Freediving Photography

Freediving, or apnea diving, is a form of diving in which the diver holds their breath for the entire duration of the dive. This allows divers to remain underwater for extended periods of time, and to dive to depths that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Freediving photography is a specialized form of underwater photography that requires both freediving ability and photographic skill. In order to take Freediving photographs, the photographer must be able to hold their breath for long periods of time and descend to great depths. This allows them to get close to their subjects and capture images that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Freediving photography often captures images of marine life, but can also be used to photograph shipwrecks, natural features, and even human beings. Whatever the subject, freediving photography requires a unique combination of physical ability and photographic skill.

The Basics of Freediving Photography

If you’re new to freediving photography, start with these basics. Find a good spot, get your camera gear ready, and get in the water. It’s important to be safe while freediving, so always have a dive buddy with you. Be prepared to hold your breath for long periods of time and have an underwater camera that can take great photos in low light.

What Is Freediving?

Freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on the diver’s ability to hold their breath instead of using scuba gear. It is also known as apnea diving.

Freediving can be done in many different ways, but most often it is done in shallow waters close to the shore. It can be done with or without fins, and with or without a weight belt.

There are three main types of freediving:

  • Static apnea: This is where the diver holds their breath for as long as possible without moving.
  • Dynamic apnea: This is where the diver swims as far as they can on a single breath.
  • Free immersion: This is where the diver descends headfirst and uses their arms to pull themselves down and back up again.

Freediving can be done for many different reasons, but it is often done for recreation, spearfishing, and swimming with marine life. It can also be done competitively, with divers vying to see who can stay underwater the longest or who can swim the farthest on a single breath.

What Is Freediving Photography?

Freediving photography is the art of taking underwater photos while holding your breath. It’s a challenging and rewarding way to explore the underwater world, and it’s a great way to document your freediving adventures.

There are many different ways to approach freediving photography, but the most important thing is to start slow and focus on safety first. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of freediving photography, including equipment, techniques, and safety considerations.

With the right preparation and safety precautions, freediving photography can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. So let’s dive in!

The Benefits of Freediving Photography

Freediving photography has a number of benefits over traditional above-water photo and video methods. With freediving photography, you can get closer to your underwater subjects than ever before, without the use of bulky scuba gear. You can remain stealthy and capture natural behaviors. You can freedive to great depths to photograph things that very few people ever get to see.

The Risks of Freediving Photography

Freediving photography comes with a unique set of risks that other types of photography do not. Because you are working in an environment where you are already at a physical disadvantage, you need to be extra careful to avoid any type of incident.

Some of the risks associated with freediving photography include:

  • Not being able to get to the surface quickly enough if you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy
  • Running out of air before you are able to take the perfect shot
  • Drowning
  • Being pulled down by a strong current
  • Getting stung by a jellyfish or other sea creature

It is important to always take these risks into consideration before venturing out into the water with your camera. Make sure you have a buddy with you who can keep an eye on you and be there to help if anything does go wrong.

The Equipment You Need for Freediving Photography

For anyone looking to get into freediving photography, there is some basic equipment you will need in order to get started. This includes a camera that can be used underwater, a housing for your camera, and a strobe light to help with lighting underwater. In this article, we will go over what you need in order to get started with freediving photography.


With digital technology, cameras are becoming more and more accessible to freedivers, offering excellent image quality at a fraction of the cost of traditional film cameras. DSLR and mirrorless cameras offer the best image quality, but they can be expensive and bulky, making them less than ideal for freediving.

Compact cameras are a good option for freedivers who want to take high-quality photos without breaking the bank. These cameras are small and lightweight, making them easy to carry on your dive gear. Many of them also offer features that are beneficial for underwater photography, such as waterproof housing and wide-angle lenses.

When choosing a camera for freediving photography, it is important to consider the type of images you want to capture. If you plan on taking photos of macro subjects, such as small fish and invertebrates, you will need a camera with a macro lens. For wide-angle shots of reefs and wrecks, a camera with a wide-angle lens is ideal.


With a few exceptions, most of the popular fish species found in freediving photography locations will be between two and fifteen feet long. This length, combined with the necessity to photograph underwater subjects in low light conditions, makes a telephoto zoom lens the best choice for freediving photography. A 70-200mm lens is a good starting point, but an even longer lens will give you more reach. If you’re shooting on a cropped sensor camera, a 100-400mm lens will give you excellent results.


A camera housing is a waterproof enclosure that protects your camera from the water and pressure. Most housings have a clear front so you can see the camera’s LCD screen and controls, and a few have an optical viewfinder that lets you compose your shots without removing the camera from the housing. Freediving photography housings come in a variety of styles to fit different types of cameras, and some can be adapted to fit multiple camera models.

There are two main types of housings: hard shells and soft shells. Hard shells are made from durable materials like aluminum or polycarbonate, and they offer the best protection for your camera. Soft shells are made from neoprene or other flexible materials, and they’re generally less expensive than hard shell housings. Both types of housings have their benefits, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

Housings also come with different features, like an integrated flash diffuser or an external strobe connector. Some housings have built-in handles or trays that make it easier to hold the camera steady while you’re freediving. And some manufacturers offer additional accessories, like lens ports and focus lights, that you can purchase separately to customize your housing.


Freediving photography often requires the use of a strobe, which is a type of flash that is triggered by an electrical charge. Strobes can be used to improve the visibility of your subject matter, as well as to create interesting lighting effects.

There are two main types of strobes: subsea strobes and above-water strobes. Subsea strobes are designed to be used underwater, while above-water strobes can be used both underwater and on land. Subsea strobes are generally more expensive than above-water strobes, but they offer a number of advantages, including the ability to produce brighter light and to recycle quickly.

When choosing a strobe, it is important to consider the type of photography you plan to do. For example, if you plan to take photos of marine life, you will need a different type of strobe than if you plan to take photos of land animals. In addition, Strobes come in various sizes, so it is important to choose one that is compatible with your camera.

Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a strobe for freediving photography:

  • The intensity of the light output (measured in watts second or guide number)
  • The color temperature of the light
  • The beam angle
  • The power supply (rechargeable batteries or disposable batteries)
  • The recycle time (how long it takes for the flash to recharge)
  • The weight and size (important considerations when traveling)


In freediving photography, your arms are your only source of propulsion. This means that you need to have a good level of upper body strength and stamina in order to be successful. You should also be aware of the different types of arm strokes that you can use in order to move yourself through the water efficiently.

The Techniques of Freediving Photography

Photography and freediving are two of the most popular underwater activities. And while each can be enjoyed separately, combining the two can create some breathtaking results. Freediving photography allows you to get up close and personal with marine life, without the use of scuba gear. This type of photography also offers a unique perspective, as you are often shooting from below your subjects. If you’re interested in learning more about freediving photography, continue reading for some essential tips and techniques.


One of the most important aspects of freediving photography is managing your breath. Unlike scuba diving, where you have a constant source of air, freediving relies on your own breath-holding abilities. This means that you need to be extra careful about how much air you use and when you use it.

There are a few different techniques that you can use to help you breathe more efficiently when freediving. One is to exhale fully before each dive. This will help to empty your lungs and prevent them from filling up with too much air. Additionally, you can try to take shallow breaths rather than deep breaths. This will help to prevent you from using up all of your air too quickly.

Finally, it is important to remember to relax when Freediving. If you are tense, your body will use up more oxygen than it otherwise would. Therefore, it is important to take slow, deep breaths and try to focus on relaxed muscle groups.


Equalization is the term used to describe the act of adjusting the pressure in your inner ears to match the water around you. This is done by either holding your nose and blowing gently (for smaller adjustments), or by pinching your nose shut and swallowing (for larger adjustments). The latter technique, known as the valsalva maneuver, should only be attempted when you are able to clear your sinuses completely. If you have any cold or allergies, equalization will be more difficult.

There are many ways to practice equalization, but one of the most effective is to hold a weight in front of you and sink slowly down while equalizing every few feet. When you reach the bottom, take a few seconds to recover, thenPracticing this frequently will help train your body to automatically equalize when you start descent.


Descent is the most important part of a freediving photographer’s dive. It is during the descent that the photographer will position themselves for the best possible photographs. They will often descend further than the other members of their dive group in order to get into position.

During the descent, the freediving photographer will be looking for interesting subjects to photograph. They will also be paying attention to the light and making sure that they are positioned in such a way that they can make use of the available light. Once they have found a good spot, they will stop their descent and set up their camera equipment.


With the sport of freediving (and spearfishing) on the rise, there has been a recent influx of people trying to capture the underwater world through their cameras. This has led to many people wondering what the best techniques are for freediving photography.

There are a few things to keep in mind when shooting underwater. The first is that you will need a camera that can go underwater. This means either buying a waterproof camera or using a housing for your regular camera. If you are using a regular camera, make sure that it is protected from the water and that all of the seals are in place and secure.

The next thing to keep in mind is that you need to be able to hold your breath for long periods of time if you want to get good shots. This is because you will need to be able to stay down for extended periods of time in order to get close to your subject matter. If you can not hold your breath for long periods of time, then freediving photography may not be for you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to be able to move quickly and quietly through the water if you want to get good shots. This means avoiding any sudden movements or loud noises that could scare away your subject matter. You should also try to avoid touching anything in the water, as this can also disturb marine life and make it difficult to get good shots.

Finally, it is important to remember that light does not travel well through water. This means that you will need to use a flash if you want to get good shots. Many people believe that using a flash will scare away marine life, but this is not necessarily true. If you use your flash correctly, then you should be able to get some great shots without disturbing the animals too much.


Photographers must be careful on their ascent from deep depths, as thebuoyancy of their wetsuit and camera equipment can cause them to ascendtoo quickly.When ascending from deep depths, Freediving photographers use a technique called‘negative buoyancy ascent’ or ‘sleeping with the sharks’. This techniquerequires the photographer to sink to the bottom, using lead weights toeither side of them to keep them at depth. From here, they take off theirweights and allow the natural buoyancy of their wetsuit and cameraequipment to slowly bring them back to the surface.

The Best Places to Go Freediving Photography

Freediving photography is a unique form of photography that takes place underwater. It captures the beauty and mystery of the underwater world in a way that surface photography simply cannot. Freediving photography requires a special set of skills and equipment, but it is well worth the effort. There are many great places to go freediving photography, but here are a few of the best.

The Maldives

The Maldives archipelago is made up of more than a thousand individual islands, forming an archipelago of 26 atolls. The atolls are spread over an area of 90,000 square kilometers making it one of the most widely dispersed countries in the world. It’s also one of the most beautiful places on Earth. With its powder-white beaches, crystal-clear waters and bountiful marine life, it’s not hard to see why.

One of the best things about freediving in the Maldives is that there are so many different freediving spots to choose from. You could easily spend months here and never get bored. Each atoll has something unique to offer freedivers, whether it’s walls covered in soft corals or vast pelagic populations.

Some of the best areas for freediving photography in the Maldives include:

Manta Point: This is one of the best places in the world to photograph manta rays. Manta Point is situated in South Ari Atoll and can be reached by liveaboard or day boat. Manta rays congregate here to feed on plankton and it’s not uncommon to see 30 or more mantas at a time.

Fushi Kandu: Fushi Kandu is located in North Male Atoll and is renowned for its large schools of snapper and barracuda. It’s also a great place to see sharks, turtles and eagle rays. The currents can be strong here so it’s best suited to experienced freedivers.

Hanifaru Bay: Hanifaru Bay is located in Baa Atoll and is a protected marine reserve. It’s world-famous for its congregation of manta rays, whale sharks and other large pelagic species. This is an advanced dive site due to its strong currents but it’s well worth it for the photographic opportunities that it offers.


Freediving photography is one of the most rewarding, yet challenging types of photography. It requires split second timing, perfect under water buoyancy, and the ability to hold your breath for long periods of time. But when you get that perfect shot, it is all worth it.

So where are the best places in the world to go freediving photography? Here are a few of our favorite spots:

Hawaii: With crystal clear water and an abundance of sea life, Hawaii is a freediver’s paradise. If you want to photograph turtles, this is the place to be. The Big Island is particularly good for turtle sightings.

Egypt: The Red Sea is one of the most popular freediving destinations in the world, and for good reason. The water is warm and clear, and there is an abundance of beautiful coral and colorful fish. The best time to freedive here is from May to September.

Australia: Australia has some of the best freediving spots in the world, with plenty of shipwrecks and beautiful reefs to explore. The Great Barrier Reef is a must-see for any freediver photographer.

The Great Barrier Reef

Unanimously accepted as one of the best places in the world for freediving photography, the Great Barrier Reef is unsurprisingly a top choice for many divers. As the world’s largest coral reef system, it’s home to an array of colourful fish and other marine creatures, making it a photographer’s dream.

With visibility often exceeding 30 metres/100 feet, there’s plenty of time to get that perfect shot. And with over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands spanning an area of over 344,400 square kilometres/132,000 square miles, you’ll never be short on options.

Whether you want to snap a photo of a clownfish hiding amongst the anemones or capture the vastness of the open ocean, the Great Barrier Reef is sure to please.

The Red Sea

The Red Sea is one of the most beautiful places in the world to go freediving photography. The clear blue water, rich marine life, and stunning coral reefs make it a paradise for underwater photographers.

There are many great spots for freediving photography in the Red Sea, but here are a few of our favorites:

The Blue Hole: This famous dive site is located off the coast of Dahab, Egypt. It is a popular spot for both scuba diving and freediving, and it offers some of the best conditions for underwater photography in the Red Sea. The Blue Hole is a large cavern that drops down to a depth of around 30 meters (100 feet). There is plenty of light at this depth, and the water is crystal clear. This makes it an ideal spot for photographing fish and other marine life.

The Thistlegorm Wreck: This World War II shipwreck is located in the northern Red Sea, near the Egyptian town of Hurghada. It lies at a depth of around 30 meters (100 feet), making it another great spot for freediving photography. The Thistlegorm Wreck is teeming with fish, and there are also many interesting artifacts to photograph inside the shipwreck itself.

Abu Nuhas Shipwrecks: These four shipwrecks are located off the coast of Hurghada, Egypt. They lie at depths between 10 and 30 meters (30 and 100 feet), making them accessible to both scuba divers and freedivers. The Abu Nuhas shipwrecks are home to a variety of fish, including some rare species that are only found in the Red Sea.

Ras Mohammed National Park: This national park is located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt. It offers some of the best scuba diving and freediving in the Red Sea, with over 20 different dive sites to choose from. Ras Mohammed National Park is home to a huge variety of marine life, including many colorful coral reef fish.

The Most Common Freediving Photography Mistakes

Freediving photography is a challenging but rewarding genre of photography. To get great shots, you need to be able to hold your breath for long periods of time and have a good understanding of underwater photography. However, even if you have these skills, there are still a few mistakes that you can make. In this article, we will cover the three most common freediving photography mistakes.

Not Checking the Weather Conditions

One of the most common freediving photography mistakes is not checking the weather conditions before you go out. This can lead to some very disappointing results, as you may find that the visibility is not as good as you had hoped, or that the water is too rough to get any good shots.

It is always worth checking the forecast before you head out, so that you can be sure that you are going to get the best possible conditions for your photography.

Not Checking the Water Conditions

Before you even think about getting your camera in the water, it’s important to check the water conditions. You don’t want to enter the water if it’s too rough as this could damage your equipment. If you’re not sure, always err on the side of caution and check with a local dive center or someone who knows the conditions before getting in.

Another thing to bear in mind is the visibility. If the visibility is poor, then it’s going to be more difficult to take good photos. It’s worth checking the forecast before you go so that you have an idea of what to expect. Generally, early morning is the best time for freediving photography as the light is better and there are often less people around.

Not Checking Your Equipment

One of the most common freediving photography mistakes is not checking your equipment before you jump in the water. This is a mistake for two reasons. First, you could damage your equipment if it is not properly secured. Second, if your camera is not working properly, you will not be able to take pictures.

Before you enter the water, always double check that your camera is securely fastened to your body and that all the seals are in place. Once you are in the water, take a few practice shots to make sure everything is working properly.

Not Equalizing Properly

If you don’t equalize properly, you will end up with some serious barotrauma. This can cause your internal organs to collapse, which might not kill you immediately but will certainly lead to some long-term health problems. When equalizing, be sure to do it slowly and steadily. If you go too fast, you might rupture your eardrums.

Not Descending

Freediving photography has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people are drawn to the sport of freediving. But with popularity comes responsibility, and it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards of freediving photography before you venture out into the deep.

One of the most common mistakes made by novice freedivers is failing to properly descend. When you’re diving deeper than 10 meters, it’s essential to use a weighted line or sled to help you control your descent. If you don’t, you run the risk of ascending too quickly and suffering from an air embolism — a potentially fatal condition caused by bubbles of air entering the bloodstream.

Another common mistake is not using a flash when photographing subjects deeper than 20 meters. At these depths, the water absorbs all light except for blue, which is why most deep-sea creatures appear blue to our eyes. But blue light doesn’t register well on camera sensors, so unless you use a flash, your photos will likely come out very dark.

Finally, be sure to keep your camera safe from starts by using a housing that is specifically designed for freediving photography. These housings are airtight and waterproof, and they can protect your camera from the tremendous pressure that builds up at depth.

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