Underwater photography showcases a world that not everyone gets to see. Photographs that capture the brilliant colors and stunning waterscapes are highly coveted. Taking mesmerizing photos underwater requires capitalizing on your surroundings and having the right equipment. The right equipment is a camera that is is versatile enough for the novice enthusiast and the seasoned professional. That space is where the Sony A6000 excels.
The Sony A6000 enhances underwater photography by featuring:
- Easy access to manual controls
- Insanely fast autofocus; and
- Ergonomic fit
These features are essential for underwater photographs, whether you are a beginner or an expert. Underwater photography relies on being in the right place at the right to capturing the perfect picture. When you find yourself cradled in that perfect moment, the Sony A6000 will ensure that you can fully immerse yourself in the creative aspect of your photography and less on the technical aspect.
The Perfect Tool For Underwater Shots
With easy access to controls and speedy autofocus, the Sony A6000 performs how you need in order to achieve the precision shots you would otherwise miss by fumbling around with the controls. Don’t let technology get in the way of your creativity. The ergonomic fit feels right in your hands and affords you the freedom to create with the ease of function.
The choice you make in the tools you use is equally important as the situational awareness that you exercise in getting the perfect shot. The Sony A6000 is the solution. Now that you have the right tool for the job, we have some tips to optimize your underwater photos.
Check The Life Of Your Battery
Imagine you have been diving along the coast all day, and you come across a perfect storm of the picturesque scene and ocean life; you get into the ideal position for the shot, and your camera energy fizzles out on you. That is a defining moment that you will never be able to get back. Making sure that you have battery life is essential to avoid missed opportunities.
Features And Battery Life
Sony A6000 batteries last about 180 minutes or about 300 photos. Keep this information in your mind while going underwater. Things that will influence battery life include:
- Air Temperature
- Back Screen/Viewfinder
- Optical Image Stabilization
The battery life is an approximation depending on the features you are utilizing because they each have their power usage criteria on the battery. The Sony A6000 uses a lithium battery. Lithium batteries are affected in extremely hot or cold temperatures and will lose power faster. The reason why this is important is that shooting underwater requires the features listed above.
The additional features you require underwater drain more power from your battery. These items are highly used in underwater photography because of the different rules of lighting. Light flows in the water differently than on land. When shooting underwater, Viewfinders will be your lifeline to a great shot, so that is a feature you will have on most of the time.
Knowing that these features are necessary, but also are a massive drain on the battery, you should always carry a spare battery with you. Having a few extra lithium batteries on hand will spare you the frustration of missing an optimum shot.
Take Your Shots In The RAW
JPEG is a popular format because it compresses a photo and saves space. This is adequate if you take selfies with your friends in social images, but not for underwater photography. Another popular format is TIFF. TIFF is stored in 8-bits with no compression so that these files can be huge. TIFF files are more for saving after you edit in Photoshop and prefer a glossy format.
Shooting in RAW format allows you to save all of the data from your camera sensor, ultimately giving you more data to work with. This means that you can adjust tone, color space, and exposure, among other things. You won’t capture the essence of the scene with JPEG; it will compress that data and miss the truth in color.
RAW files have 12-14 bits of color compared to TIFF and JPEGs 8-bits. Your Sony A6000 can capture stunning images that would be diminished if not using the most amount of bits that you can store all of the data. Shooting in RAW simply provides for a higher dynamic range.
Working With More RAW Data
The more data you have to work with allows for greater control in editing your photos to match what you captured in its most accurate form. If you want to create large images, stretching compressed data can blur and distort the image. RAW files provide the best option for exporting high-quality images into another medium.
There are several editing programs available to elevate your images that you have captured in RAW format. If you prefer to convert the images to JPEG or TIFF for posting online, that’s great; however, keeping the RAW images in your files for later use is a best practice.
Getting Into Focus
We have established that taking pictures underwater requires a different skillset then on land. Lighting makes the difference between a crisp, obscure image and a timeless, detailed photograph. Finding an excellent light source in the water is challenging because water absorbs light quickly.
If there isn’t enough light, the picture comes out with a blueish hue. The Sony A6000 can provide additional light with the flash modes, but to get the best photographs possible, you need to get personal.
Close The Distance
To get things into focus, you need to get as close as possible and get closer still. The goal is to minimize the amount of water between you and your subject. The closer you can get, the sharper and clearer your images will be.
Shooting Upward Angles
Another trick to finding light sources is shooting up. Images tend to turn out better if you are looking upwards at them. Not only is it an appealing view that gives the viewer an interesting angle, but it creates better contrast between background and subject. Shooting up also provides a light source from the open water.
It’s All In The Eyes
When focusing in, make the eyes the focal point. Being able to see the subject’s eyes will centralize the view and give you a connection with your subject. If you can see the eyes, you know that you are close enough to capture a splendid photograph. Once you have the eyes in sight, fill the rest of the target area with the subject.
Shoot Multiple Images At A Time
Shooting several images at once will increase your possibility of getting the perfect picture. There is a beauty in movement, and underwater creatures and objects are continually moving. Your Sony A6000 can freeze time in that moment, adding stoic beauty, or you can capture the moments together in moving grace. After taking multiple shots, review your images.
We are blessed with the ability to review images immediately after taking them. Today’s digital world does have it’s perks. The LCD screen is one of them. Capitalize on your shots by reviewing the images to check that your subject has:
- Good Exposure
- Desirable Lighting
- Pleasantly Composed
Review all of the images that you took ideally before the subject swims away. If you are not happy with what you see, make the necessary adjustments, and have another go at it. Taking several photographs at once gives a higher probability of you being happy with all three elements above.
You may need to switch to manual settings to better control the exposure, color, and sharpness. Auto mode is not a problem, but if you want more control and creative freedom, get comfortable with the manual controls.
The Sony A6000 takes multiple pictures by merely pressing the shutter button. The menu has the option to allow multi-image capture. If you rather go to a manual mode, the camera will allow for that as well. Before your underwater shooting session, be sure to adjust the settings that you want to achieve, so you don’t miss the shots when the time is right.
Valuable Apps For Underwater Photography
Looking for the best places to shoot with your Sony A6000? Or even to promote your freelance underwater photography gig and share your pictures? Some apps can put you in the center of all the action and increase the probability of a memorable shooting day. Some excellent apps to check out are:
Deepblu can help you plan your next diving shoot by booking your dives and having access to user reviews as guidance on the best places to go. This app allows you to share your photos and videos with the community. If you are interested in promoting your freelance underwater photography, this app would be the way to do it.
DiveMagazine provides access to travel guides, hot diving areas, and updates on diving stories. Having this information readily accessible will give you the edge you need to participate in the fun. You can keep your pulse on the community and know what’s in the water so you can plan your perfect photoshoot.
Dive+ is specifically designed to enhance underwater photography. Dive+ can restore color and bring out the trueness in your photos. It offers brilliant editing that works for any picture. With Dive+, you can share your photos with over 200+ countries and get diving instruction and information. Viewing other people’s photographs may provide you with inspiration for your own. They even have a few incentives if you work with them to help drive their photography technology forward.
The Sony A6000 is an excellent camera for underwater photography and demonstrates versatility for both the novice and seasoned photographers. Using the tips illustrated here will complement the features of your Sony A6000 and provide for the best possible photography experience. Nothing left to do but get wet.