REDEFINE | Underwater featuring BellaKee J Photography


Why are you passionate about this topic?

There is something about underwater photos that appears so calm, peaceful & serene.  It’s like a different dimension once you get under the water.  I love the different ways in which light hits the water, causing incredible shadows and light play.  And I always find it exciting try something new to re-inspire me.

When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic?

I’ve been eyeing off underwater housing for a few years now…but never quite willing to take the plunge (pun intended!) with the expense.  I wasn’t sure if I would really do it often enough to get the value out of it.  So after extensive research, I put my order in with my hubby on my birthday in September for an underwater camera.  I chose the Nikon AW1 with the 11-27.5mm lens.  It was still a little bit chilly to be getting in the water then (for me…kids jumped right in), so I didn’t really get to start playing until our pool was filled with water 2 days before Christmas!  I still have SO much more experimenting I want to do!  Next up is ones of my daughter with a pretty dress on!

It’s been a HUGE learning curve for me – I will say, the AW1 is not the most intuitive camera when you want to shoot in manual.  So lately I’ve spent more time with it on auto and letting the camera decide what is best (which can be very frustrating).   There are still times I would dearly love housing so I can control the settings easier – but there’s always next birthday!

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique or subject/topic? (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

  • Experiment.  A lot!  Just keep shooting and look at the different effects you get.
  • Be prepared to edit differently to your normal images (this may not be the case with your normal SLR & housing if you have that setup though…I’m not sure!).  I really have to play with contrast and clarity a lot.
  • Give the kids the camera.  The benefit of having a small, specifically designed underwater camera is you don’t have to stress quite the same about it!
  • Be prepared for lots of misses.  But when you get a hit…it’s an awesome feeling!  When you download them you’re often surprised with what you get.
  • Middle of the day is best for strong light and shadows.
  • It’s a really good workout – lots treading water and holding your breath!  And fixing leaking goggles!!
  • Kids LOVE seeing their underwater photos – and I’m finding them to be a lot more excited/patient for getting photos than out of the water.


About the photographer:

Hi there… I’m Amanda.  I’m a mum of 5 (4 boys and 1 girl) – and Bellakee J is a combination of all the kid’s names!  I’m predominantly a photographer/storyteller of the elderly, but in between times I’m passionate about personal projects (if only they made me money!).  I’m normally involved in at least one at any given time…which means lots of photos of my kids!  We moved to Brisbane, Australia on acreage two years ago and I completely love it!  We have as many animals as my hubby will allow (that’s currently 2 horses, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 3 guinea pigs, 2 ducks & 13 chooks!).

Website.  Instagram. Facebook.

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