Introduction

These guidelines are made to serve us, not the other way round!

Composing a picture underwater is much harder than composing on land. There is so much more going on:

• Buoyancy control

• Breathing from a dive tank

I know of some who choose not to bother at all whilst underwater, it's too distracting. They take the shot, leaving some space around the frame so they can build up the composition on computer, long after the dive is over. This is not my way of doing things but if it works for you then so be it.

Composition underwater can be a demanding topic to learn and to be honest there will never be any objective standard to judge whether a particular picture is 'good or 'bad'.

• Any composition which conveys to the viewer the author's meaning has to be acceptable.

• Any composition which jumbles the meaning is not and the evaluation is entirely subjective.

The 'rules' of composition are not really rules at all but guidelines. They have been derived because they describe identifiable patterns that have recurred in the works of many different artists in bygone days. This is why having an awareness of these guidelines is crucial in order to develop an understanding. Understanding develops confidence and confidence will allow your creative talents to flourish. Composition is one facet of photography which usually separates the professional from the enthusiastic beginner.

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