9 Tips to Take Amazing Underwater Photos with Your GoPro


The underwater world is beautiful, magical, and simply amazing. And it’s diffidently worth photographing!

Fortunately, today underwater photography is affordable for nearly everyone. If you have a GoPro (no matter whether it’s a new fancy one or an old used one), you can take great shots while diving.

Are you looking into getting into underwater photography or has just started out? Here are nine tips for you on how to improve the quality of the pictures taken.

Keep your GoPro clean and charged

Before diving under the water, make sure that your GoPro camera is clean, charged, and is ready to work. Does it sound like a piece of obvious advice to you?

Well, you will be surprised to know how many scuba divers forget to check their gear in advance. Once they get underwater, they find out that GoPro doesn’t work correctly, but can do nothing to fix the situation. So please, double-check your camera setting on the land.

Don’t dive too deep

When it comes to photography, lighting is everything. And since air and water absorb the light differently, underwater photography poses a unique challenge to photographers and GoPro owners in particular.

Water affects lighting a lot: the deeper you dive, the less light reaches your subject. Also, water acts as a natural filter that eats up the entire spectrum of reds. What does it mean? It means that the deeper you dive with your GoPro, the bluer shots you will get.

So if you can’t take colorful and pleasing images, don’t put the blame on your camera. That’s how water affects the lighting. To improve the quality of images, try to stay as close to the surface of the water as possible and keep your shutter speed from getting too slow.

Use lens filters

Another way to make your shots more vibrant is to use color correcting filters. Red, orange, and magenta lenses work well on the diving depth ranged from 3 to 25 meters – they get color back into the washed-out blue-and-green footage.

They are inexpensive, so don’t hesitate to buy a few ones for your GoPro. The filters will not cost you a fortune, but will completely change the color palette of the pictures taken.

Get a stabilizing tray

Everything is so shaky underwater. You can’t just stay still. Your body is moving, GoPro is moving, and the object that you’re trying to photograph is also moving. So it’s not a big surprise that most of the underwater pictures turn to be blurred.

If you want to gain at least some stability, use a double-handed tray for GoPro. It will allow you to smooth underwater footage and also provide you a point of attachment for lighting tools.

Find inspiration online

If you have never taken photos underwater, it might be challenging for you to understand how to compose a perfect shot. So if you need some inspiration, visit Pinterest, or Instagram. Choose from three to ten photos that you like the most and use them as examples – try to recreate them in detail.

Let’s say you like a photo that is shown below, and want to photograph your friend in the same way. Pay attention to the following: the diving depth, the lighting, and the distance between you and your model.

Don’t rush!

How long do you plan to stay underwater to take good photos? Ten minutes, or maybe a half an hour? The chances are that it will take you at least two or three times longer to happen. Seriously.

Underwater, everything is more complicated. And, naturally, you need more time for framing and focusing. So plan your photoshoot in advance and estimate the time you will spend underwater as precisely as possible.

Get the dome for split shots

Have you seen those stunning split-level photos on Instagram or other social media platforms? If you want to take similar pictures, you need to get a dome for split shots. The dome port will move the water away from the lens, increasing the field of view. It will allow you to take great over-and-under photos using your GoPro.

Here is a pro tip for you. When photographing, try to keep the top of the dome port dry. There is a risk that once the port gets wet, the water drops get to the lens, and your shots will be spoiled.

Shoot with the sun behind you

Is it possible to take high-quality picture shooting into the sun? Well, it’s difficult, but it’s possible.

Most of the photos taken deep underwater are underexposed and dark. But if you try to shoot with the sun behind you, the lens of your GoPro will collect more light and, you will get better photos.

If you should in cloudy weather, we highly suggest you using flash or at least video lights to illuminate the subject in front of you.

Improve your diving skills

To take a clear picture underwater, you need to battle gravity, buoyancy, tides, currents, and depth. That’s a challenging task even for an experienced diver!

So if your first attempt to take photos underwater will fail, don’t get upset. Focus more on improving your swimming and diving skills, and then your next attempt will be a success. The more comfortable you will feel underwater, and the better you will control your movements – the higher the quality of the photos you will get.

Wrapping it up

Well, it’s impossible to become a pro in underwater photography in a day. If you want to get perfect shots, you need to invest your time in mastering new skills. Also, you need to buy some gear essentials.

Underwater photography is a fantastic hobby, so don’t hesitate to immerse yourself in it. Take your GoPro, and go diving today!

About the Author

Erica Sunarjo is a localization expert and translator at TheWordPoint. She is a passionate writer, traveler, and scuba diver. She has traveled to 27 countries and is planning to visit five new countries this year.