shooting underwater 3D photos and 3D videos

why 3D underwater?

Have you seen a reef or a fish picture where it does not look good, because everything is not clearly defined, have too much details, too wide, it was shoot from above, or is not focused on only one subject, or does not use the creative photography techniques properly, no bokeh, no blur, no subject center, 1/3, negative space etc..?

the same exact boring picture become alive in true 3d viewing. All the “creative techniques” of underwater photos can be argued as trying to fool your perception in 2D, trying to make the picture more pleasurable to see.

In underwater environment, the reef and fishes have a lot of details.  Camouflage techniques are often used by fish to blend in the background. Survival depends on blending in the environment. Especially on those fish, a quick look in 2D make the fish disappear in the background. While In 3D, all the details emerge, the images POP out of the page.

3d is not just only cool, it add depth and incomparable layers of details, you suddenly see everything clearer, the fish and reef seemed to fit exactly where they belong in 3 dimensions. The fish seemed as if they are floating in the “air” .

once you have seen a TRUE 3D photos and videos, it seems as if you are really there. 3D are made for underwater. Wide angle underwater are made for 3d.

TRUE REAL 3D are shot by cameras that mimics human eyes: 2 lenses, synchronized to take the picture at the same moment, with a slight deviation in position. It is not software created from a single 2D picture. True 3d photos now are on MPO format.


 Then why are we not seeing or using more 3D underwater?

  1. shooting true 3D require proper equipment. and currently not a lot of manufacturers have 3d camera and underwater housings
  2. you need a 3d monitor, either lenticular or active shutters to recreate the 3d pictures at home
  3. the current consumer cameras are not the same quality as DSLR. 3d camera are not as good, not as fast as current DSLR.
  4. autofocus, electronics processing and shutter speed is slower in 3d camera, making some underwater scenes challenging
  5. because of the nature of 3d camera, it requires a perfectly clear water, no floating debris. we cannot just come closer to avoid backscatter :too close and no 3d, too far and no 3d.
  6. due to the focus nature of 3d (where it focused on everything, making everything clear from close to far)Too much debris will make the picture blurry, as the camera will try to focus on everything, mostly the debris and not the fish or reef behind
  7. professional custom made 3d videos rigs requires a lot of support, and $. They are heavy, hard to go to small spaces, and they cannot easily change inter axial or depth distance easily
  8. cost more to shoot in 3d, it need: clear environment, detailed rich reef, wide angle view, big corals are usually found only found in far places.
  9. true underwater 3d productions are usually reserved for bigger budgets.

Ironically, places like Indonesia raja ampat where corals thrive, have so much details, so many wide fans and reef; those places are perfect for 3d, and looks a lot better in 3d than in any 2D pictures.

I have been shooting 3d photos and videos with my 3d consumer  equipment.

I will upload and show you  how to see, and how to shoot in true 3d underwater.

 samples 3d underwater photos maldives

samples 3d raja ampat pictures

 what are the main difference shooting 2d vs 3d ?

how to create artificial 3d picture from one single lenses camera, and difficulties with shooting 3D pictures


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