Thresher shark, Maldives
These days it is easy to get lost in all the new gadgets available to underwater photographers—colored lights, snoots, and cameras that can do things that stretch your imagination. Perhaps we should all take a step back and think about just mastering the most basic elements of photography: light and motion. Photographer Yinan Liu from Beijing, China gives us just that and the photos are wonderful to see.
Yinan Liu is a master of the most fundamental elements of photography. His primary light source in many shots? The sun. If I had a dollar for every shot I saw with a black background, I’d be a very rich man! It is so refreshing to see the most common light source being used with such grace and power. Yinan’s ability to use our star to create sunbursts is something we could all learn from.
Not only does Yinan use the sun, but he also treats it like a land photographer does. As underwater photographers, we tend not to care where the sun is in the sky. Perhaps we should. When you look at the photos in this article, note the different sun angles and times of day the photos were shot. Remember that old “Golden Hour” around sunrise and sunset when shooting landscapes? Well, it turns out that it applies underwater, too. Light, contrast, and subject—keep it simple and let the beauty of your subject come through the lens.
The other thing that Yinan does so well is that he puts himself in the position to get great subjects. These images view like a bucket list of big animal subjects for most photographers, but he didn’t just luck into them. If you want the great shots, you need to spend endless hours in the water, and on boats, waiting. To get the best shots, you need to be in the right spot and be ready to battle boredom, sunburn, and seasickness. We are proud to feature Yinan Liu as the DPG Underwater Photographer of the Week!
Great white shark, Guadalupe, Mexico
Bottlenose dolphins, Mikulajima, Japan
Diver at Cenote Maravilla Mexico
Tiger shark, Bimini, Bahamas
Diver with tiger shark, Tiger Beach, Bahamas
Great hammerhead, Bimini, Bahamas
Humpback whales, Vavaʻu, Tonga
Blacknose shark, Bimini, Bahamas
Grouper hunting, Aka Island, Japan
Costasiella nudibranch, Tulamben, Indonesia
California sea lion, La Paz, Mexico
Lemon shark, Tiger Beach, Bahamas
For more of Yinan’s awesome pictures, check out his Facebook page.