46 Secrets to Improving your Underwater Photography

I recently received the following question via my website asking for some secrets to improving underwater photography, and as I started to compile the list, I thought that I would share a few of my secrets with you.

…” I just purchased a Canon G12 and the WP-DC34 underwater housing for it. I am an experienced diver, I have decided to get into underwater photography and was amazed by your photos and video with the Canon G12.. I was wondering if you could share some secrets and pointers for my upcoming trip to Belize. I would love to return with some quality video and photos…. hoping your insight could give me an edge. Thanks, Lowell”…..

Thanks Lowell for the great question.

I sat down and started to make a list. It got quite long (some people have written whole books on this subject), so I have tried not to get too carried away.

Some of these secrets are scattered around in previous posts, and I have tried to keep my list to a few key points. Some points relate specifically to the Canon Powershot G12 (which I also own), but most points are general and relate to all cameras that can be used for underwater photography.

Canon Powershot G11 inside wp-dc34 underwater housing

Before the Dive

My list starts before the dive, as I am a big believer in preparing things correctly allows you to be more relaxed during the dive, which in turn allows you to take better pictures.
Continue reading 46 Secrets to Improving your Underwater Photography

My obsession with preparing and cleaning my underwater housing and lens

Continually concerned with underwater housing leaks, and having experienced a number of images and videos ruined by dust or other material on the lenses, I border on obsessive when preparing and cleaning my underwater housing lens.

Underwater housing lenses suffer the usual problems of dust and lint, but are also susceptible to things like sunscreen (my pet hate), salt residue, sand and other nasties.

Whenever I travel through Cairns, I always stop in to visit the friendly staff at  Digital Diver and pick up cleaning accessories.

Preparation Tips

I follow a set procedure each time for housing preparation:-

  1. Remove the main o-ring and use a lint-free cloth to wipe around the o-ring groove, removing any excess silicon, sand or hair that may have lodged in the groove. A piece of hair or sand under the o-ring can cause the housing to leak. (Tip:- use a plastic credit card to remove the o-ring so you do not damage it. I use my cert card as a reminder for me to take it diving).
  2. Use a second lint-free lens cleaning cloth on the inside and outside of the underwater housing lens to remove dust, lint or finger marks.
  3. Unfortunately cloths can adsorb oils and spread them around. My new favourite cleaning accessory is lens cleaning tissue paper. lens cleaning tissue Continue reading My obsession with preparing and cleaning my underwater housing and lens

Canon Powershot G10 Technical Problems

Browsing through the Canon Australia support website, there are a couple of technical problems with the Canon Powershot G10.

Magenta Cast in Raw Images

Canon has released a firmware upgrade to Version

According to Canon this upgrade is to fix the following issue:-

If RAW images are captured by continuous shooting under the ISO 1600 setting, abnormal data is recorded and a magenta cast appears in the second and subsequent RAW images. This phenomenon also occurs in the second and subsequent recorded RAW images captured by single shooting, but only if the LCD monitor display mode is set to the OFF position.

This phenomenon cannot be confirmed when images are played back on the camera’s LCD monitor. It can only be confirmed if image processing software (such as the Digital Photo Professional software bundled with the product) is used to develop RAW images on a PC.

For more information visit:

Lines Appear in Captured Images

According the Canon Australia website:-

In certain circumstances, lines may appear in images captured with some PowerShot G10 units.

  1. This phenomenon may occur irrespective of the camera settings.
  2. The occurrence of this phenomenon depends on the subject and may not occur every time.
  3. Images that exhibit this phenomenon cannot be fixed.

This problem seems to only effect specific batches of the G10. Refer to the Canon Australia website to determine if your camera needs to be returned for repair.

Collapsed Underwater Housing O-ring

I was checking the yellow o-ring on my Canon WP-DC28 underwater housing before a dive yesterday and noticed what looked like a pinch mark over a 3 mm segment.

This housing was brought in Dec 2008 and has done around 10 dives.  I always inspect the o-ring before and after each dive, and it is stored in a separate plastic bag between dives, so I know it has not been pinched, and expect the o-ring has collapsed around where it was joined. (I have owned 3 other underwater housings for Canon cameras and have not seen this before.)

After some chasing I discovered the part number for the problem o-ring is CY4-4517. I have ordered some new o-rings from the spares department, and sent the faulty item to Canon support for further inspection.