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Anticipate Shutter Lag

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Oahu
Sep 18, 2008

I was on Oahu yesterday, snorkeling at Hanauma Bay with my new underwater housing for my Canon G9.  Here’s a photo from my adventure.  I have many more just like this one, all fish tails.  Long-time volunteer docent and quasi-professional photographer Larry Winnik suggested I spend more time anticipating a fish’s behavior and less time chasing them.  Thanks, Larry!

The thing is I learned more about different fish behavior by chasing them around with a camera than if I had just cruised by merely snorkel-sightseeing.  I learned the Hawaiian whitespotted tiby is always darting into holes, protecting its turf, no doubt; whereas, the lagoon triggerfish won’t hide, but it was always keeping me at an arm’s length.

Convict tangs would swim right up into my face, seemingly saying, “Take my picture, take my picture.”  Convict tangs are like the class clown, always wanting attention.

Underwater photography is a bit like a drug, though.  It’s addictive.  I found myself snapping away, wanting to take more and more pictures.  Then, I’d find myself nearing the impact zone of the surf break.  Uh oh.  So, always be aware of where you are if you decide to try underwater photography, because it’s easy to get distracted.

Here’s a couple other underwater photography tips from Larry:  Sunny days are preferable to cloudy ones.  Keep the sun over your back.  Anticipate shutter lag.  Shoot away; the key is to take a lot of pictures.



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