Freedive Magazine: Can you give some tips to shooting underwater?
MZ: Underwater photography with scuba is different when you’re just doing a breath-hold. Everything happens a lot faster and there is no time to go down and adjust the camera settings and take a few test shots. The solution is to shoot in Shutter priority with burst shots. Once you set the shutter speed and ISO to get the sharpest aperture then you are good to go. Most freediving photographers don’t use strobes or video light. When shooting with ambient light make sure that you have a good contrast on your subject and background. Plan the depth of the shoot and do it according to the conditions of the water. The deeper you go underwater the more chances of losing Red tones, and the farther you are to the subject the more you lose contrast, details, and color. It’s always better to stay in the shallow and close to your subject. Always shoot in RAW, if your camera doesn’t shoot RAW make sure the picture settings are as flat as possible so you have more room to adjust them later in post. You don’t need to worry about how it looks in the camera LCD, as long as you have a very good amount of light underwater, any color and details can be added in editing. And lastly for post-production, learn how to use important softwares like (Camera Raw, Photoshop and DaVinci Resolve for videos) it will make your shots look better.
Freedive Magazine: Describe the mood of your shots. Do you have preferences in pictures, like you prefer black and white over color?
MZ: My pictures are contrasty and the colors will vary depending on the style and look. Sometimes I would even make a picture black and white to make them more interesting or to hide some production flaws.
Freedive Magazine: Can you give some advice to anyone who wants to make it as an underwater photographer?
MZ: If you want to be a freediving photographer I suggest to take a few courses to better understand how freediving works and its safety and to improve your breath-hold and diving skills.
Photo by @robertsuntay