Photographer Marcelo Krause travels the world to capture underwater wildlife, such as piranhas and caimans. His portfolio includes underwater photos from places like Pantanal, Komodo, Maldives, and the Red Sea.
Fast-moving subjects, blurry waters and dim visibility are the main obstacles between the photographer and a clear composition. Going underwater is a struggle to find the proper housing equipment, very wide angle lenses, and the best settings in terms of shutter speed, ISO, and focal length.
Underwater panorama with Tokina DX 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 fisheye lens
Canon and Nikon APS-C DSLRs can be paired with the above mentioned Tokina lens, thus bringing forward the possibility to capture a field of view of 180 degrees corner to corner at 10mm.
Fisheye lenses allow incredible distortions, being a good choice for 360 degree VR panoramas. Additionally, zoom capabilities are also integrated in this Tokina AT-X 107 AF DX 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 fisheye lens.
Underwater handling is easy enough, although the body is made out of metal. However, lenses are not so heavy and their compact size helps users mind their underwater challenges, not the prospective of getting trapped in twisted vegetation.
The depth of field is quite unprecedented, given the conditions in which the camera has to operate. Furthermore, a short focal length makes the internal autofocus blazing fast, which is perfect for underwater photography.
Tokina fisheye performance said to enhance creativity
Color aberration is nonetheless high, but it can be fixed with dedicated post-processing solutions. These software tools can also turn severe wide-angle distorted photos into rectilinear images.
The underwater environment calls for a wide view, as it is not very easy to take photos of wildlife. Moreover, the flare and ghosting control of this lens cancels out strong sources of light encountered in watery conditions.
Underwater photography settings coming from Marcelo Krause
According to Marcelo Krause, his Nikon D2X camera was set to ISO 400 for these photos. He also recommends that the shutter speed should be as fast as the flash sync permits, for this camera being 1/250th.
Tokina lenses come in handy due to deep underwater visibility. The idea is to be as close as possible to the subject and wide angle lenses provide just that.
A Nikon D2X camera has 12.4 effective megapixels, featuring shutter-priority mode, five frames per second continuous shooting at full resolution, and full remote camera control, ideal for taking unattended photos in dangerous places.
Underwater strobe and housing equipment needed
Aquatica D2X underwater housing is the solution chosen by Marcelo Krause for his photo undertaking. Obviously, it offers full access to camera control functions.
Featuring moisture alarm, multiple lens capability, and fast lens and port changing, this housing equipment uses viewfinder to provide the biggest and brightest view possible.
As for the strobe, the photographer used an Inon Z-240. Capable of distributing light even without a diffuser, this strobe has wide circular 100 degree beam coverage, a minimum recycle time of 1.6 seconds, an EV controller, and several others features designed for underwater photography.
Professional equipment will certainly cover the basics of underwater photography. On the other hand, exciting photos always ask for courage, patience and the mastery of photographic techniques.