Photography is perfection in still life. Every day our eyes take-in different people, objects and life-forms and while retaining them temporarily is easy, clicking of photographs makes the memory ever-lasting.
Photography as a career offers a lot of opportunities to an individual. In the maritime sector too, one can take up photography and become one of the most sought after professionals in the world.
As the name suggests, underwater photography pertains to clicking of pictures while being submerged under water. The subjects of diving photography not only include marine creatures and animals but also the various distinctive sub-water sceneries, remnants of ships sunk in the years past and all other unique findings buried under the surface of the oceans.
To be an underwater photographer, an individual requires a high degree of skill-set on account of the submerged setting of the subjects to be photographed. Even while the basic concept of photography is similar, the fact that one has to delve into the depths of water and click pictures that come out with the right blend of light and beauty, makes marine photography a challenging task.
The primary requirement to become a marine photographer is to have the requisite technical skill-set in generic photography. In order to gain and understand this knowledge, an individual is required to have a minimum of a year’s experience being a professional photographer before embarking on this profession.
Since marine photography is taking underwater pictures of animals and sceneries, the next most important requirement is to have a diving certification issued by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) which is the leading most diving certifying authority.
The certification levels start right at the basic level – a three to four day course – following which individuals can continue learning the various nuances of diving as per their own requirement. An individual can obtain the certification of a diving master or a scuba diving master within three months of starting to learn scuba diving.
Utilisation of the proper medium and the right methodology to get the most beautiful underwater pictures is the next requirement. Deflection of light or distortions of pictures because of flash interference are areas that a marine photographer needs to avoid. By using the right camera, incorporating the best slant while taking the pictures and by utilising the additional features to combat light inadequacies, a marine photographer can produce stunning underwater images.
The profession of marine photography is one that is much asked for across the world. Internationally renowned magazines and channels constantly keep scouting for professionals in this arena as it an unexplored area so far. Apart from these avenues, professionals can also gain employment with corporations that engage in underwater salvaging operations. Apart from these two options, professionals can also start their own marine photography venture by taking projects on an individualistic commission basis.
Pay-Scale and Prospects
According to last known statistics, the average pay-package for scuba diving photographers was observed at US$ 35,000 with the highest remunerations going over US$ 60,000, while the lowest came up to around US$ 17,000. It has been prognosticated that in the coming six years, the employment opportunities in the field of diving photography will rise significantly. The salary aspect for an underwater photographer also depends on the underwater levels that an individual is required to dive – the deeper the sceneries, the higher the pay-package and vice versa.
This projected rise in employment statistics in-turn will act as a lucrative factor to encourage individuals to take up the profession of underwater photography along with the core factor of having a passion for the subject, in general.