Underwater Photography Course Online – for Divers or Snorkelers

PADI’s Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty Online
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Anyone – divers or snorkelers – can enroll in PADI’s newest eLearning course: Digital Underwater Photo Course online (aka DUP online). Certification has two levels:

  • Level One certification is followed by a single training session in a pool, confined water or open water. It covers the basics of digital underwater photography, as well as gear assembly and care.
  • Level Two certification requires the level one training described above plus a second training session in open water. Additional material covered in level two includes: composing a photo, file formats, how to achieve good color in your images, and other topics.

As with PADI’s other eLearning courses, students affiliate with a PADI Dive Center or Resort during registration. Alternately, students can receive an eLearning gift code issued by their instructor. After finishing the knowledge development online, the student completes the digital photography workflow workshop and in-water training for certification.

Just the online material takes four to five hours to complete.

What’s Different in the Online Course Versus the Book?

The main difference is: we added a section on underwater videography.

The crux of the course is basically the same. It continues to be an introduction to shooting underwater images using a common point-and-shoot style camera. I  tell students,

You’ve basically got two choices: learn all of this the hard way and end up with ugly photos of fish butts and backscatter – or take this class which is a shortcut to shooting underwater images you’ll want to show off to friends and family.”

The lamp (pictured right) is made up of aaaaall the underwater photos I took on my first dive trip with a camera. There is so much backscatter in all of them, the only thing they were good for was making a lamp.

The online course content has been updated and modernized (remember: we first developed DUP in 2005). It includes a bit of information about shooting underwater video and includes a “how to shoot underwater video tutorial.” As revision schedules allow, the DUP Manual will be revised to incorporate the online content changes.

Stores Are Automatically Set Up to Offer This New Course
– how to opt out

Stores who do not have a DUP instructor can remove DUP from their online course offerings. Here’s how:

  • Log on to padi.com/my-padi as a store
  • Click on Toolbox, Resort and Retailer
  • Click on eLearning Courses offered
  • Un-check Digital Underwater Photo
  • Save Changes


What Physical Materials are Required?

Students are required to own the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer White Balance Slate (product no. 69231) to complete Level Two DUP training.

Please review the 2nd Quarter 2010 training bulletin for additional information on teaching the Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty. The 2Q training bulletin will be posted to the Pros Site shortly and will also appear in the back of the 2nd quarter Undersea Journal.

Here is a link to a popular article we published in 2008 – Tips for Teaching the Digital Underwater Photography Specialty from PADI Instructor and Brooks Institute graduate Ken Pfau.

Want to take a peek at the new course?
PADI stores and Instructors who’ve previously purchased an Access Pass can preview DUP online (or any of our other eLearning courses). Here’s how:

  1. Visit elearning.padi.com
  2. Click on User Maintanence
  3. Next – click on Preview Course Sections
  4. Choose DUP online from the drop down menu

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