NAD-Lembeh Resort Blue-Ringed Octopus

How To Achieve Black Backgrounds

One of the most common questions I get asked when it comes to underwater macro photography is how to achieve black backgrounds. The popping colors of the subject on black creates great contrasts in an image.

Generally speaking, a black or dark background is achieved by a small aperture. You would want to let as little light as possible through your camera lens. However, it’s not just that easy since a big F-stop/ small aperture automatically means greater depth of field!

Creative Bokeh

Soap Bubble Bokeh

Every underwater photographer has his „thing“ and a certain way they get comfortable with shooting subjects. For most photographers and when it comes to macro, it’s the black background. For me, it’s Bokeh and shooting with an open aperture. I never get bored of this technique and the creamy background but in order to add a bit more color to my pictures, I thought I’d try another more creative approach.