Underwater photography has a fairly long history. It dates back to 1926 when the first underwater color photograph was taken by a National Geographic photographer. Back than due to limited technical equipment photographers used magnesium powder as an explosive on the surface of the water to illuminate the sea down to 15 feet (4,6 meters).
Today there is a great selection of professional equipment available and underwater photography has become a separate field within photography. Underwater photographers use either digital cameras covered in a watertight housing or special underwater cameras – mostly used by professionals.
Due to low light and special underwater conditions it requires advanced techniques, correct exposure, focus and color balance. The subject of underwater photography can be anything from marine mammals, fish, shipwrecks to underwater landscapes, underwater cave systems or even fashion.
TOP Inspired have selected ten amazing underwater shots that will make you want to plunge in the cool ocean immediately – OK, perhaps not with the sharks and tigers though…
1. Tiger Underwater
Photograph by Pam Wood
Self taught nature photographer Pam Wood‘s amazing shot of a tiger jumping into a tank of water, grabbing after a piece of meat. Perfect timing!
2. Humpback Whales and Diver
Photograph by Flip Nicklin
Underwater photographer Flip Nicklin has a vast experience in diving and underwater photography, taught by his father from an early age. This shot captures a diver getting close to female humpback whale and her yearling.
Photograph by Zena Holloway
Zena Holloway‘s underwater photography is very special, almost surreal. She is focused on underwater fashion photography and she did shots for big brands such as Nike, Umbro, Radox and Speedo.
Photograph by Ellen Cuylaerts
Ellen Cuylaerts is a master diver and underwater photographer from Belgium, currently living in Grand Cayman. This shot won first place in 2014 Underwater Photography Photo Contest in wrecks category.
5. Whale Shark
Photograph by Petteri Viljakainen
Petteri Viljakainen Finnish photographer has started taking underwater pictures in 2004 and has already award winning shots.
Photograph by Daan Verhoeven
Daan Verhoeven is a Dutch free diver and underwater photographer. His diving skills allow him to go down deep, below 40 meters and also to take amazing shots making minimal impact on the flow of the water.
Photograph by David Doubilet
David Doubilet is one of the greatest underwater photographers. Doubilet brings us closer to the fascinating marine life with his close ups of colorful coral reefs, manta rays, great white sharks and other beautiful underwater creatures.
8. Leopard Seal
Photograph by Paul Nicklen
Paul Nicklen is an Arctic ecosystem specialist and marine biologist and assignment photographer for National Geographic. With his work he raises awareness for the preservation of the planet’s polar and marine ecosystems. On this shot a leopard seal can be seen, which is named after its spotted coat pattern and is the second largest species of seal in the world.
9. Macro Shot
Photograph by Marchione Giacomo
Italian underwater photographer Marchione Giacomo has been taking underwater shots since 1992. He won several awards for his macro and close-ups.
10. Black and White
Photograph by Nadya Kulagina
The winning shot of 2014 Underwater Photography Photo Contest in Wide angle divers category from Nadya Kulagina, Russian underwater photographer.