Split shots are one of the toughest photography shots in the field of underwater photography. Pay heed to the top tips listed below if you want to master the art of split photography. Shooting at a high frame rate is important to achieve the best shots in moving water lines as well as the models. The split second diagonal movement of the wave can be only implemented with a high frame and shooting a myriad of shots with your underwater camera.
- Use a fisheye lens
Non fisheye wide lenses usually require corrective optics to obtain both underwater and land in focus. While the fisheye lenses do give out a distorted look, they provide the greatest of the depth of field and the most convenient method of obtaining the land and sea in focus. Changing the position of the lens with your composition or a tad bit crop on your ultimate image can eliminate away any distracting curvature.
- The large dome port helps in smoothing out the water
In the flat sea conditions too, you will see the small ripples in the water seem like tsunamis through your lens. The large dome ports force these ripples to push farther from your lens and help in smoothing out the waterline in your image. The large domes can also help in easing the selectively placed water line in your picture. We advise a dome port of eight inches or larger for the best outcomes.
- Use high aperture for the best depth of field (f16 or higher)
The optical features of the dome ports are quite demanding on your lens. Whether you are farther away from your underwater subject or near, your lens will be required to capture a focus from about 18 inches to infinity. Hence, use an aperture of f16 or more to maximise your depth of field.
- Use fast shutter speeds (1/125 or higher)
As we have aforementioned, the ripples on the water surface will have more impact than you can ever imagine. The fast shutter speeds will help in freezing not only the motion of the waterline, but also the obvious wobbles of camera as well as your subject.
- Shoot a fast frame rate (5fps or higher)
Once you have mastered your practice, you will notice that the perfect compositions tend to last only for a split second. It is most famously known as the ‘spray and pray method’ in which the high frame rates will drastically increase your keeper ratio. Have patience for the conditions to align and then squeeze off a long machine gun burst.
- Dealing with dribbles and drops
Water spots on the dome tend to kill the image, but Photoshop can help you to easily touch up a tiny spot or two. But, just one small spot in an important area requires a Photoshop master to rectify. The best practice is to avoid the drops in the first place. When it comes to shooting both acrylic and glass domes, always prefer glass for capturing splits as it will prevent soliciting the water drops.