Underwater photographs usually suck.  They have a strong blue tone, and little contrast, which makes it very difficult to see the subject of the photograph, and they’re usually taken at too great a distance from the subject, which simply accents the problem.  It’s true that with powerful strobes, and expensive gear with color correcting filters you can get great photos, and that’s the traditional way of doing it.  The dive photographs I’ve shown here are taken with a very inexpensive system.  It’s a cheap Olympus digital camera (the C4000, now discontinued), and a Lexan underwater housing also manufactured by Olympus.  No filters, and no fancy strobes.

How did I do it?  Well, I confess, my pictures do come out with a nasty blue cast to them.  I load the images into Microsoft Digital Image Studio, colour correct them (add the missing red, basically), adjust levels and adjust contrast.  Out comes eye popping underwater photos. You can see a before and after comparison below. The colours are better, the lighting brighter, and the contrast much more apparent. 

Total cost was about $200 US for the camera, and about $200 US for the housing. I’m very happy with the results.  My only real complaint is that the camera goes through  batteries very quickly because I have to leave the LCD viewfinder on all the time.  I can only take 50 or 60 underwater photos at a time. However, compared to a roll of 35mm film, that’s pure luxury.