How To Shoot Half Underwater GoPro Photos

GoPro Accessories, GoPro Mounts, GoPro Tips, GoPro Underwater

In this post, you'll learn how to shoot half underwater photos with your GoPro.

split-level-dome-port-photo

Love half underwater photos? Check out this set of my favorite half underwater photos shot with a GoPro.

Want to get half underwater GoPro photos?

Trying to do that with just the GoPro is pretty tough, right?

That's because there are many things working against you: the water line, field of view, and underwater magnification.

To even things out, you'll need a dome port. Here are a couple of solid options:

  • telesin-gopro-dome-port-side-viewTelesin ($129): This is an acrylic dome with waterproof hardening material. Comes with the waterproof shell and floating handle. Dive to a depth of about 65 feet.
  • Knekt-gopro-dome-port-side-viewKnekt ($299): This is the professional version and comes very well reviewed. It also used an acrylic dome and is also made with military grade aluminum and stainless steel. Dive to a depth of around 150 feet.

Summary of GoPro Dome Ports

 

In this post, I'll talk a little bit about why a dome port makes getting half underwater GoPro photos easier. You'll also see a review video for the Knekt dome.

Learn how to eliminate GoPro lens fog

How To Get Half Underwater GoPro Photos

To get a good half underwater photo (also called split-level, half and half, over under, and 50/50) you'll want to push the water away from the lens. When the water level is close to the lens, the field of view is reduced.

With one eye closed, try holding a pen horizontally (like it's the water level) in front of your open eye. You can't see much above or below the pen because it's so close. Now hold it a little farther away. With the pen a few inches away, your field of view is increased. This is similar to what happens when you use your GoPro with a dome port.

over-under-50-50-split-level-dome-port

The dome port pushes the water line farther away from your lens giving you a larger field of view, above and below the water line.

telesin-gopro-dome-port-side-view

 

A Dome Port Solves Magnification Problems

You'll also notice that when you try to get half underwater shots without a dome port, the water magnifies things. This distorts the look of photos, making the above water objects look normal while the underwater objects look larger.

This can be a cool effect, but not when you want things looking even and balanced.

half-underwater-gopro-photos

The dome port normalizes the field of view. This means that things will match up above and below the water line.

Read more about how to use GoPro underwater.

Half Underwater GoPro Photos: Easier

A dome port will also make taking photos easier because you'll be working with a larger lens area.

Trying to get half underwater GoPro photos without a dome port is tricky because the lens area is small. You've got to lean over the camera to make sure where the water is. With the dome port, it's much easier. The Telesin and Knekt models have a water line guide on the back.

telesin-gopro-dome-port-back-view

Knekt Dome Port Review: Shoot Half Underwater Photos

Watch this review of the Knekt dome port, for GoPro.

Watch on YouTube

Summary of GoPro Dome Ports

Here's a close up of the Knekt dome port:

Knekt-gopro-dome-port-side-view

Ready for more? Check out my new post where I share 6 tips for shooting half underwater photos with a dome port. (I also include my 31 favorite half underwater photos – I think you'll love it.)

Your Turn

Have you tried getting half underwater shots with a dome port? Please let us know about your experience by commenting on this post.

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Hi, I'm the Author!

Dena Haines is co-editor of ClickLikeThis: GoPro tutorial blog. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of GringosAbroad (Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with ClickLikeThis.

5 comments… add one
  • Bin doing this Jun 20, 2016, 4:02 pm

    Sick tutorial on this! Perfectly done ?
    Proud to be Canadian ??????

  • Tim Oct 24, 2016, 2:30 am

    Hi thanks for this…I have some good dome shots from a recent trip to hawaii. My one big question is how can I apply a filter to the underwater section of the photo to get that nice blue water but not over expose the above water portion? Is there free Windows software that could help.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 24, 2016, 5:16 pm

      Great question. I’m a long-time photoshop user but there are some great free options. One popular option is GIMP – it’s free, open source and well rated.

  • ZALA ČUDEN Mar 11, 2017, 10:48 am

    You have also Split Dome Port. I bought it and it’s great!

  • Pratham Mar 28, 2017, 12:38 pm

    Hey,
    Goods tips !!
    Helpful.
    What else is the dome used for as in other than half above and half below pics??

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