Travel photography tips: Capturing turquoise water

We've teamed up with professional photographer Steve Davey, who will be presenting his tips for improving your travel photography. This week, find out how to photograph tropical turquoise water.

By Steve Davey
Published 19 Jan 2015, 10:03 GMT, Updated 1 Jul 2021, 15:43 BST

If you're trying to photograph tropical turquoise water, then there are a couple of top tips to avoid it looking dull and lacklustre.

Firstly, unlike most photography, try to shoot closer to midday when the sun is overhead. Then, use a polarising filter. This can cut down reflections and also make blue skies more intense in some circumstances. Look through the camera as you turn the filter until the reflections on the water are reduced.

Lastly, warm up the white balance on the picture. If you're shooting JPEGs, set the white balance to the overcast setting. If you're shooting RAW format, then warm up the picture more precisely at the processing stage. The result will be sumptuous water you'll want to dive into!

Travel Photography Masterclass

Here at National Geographic Traveller, we're always being asked by photographers — both amateur and professional alike — what it will take for their travel shots to appear in the magazine.

To answer that question and many more, we've teamed up with professional photographer Steve Davey, who will be presenting his travel photography masterclasses, sponsored by National Geographic Traveller, at the Destinations: Holiday & Travel show.

These two-hour masterclasses will help sharpen your skills, iron out bad habits and give you a better understanding of your camera's functions to enhance your travel images. Book your masterclass, from only £30. Early booking is advised as places are limited. Click here to book your workshop



Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2023 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved