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Digital Underwater Photographer Course

The PADI® Digital Underwater Photography (DUP) course is one of the most flexible and popular specialties that scuba divers can undertake.

This help guide explains how to start shooting fish and snapping corals using the PADI SEA method (e.g. Shoot, Examine, Adjust) and the student training manual.

Underwater Photography | List of Contents

Important: The Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty certification may count towards PADI® Master Scuba Diver rating. Review the Specialties list for further details about 30+ other courses (listed from A to Z).

What is the Meaning of Specialty Diver?

In simple terms, a Specialty Diver is someone with enhanced scuba diving abilities beyond entry level certifications (e.g. Discover Programs, Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver).

Signing up for specialist scuba courses is the ideal path to take if you want to learn new techniques and experience different kinds of underwater exploration.

Furthermore, you will get the best opportunity to acquire superior knowledge and skills in the diving activities that interest you most because a 'Specialty Instructor' will be supervising the training.

Taking Underwater Photographs Like an Expert

The two levels of certification for PADI Digital Underwater Photographer include the standalone 'non-diving' tuition. There is an alternative separate underwater photographer specialty course available for users of 'conventional film' cameras.

Age, Depth, and Prerequisite Certification

There are minimum age requirements and maximum depth limits for all the specialties that require scuba training dives in open water.

As a result, before you can enrol in the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty course you will need to be:

Number of Days: One (1)

Open Water Training Dives: Two (2)

Maximum Depth: Depends on age and certification level

Important: Even though PADI scuba certifications do not expire, we recommend reactivating it through a refresher course if you have been away from diving for a while (e.g. longer than six months).

Benefits of Becoming an Underwater Photography Specialist

Being able to produce great photographs underwater makes scuba diving exciting and a lot of fun. One of the best ways to show others about your scuba vacation experiences is by sharing snorkeling and diving pictures with dive buddies, family, friends, and others (e.g. on social media platforms).

Level 1

Snorkelers can choose to earn the "non-diving" photography certification. PADI have developed a quick and easy introduction to taking great underwater digital pictures while snorkeling in a swimming pool or shallow open water area.

Level 2

The Digital Underwater Photographer course gets you going quickly using modern digital cameras and other equipment. Divers can certify using a simple point-and-shoot snap camera or a sophisticated D-SLR like the professional photographers use.

Traditional Level

The traditional Underwater Photographer course is better suited for divers who prefer to use conventional film equipment.

How to Get the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty Certification in Thailand.The main goal for taking PADI's photographer courses is to get better at taking photos of fish, such as:

Having the knowledge and skills to take underwater pictures at distant locations away from the shore is another reason for taking the course because that's where you'll find large pelagics.

Do you like photographing big fishes?

If so, you need to go diving in deeper water that attracts schooling vertebrates and pelagics, such as large barracudas, mola mola, and sea turtles.

Digital Learning Programs for Self-Study

In general, it is much easier for divers with a busy schedule to choose the online learning option to start scuba lessons.

Being able to complete the independent study portion of a multiple day course offers you some flexibility and convenience.

As long as you have a computer or a mobile device, you will be able to study the knowledge development portion at your own pace (online or offline).

PADI DUP eLearning: Up to Four (4) Hours

If you sign up for PADI eLearning™ you can complete the self-study assignments online for around 2,500 THB.

Following that, you would need to contact the dive shop to perform the required scuba training dives with a PADI Instructor to finish the course.

Digital Underwater Photographer: What Will You Learn?

You need to participate in the instructor-led knowledge development sessions by completing all knowledge reviews from the DUP student manual.

Besides that, you will also learn about:

  • The practicability of point-and-shoot cameras, including white-balancing and how to use colour filters and strobes
  • Image resolution, picture composition, and organisation
  • The PADI SEA method for getting great shots that you will want to share with others (e.g. shoot, examine, adjust)
  • How to take photographs underwater without using an external flash and basic photography tips for eliminating backscatter
  • An explanation of the various digital file formats and how to bring back the colour in your images
  • Using histograms, file formats, and archiving pictures

Note: You may also learn about conventional film formats with an explanation of the various 35mm film cameras.

Specialist Equipment and Diving Gear

You will need to be wearing traditional scuba gear for the two open water training dives. Other specialist diving equipment that you'll use, may also include:

FAQ Section and Medical Questionnaire Form

Is there a Simple Strategy for Identifying Reef Fishes?

Yes. Beginners will find it easier to focus on determining actual fish families (e.g. ray-finned fishes with the class Actinopterygii). Unless you're a marine biologist, there is no need to learn every single species known to man.

What Happens if I Touch an Underwater Organism?

Divers share a common responsibility to protect and conserve nature. As a result, interacting passively with aquatic animals helps to safeguard the habitats of delicate and sensitive sea life.

What is the PADI Underwater Naturalist Course?

There are several reasons why combining the PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty course with the AWARE Fish Identification Specialty is a good idea.

For example:

  1. You will observe new features and animal behaviours (even on the dive sites you are familiar with).
  2. Learning more about symbiotic relationships and underwater ecology will help to make you a more knowledgeable diver.
  3. The majority of scuba divers fail to understand the importance of aquatic plant and animal habitats.

When Should You Do a Scuba Refresher?

Suppose you don't go diving for more than six months. There is a simple way to refresh the knowledge and skills that you already learned.

After a long period of inactivity, taking the PADI ReActivate® program will help you brush up on the safety procedures and scuba diving fundamentals.

Medical Requirements: Free Download

You must be in good physical and mental health and be medically fit for recreational scuba diving. You can review the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire Online to check whether you need to be evaluated by a physician.

It is not appropriate to ask dive staff (e.g. divemasters, instructors) for medical advice or clearance to go diving. Instead, you can contact the Divers Alert Network (DAN) if you have questions about your medical fitness to dive.

Price for PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Certification in Thailand 8,500 THB*

We have qualified instructors and expert dive guides who can teach in several languages, including English, Thai, and Chinese.

The price includes (all):

Blue Check MarkBoat trips (with free soft drinks served on board)

Blue Check MarkProfessional tuition from a "Private Scuba" Instructor

Blue Check MarkFree rental of required diving equipment (including a dive computer)

Blue Check MarkPADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty Manual and Certification Card

Blue Check MarkHotel transfers within Pattaya City limits

Important: You may be making two (2) scuba training dives in the same day. If so, the PADI flying after diving guidelines say you need to wait a minimum of eighteen (18) hours after the second dive before you go to altitude. Please send us an email if you need further information.

YouTube Video and Knowledge Base for Photographers

Most of the information and advice in this page focuses on scuba diving in a range of diverse environments (including some with cold water temperatures).

We also have a list of blog articles about snorkeling which relate to popular boating adventures - especially those taking place in hot and sunny climates like Thailand.

Scuba Diving Help Guides for Beginners

Note: The short PADI video highlights what to expect when taking the AWARE Fish Identification Specialty course and how fish families and their characteristics vary in different parts of the world.

What Comes after PADI Digital Underwater Photography Specialist?

Most scuba divers and snorkelers will agree that diving and snorkeling is more fun when you can identify different fish species and other aquatic marine life.

If you are into coral reefs, the AWARE Coral Reef Conservation certification tackles the dangerous threats to the world's reef systems and how you can get involved.

So what comes next?

This certification has strong links to the popular Specialty Courses offered by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

But, becoming a Digital Underwater Photographer combines really well with several other PADI courses and specialties, such as:

Note: All course prices for diving are subject to change and assume that all prerequisites have been met to start the training. Click here to contact the team at Private Scuba in Thailand to make a booking or send an enquiry.

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