Underwater Videography: A Beginner's Guide to Film Underwater


Underwater videography is one field that is gradually gaining a lot of attention. Many filmmakers are starting to explore this particular media career; likewise, divers are now learning how to film underwater. Of course, this is not surprising as underwater videos bring to life the subsurface world, showing unique marine lives and their interactions.

No doubt, shooting underwater videos is cool. However, it might be a little challenging to produce videos that would stand out especially if you are a beginner. There are some basic things you need to know and do before you start filming. So, here is a beginner's guide for you.

Underwater Videography

1. Get The Right Gears and Equipment

Just like any other field, underwater videography has a set of gears that are crucial for filming successfully underwater. The equipment or gears you would need are:

camera, camera housing, scuba diving gear, lighting equipment.

Without a doubt, the most important piece of gear you'll need is a camera. These days, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to cameras for making underwater videos. You have the choice of choosing between a waterproof action camera, DSLR, a mirrorless camera, video cameras, compact cameras, or even.

Your choice of camera depends solely on your reasons for wanting to learn how to film underwater. That is, is it something you want to take as a hobby or something you want to practice professionally? As a hobby, a waterproof action camera like AKASO Brave 7 LE, V50 Elite would be good for you especially if you are just starting. AKASO action camera provides diving mode which is specially designed for underwater videography and can filter the red light to compensate for the color loss under the sea. But professionally, a DSLR or a video camera would be the best option.

Waterproof Action Camera

Since you are shooting underwater, you would want to invest in a waterproof camera. However, if your budget doesn't give you that freedom, you can always get an underwater camera housing.

The underwater camera housing is simply a container that houses cameras without waterproof protection. Camera housings are quite durable as they have handles attached to them that allow easy handling and better control of your camera. One great thing is that they are available for whatever camera you choose even for smartphones.

Scuba diving gears are also necessary for underwater videography especially if you will be doing this professionally. Most likely, if you are learning how to film underwater, you are already a scuba diver. Nevertheless, if you are not, it is something you need to learn before even thinking of making underwater videos. Also, you need to be certified.

While scuba dive gears are a must for any professional videographer, you might not need them if you're doing this as a hobby and don't plan on exploring deep waters. A snorkel and a fin might just be what you need if you only want to explore shallow waters. But, if you want to go deep, you can't do without scuba diving equipment.

Lighting equipment is required because as you go deeper, you start to lose colors and the amount of natural light available reduces. So, lighting equipment will help you illuminate your surroundings well, making it possible for you to capture clear and sharp footages.

Underwater Lights

2. Stay Still, Keep Steady

It might interest you to know that the ability to remain still and steady contributes a lot to the overall quality of videos. Whether you are shooting videos on land or underwater, having a stable shot is of great importance. Experienced underwater videographers can remain still or hover in one place with very little movement. So, while you learn how to film underwater, it is also essential that you learn how to master your buoyancy.

Of course, some accessories can help produce stable footage. However, the greater part of having stable footage depends on your ability to stay still and keep steady. The truth is the importance of having perfect buoyancy underwater cannot be over-emphasized. 

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3. Know Your Subject

It is advised that before diving, you should already know what you want to shoot. This can play a big role in the outcome of your video. You might ask, how? Well, having prior knowledge about your subject gives you an idea of how to film them. That is, you know how your subject moves, you know your subject's body conformation and what angles will be best to film them in. Also, you can easily anticipate their actions and avoid situations that will likely trigger them or scare them off. This can also be advantageous for your safety and that of the animal.

Underwater Videography Subjects

4. Don't Be Hasty

You should never be in a rush to shoot; you don't want to force the shot. Rather, you should let the actions of your subject or the animal lead you. One thing about underwater videography is that it requires a lot of patience; being in a haste is never the best. You should remember that to your subjects, you're an intruder. So, you should try to avoid chasing them or forcing them into certain situations just to get a shot; this can easily trigger them. What you can do instead, is to get your camera settings ready so you can capture moments or action when they happen.

5. Maintain Your Gears/Equipment

Imagine diving into the ocean ready to shoot and you realize that one of your gears isn't working – what a waste of time that will be. Hence, the need for properly maintaining your equipment. You need to see to it that your equipment is cleaned and working well before going underwater. Also, when not in use, it should be kept in a safe place and stored properly.

To Wrap Things Up …

Underwater videography is a fun and interesting field but it does require some amount of training to be successful at it. For beginners, it can be daunting; however, the above guide will be helpful as you begin to learn how to film underwater and progress to becoming a professional.


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