Be There

Simple! Be in the water. If you are not in the water you won't get the shot. Successful photographers achieve as much bottom time as possible so they have a good chance of 'being there' when that magic moment appears before them.

• When I use wide angle I always set f8 at one metre before I enter the water — just in case of what I might see on my way to the photo site.

• When I start my ascent I again set f8 at one metre, just in case.

• Have a look at the meta-data on some of your best scenic or wide angle shots taken in the past. I know you will find the combination of f4 (compact) or f8 to be some of the most successful settings.

• Point your camera, SLR or compact, horizontally into the blue. Set your ISO to 200, your shutter to 1/125th sec and your aperture at f8 (f4 on compacts);take a shot of the water column. Check out the LCD monitor, see how pleasing the blue water background is recorded.

I still have the occasional few who contact me the day before leaving for their first trip to a blue water dive resort asking 'I'm a complete novice, which settings shall I use?' My answer is always f8 — one metre and be there'. This combination of f8 at one metre really does work.

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