The best cellphones are waterproof (not water-resistant, which just means it can withstand water spills, but waterproof, meaning it is actually submersible). And for those that aren’t, you can get waterproof cases or even an underwater camera housing. Which means you can take them snorkeling in the lake with you and capture the same great quality pics beneath the surface as you can above it. No special equipment required. One caveat, though, it’s not advisable to take calls while underwater, too much gurgling on the line make it hard for people to understand you. Alas, you won’t be able to use your Quikpic Shutter Remote; here are some other adjustments you need consider to take great underwater photos.
Set a Limit
One thing to keep in mind: just because the phone is waterproof, doesn’t mean it’s invulnerable. The phone probably shouldn’t be in the water for more than thirty minutes. And you may be pushing matters if you try to use it in salt water. It’s been done, but do so at your own risk--most phones that suffer fresh water damage can be repaired, not so with salt water damage.
Get the Best Light
As is true with taking photos in general, good lighting is always of prime importance. Underwater, lighting becomes a little more problematic. The deeper you go, the less light. So, in most cases, underwater cell phone photography is best at depths no greater than three feet. Even better is bright days, when you can get the most direct light as well as some interesting reflections.
Related to good lighting, make sure your phone has features like 12-megapixels and wide f/1.7 aperture, which allows for better pictures in less than ideal lighting situations. You can also use a camera flash not only if the lighting isn’t ideal, but to freeze the action. And pools are preferable to open water, as they usually have the clearest conditions to allow the most light.
If you’re shooting in a pool, all you have to worry about is other swimmers, and maybe especially child swimmers whose exuberance may easily intrude on what you’re trying to shoot. In open water, there are more potential hazards, including stronger currents, limited lighting and various aquatic creatures that may ruin your line of sight, or even take a bite out of you.. In fact, it might be better to practice shooting in a pool before venturing in open water. This way you can get used to taking picture under buoyant conditions and holding yourself underwater.
As a general rule, take pictures within a six feet distance; close-ups are even better. The reasons is that greater distances underwater typically result in blurring (unless, of course, you are looking for a blurred effect, then by all means experiment with length away from the subject). Also, from a distance colors underwater tend to shade towards blue or green. The closer you get to your subject, the better the color and contrast of the picture. If you can’t for some reason get as close as you like, try using the flash to get more light.
You can see better underwater with goggles than you can without them. You don’t need anything expensive. One photographer says he just grabs a pair of goggles his kids aren’t using. You may look for something with a larger face mask as these tend to have better seals, allowing for a little bit better visibility underwater.
Sometimes this is hard enough on land, which is why people use tripods such as the Triflex Mini Tripod with Remote. It’s even harder underwater. So before you start taking pictures, make sure you are comfortable enough in the water to stay still. You might even ask someone to hold onto you so as to stabilize your body.
Start with Static Objects
Taking pictures of moving objects is hard enough; it’s even harder underwater. When first starting out, take underwater pictures of static objects (rocks, a floating flipper, a still person). Once you get used to that, try mobile subjects. Remember you can take a great many shots because you can always delete the ones you don’t want later..
Take Your Time
When we’re out of our natural surroundings we tend to feel pressure. Of course, when you are under water, you literally are feeling more pressure. Don’t let that pressure force you to take shots you don’t want (even though they are easy enough to delete). Practice the same patience as you do on land, as the best way to get a unique shot is to wait for it.
Because, after all, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? That and not drowning, because as good as cell phones are, and the great pictures you can take on them, they don’t do CPR.