Introduction to Wide Angle Underwater Photography

Generally, any lens with a focal length less than the equivalent of 35mm is considered wide angle. However, underwater we tend to use very wide angle lenses because it allows us to get very close to a subject while still being able to include both the subject and background in the composition. By now you surely know that getting close is a fundamental rule in underwater photography because it minimizes the amount of water between your camera and the subject. If you're just starting out and haven't read our Getting Started Guide yet, you may want to read that first.

Wide angle presents so many creative opportunities for the adventurous photographer. However, what most underwater photographers learn very quickly is that shooting wide angle has a steeper learning curve than macro photography. There’s more to think about with wide angle due to the balancing of both the foreground and background exposure, using both artificial (strobe) and natural light.  But with these challenges come rewards. Few alternatives draw more emotion than a dramatic wide angle underwater image.