Have you ever considered using social media as a method of learning underwater photography or finessing the way you shoot? If you haven’t considered it before, it may be interesting for you to learn that many people are online and doing it right now.
If tools like Facebook, Instagram and photography communities aren’t on your radar, it could be time to get online and start reaping the benefits that come with having a connection to a diverse and international community. It’s free to access, always available and you will gain visibility of all different styles, tastes and experience levels from oceans across the world!
The underwater photography community online is huge and constantly growing. If your first reaction to reading all about social media is to roll your eyes or to dismiss the online realm as the playground of millennials, hear me out!
There are two real benefits that come with using social media platforms to improve your photography. The first? It expands your mind to what’s possible. The portfolios of a vast array of photographers are now at the tip of your fingers, which is incredibly inspiring. Exploring the work of others can motivate you to ‘set the bar higher’ and immediately exposes you to new techniques and ways of thinking.
The second benefit is the feedback you can receive from members of your online community. I actively participate in Facebook communities such as ‘Wetpixel underwater photography’ (they have an excellent forum on their website) and ‘Marine Pixels – Underwater Photography’. Both of these communities are fantastic and allow members to request feedback on their images while viewing content from other contributors. The feedback is often positive and constructive which has allowed me to view my images from a new perspective and grow.
If you’re after something more specific, there are communities on Facebook catering to different subjects and different photography techniques. This can include anything from groups of people whose passion is blackwater diving, through to people shooting specifically using fluorescent filters… and everything in between. There really is something for everyone.
Being a macro enthusiast myself, I enjoy participating in ‘Underwater Macro Photographers’ and ‘International group of underwater macro enthusiasts’. I spend hours perusing images on underwater photography communities and connecting with other enthusiasts. Although I don’t always comment on each post individually or directly speak with the contributor, I enjoy working out what I like about each shot and what I would have done differently if it were my photograph. I’ve found that reviewing and critiquing images from other photographers has trained me to approach my own technique analytically. This has noticeably changed how I shoot underwater and edit my images.
In my experience, there is a generosity of knowledge on these communities which makes them incredibly collaborative and interactive. If you have a question, you can ask a knowledgeable group for help and advice on an issue you’ve having, what gear you need or to talk through and plan an upcoming project. This takes the guess work out of your photography and allows you to grow and learn from one-another. Information sharing and utilizing the collective experience is a quality of these groups and communities that keeps me coming back time and time again.
If the idea of participating in a formal community is intimidating, Instagram can be a great first step. If you’re not familiar with Instagram, it is a social media app that is designed for the publication and sharing of images specifically. There is an established underwater photography community contributing to Instagram and it’s easy to get involved!
In my opinion, Instagram has the largest volume and variety of underwater photography content available on any social media app. I believe this is because anyone, anywhere can contribute and the search tool, based on hashtags, is incredibly powerful. Because of this Instagram is a great resource for discovering new techniques and approaches to underwater photography. Like Facebook, you can use Instagram to connect with other photographers, follow trending techniques and receive feedback on your images. In fact, identifying and following specific tends is made easier on Instagram, as the search tool is more powerful than that of Facebook or similar social media apps.
Outside of your typical social media platforms are dedicated underwater photography websites and forums you should check out. Scubashooters is a great example of an online community where amateur and professional photographers come together to share images through the photographer portal. Additionally, the website has a forum where members can discuss underwater photography, diving destinations and scuba diving as a hobby. These websites open up your eyes to new places to shoot, new subjects to find, new ways of shooting and new people to collaborate with. As it’s a dedicated website, you will find that content is always relevant to the industry and is moderated to ensure that the community remains positive and constructive. Again, through viewing portfolios and popular images, it’s easy to identify current trends, new techniques and to better understand what makes a great image. The spirit of this website is really to collaborate, inspire and support.
While I’ve only discussed a handful of my favourite social media apps and forums with you, I hope I’ve shown the benefit that social media can bring. This goes above and beyond simply sharing the incredible things you’ve seen underwater with your friends and family. Social media allows you to be inspired by talented photographers globally while actively seeking feedback on your own work. Collaboration and knowledge sharing on these communities not only helps you to grow as a photographer but supports the growth of others.
My final advice to you is to research widely, see what’s available online, try a variety of social media applications or websites and get involved. Find a community or communities that you feel comfortable with and go at your own pace. I hope you find inspiration and see first-hand how the how the exposure you gain, feedback you receive and relationships you form can change your perspective on the way you plan, shoot and edit your images.
Check out more of Miranda-Clare’s photos on Instagram @divingphotos or visit her website www.mirandaclare.com.
Book Release: Diving the Thistlegorm – The Ultimate Guide to a World War II Shipwreck
Diving the Thistlegorm is a unique in-depth look at one of the world’s best-loved shipwrecks. In this highly visual guide, cutting edge photographic methods enable views of the wreck and its fascinating cargo which were previously impossible.
This book is the culmination of decades of experience, archaeological and photographic expertise, many hours underwater, months of computer processing time, and days spent researching and verifying the history of the ship and its cargo. For the first time, Diving the Thistlegorm brings the rich and complex contents of the wreck together, identifying individual items and illustrating where they can be found. As the expert team behind the underwater photography, reconstructions and explanations take you through the wreck in incredible detail, you will discover not only what has been learned but also what mysteries are still to be solved.
Find out more about:
- One of the world’s greatest dives.
- Incredible ‘photogrammetry’ shows the wreck and cargo in a whole new light.
- Meticulous detail presented in a readable style by experts in their respective fields.
About the authors:
Simon Brown is an underwater photographer and photogrammetry/3D expert who has documented underwater subjects for a wide range of clients including Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and television companies such as National Geographic Channel and Discovery Canada. Jon Henderson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh where he is the Director of the Underwater Archaeology Research Centre. With specific research interests in submerged prehistoric settlements and developing underwater survey techniques, he has directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jamaica and Malaysia. Alex Mustard is a former marine biologist and award-winning underwater photographer. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to underwater photography”. Mike Postons pioneered the use of digital 3D modelling to visualise shipwrecks, as well as the processes of reconstructing original ships from historic plans. He has worked with a number of organisations including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historic England and the Nautical Archaeological Society.
About the book:
- Release date 25 November 2020
- Limited run of Hardbacks
- RRP £35
- ISBN 978-1-909455-37-5
- 240 photo-packed pages
- 240 x 160 mm
Check back on Scubaverse.com for a review of the book coming soon!
Deptherapy’s Dr Richard Cullen becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
Dr Richard Cullen, Chairman of Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education, has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society is a prestigious Fellowship that is open to those who demonstrate a sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through publications, research or professional experience.
Paul Rose, Deptherapy’s Vice Chair, and a world renowned explorer, author, broadcaster, who is a former Vice Chair of the RGS said:
“This is a huge achievement by Richard. His Fellowship is richly deserved, and a direct result of his steadfast commitment to preserving our oceans through Deptherapy’s very powerful ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ Programme. I know the top team at the RGS are looking forward to welcoming Richard into the Society.”
The RGS was founded in 1830 to advance geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, as well as by advocating on behalf of the discipline and promoting geography to public audiences.
Paul Toomer, President of RAID, said:
“I have been close friends with Richard for many years and his passion for our seas, even at 70 years of age, is undiminished. Deptherapy are the world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching and are our much valued partners. Taking UK Armed Forces Veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges and engaging them in major marine biology expeditions, is to most of us beyond the realms of possibility. The skills these guys have to develop is just awesome. This is a great honour for Richard, a great honour for Deptherapy, and also for us as their partners. The diving world must come together to celebrate and acknowledge Richard’s achievement.”
Richard joins some distinguished Fellows of the RGS. Former Fellows include Ernest Shackleton and many other notable explorers and geographers.
“I am both honoured and humbled to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. When I was invited to apply for a Fellowship, I was, which is very unusual for me, lost for words. I hope it will allow me to take our message of Protecting Our Oceans to a larger audience and to further develop our programmes. The Fellowship is a recognition of the charity’s work to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans. The credit belongs to a group of individuals who have overcome massive challenges to let alone qualify as divers but now to progress to marine biology expedition diving”.
For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit www.deptherapy.co.uk.
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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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