Arts & Culture

Dive In: Get Your Feet Wet with Underwater Photos

G&G contributing photographer Leigh Webber doesn’t shy away from her subjects; she jumps right in. “I got started in underwater photography when I was doing a year-long project with my son called, ‘Toddler365’,” says Webber, who is based in Charleston, South Carolina. “Part of the challenge was coming up with something new and different each day. Halfway through the year, he happened to be taking summer swim lessons and I dove in with a GoPro.” Soon after, she was hooked, and began adding underwater shoots to her portrait and wedding work. (Webber put her skills to use for the Lake Escapes feature in our June/July issue, photographing Lake Jocassee.) In honor of the official first day of summer, dive into a few of Webber’s favorite underwater photos and get a few expert tips for taking your own vacation photos. For more inspiration, follow her on Instagram.

view as slideshow

“This photo was a recent commission from a mom who found me through Instagram and asked me photograph each of her children.”

photo: Leigh Webber

“One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is take our two vizslas to Sullivan’s Island [South Carolina] where dogs can run off leash on the beach until 10 a.m.. I love to sit in the surf with my camera and photograph the dogs running through the water.”

photo: Leigh Webber

“It doesn’t get more classic than paddling on Lake Jocassee in a red canoe. Because the lake is so deep, the water there is incredibly clear.”

photo: Leigh Webber

“One of the underwater photography techniques I’m always trying to master is the ‘over under’ photo, where you can see what’s happening both below the water and above. This was taken on Harbour Island in the Bahamas, where the ocean has the most compelling blue-green hues.”

photo: Leigh Webber

“This one is also from the Lake Jocassee shoot. Preventing my underwater housing from leaking is definitely on my mind every time I get in the water. I test it before I go in, but I’m sure it will happen to me eventually. There’s also a lot of extra wear and tear on my camera with the added humidity and heat.”

photo: Leigh Webber

“You don’t always have to be underwater to get a great water photo. I love to get down to the water’s level, by laying on a dock or along the poolside. You can still get great photos of happy dogs, children, and anyone enjoying the water. This is one of my favorite photos, I love the leap!”

photo: Leigh Webber

“Learning to photograph underwater made me feel like a beginner again. I had to learn to let go of controlling the situation and just trust the process. This was taken in Hawaii’s Kealakeua Bay, where the coral reef and abundance of sea life inspired parts of Finding Nemo. Occasionally fellow snorkelers are just as colorful and photogenic as the fish.”

photo: Leigh Webber

“I love to shoot on a bright, sunny day. In fact, mid-day, which is typically the worst time of day for portrait photography, is actually the best time of day underwater photography. You need strong sun to penetrate through the water as the deeper you go, the darker it gets.”

photo: Leigh Webber

“To protect my camera, I use an AquaTech Imaging Solutions water housing. They are built specifically to the camera model. If you want to dip your toe in and try it out, they also make a great underwater case for your iPhone. This photo is a view from the water of Pu’uhonus o Honainau National Historical Park, an ancient place of refuge, on the Big Island of Hawaii.”

photo: Leigh Webber

“I love the sweet innocence of this little girl standing on the step. You can read so much through body language without ever seeing a person’s face. Over the past few years, I feel like I have become a pool connoisseur and this pool is one of my all-time favorites. I love its dark blue-grey color and it’s a saltwater pool. There’s so much less chlorine involved, which makes it clearer and it feels so much better on your skin.

photo: Leigh Webber

Sponsored Stories