We are all very much aware of the need to take great care not to damage coral reefs, whilst diving. Every scuba diver should consider the protection of corals a priority and make sure they capture the beauty of marine life leaving the reef as they found it. To this end, buoyancy control is a key factor.
If you want to take photos of a subject that is not moving around too much then find a patch of sand or natural break in the reef to set down on. If this is not possible then move on and find a new subject. I cannot stress enough, please don’t take up underwater photography until you are a very competent diver and have full control of your buoyancy at all times. Practice holding something with both hands for the duration of a dive before you actually take your camera down.
After some practice you should be able to float still enough whilst composing and taking your wide-angle photo. If need be once you have your composition you can hold the camera with one hand and hold a rock or non-coral part of the reef with the other. I do this quite successfully but I always ensure I only use limited contact and touch something that is not alive.
If you are taking a close-up or macro shot because you need to be absolutely still it is best to set down somewhere safe first. Any shallow dives on a sandy bottom are great for macro photography and also wrecks where you can hold or lean your camera hand on part of the wreck structure for stability. This way you damage nothing. Enjoy your photography but come up happy knowing you didn’t damage any marine life. 🙂