A lot of divers in Lembeh Strait take their photography serious. Which also means that they want to try different things. So a lot of them ask me: “We would like to try some wide angle in Lembeh … where you have a nice coral reef?”. Then the obvious answer would be to tell them that they should go wide on Angel’s Window, Pulau Putus or some others of the northers sites that offer nice Wide Angle opportunities. And there is nothing wrong with that. But i still try to encourage people to also try a day of wide angle within the normal, more mucky Lembeh Diving. Because in the end, the intension is to try something different not to reproduce the same wide angle photos you can take in other dive destinations. In this blog post i will show some example photos and ideas for traditional “coral style” wide angle and some more Lembeh specific Wide angle photos.
I tend to switch to a fish eye lens my self every now and then and use a Tokina 10-17mm fish eye on a APS-C sensor with a Zen Mini Dome. This smaller dome (only 4 inches in diameter) gives you the opportunity to get near subject on the sandy bottom and to also make it easier to light them … because you are gonna be very close to your subjects. These subjects tend to be bigger critters like Frogfish, Octopus or Scorpionfish – but also parts of the typical Lembeh bottom structure.
Some examples for more “generic” wide angle taken in Lembeh:
If you want to also try some wide angle shots on the rather mucky substrates, it is basicly like when shooting a classic Close Focus Wide Angle (for example like a seafan). Just much closer to the bottom. So your strobes will have to stand a bit higher to avoid harsh lighting on the sand or rubble. But still far behind the housing to not get backscatter in the corners. I also usually not try to shoot as much upwards as i would do for a classic wide angle shot – for the shots on the sand or substrate i shoot straight or even slightly downwards … you’ll still be able to get some blue in the top part of the photo. For me personally this reflects the scenery of a muckdive perfectly … even if you don’t have always the “mandatory” amount of blue or green water in the frame.
Some Examples for typical Lembeh style Wide Angle: