Clown fish in his anemone.

So you go to the Gilis you have a couple of amazing dives. You’ve seen pygmy seahorses, octopus, lionfish, turtles and white tip shark. Brilliant! You go back to your hostel and you’re on Skype with your friends in the UK. Cool, you’re telling them how big the white tip was and how daringly close you got to the Lionfish, but what have you got to show? Yes, you have it written in your log book and you’ve been smiling since you witnessed the octopus change colour, what happens when you lose your log book and forget what kind of seahorse it was or if you even saw one at all. Photographic evidence! It may seem technical and a bit daunting, but now you’ve completed your advanced open water and confidence you’ll be diving for the rest of your life underwater photography is going to be a life changer, especially when you are bragging to all your friends about the cool wreck you dove.  Here is what you need to get enough evidence for you to remember what you saw on what dive and get those awesome shots up on Instagram for everyone to ‘like’.

Instagram post of woman backrolling into the sea.

So if you have been lucky enough to be able to purchase an adventure camera i.e. Go Pro or other camera similar then well done, great, you are on the right path to doing some armature video and photography under the water, as long as you have the all important waterproof casing! Do not go diving without it, else that is your underwater photography career gone in one dive. So once you’ve established that you definitely, 100% need the waterproof case you may also find it really handy and worth your time to purchase a red filter for the lens of your adventure camera. Do not let anyone tell you there is no point in it, even for a bit of snorkelling it’s a God’s gift to the underwater photography world. Due to there being less light, the deeper you descend the colours will slowly but surely disappear until you’re in a world of blue. The first colour to disappear is always red, this basically turns into a black or dark brown colour, making those beautiful corals look a bit, well dead. Not to worry, that is why we have the red filter, it will add in the reds that potentially lose the ability to stay with us the deeper we go, along with purples, yellows, pinks, greens etc and that all blue world will now be that bit more colourful. Also, it is probably advised you get a handle to attach to your adventure camera for more stability so those videos aren’t wobbly and the photograph is not blurred. Also, a wrist tie would be great to keep your beloved adventure camera attached you or your BCD or hand.

Now you have some pretty standard video and photography gear all composed into one it is time to jump into the sea or lake, where ever you maybe be diving and get ready to shoot everything you see. Yes, that is correct, now you have a way to record everything you see, you will most likely record everything you see. This is brilliant! Although, not so much when you are going through a whole hour recording of a lionfish, 10 minutes on coral, a clownfish, another 10 minutes of coral, a good 15 minutes of you panning around a wreck a few minutes of selfies, selfies with your buddy and a really excited change of camera director to get a good shot of you next to the biggest turtle you’ve ever seen and back again to 10 minutes of coral and a 3 minute safety stop. Wow, it will probably feel like the longest hour video you’ve ever watched. So you will need to remember that it’s best to shoot 5 or 6-second clips of the lionfish you saw. Again with the clownfish as they really do get pretty comical when you are pointing a camera straight into their home. And with the wreck, it would be better to get a steady shot of a wide angled view of the whole wreck. Then a few shots or couple second videos of each interesting part of the wreck. When photographing with the adventure camera, if yours does have the setting to take multiple shots at once, use it, it will be great when you notice the turtle. Underwater photography is just like photography on land and waiting for the perfect moment that will create the perfect composition of a wonderful image. The first image of you and the turtle may have the turtle looking away from the camera, but by the end of the multiple shot sequence the turtle is looking straight into the camera and bam, you’ve got the best photograph you’ve ever had with a turtle! Ok, so when you are videoing remember to take short videos of the subject and stay as stationary as you can. If you need to, take a second short video and get closer, again staying as still as possible. When just using the camera mode if you can use the multiple shots mode and hopefully one of the crazy selfies you are getting with your buddy looks like it could be one the cover of the underwater equivalent of vogue.

Woman in the sea snorkelling with a turtle.

Now you have some great footage of some really cool marine life, a wreck and a selfie or two that you want to get onto Facebook and Instagram as soon as you possibly can, just a bit of tweaking in an editor, whether you have the Go Pro app or use something online there are a few things you need to think about. So we just about have the colour fixed, sometimes it’s good to look back and make sure the colours are as true as you can get them, try playing with the colour tool or a red filter in your editing tools. Once you have put the majority of the true colours back in the image or video, maybe look at the videos and see if there are any stills in the video you want to isolate and use as a photograph. You can take stills out of videos easily in the Go Pro application. Remember to check that the still is not blurred and as sharp as you can get it. Again with the videos and the photographs you can change the contrast, making the black darker and the whites purer. And add more saturation to make the colours pop.

Woman in full scuba gear, practising her buoyancy in the sea.

Now the images and videos of your underwater photography session are on point upload them to Facebook and Instagram and tell all your friends about the amazing dives you have done in the Gilis. Hey, even give @compassdiversgili a tag so we can see the great imagery you’ve produced and you may even get mentioned on our Facebook or Instagram page and your image recognised!

Six squares of and Instagram page, filled with images.