have managed to get a few nice underwater shots.

Here are some suggestions if you're planning on bringing a waterproof camera on your next trip:

• Swim somewhere sheltered ideally with a rocky rather than sandy sea floor. Deep clear blue water is a great backdrop.

• Use the timer. Place your camera on the sea floor or tie it onto a secure rock. Set the timer off on your camera and get ready to pose.

• If I’m going for a long swim I always wear a swim cap. It keeps me a fraction warmer but more importantly I am more visible to boat traffic. For some photos though it’s best to ditch the swim cap.

• When you swim underwater there is extra pressure on your eardrums. Learn how to equalise. As soon as you go under the surface hold your nose and pretend you are breathing out through your ears.

• There are lots of underwater cameras available, and some of the cheaper ones are great value for money. Try to find a camera that you find easy to use and with a timer option.

• Most cameras have lots of expensive accessories, particularly GoPro cameras. The best accessory I have found is a 1m length of thin rope. I tie it in a loop and place my head and arm through the loop. Unless you are swimming in crashing surf it’s secure and stays out of the way for long swims. It’s also very economical.

• Don’t forget your surroundings! It’s easy to get distracted when you think you are getting the perfect shot or when a school of pretty fish swim by to join you in your picture. Remember to check what’s happening on the surface.

• Think about the light. If like me you aren’t sure what light works best take the same photo from different angles.

• Blue waters surrounded by dark cave walls make great locations for a silhouetted photo shoot.

• Ask your new SwimTrek friends to join in the fun.

Happy photographing and don't forget to send your best pictures into SwimTrek to show off your work!


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