The Secrets of Shooting Patterns

Few things are more intriguing than some of the out-of-this-world patterns one encounters under the water. Here are some tips to capture mesmerizing underwater graphics.



Posted on Nov 21, 2013

Patterns can be found almost anywhere under water - in hard or soft coral, fish, mussels and other invertebrate animals.

If you look closely, you’ll find some kind of pattern in more things than you’d think. Still, it takes a little more than “point and shoot” before you’re able to translate what you see into a great image.

Some starfish make your jaw drop when you turn them gently over. This species, found in Lembeh Strait, has patterns all over.

As with any kind of underwater images, first you need to find what you want to photograph. I often find beautiful patterns in fish, especially around the eyes or in the scales themselves.

Parrotfish is a dead giveaway when talking about fish patterns, but many other species are worth a closer look too.

Fill the frame

To really capture the pattern and let it speak for itself, you need to capture just the pattern and nothing else.

Filling the frame is the mantra here: Half a fish doesn’t really cut it, no matter how intricate and beautiful its pattern is – it’s still just half a fish.

» Keep reading at Underwater Photography Guide



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I went on a liveaboard cruise among the islands of Croatia and was thoroughly impressed with what the Adriatic Sea had to offer - both below and above the surface.
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