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Water Photography Tips

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Category: Photographic Subjects

Working With Water - Here are some top tips for water photography with your Olympus camera.

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Wyming Brook
Wyming Brook by Peter Bargh.

Water is a very versatile subject and it can also be a difficult on to shoot flatteringly. Here are a few ideas and tips for getting better water photography. 

Slow shutter speeds for smoothness 
Want to get that smooth, serene effect from you water shots? You'll need a tripod to keep your camera perfectly still, otherwise the surrounding area will be blurry. The longer you set the shutter speed, the smoother your water will appear. This technique works especially well to calm choppy seas and give waterfalls that dream like effect. The Live BULB and Live TIME feature found on some Olympus cameras is useful for this technique as you can see the exposure develop on-screen. This means there's not much as guessing when it comes to knowing how long your exposure will need to last. 

Fast shutter speeds to freeze splashes
If you're capturing water sports photography, or want to freeze the splash of family or friends jumping into a pool perhaps, a faster shutter speed is the way to go. This will enable you to capture crystal clear images that freeze the moment perfectly. For fast moving subjects, such as water skiers and wake boarders, a fast shutter speed will also enable you to capture their moves clearly without introducing blur. 

Water reflections of any kind are a great photographic tool. They enable us to create stunning images of the tree line of a forest reflected in a lake, for example. Reflections are also good used on their own for abstract photography, too. Try rotating the reflection 180 degrees so it looks like an alternate reality. 

Polarising filter to cut reflections 
If you want to take photos that show what's underneath the water, but reflections are in the way and you don't have a waterproof camera, consider using a polarising filter. The filter will get rid of most of the light reflection, allowing you to see into the underwater world, as shown below: 

fish with and without polarising filters
                    Without polarising filter                                                    With polarising filter 

Underwater photography
If you do have an underwater camera, such as an Olympus TG-630 waterproof to 5m or the TG-8030 waterproof to 10m. You can use waterproof casing for your camera if it's not waterproof to capture a completely different perspective on the world by shooting from underneath the waves. You could also try experimenting with shooting with the lens half in and half out of the water for something a little different. 

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