Underwater photography talk

By Serina Rahman

This was the second session of KL Kwang’s photography talk (April 13, 2005) and this time the audience was even more participative than the first…

Kicking off at 8pm, Kwang ran through the standard technical aspects of photography such as f-stops and depths of field and offered advice on techniques and problems specific to taking photos underwater. Some tips: the key to getting good macro shots is to get as close to the subject as possible (without touching it!) and essential to successful wide angle photography underwater is the size of your strobes and what you do with them.

With updated slides and lots of actual equipment to show the audience, what seemed to be complicated concepts quickly became accessible to the budding photographer. Of special interest to many were the tips on what kind of camera to buy. Not tied as a spokesman to any specific brand, KL Kwang was able to objectively discuss the pros and cons of a number of brands and models. He pointed out that the type of camera you choose depends entirely on the individual and what you want to get out of a camera.

The best part of the talk is always Kwang’s slideshow of his own photos. Taken mostly in Pulau Tioman, they are a great insight to the diversity of the marine life there and great examples of what we can find in our own waters. While he used his photos as samples to offer some stylistic and compositional tips, Kwang was quick to mention that even he has no right to decide if a photo is good or not… each person would have their own preference and style. Photography truly is a personal pursuit.

The best way to learn how to take good photographs, he said, was to try out actual techniques and just practise, practise, practise. If you are keen to get a practical insight into everything he’s taught – and more – and experiment under his patient tutelage, keep a look out for the Practical Photography Session in Tioman in September.

Just make sure you have valid dive certification, a camera and underwater housing and join us to get your feet (and everything else!) wet and see how photography is really done underwater!