Natural Light

Natural light is also referred to as ambient light, available light or existing light. You will hear all three expressions used. They all mean the same thing — light provided by the sun and not by the photographer.

On a clear, cloudless day when the surface of the water is glass calm it pervades the surface in the form of sun shafts. On a cloudy day, this light is flat and diffused. As the sun arcs across the sky from dawn to dusk, the effects change. The position of the sun in the sky, the time of day, the clarity of water and your depth will vary, and this affects the appearance of the light.

Study the wide angles in your underwater photo books. Notice how often blue water features in the background. Study the wide angle images you most admire. What is it about these that attract you? On many occasions, it will be the way in which the photographer has captured and used the available light.

So, do you ever wonder how the light has been captured in such a way?

Do you think it is a special technique for the chosen few or can anyone do it?

I can assure you that there are no hidden methods to this, as long as you are informed how it's done. So with this end in mind, let us take a look at some specific forms of underwater light and how anyone (with a wide-angle lens) can achieve this effect for themselves.

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