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Water photography is about capturing the thrill and fun of being in the water.

Tim Fraser/The Globe and Mail

Last week, in the series How I Shot My Summer Vacation, professional photographer Tim Fraser taught us how to take landmark pictures. This week, it's all about water photos.

There are two things to consider with water shots that drastically change how you approach taking pictures: Are you in the water or are you out?

"In the water" means you'll need a waterproof camera to get your pictures. And just because your camera is labelled waterproof, that doesn't mean it will take clear pictures underwater – a lesson I learned the hard way.

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Before you buy a waterproof camera and dive in, make sure your camera is dive-ready, meaning it will take clear, sharp, underwater pictures. And if so, taking photos in the water will make you feel a lot like Jacques Cousteau. A whole new world of possibilities will open up to be explored with your camera. The splashes, the swimmers and the watery fun seem that much closer and more personal. One thing to remember, though: No matter how great your camera is, you won't get crisp and clear pictures underwater if the water is murky. Cloudy water requires you get a lot closer to your subject, whereas clear water gives you a lot of room to work with. And, when shooting underwater, the more sun you have to work with, the better.

Being "out of the water" usually requires the photographer to stand a bit further back and zoom in. This keeps your camera dry, and throws background elements a bit more out-of-focus than shooting wide, so when the water gets kicked up around your subject, it tends to stand out a bit better. Furthermore, a dark background (like a treeline) tends to make those little sun-flecked droplets pop, so if you have the ability to line up your shot, why wouldn't you?

In the end – whether you're in or out water photography is about capturing the thrill and fun of being in the water. And if you're anything like me, you may just get wet and have a bit of fun.

To share your vacation water photos, and to see last week's gallery, go to Our favourite water shot will be published next Friday (preference will be given to photos taken during the week of the call-out) on the Pictures and Prophecies page in Globe Life. Next week, for the final instalment, the focus is wildlife.

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