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M A R I N E  A N I M A L S : 
This tab has a mix of two submenus; the first shows Marine Animals such as Whales, Dolphins, and Seals. The second tab is focused more on the animals, primarily fish that live in the water.

Underwater Photography: Is probably the most different type of photography there is. The biggest differences are related to getting specialized water proof point and shoot cameras (and GoPros) or getting a housing that can be bulky and difficult to use for your regular camera. I have tried both options with mixed results. I have found that the waterproof cameras have limited zoom and seem to always have issues with fogging of the lens. The biggest exception was the GoPro, which is primarily designed to do video and then take screen captures from the video. I have also bought a relatively cheap housing for my regular camera, but the downside is that it is quite bulky (which makes it difficult to take on trips where you have limited space) and the controls are not always easily reachable. Added to that is that you need to shoot in Live mode which drains the camera battery and can be difficult to see what you are shooting on the back screen. With both systems I have found that the slight lag in the shutter release can also result in a lot of chopped off subjects.

In addition to the technical hurdles of operating your camera, I also find that often having enough light to illuminate your subject can be a problem. The solution here is snorkeling close to the surface to get natural light or bring your own set of lights to be able to dive a bit deeper. Another difference between shooting on land and in the water is moving from a situation where you are stationary and only your subject is moving, to an environment where both you and the subject is are now moving. This sometimes makes it difficult to frame your subject properly. 

Marine Animal Photography: I have broken this category into two different setups. The first is where you are stationary on land while your subject is in the water. In this case you are mostly seeing your subject on the water and shooting down on it. Since you are only seeing a small portion of the subject as they come up for air you have to be quick in locating the subject and pressing the shutter release. In this case it pays off to set up your camera with as many of the strings as you can, and only do a quick focus before taking the shot. 

The second setup is where you are on a moving boat trying to catch moving subjects as they briefly break the water surface. Most common shots are from whale and dolphin watching. The challenge here is that you quickly spot the whale/dolphin and catch it breaching or shot the tail as the whale is in the process of diving. What helps here is knowing your subject and spotting the rhythm of the whale in terms of after how many breaths it is likely to dive deep down presenting you with a nice whale tail or possibly seeing it breach. In this case it is almost better to have the focus set as well so that all you need to do is to quickly find the animal and snap the shot. I would suggest a rapid fire of multiple exposures providing you with a better chance of finding the on you like.


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