Tips for Teaching Digital Underwater Photography

I had a surprisingly large number of people contact me after yesterdays article regarding digital underwater photography. The most common issue was that people didn’t understand the emphasis on photography in the pool. “Pools are boring” and “I don’t have my own pool that I can make exciting” were two recurring themes.

Make Pool Photography Fun

There are two great benefits to shooting photos while on SCUBA in the pool:

  1. You can allow your entry level students to do it, which just sold your Underwater Photographer specialty course.
  2. It allows your students to familiarize themselves with their camera equipment in a comfortable environment.

Allow me to share a great technique that some of you may be using, but it sounds like many other aren’t. I saw my first variation of this idea with Kevin McDonnell when he used a roll of green plastic garden fence rolled in a spiral with fake fish attached. It was cheesy, but it worked well.

I saw the modern version of this idea at DEMA. The upgraded idea is to take pond forms or kids rock climbing walls that can be painted to more closely resemble your local dive conditions and decorated with fish and other fake marine life. Here are a few “reefs” I found that I like:

Rock Wall Mountain Pond Form

Add some fish like these:

Plastic fish More Plastic Fish

Or some coral like this:

Fake Coral

And suddenly you have a portable reef for your digital underwater photography classes.

Some of the reef bases I shared are definitely large, but should be able to fit into any truck bed. This should allow any instructor, regardless of pool ownership, to have their own reef for digital underwater photography classes.

Just like most aspects of SCUBA, you can spend a small fortune on this project. I recommend starting small since you can always add on.

Do you have an artificial reef? Let me know and I’ll feature it here!

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