Capture Moments: Take Underwater Pictures without Waterproof Phone

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Do you wish to take beautiful underwater pictures, but you don’t have a waterproof phone? Don’t worry; you can still capture stunning shots with your non-waterproof phone using creative techniques and alternative options. In this section, we will explore several ways to make the most of your non-waterproof phone camera and unlock the world of underwater photography. So, let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • With creative techniques and alternative options, you can take stunning underwater photos even without a waterproof phone.
  • Make the most of your non-waterproof phone camera by understanding the basics of underwater photography.
  • Before venturing into the water, ensure your non-waterproof phone is protected from water.
  • Explore DIY solutions to make your non-waterproof phone camera waterproof.
  • Enhance the capabilities of your non-waterproof phone camera with lens filters and add-on accessories.

Understanding Underwater Photography

Before exploring the techniques of capturing stunning underwater images with your non-waterproof phone camera, it’s important to understand the basics of underwater photography. The following underwater photography tips and tricks will help you not only dive deeper into the world of underwater photography but also improve your non-waterproof phone photography game.


Composition is key to a great underwater photograph. You must pay close attention to the positioning of everything in the frame to avoid cluttered shots. From the lighting to the subject, everything has to be balanced while still having depth and perspective. Creating interesting angles and using leading lines creates a far more dynamic image.


Exposure is one of the most critical aspects of underwater photography. Due to the water’s depth and the scattering of light, it’s important to manually adjust exposure settings. Making appropriate adjustments to the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture will enable you to capture images that display the vibrancy of life found underwater.

“Make appropriate adjustments to the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to capture the vibrancy of life found underwater.”

Other important factors

There are several other important factors to consider when it comes to underwater photography. These include white balance adjustments, focusing, and the use of filters. To achieve the best possible results with your non-waterproof phone camera, explore different filters and techniques for capturing the colors unique to underwater settings.

Preparing Your Non-Waterproof Phone

Your non-waterproof phone can still be useful for capturing underwater moments. Here are some tips for protecting your phone from water damage and preparing it for underwater photography:

  1. Invest in a waterproof pouch or case: These affordable alternatives can protect your phone from water damage while still allowing you to use your phone’s camera. Make sure to test the case before heading into the water.
  2. Apply a waterproof coating: Some companies sell solutions that claim to make your phone water-resistant. However, be careful with these products and read reviews before purchasing them.
  3. Use a ziplock bag: If you’re looking for a quick and cheap alternative, you can use a ziplock bag to protect your phone. While this method isn’t foolproof, it can help keep your phone dry in case of accidental splashes.
  4. Double-check your phone’s ports and buttons: Before heading into the water, make sure all ports and buttons are tightly sealed. Any gaps or openings can allow water to seep through and damage your phone.
  5. Protect your phone from sand and other debris: Even if your phone is protected from water damage, it’s important to keep it safe from sand and other debris that can scratch or damage your phone. Consider using a protective case or wrap to keep your phone safe.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your non-waterproof phone is ready for underwater photography.

DIY Waterproof Phone Camera Solution

Don’t let a non-waterproof phone hold you back from capturing stunning underwater images. With these creative DIY solutions, you can make your phone camera waterproof and explore the world of underwater photography.

Waterproof casing

Investing in a waterproof casing for your phone is an easy and effective solution. These cases are designed to fit your phone and provide full protection from water damage, allowing you to capture clear and vivid underwater shots. Brands such as Lifeproof and Otterbox offer a variety of waterproof cases for different phone models.

DIY waterproofing

If you’re feeling crafty, there are several DIY methods for making your phone waterproof. You can use a plastic zipper bag or a condom to encase your phone, ensuring that it’s fully sealed. Another option is applying a generous coat of clear nail polish over the phone’s ports and buttons to prevent water from seeping in. However, be aware that these methods may not be as secure or effective as a proper waterproof casing.

Waterproof pouch

If you’re on a budget, a waterproof pouch can be a practical solution. These pouches can be purchased for under $20 and are designed to fit most phone models. They provide a secure seal and enable full functionality of your phone’s camera while underwater. However, it’s important to test the pouch before using it with your phone to ensure it’s fully secure and leak-proof.

By utilizing one of these DIY solutions, you can protect your non-waterproof phone while taking stunning underwater photos.

Lens Filters and Add-Ons

Get the most out of your non-waterproof phone’s camera by utilizing lens filters and add-ons designed specifically for underwater photography techniques. These accessories can vastly improve image quality, making it easier to capture stunning photos of the underwater world.

Underwater Filters

Underwater filters can enhance the colors captured in your underwater photos and decrease the effects of backscatter. Consider investing in red, magenta, or purple filters, depending on the water conditions and depth. A red filter can compensate for the loss of red light in shallow water while a magenta or purple filter is ideal for greener water.

Polarizing Filters

Polarizing filters can help reduce glare and reflection, allowing you to capture sharper images with less unwanted reflection. These filters can be especially useful when photographing fish and other underwater wildlife.

Macro Lenses

If you’re interested in capturing close-up photos of tiny sea creatures, invest in a macro lens attachment designed for your non-waterproof phone. These specialized lenses can help you get up close and personal with the underwater world.

Wide-Angle Lenses

Wide-angle lenses can be used to capture expansive underwater scenery, including reefs, wrecks, and schools of fish. They are especially useful for taking photos in low light conditions or in murky waters.

Adding lens filters and other add-ons to your non-waterproof phone camera can greatly enhance the quality of your underwater photos. Experiment with different options to find the perfect combination for your next underwater adventure.

Lighting Techniques for Underwater Shots

One of the keys to capturing stunning underwater photos with your non-waterproof phone is mastering lighting techniques. Whether you’re utilizing natural light or artificial lighting methods, understanding the principles of underwater lighting is crucial for creating visually captivating images.

Tip: Consider investing in waterproof LED lights or flashes to enhance your underwater photography.

Utilizing Natural Light

When photographing underwater, natural light can be a useful tool in creating dramatic and unique images. As you shoot, keep in mind that water absorbs light and color as it gets deeper. This means that red, orange, and yellow shades will disappear first, leaving green and blue tones more prominent. To make the most of natural light, consider the time of day and the positioning of the sun. Shooting during the golden hours—sunrise and sunset—can enhance the warmth and color in your photos.

Using Artificial Lighting Techniques

Artificial lighting can also play a powerful role in your underwater photography. Consider investing in a waterproof LED light or flash to provide additional illumination and reduce harsh shadows and glare. Experiment with different placement and intensity levels to discover what works best for your particular shoot. Additionally, you can use light to create unique and dramatic effects, such as silhouettes or backlit shots.

The Importance of White Balance

When shooting underwater, the color of your images can often appear dull or blue-toned. Adjusting your phone’s white balance can help to fix this issue, resulting in images with more vibrant, accurate colors. Experiment with different white balance settings or use a color-correction filter to achieve optimal results.

In summary, mastering lighting techniques is an essential aspect of underwater photography with a non-waterproof phone. By understanding how to utilize natural light and artificial lighting methods, you can create stunning and unique images that showcase the beauty of the underwater world.

Composition and Framing

Creating visually captivating underwater images requires an understanding of composition and framing techniques that are tailored specifically for this type of photography. By mastering the principles of depth, symmetry, and movement, you can elevate your non-waterproof phone photography game and capture breathtaking underwater photos.

Depth: Taking pictures underwater can be challenging due to the refractive properties of water, which can distort the perception of depth and size. To create an illusion of depth, focus on capturing subjects at different distances, and use the foreground, middle ground, and background to create a multi-layered composition. This approach allows viewers to perceive size and scale, bringing a sense of three-dimensionality to your photos.

Symmetry: Symmetry is a great way to create balance and harmony in your underwater photos. Use natural formations, like corals or rocks, as symmetrical patterns in your frame or find subjects with symmetrical body shapes, like fishes or turtles. To enhance the symmetry, experiment with reflection shots, where the surface of the water mirrors the subject, creating a perfectly symmetrical image.

Movement: Underwater photography provides ample opportunities for capturing dynamic and fluid scenes. To convey a sense of movement, practice panning shots. Follow moving subjects with your camera as they swim while keeping your focus locked on them. This technique adds a motion blur to the background, which creates a sense of movement and energy in your photographs.

By applying these composition and framing techniques, you can create underwater images that are not only beautiful but also visually engaging. With a little practice and patience, capturing stunning underwater pictures with your non-waterproof phone is achievable.

Adjusting Settings for Underwater Photography

To get the best results with your non-waterproof phone, it’s essential to adjust the settings manually when capturing underwater images.

Begin by setting the focus for the scene. If you’re capturing a particular point of interest, ensure that you set the focus to that point, enabling sharp and clear details. If the image includes different points of interest, use a wider aperture to provide a greater depth of field.

Adjust the exposure according to the lighting conditions. Since the water absorbs light, there’s often less natural light available compared to land-based photography. Therefore, you may need to adjust the exposure settings to capture bright and vibrant colors.

Finally, ensuring the right white balance is important. Water tends to have a blue hue, while artificial lighting often has a yellow or orange tinge. Thus, adjust the white balance on your non-waterproof phone to provide accurate color reproduction.

By experimenting with these manual settings, you can achieve optimal results while shooting underwater with no waterproof phone.

Capturing Action and Wildlife Underwater

Capturing the fast-paced movement of underwater action and wildlife is a thrilling challenge for non-waterproof phone photography. To maximize your chances of getting the perfect shot, pay attention to tips and tricks that help you anticipate and capture these moments.

Anticipate Movement

Anticipating movement is key to capturing action and wildlife underwater. Observe your surroundings, track your targets, and stay ready for sudden action to snap the right picture. Keep your phone steady and be prepared for the right moment.

Capture Fast-Paced Scenes

Fast-paced scenes require quick reflexes, especially when captured on a non-waterproof phone camera. Find a stable position and keep your phone steady as you follow the movement. Use burst mode to capture multiple shots, then select the best one.

Practice Patience

Patience is a virtue when it comes to wildlife photography. It may take a while to find the perfect subject or waiting for them to come closer, but the results can be worth it. Stay still and wait for the right moment to capture the perfect shot.

By utilizing these techniques, non-waterproof phone photography can capture mesmerizing, and memorable underwater images of action and wildlife.

Exploring Waterproof Camera Alternatives

If you’re serious about underwater photography but don’t have a waterproof phone, exploring waterproof camera alternatives is a must. These cameras offer several advantages compared to using non-waterproof phones, including better image quality, durability, and additional features specific to underwater photography.

Types of Waterproof Cameras

Type Pros Cons
Point-and-Shoot Cameras – Compact and easy to use
– Affordable
– Designed for underwater photography
– Higher image quality compared to non-waterproof phones
– Limited customization options
– Fixed lens and zoom range
Mirrorless/DSLR Cameras – Interchangeable lenses
– Greater control over settings
– High-quality images
– Extensive range of accessories available
– Expensive
– Bulky and heavy
– Steep learning curve

Once you’ve chosen the type of waterproof camera that suits your needs, be prepared to invest in additional gear such as underwater housings, strobes, and lenses. These accessories can help you take your underwater photography to the next level while providing maximum protection to your camera.

Keep in mind that while waterproof cameras may provide better image quality and durability, they come with a higher price tag than non-waterproof phone alternatives. Before making a purchase, consider your budget and desired level of photography experience.

Ultimately, whether you choose to use your non-waterproof phone camera or a waterproof alternative, what’s most important is being able to capture and enjoy the stunning beauty of underwater scenes.

Editing and Enhancing Underwater Photos

Even the most breathtaking underwater photo can benefit from some editing and enhancement. With a few simple techniques, you can transform your non-waterproof phone photography into stunning works of art.

Using Editing Apps

There are several apps available specifically for editing underwater photos on non-waterproof phones such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO. These apps can help enhance the colors and details of your underwater images and adjust the exposure and tone to create a more visually compelling photo.

Basic edits like altering brightness, contrast, and saturation can help take your underwater photos to the next level. Take advantage of these powerful tools and experiment with different filters and effects to give your underwater images a unique and artistic twist.

Fixing Color Distortion

One of the most common issues with underwater photography is color distortion caused by the way light behaves underwater. But don’t worry! You can fix this problem with the touch of a button.

Most photo editing apps feature a tool called “white balance” that adjusts the colors of your image to make them appear more natural. Experiment with the white balance tool until your underwater photos have the perfect color balance.

Emphasizing Contrast

Another way to make underwater photos pop is to increase the contrast. This can be done easily by enhancing the shadows and highlights in your editing app. By strengthening the contrast between the different elements in your photo, you can make the image look more dynamic and compelling.

Adding Depth with Vignettes

Vignettes are a great way to add a sense of depth to your underwater photos. When you add a vignette, you highlight the center of the image and create a subtle blur around the edges, which helps draw the viewer’s eye to the main focal point of your photo. Try experimenting with different types of vignettes until you find the perfect one for your image.

By using editing apps and techniques like these, you can turn your non-waterproof phone photos into stunning works of art. Just remember to have fun and experiment with different methods until you find the perfect look for your underwater shots.


Non-waterproof phone photography is an excellent option for capturing stunning underwater images. By following the tips and techniques explored in this article, you can achieve great results without investing in expensive waterproof equipment.

From understanding the basics of underwater photography to preparing your non-waterproof phone and exploring DIY solutions, the possibilities for capturing underwater moments are endless. By using lens filters, mastering lighting techniques, and adjusting the camera settings, you can create visually captivating images that tell a story.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t get discouraged if your initial attempts are not what you expected. Keep experimenting and learning. The more you practice, the more you’ll improve your craft.

And there you have it! You’re now equipped with the knowledge and tools to take underwater pictures without a waterproof phone. So, the next time you’re near a body of water, grab your non-waterproof phone and dive in to capture those unforgettable moments.


How can I take pictures underwater without a waterproof phone?

While it may seem challenging, you can still capture underwater images using your non-waterproof phone. With the right techniques and equipment, such as waterproof casings or DIY solutions, you can protect your phone and capture stunning underwater moments.

What are some tips for underwater photography with a non-waterproof phone?

To excel in underwater photography with a non-waterproof phone, consider mastering composition and framing, adjusting settings for optimal results, and utilizing lighting techniques. Additionally, investing in lens filters and add-ons can enhance the capabilities of your phone camera.

How can I protect my non-waterproof phone while shooting underwater?

Before venturing into the water, it’s important to prepare your non-waterproof phone for underwater photography. Some tips include using waterproof casings, creating a DIY waterproof solution, or exploring other protective measures to ensure your phone remains safe from water damage.

Are there alternatives to using a waterproof phone for underwater photography?

Yes, there are alternatives to using a waterproof phone for underwater photography. Waterproof cameras and other specialized equipment specifically designed for underwater use can offer superior image quality and protection against water damage. Exploring these options may be worthwhile if you frequently engage in underwater photography.

How can I enhance my underwater photos captured on a non-waterproof phone?

You can unlock the full potential of your underwater photos by editing and enhancing them on your non-waterproof phone. Utilize editing apps and techniques tailored for underwater photography to adjust colors, contrast, and clarity, ultimately achieving stunning results.

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