Blue Water Camera Angles

My own preferred tone of blue water is taken pointing my camera with the sun directly behind my back. In other words at 180° to the location of the sun in the sky. I also like to shoot into the sun but this angle is more orientated to capture various moods of the sunlight, which I'll discuss later on. Shooting the blue water towards the sun can result in a milky blue, which lacks vibrancy and contrast. A shooting angle which can produce some moody and edgy affects (no pun intended) is to shoot at an angle often referred to as 'across the light', which is 90° to the direction of the sun.

Experiment, play with the light and study the wide angle work of other photographers.

As a result of the power and flexibility of digital RAW capture, in particular the white balance tools, I am taking more and more natural light images with every photo trip I make.

fig. 6.8 The sun is directly behind my back, taken with natural light at 4pm Red Sea. Settings were Nikon D300, Tokina 10 17 mm at the 10 mm end, f11 at 180th sec, ISO 200. I shot in Raw and then used the white balance colour picker selector tool in Lightroom 2 and clicked on the foreground corals to re-address the blue colour cast.

fig. 6.8 The sun is directly behind my back, taken with natural light at 4pm Red Sea. Settings were Nikon D300, Tokina 10 17 mm at the 10 mm end, f11 at 180th sec, ISO 200. I shot in Raw and then used the white balance colour picker selector tool in Lightroom 2 and clicked on the foreground corals to re-address the blue colour cast.

fig. 6.9 The catch- all setting of f8 at 1/125th sec. Natural light: the sun once again was directly behind my back, taken at 10.45am in the Red Sea. Same RAW conversion as Fig. 6.8. I used the WB colour picker and clicked on the scales of one of the fish until I achieved a realistic colour.

fig. 6.10 Shot across the light at 5.30pm in the Red Sea at a slight downward angle 90° to the sun, which you can see top right. This dolphin was very playful and stayed with us for 30 minutes. With action such as this I would recommend you set your camera to Shutter priority. Set 1 /250th sec and concentrate on the action instead of taking meter readings at different angles. Wild dolphin experiences do not occur regularly so ensure you enjoy the experience. This shot was only one of 60 and at this angle my Nikon D200 camera selected a corresponding aperture of f4 using a Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye lens.

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