Why and How it Occurs

From the very first moment we fit a dive mask to our face and stare below the waves we develop a pattern of looking into the sea at a downward angle. Next comes the snorkel and fins. The very nature of us swimming in this way causes us to lie on the water at a horizontal angle and fin from point a to point b. Some continue and qualify to use scuba whilst others are content to snorkel. Whatever we choose, after our first steps into the sea we develop a pattern and habit of looking down. And why not? It's comfortable and it's

FIG. 1.46 Looking down! And why not? It's the most effective way to move through the water but for underwater photographers it's essential that you break this habit!

Tips

Get below

a subject and shoot

up towards the

surface or at least at

eye level — don't

shoot down!

Remind yourself

constantly to 'shoot

eye level or

upwards'.

Attach a 'shoot up'

sticker to your

camera housing.

Look for subjects

growing proud of

the reef which can

be approached

from below.

Practise

approaching fish

from below and

shoot upwards.

the most effective way to move through the water, and looking down is where the fish are!

When I learnt to dive in the late 1970s I was encouraged to look down at a 30 degree angle towards the seabed in order to see what the dive had to offer. Everything about this position was simple and relaxing. Once in a while I would look up towards the surface but on the whole it was not until I made my ascent with my body in a vertical position climbing the shot line that I would extend my neck muscles to look upwards towards the surface.

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