When you first start diving, the most difficult but important thing is to maintain proper buoyancy. This is even more crucial when you dive with a (big) camera! Neither do you want to damage corals or any marine life, nor your expensive toys. Also, you want to save your wrist from heavy lifting underwater and dragging “dead weight” around which affects your air consumption. Luckily, float arms were invented to support you and your camera rig. In this blog, we want to give you a quick guide on which buoyancy arms to choose for your SLR or mirrorless setup.
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!
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.
The Nikon 200mm F/4 Micro is an old design lens, no stabilisers, no focus drive motors. So it is quite slow and will get blurry if you are not super steady – I would definitely suggest this lens only to those who are looking for a new challenge underwater or if you’re shooting extremely shy animals. It’s also quite heavy, but feels solidly built with nice balance when used above water. There are many reviews on the lens around the internet – if you’re also into dragonflies and other skittish insects this lens will already be on your radar.
Day 3 with the Diopters and it’s starting to feel like groundhog day.
Today I had the 45degree viewfinder on, so at least my neck doesnt hurt as I write this. Today I took down the Noodilab Moby and the SMC2, on the Nikon D500. I’m really enjoying using the crop sensor D500 over my 1Dx, somehow the Nikon colour space just feels much nicer out of the camera on macro photos, and of course the crop is great until you meet up with a hairy frogfish or flamboyant cuttlefish and end up shooting them from over a meter away. Maybe I should bring one of our rental compacts such as the Sony RX100V or Olympus TG4 next time.
Today I headed out for 2 dives in the morning, armed with the Nauticam D500, 105mm lens, double flip holder and the SMC1 and SMC2.
I didn’t want to take too many diopters as it would have meant juggling them around underwater, and frankly they are too expensive to risk scratching.
These days it is pretty hard to choose from all the diopters available – you probably have at least one old school one in your kit bag. The Inon UCL 165 and 330 were the first mass produced diopters specifically for underwater use, before those we had to use slide on single element diopters (woodys diopter), or put a higher quality dual element diopter directly on your lens before you got in the water (Nikon 6T).
When you’re new to (manual) photography, you have a lot to juggle at the same time: starting with the positioning and settings of your camera, not to mention your one or two strobes!
Luckily, new underwater photography gadgets enter the market on a regular basis and the idea of using a ring light instead of a strobe or torch isn’t that new as such. However, the newly released Kraken Weefine Ring Light got us excited since it’s especially designed for macro photography. Let’s see what the results look like and how we rate the 1000 lumens strong, relatively inexpensive light.
For the fifth time already we’ve been hosting the Underwater Tribe from Bali with photo instructors Mike Veitch, Luca Vaime and Doug Sloss. The number of workshop participants was limited to 16 spaces to ensure everyone gets enough personal time with the instructors. All levels of underwater photographers were welcome and it was incredible to see how each and every one of them improved within only 7 days!
Lembeh is world-known for muck diving and critter hunting but wreck diving?! Although it sounds hard to believe, diving the Mawali Wreck offers unique opportunities for macro as well as wide angle enthusiasts and of course those who enjoy wreck diving in general.