Caverns and Cenotes Underwater Camera Settings

Caverns and cenotes are underwater environments that still have fairly direct access to the surface of the water allowing the beautiful natural light to stream in. These photographs are typically dramatic silhouettes, often with light rays dancing around your subject.

These settings will get you started in dark environments when only a small amount of ambient light is shining in.

Where

Mexico, Florida, and all over the world.

DSLR + Mirrorless

ISO: 200 and higher
Vary your ISO based on how much light you need to frame and compose.
Mode: M Manual
Aperture: f/4
Shutter Speed: 1/60 to 1/80
Focal Length: 8mm to 28mm including fisheye

Point + Shoot

ISO: 200 and higher Vary your ISO based on how much light you need to frame and compose.
Mode: Tv Shutter Priority
Aperture: (set by camera)
Shutter Speed: 1/60 to 1/80

Strobes

Many beautiful images have been captured in caves and caverns using elaborate arrays of remotely triggered strobes. If you're new to cavern photography, we recommend starting out by leaving your strobes behind and shooting natural light only!

 

Additional Reading

Crocodiles, Cenotes, and Chinchurro with Ken and Kimber Kiefer

Cenote Commando | Fly & Dive Photography

 

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