Martin Edge’s excellent guide illuminates so many aspects of underwater photography and introduces a vital foundation for composition. But it struck me a couple of years ago that there are very few books (if any) out there for the underwater photographer that articulate both the high value of traditional theory and contemporary research into image composition.
We know the basics; image placement, light, colour and contrast. But how often do we create technically sound images to be disappointed by a lack of critical acclaim? Competitions are not the sole measure of success, but they do allow other people to critique your work, leading to an important question: what is it that makes images aesthetically pleasing? There is a well-established body of artistic knowledge, but now some new research using eye tracking that lets us understand exactly how people look at images. We are beginning to understand better how an image that we create correlates with what a viewer actually perceives.
With research for a new book now finished and writing well underway, Dived Up Publications will publish my book about this towards the end of May 2014 called Winning Images with any Underwater Camera: The essential guide to creating vibrant photos (ISBN 978-1-909455-04-7). I intend to articulate an updated theory of underwater image composition, provide easy-to-remember practical reference models, discuss techniques to develop composition skills and provide a short package of Lightroom and Photoshop advice that relates directly to composition. Critically, the book will serve compact, micro four-thirds and SLR users alike. Why? because composition is a supremely cost-effective way of improving any image whatever the camera!