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How to take great underwater pictures when snorkeling and diving

December 5, 2013

Snorkeling and diving are two magical experiences which open up an entirely new undersea world filled with sights and sounds you’ve never seen before. It often feels like a dream as you float alongside richly colored corals, watching fearless fishes and curious critters swim up to you. The only sound audible is that of your own breathing through the snorkel pipe and the familiar crackling sound of snapping shrimps. To capture and preserve these wonderful memories, a good underwater camera is a must. I’ve tried Fujifilm’s one-time-use disposable waterproof cameras on a couple snorkeling trips before but have not been impressed with the quality and clarity of photos taken underwater. So, for our upcoming trip to Mexico, I started looking for a better alternative and I think I found a great solution!

Canon Powershot encased in DiCaPac waterproof case

I already own a regular Canon PowerShot A2300 point & shoot camera and did not want to purchase another waterproof one. Researching online, I found the DicaPac WP410 which is a waterproof digital camera case with a clear optical lens. This turned out to be the perfect complement for the camera I already had. The waterproof case even allows the camera zoom lens to be operated underwater! I was able to take plenty of videos and photos, as well as clear close-up shots of coral reefs, photos of fishes, tortoises and more, both in the open sea and when swimming in the Yucatan’s famous cenotes. Another plus point is that DicaPac’s come in various sizes to fit different camera bodies, from point & shoot to iPhones to even DSLR cameras.

The DicaPac WP410 held up great underwater, not a single drop of water or moisture made it into the case. Very impressive! The DicaPac WP410 is lightweight and not too bulky. The waterproof plastic casing is sturdy but flexible, allowing easy access to all the control buttons on the camera. The case comes with a long strap which can be wrapped around your hand or looped around your neck so that you do not find your camera suddenly floating away by itself. I do want to try other waterproof cameras which might be more compact and lightweight, but for now my Canon PowerShot A2300 encased in the DicaPac WP410 serves me well.

Here are some photos I took underwater when snorkeling in Mexico (Yucatan and Quintana Roo) at these three places:

  1. Chunyaxche lagoon in Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
  2. Grand Cenote near Tulum
  3. Among the coral reefs at Puerto Morelos

Fish under mangroves in Sian Kaan

Fishes hide under mangrove roots at Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Close up of mangrove roots at Sian Kaan

A closeup of the mangrove roots – great macro shot underwater!

Unbelievably crystal clear snorkeling in Grand Cenote

A wonderful underwater scene greets us at Grand Cenote. Spot the tortoise here!

Beautiful stalactite formations in Grand Cenote

Underwater stalactites at Grand Cenote

Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos

Snorkeling at Puerto Morelos – getting friendly with the fishes

Never too close for comfort

Getting really friendly with the fishes! These were fearless and came swimming right up to us.

Contemplating each other

Contemplating each other

Puerto Morelos has the world's second largest coral system

Puerto Morelos is home to the world’s second largest coral reef system

Schools of fish in Puerto Morelos

Spot the schools of fish here!

Colorful corals in Puerto Morelos

What do you use for photographing underwater sea life when snorkeling? I would love to hear your recommendations in the comments!

Happy Snorkeling!

~ Trupti

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