Since the conditions at the dive sites in the North of Lembeh are perfect at the moment, I have been focusing mainly on wide angle photography. Sites like Yiko Yansi, Dante’s Wall, California Dreaming, Angel’s Windows and Pulau Putus offer some fantastic wall, coral reef and cavern dives! Although diving in Lembeh is dominated by finding small critters and creatures, they can also be found on sites where both wide angle and macro subjects are present.
We’ve had the honor to welcome Tommy Schultz, editor for the Garuda inflight magazine “Colours” at NAD. As a result, he has put together a great article about diving in Lembeh and with one of the most experienced dive guides. Paulus started his dive career almost 30 years ago with muck diving pioneer Larry Smith and we’re proud to call him the Supervisor of our dive team.
Harlequin and Spiny Tiger Shrimp, Juvenile Warty and Painted Frogfish as well as Giant Frogfish are only a few of the highlights from this month. The conditions for diving in Lembeh are perfect right now: with the winds from the North slowing down, we are able to dive both North and South end of the Lembeh Strait.
We’ve been spotting several Blue-Ringed Octopuses in the last week and to top it off, I’ve found a couple mating yesterday. Not sure if mating is seasonal since I couldn’t find any reliable information anywhere – the last pair I’ve seen was in October last year, which makes me think that Blue-Ringed mate all year round.
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!
For the past week I’ve taken one of our guides, Johan, for some diving. He’s usually famous for being the “Goby Hunter”. Although considering how many different species of shrimps and crabs we both found together, he deserves an additional name!
Helen Brierley and Dan McGanty from the US have just recently visited us here at NAD for a week of diving in Lembeh. Their passion for the underwater world was quite obvious from the beginning: after 3 dives per day, they would furthermore head out for a Blackwater Night dive every night.
Especially in underwater macro photography, it becomes challenging sometimes to get your subject separated from your background. You can try and achieve it shooting big aperture and shallow depth of field, another technique is to “snoot” your subject.
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.