Tropical Reef Underwater Camera Settings

Tropical Reef Underwater Camera Settings

Tropical Reef Underwater Camera Settings

Beautiful wide angle reef scenes are perhaps the most iconic of underwater photos. You're looking to capture bright, vibrant colors of the various corals and sponges and a deep blue background.

These settings will get you started in most tropical blue water environments when you have at least partial sun up to about 30m (100 ft).

Where

A wide variety of salt water environments including the Caribbean, Red Sea, Australasia and South Pacific.

DSLR + Mirrorless

ISO: 100 to 200
Mode: M Manual
Aperture: f/8
Adjust aperture between shots to properly expose foreground.
Shutter Speed: 1/100 to 1/250
Set shutter speed to achieve your preferred color of blue background. 

Point + Shoot

ISO: 100 to 200
Mode: Tv Shutter Priority
Aperture: (set by camera)
Shutter Speed: 1/100 to 1/250
Set shutter speed to achieve your preferred color of blue background.

Technique

Come in towards the reef at an upward angle for added depth and perspective. Shoot with a wide angle lens and make sure that you are within maximum 3-6' (1-2m) away from some part of the reef so that your strobes can bounce off of it and make it pop. 

Strobes

These settings are most effective when using your strobes in TTL mode. Position your strobes as far away as possible from your housing pointed slightly the center of the frame.