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Top tips for taking great underwater photos

When you're not enjoying facilities at our 5 star Fiji resort, there's a good chance you'll be living it up at the beach. The glistening azure waters of Savusavu Bay and beyond offer incredible opportunities for you and your family to explore the vibrant marine life either snorkelling or scuba diving

If you want to show everyone back home some of the unique beauty of Fiji's oceans – as well as capture the kids in action with their snorkels – there's no better way than to dabble in some underwater photography. 

Here are a few of our top tips to help you take some great underwater pictures. 

What you'll need 

At the least, you'll need a waterproof case for your smartphone that will be able to protect it while you're taking snaps under the sea. You can choose between either a fitted case or a dry bag. The former is a hard shell that fits snugly over your phone such as the iThrough Underwater Case or the Optrix Pro. 

The alternate is a dry bag, a clear pouch that seals shut, allowing you to still access your phone. Just be sure to check the depth limitations before you take your device snorkelling, as some cases are only water resistant up to a depth of one metre. 

If you're interested in taking things to the next level, you can bring a waterproof camera, or an underwater housing for your existing camera. 

Before you dive in 

Make sure your device is fully charged, and that you have plenty of free storage available – there's nothing worse than spotting a beautiful fish, or some colourful coral and realising that you can't take the shot! 

Those thinking of bringing DSLRs should be comfortable navigating the various settings, as exposure and metering may work differently underwater.  

If you're interested in going scuba diving with your partner or your older children, but you don't have your licence yet, the Cousteau Dive Centre is here to help! We offer a wide range of scuba courses, for beginners to those seeking more advanced qualifications. 

When you're in the water 

For the best results, make sure you're close to your subject, whether it's your kids or a lazy crab scuttling along the rocks. You're going to need to use your camera's flash to get the most out of your shots, as the water can reduce your subjects' contrast and colour. 

Get down on a level with the marine life, or even better, get beneath them and shoot your photos upwards on an angle. Try to avoid taking photos looking downward on the back of marine life – this means you will miss out on the fish's (or your family's!) eyes. 

To freeze the movement of fast-moving fish underwater, you'll need a shutter speed of about 1/125 seconds, although you can use slower speeds for still subjects if necessary. 

As the ocean can be a difficult environment for cameras to gain accurate focus, it's a good idea to use the centre-weighted or spot-focusing modes on your DSLR if possible. If you use flash, make sure you leave your white balance settings on Auto for the best results.  

Dreaming of swimming in the Fijian sea? 

If you're ready to try out some of our tips for yourself on an all-inclusive family holiday to Fiji, the team at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort can't wait to help you book your stay. To find out more about our packages for family holidays, get in touch with us today

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