Is your hard drive filling with thousands of underwater shots? Read professional's tips to create better images which you can proudly hang on your living room wall!
Professional photographer and dive instructor Ralf “Rafu” Åström visited Living Colours Diving Resort February 2015 with his family and again like all the other times he's been here, in the end of the holiday he had thousands of new underwater shots. He also knows that many other underwater photographers – professional or amateur – struggle with the same problem: what to do with all those beautiful (and not-so-beautiful) pictures!
– The digital age has made it easy to get carried away by shooting pictures of "everything that moves" without thinking of composition, Rafu laughs at Safety Stop Bar in Living Colours.



And he knows what he's talking about. Rafu started photographing with film in 1992, when visualizing and preparation was more important than in the year 2015, when everyone can return from one dive with hundred pictures on memory card.
– Since I've gathered thousands of underwater images during the years I have recently tried to find new ways of differentiating from the mass of underwater pictures, he says.


That's one of the reasons why he started to teach his students more about black and white photographing.
– If you hang your underwater pictures to your livingroom wall, B&W picture is much better choice than coloured coralreef picture, which you might get bored quite quickly, Rafu explaines.
Over the years Rafu's photographing students have showed him pictures they are not happy with:

– But many times they don't realize that the picture might work as B&W much better that in colours. I tell them to think about the composition and cropping, we work on black and white settings and then we suddenly have felicitous picture.

He reminds photographers that changing colours picture to B&W is not just pressing the “auto” button but working on the RGB channels, tuning green little lighter, blue little darker and so on depending on your photographing conditions and equipment.

Bunaken  321

– It is easier to create interesting B&W images in poor condition, without strobe or the right lens than with color. With available light, shadows and forms we can create stunning timeless images good enough to hang on a wall, he reminds.
Next winter Rafu will return to Bunaken to teach Underwater photography seminar which concentrates on B&W images and editing with Photoshop and Lightroom. If you might be interested to join (schedule still open), contact us and join our mailing list to be the first to hear about it! You can also like us in facebook and twitter.

Pictures Ralf Åström, Bunaken National Marine Park. See more pictures

Professional photographer Ralf Astrom in Bunaken National Marine Park 



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Living Colours Diving Resort 
PADI 5 Star Dive Resort S-36220
Pangalisang Beach, Bunaken
North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tel: +62 812 430 6401 Mia | +62 81 2430 6063 Jaakko

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