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Top 10 Tips Underwater Photography Terms For Beginners

Does "Lube the Ring in Your Housing" Confuse you?

Many terms are actually simple and explained here
In my Top 10 Underwater Photography Terms


#1 Underwater Housing

Often just referred to as 'housings' This refers to the protective ‘box’ or case which seals the camera inside and allows you to operate the camera underwater. they are made from many material usually poly-carbonate or aluminium. Some offer more control over the camera inside depending on the button or toggles available on each unit and some also have sensors inside with an alarm system to detect leaking.

#2 O-ring

The 'O' ring is a rubber ring that creates a water tight seal. Underwater housings and strobes will have o-rings to make them waterproof. its important to note its an O ring not a oval ring. take care of your ring by removing it from the housing lid ridge when storing for longer periods so that the ring doesn't develop a memory to the shape of the housing lid. if it does after it removed and replaced for net use, there is a chance the ring doesn't seat correctly which in turn may cause a leak.

#3 Silica Beads/Bag

We've all seen these at some point, sometimes received with items in boxes or package and they are inside to absorb moisture. well its the same for underwater photography. These small pouches or bags of Silica Beads collect moisture inside your housing to avoid fogging inside the window your camera looks out of.

#4 Silicone Grease

Seems pretty straight forward, Silicone Grease it just for lubrication of o-rings to prevent deterioration. Although this may be correct, it also important to note there are different type of Silicone Grease. so be sure to use the correct type for your housing or strobe ( check the manufacturers instructions) as well as apply lightly. I've seen some people literally squeeze a line of it into the ridge of the housing lid and put the O-ring on top. Sorry folks, that is NOT the way it works. just apply a tiny bit to your finger and rub all the way around the ring until it nice and shiny.

#5 Strobe/Flash

This does not refer to underwater club style dance floor lightening! Its simply a light source that creates a 'flash' to reintroduce the light absorbed by water onto your subject. By flashing, you introduce colour back to the subject in all it vibrant glory!

#6 Macro mode/ macro Lens

Macro is a term coined to describe the tiny things. Be it the mode on the camera and or use of the lens, they are specifically designed for capturing close up details in shots showing minute fine details. Its super cool to see the details that quite often you can see with your eyes.

#7 Wide Angle Lens

Obviously increases the wide aspect of the photo designed for distance shots allowing move action into the frame. however did you know that with a wide angle lens you can get super close to subjects (resulting in brighter clear pictures) yet due to the magic of the lens they look further away! great stuff!

#8 Tray/ Arms

It should go without saying that we are not talking about something you eat your dinner off sat on the sofa and we are not referring to our actual extremities. A camera tray is what the housing it fixed to as a base or holder and additionally allows 'Arms' to the fixed to it to mount your lights, strobes and even Go pro's these days.

#9 Snoot

I love this term, its not your nose and its not a person who shows contempt for those considered to be of a lower social class. In photography, a snoot is a tube or similar object that fits over a light or flash and allows the photographer to control the direction and radius of the light beam onto the subject. best application is macro underwater photography.

#10 Flood

I sincerely hope you never truly understand the extent of the term flood in underwater photography. This term may refer anything from to a simple leak or a catastrophic drowning of your camera inside the housing. No ark can save you. take good care of your housing and prepare correctly and lets hope this doesn't happen. unfortunately, each underwater photography knows, it not really a case of if it happens, just when and to what extent.

I hope these Top 10 Underwater photography Terms helped you.
Now Check Out Our Underwater Photography For Beginners Tutorial Here

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Andrew Jennings
Andrew Jennings
You host and creator of underwater clicks.