Yesterday afternoon, we went diving and the strong South wind we are experiencing at the moment had caused the mooring on the divesite we were on to slip, and sadly there was another boat there using an anchor. We just used a bunch of fuel waiting in deeper water for the divers to come up. Neither option is good for the environment.
Today I did 3 dives, 2 with the Sigma 17-70mm (which i’ll write something on in the future) and then the last one with the Zeiss Milvus 50mm Macro lens, which is manual focus. The 50mm lens is the lens that I used for the Shrimpgoby in the video below, shooting at a higher than usual frame rate of 300 frames per second. So this is being played back at less than 1/10th of real time speed to show the detail in the finning method of the goby.
In the last week we’ve had all kinds of octopus, from blue ringed to mimic and the usual other cephalopods. Many kinds of frogfish, and of course all the other usual tiny critters that you associate with Lembeh. My favourite moment was sitting with a pair of gobies whilst they had a territorial dispute, which in turn allowed me to get very close without disturbing them.
Have you ever wondered how the partner shrimp in the Lembeh Strait get their food? I always assumed that 100% of it came from digging through the sand and finding morcels of food between the rocks and grains of sand. Today changed my opinion – the shrimp goby clearly plucks a piece of poop from the water column and passes it down into the burrow for the partner shrimp – I peered over the top of the camera and the partner shrimp did pick it up and withdraw into the burrow with it.
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!
It’s just before the sun disappears and most of us divers feel like having a beer, when the actual magic on the reef happens. Mating Mandarin Fish are something all divers should experience at least once during their stay in Lembeh. It’s when one of the most beautiful and stunning fish appears briefly to mate around sunset time in order to avoid any bright light.