DPG is a comprehensive underwater photography website and community for underwater photographers. Learn underwater photography techniques for popular digital cameras and specialized professional underwater equipment (wide angle, macro, super macro, lighting and work flow). Read latest news, explore travel destinations for underwater photography. Galleries of professional and amateur underwater photography including wrecks, coral reefs, undersea creatures, fashion and surfing photography.
Dive Photo Guide

Underwater Photography Lighting Guide


Photography is all about light and understanding how to control it. Underwater photography poses a unique challenge due to simple physics - essentially the properties of water and its effect on light. Water absorbs light in ways that air does not. Therefore, if you are looking to improve your underwater photography, lighting becomes that much more important to understand. In nearly all cases, underwater, ambient light alone will not provide the right light to produce the colorful and pleasing images that you were hoping for.


However, don’t be intimidated, the basics are easy to understand. From there, challenge yourself to study and understand how light works underwater and how to control it. Good photographers study light for their entire careers and are constantly learning from experience and experimentation, constantly improving.
Underwater, light is affected by:

  • Depth
  • Subject distance
  • Weather and surface conditions

The DPG underwater lighting guide is a comprehensive resource for anyone learning about underwater photography, or just trying to hone your skills and tackle specific lighting scenarios. The guide is broken down into several sections. If you are new to underwater photography, you will want to read each section chronologically, otherwise feel free to browse the guide for answers to your specific questions. We will be updating the guide from time to time, so if you are looking for something very specific that is not included currently, please email us and we will definitely add the topic.

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