NAD-Lembeh Resort Spiny Tiger Shrimp

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.

Nauticam SMC, Subsee

Which Diopter?

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).

Weefine Ring Light Olympus TG 4 Blackwater Night Dive Wonderpus

The Weefine Ring Light

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.