Filming Underwater: Top 5 Tips from a Pro

Sea Turtle

Only a handful of Individuals become an underwater videographer for your BBC. Backscatter requested customer Roger Munns and our friend to split down his tips. Rogers Munns work has been noticed by you, if you have watched Planet. In this guide, video has broken down to his high 5 tips that were excellent along with the 5 strategies. The staff here in Backscatter is stoked to discuss his comprehension.


  • Keep the sun
  • Zoom with your feet
  • Get point and low up
  • White Balance Manually
  • Get Trim


  • Shallow depth of field
  • Take in the light
  • Shoot off rate
  • Keep moving, but gradually
  • Lens Flare

Those five suggestions that are aged should see an improvement in Your underwater pictures. However – principles are designed to be broken up. I attempt to emulate the appearance that cinematographers reach on property, While I take for productions such as the BBC’s Blue Planet II. Cinematic and smacks of production value. I know that most folks out there shooting movie are not likely to get the chance, like me, to spend in the organization of a single fish to take at 20 hrs of footage to get a slice that is edited. I expect these five suggestions will help your footage seem cinematic and possess your buddy’s jaws just a bit because they sit down to enjoy the trip movie!

Shallow depth of field

That is the most significant facet of how do you make a movie and producing that which we think about as a “cinematic” shot.

You could tell also a theater and TV movie by the depth of field. TV movies and TV shows were shot on cameras. Theatrical releases were captured super 35mm detectors which concentrated the attention of the viewer and gave backgrounds. Today most of us have access to detectors that are larger so that appearance can be achieved by us.

To do this you will want to start up the iris. This is where the caliber of your lens is going to inform. Faster lenses allow them to open and get much better bokeh. Based upon the FOV of your lens you are likely to need to be at f5.6 or broader. Be cautious as your point is going to be decreased and it’s going to be trickier to keep your subject in focus. This is used on topics which aren’t moving.

Suggestion – As you start your iris to get that Bokeh you’ll let Vulnerability, and Lighter inside might become a problem. Do your best since this may look a little 14, not to raise your shutter speed. Reduce the ISO if your camera gets built-in ND or so far as possible it’s time to reverse on one.

Under water

Take in the light

This goes contrary to the and Is Totally counter intuitive First rule of “keep sunlight behind you”. When you learn this technique, you are going to become psychological pictures.

There’s a caveat. You Need a camera using a high Dynamic range to handle the contrast. This is going to be an appearance not hopeless but tougher if you are shooting GoPro. Compact or most DSLRs mirrorless cameras will have a detector which has a range of 12-14 stops. This implies that they can manage high contrast situations and that’s exactly what you need when utilizing backlight. Despite backlighting your topic ought to be exposed not silhouetted, and nicely.

When the sun is reduced in the Ideal time to backlight is Early morning or late day. Obviously, this will be different in your latitude but at the tropics, at which I’m fortunate to be established, it is about 4-6pm and 6-8am. That is as it glides past, when those gorgeous sunrays caress the reef or the manta ray. In addition, you need as shooting to the light, visibility will create water clarity seem worse than it is. This isn’t something to try in vis. Try this technique on lenses in which the backlight can help separate your subject and onto lenses to get reef-scapes.

Tip. In case your camera is pointed to 12 try framing the Sunshine at 10 o’clock or two o’clock.

Shoot off rate

Shooting “off-speed” or movement is a theater that is classic trick. It is a method of drawing on more personality. I am not talking about shooting here to view a mantis fish strikes but only a bit slower than ordinary to deliver a lyrical feel.

You must be cautious here. Do not go too slow – if you do, you might discover that the fish’s motion appears un-natural. The rule of thumb is that the narrower your area of view that the more you may slow down. Case in point: shooting at a lens. In 50mm on precisely the detector, you can push it into 60 or even 50. At 120mm to get a close-up portrait of a moving vibrant fish (such as the cichlid – learn more about them at, you may go so much as 90fps. Experiment using different frame rates and discover what seems and works natural. It is going to help stabilize your shots.

Technical tip – When attempt to maintain your Shutter speed per minute at your frames. Your shutter speed must be 1/120s if you’re shooting 60fps. In case you’ve got the choice on your camera, it is simplest to place your camera to “angle” then it’s possible to keep it in prices that are 180º for your frame.

Keep moving, but gradually

Statics are passé. Underwater we could make the equivalent Gimbal shots during filming with motion and buoyancy.

The important thing is great Your camera rig. You then will not be battling with your camera, if your camera and you are balanced along with the shooter will be steadier. You’ve got three-axis for your entire body. X – left to right. Y – down and up. Z – backward and forward. You can pan and pan the camera along with palms and your arms. A great deal of room for experimentation. Attempt to maintain shots smooth, allow the actions grow, and discover a time to terminate the shot – by allowing the topic swim from settling or frame onto a place like a coral mind that is wonderful. Often the moves seem the cinematic. Just gliding across the reef at a present that is mild can seem like the equal of a helicopter airborne that is stabilized.

Suggestion – unite this with a frame rate that is slower to smooth out Your own moves.

Lens Flare

Light produces lens flare entering your own lens. This is often light from sources like the sunlight. Modern lenses (even primes) frequently have a lot of elements inside these and light can reflect from such internal components and trigger prism-like artifacts to show up in your picture. Normally flares” attempt to reduce, using coatings and hoods/shades, since it can decrease the contrast and picture quality of our shooter. But feel to their shooter and some cinematographers use lens flare to provide some character and we could use it submerged. People are utilized to seeing it and you see it added in movies unnaturally to shots to make it feel much more real.

Would be to get it move across the picture as the camera goes. You will have to frame up shooting to sunlight. Until you’re able to find some flare experiment with various angles and positions. the flare moves through the picture you can perform a pan, tilt or movement. There is a balance concerning what seems elegant try it several distinct techniques to find out what seems best and what seems horrible.


I hope these five hints that are fresh allow you to proceed with your underwater filmmaking. We are blessed to be living in a period where we’ve Incredible, innovative tools which are available to the general Public and therefore are also a fraction of the price of what professional, and far superior Camera operators used. Get out there and create!