U/W Techniques

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Water presents some special obstacles for the photographer.  Being much denser than air, water supports more things.  Organisms, silt particles, bubbles and the like all stay suspended in the water between the lens and the subject, blocking light, reducing resolution, and lighting up like Christmas lights when you fire the flash.  In addition, the water itself absorbs light, and does so in a selective way.  Reds and yellows drop out quickly, and light passing through water soon takes on a bluish hue.

There are other practical concerns.  Water is tough for most of us to breathe, and it's hard to use a tripod hanging suspended 10 feet above the bottom.  On the other hand, the density of water reduces camera shake and it's easy to get over obstacles or hover in just the right position.  Clearly, underwater photography is  a different ball game.