Underwater photography with natural light

As most of you know I only use natural light in my underwater photography work. I find it creates a beautiful contrast most of the time, the bright sunshine being best in my eyes because you get a beautiful dappled effect.

A fair few other underwater photographers use underwater strobes and have personally messaged and emailed me about what methods I use and what lighting I use. When I explain I don’t some have accused me of lying, yes really. Most don’t respond and only one said that was interesting and could they come and see me work to which I declined.

Most also use scuba gear which I do not. I don’t mind sinking with my models. But also…

I simply don’t have the money for all these things.

The underwater cases alone are a hefty price tag but I have such a passion for underwater work I knew eventually I would get one, so I sensibly saved up for one.

Natural light for me is a natural go too, I started all my photography just using windows and daylight. It’s how I learnt and I think it’s how I ended up capable in the studio as it was about controlling that light. But I didn’t use lights for years and still only use lights occasionally and when asked too. So natural light underwater seemed like a no brainer.

These days DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras etc, the high end ones have amazing ISO noise control so you can push it a little more than you’ve ever been able to. So I just rely on my camera.

Admittedly I wouldn’t mind experimenting with strobes and even LED’s above water but again it’s a lot of money to just experiment with, I don’t earn much money through underwater work so it wouldn’t be a good asset to have.

Also one of the biggest pros of using natural light?

It’s free and available.

I don’t have to lug a ton of gear around with me on top of my camera gear, backdrops, props, clothing and the monster of an underwater case. I’d have to get my models to help or get an assistant.


Any of you want to try out underwater photography? Let me know!