How Underwater Photography Works

After the Shoot: Underwater Photography Equipment Maintenance

Most professional underwater photographers house their cameras to protect them from damage.
Most professional underwater photographers house their cameras to protect them from damage.
Photodisc/Getty Images

When you return home from your shoot, the first thing you might want to do is start planning your next underwater expedition. However, to make sure you keep track of your fantastic images and ensure you have equipment for the next trip, you'll want to do some administrative work first.

Regular equipment maintenance after your shoot is imperative. Here are some pointers to protect your equipment investment:

  • Take care of the waterproof seals on your equipment. Each seal will have a rubbery O-ring that ensures waterproof protection. You'll need to use silicon grease from your camera manufacturer or dive shop to lubricate the O-ring; however, don't over-grease or stretch them. Simply rub them one at a time lightly between your fingertips with the grease.
  • Rinse your equipment with warm water.
  • Dry your equipment thoroughly. Then, leave it open with the camera back face down to ensure it dries completely.
  • Never leave your equipment in full sun.
  • Have your equipment serviced regularly.
  • Always check your waterproof connections to make sure they're properly sealed.
  • Carry a toolkit with extra supplies, such as grease and screwdrivers.
  • Remove your batteries when the equipment isn't in use.
  • Test your equipment in a controlled environment before use.
  • Consider camera insurance.

[source: Perina]

Now that you've taken care of your maintenance chores, also take the time to organize and work with your photos. If you're using a digital camera, your basic steps are:

  1. Copy your photos to your computer.
  2. Back up your photos elsewhere, such as on a disk or USB drive.
  3. Name your files appropriately for cataloging.
  4. If you've set your digital camera to take raw images instead of .jpegs, use a raw photo editor to crop and adjust colors.
  5. After you've worked with your raw photos, or if you are shooting .jpegs instead of raw images, use a photo editing program to work with your color levels and other image qualities.
  6. Save your files in a high-resolution format to get the best print outcome as possible. Print and store your photos.

[source: Gietler]

With your treasure tucked away in its computer or hanging on your wall for all to see, you can now direct your attention back to the call of the ocean. Within that deep blue water, there are miles and miles to explore and endless marine gems to uncover. Happy exploring!

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