One of the best ways to learn photography is to see other photographers’ work. We try to find some of the best underwater photographers in the world, and showcase their work, along with the gear they use, to help other aspiring photographers improve, learn new skills and get inspired. This week we will feature the talented Adam Beard!
Adam has always been fascinated with art and effects that can be created using a camera and the world as a canvas. His first camera was a ‘Pentax me’ and he vividly remembers running to the local chemist in a small countryside town in England to get last weeks images back with a free new roll of film thrown in. How times have changed but the world has not. Adam believes that underwater photography is about seeing the world in a different light, while also allowing others that don’t get the chance to see the underwater world the opportunity to see it through images and video.
Adam has previously founded conservation orientated projects with his wife and Model Carmen Toanchina where he had the chance to publish photography in magazines, Newspapers, documentary movies such as ‘Chasing Coral’ and publications with ‘World Scientific Publishing ‘Island Life’. In the meantime, enjoy Adam Beard’s Photography and he thanks all for reading his short Biography. You can follow Adam Beard Photography on all social media and search his website www.adambeardphotography.com for more information.
Profile and Achievements
Underwater Media Specialist
100m+ CCR Dive Photographer
Photography, Videography and
Technical Dive Instructor
Expedition Leader & Cruise
Director, Activities Manager
Sponsored By Beuchat
Teaching Specialised underwater media courses to all levels and exploring the globe
Social Media and Website
Google: ‘Adam Beard Photography’
I am a firm believer of not falling victim to the must have the latest and greatest digital equipment. By purchasing the model before the very newest release I am able to purchase a wider range of lenses, housings and accessories. Allowing the manufacturers time to smooth out any bugs or vital improvements. Not to mention you can purchase roughly two bodys for the price of one new one therefor having two complete UW set ups. So this allows me to switch between macro, wide, stills and video without opening a housing by taking 2 set ups on a dive to switch while underwater. However, that said I tend to avoid this ‘dual’ camera dive where possible as switching cameras on a dive or ‘lens’ even wet lens I think takes my focus away from looking for the shot I had envisioned before hand and or fully learning what’s available on the dive site, that’s why I like to dive most sites at least a couple of times before deciding what camera to take and with what configuration… but in reality sometimes it’s just not possible. So diving with an allround wide still set up is my default, when your in large groups of divers as not to fall behind from the group to far and impact everyones elses dive.
I feel it’s better to have the shot i want planned in my head and stick to the plan rather than switch systems underwater, which adds additional tasks loading that can be easily avoided with proper planning. That said the flip side can be that the whale shark swims by when I have a 105mm on and then u have a nice shot of an eye if ur lucky. So sometimes its better not to pull the trigger and enjoy the moment, and certainly not to chase animals with a bright rig pointed in there personal space due to excitement. This is also dangerous on many levels especially when it come to team safty and situational awareness, and not to mention the destress of the animals. Allowing creatures to come to you is the best way to get results with patience and perseverance. I would also where possible to hire a private guide on photo dedicated trips, they can really help, no matter your level! I’m still working on shots I have planned and spent over 12 inwater hours on and still haven’t got the shot I envisioned, but I like these projects they are a ongoing mission.
The choice of equipment depends on subject and environment so having a good tool bag really helps results in unforgiving conditions. I found the best equipment to use to have a very little invasive and a near silent approach is to invest in a CCR (close circuit rebreather). There are so many horror stories regards rebreathers, but the technology has changed its more reliable nowadays and the training level has come up dramatically over the years. Not to say it is completely without its risks but I believe the the vital key to staying safe is, correct training with reputable and varied instructors as it’s not about the camera u hold but how ur diving and understanding animal behaviour while safely interacting with these fragile creatures. Myself being a technical instructor and keen conservationist and I always seek out proper training if a dive is surpassing my skill set, i want to extend my knowledge then its vital to spend time at that level building experience then when the time is right introduce additional tasks such as photography. Safety first, platform, and then the photo. Im always seeking out further training as everyday is a school day. I like to choose instructors i respect and relate with especially when undertaking more challenging dives such as diving to depths 100m/330ft or overhead environments with cameras require intense and committed training. I respect and my most recent ones were Cave CCR with Jan Smitt and Go Dive Mexico for some Centoe diving and cave shots on the CCR.
For my underwater and top side arsenal I have the following:
Nikon D800 in a sea & sea 100m/330ft
lens of choose 15mm sigma fisheye
Panasonic GH4 in a Nauticam 100m
Favorite lenses 60mm Olympus mzuko
Neoprene & exposure suits By Beauchat
JJCR For reliable and silent CCR diving
Canon XA30 topside
Great all round built in less perfect for interviews
Several lapel mics and a directional mic
A must have for quality sound is the key to any nice video
Canon G7X In a Fantsea
Perfect for leave a collect, great macro creature behavioural capturing camera.
Great time lapse and attachment cameras
Great attachment sub 100m/330ft dive camera
Great 4k travel drone
Inon z240 x3
Super powerful strobes
Archon video lights
Great focus or drop light
Light and motion video lights
Great droplights/deep or evening video lights
Big blue lights
very powerful spot lighting
Great (mr bean lighting :))
12000 lumen flood lights
More great drop lights or in somes case video
Stability in very low light or time lapse