17 Underwater Photographs That Give You a Glimpse of What Lies Just Beneath the Surface

What lies beneath the surface of an ocean, lake or river? You won’t know unless you venture into the water. These split-level or split-shot photographs simultaneously capture both the air above the water and the underwater scenes below.

So just how do you get that perfect split-level shot? Here are some tips to help you capture these amazing photographs, courtesy of Underwater Photography Guide:

    1) Use a small aperture to get the background and the underwater parts in focus. Raise your ISO and lower your shutter speed, as needed.
    2) Use exposure for the above-the-water portion of the photo.
    3) Larger dome ports will make it easier to achieve focus in both the above and underwater areas of the photo.
    4) Focus on the subject underwater, not the one above the water.
    5) Make sure to shoot in calm, clear waters on a sunny day. But try to photograph with the sun behind you to minimize the exposure difference between the over and under shots.
    6) Graduated density filter and split filters can be used to help reduce the difference in contrast between the over and underwater scenes.
    7) Use your strobes to illuminate the underwater subject, as needed.
    8) One problem that can occur are droplets on the dome port. Glass dome ports usually shed water better than acrylic ones. Some tricks to minimize droplets are rubbing baby shampoo on the port and letting it dry for a minute in the sun and repeat as necessary.

The spectacular images reveal to us just a glimpse, but now that you have a guide to capturing what’s beneath the water’s surface, it’s time to dive in.

Featured image credit: Thomas Shahan / CC BY 2.0


Crystal river UW  04Mar07 371
Image credit: ASCOM Prefeitura de Votuporanga / CC BY 2.0

underwater12_Thomas Shahan2
Image credit: Thomas Shanahan / CC BY 2.0

Image credit: Arnaud Abadie / CC BY 2.0

underwater11_Arun Katiyar
Image credit: Arun Katiyar / CC BY-SA 2.0


Bermuda fish - Cozume
Image credit: Thomas Shanahan / CC BY 2.0


underwater19_Philippe Teuwen
Image credit: Philippe Teuwen / CC BY-SA 2.0


underwater20_Thomas Shahan3
Image credit: Thomas Shahan / CC BY 2.0



Image credit: lander2006 / CC BY 2.0

Bermuda Chubs - Cozumel
Image credit: Thomas Shanahan / CC BY 2.0

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