Freediving Photography Course
Koh Tao Thailand

Would you prefer to photograph while freediving? Oceans Below offers 3 or 5-day programs for you to learn how to photograph freedivers and marine life while freediving. If you are not a freediver, we can arrange your training with Apnea Total Freediving School on Koh Tao. After the 2 day certification you will have the knowledge and experience necessary to begin the U/W photography course.

During the 3-day course we will do 2 days of freediving. The rest of the time will be spent editing with Lightroom or Photoshop. In the 5-day course we will have more water time; 3 or 4 days, depending on how much you want to learn in the editing programs.

Schedule:
Day 1: We meet at 3 pm and we will do a theory session on how to assemble the setup, camera settings, freediving photography techniques etc.
Day 2: In the morning we have about a 2 hour water session of photographing freedivers doing line dives and breath-ups. In the afternoon we check your photos and then begin editing.
Day 3: Another water session. We will try to get to a dive site where you can shoot fish and corals with freedivers. In the afternoon we will check the raw photos and edit. The course is finished…
Or add more days:
Day 4: Do more freediving and photographing in another water session, edit in the afternoon your best shots.
Day 5: Finish your edits and learn more techniques or jump again in the water to get extra practice! And edit your last shots in the afternoon.

Prices:
3 day course: 10,500THB
5 day course: 15,000THB

Freediving photography course Photographing a turtle whilst freediving underwater

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Freediving Photography FAQs

For how long do I need to hold my breath to become an underwater photographer?

Don’t worry too much about your breath hold time. After you do the Freediver course and maybe even the static clinic or the Advanced, you will be comfortable to dive and take photos. And as you are fully focussed on the camera rather than holding your breath, you will notice that your breath holding will improve very quickly.

What camera settings is the best for freediving photography?

When freediving you don’t have much time to fiddle with camera settings. So here a brief explanatio of what I set my camera to in general when doing freediving photography in natural light.

  • Keep the ISO as low as possible. I usually keep it around 160 to 200.
  • The shutter speed should be set to 250 to avoid any blurring in the movements underwater.
  • The aperture I change depending on how the first few shots look. If they are too dark I reduce the F-stop. If they are too bright I increase the F-stop.

Always shoot in RAW. Most of the work to make amazing images is done when editing after the shoot. You don’t want to have to change your settings too much in the water. RAW files allow for the maximum amount of enhancement in post. This is where the magic happens.

What are some of the factors you have to take into consideration when shooting freediving?
  1. Try to pick the days with good visibility. Your photos will come out so much nicer.
  2. Many of the best freediving photos are shot quite shallow.
  3. The light in your images will change depending on what time of day you are shooting. I prefer shooting at or end of the day when the sun is low and you get to capture the golden sunlight.
    Normally you will want to have the sun behind your back and position yourself between the sun and the subject. This will bring out the most detail and color. However, at sunset when light is low, you can get great shots shooting with the sun to the side or behind the subject.
How do you weigh yourself when shooting while freediving?

I like to weigh myself so that I’m neutral in the range I’m working in most which is probably at 10 meters in the ocean. It is can be tiring to be at the surface and constantly have to kick to keep your snorkel out of the water to breathe. So try to avoid being to negatively boyuant on the surface.

Are there job opportunities as a freedive photographer?

That’s a great question. One of my former staff went to work at Ningaloo Reef to photograph customers for their Whaleshark trips and later on he moved to Tongo to photograph customers with the Humpback whales and get photographs of the whales tails for scientific research. So yes, it is possible to find work as a pro photographer!

 

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4/15 Moo 1, Koh Tao, Suratthani 84360, Thailand
Tel/Whatsapp: +66 81 268 20 31

 
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