NAD-Lembeh Resort Float Buoyancy Arms

Float Arms – Which Ones To Buy?

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.

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.

Nikon 200mm F/4 Micro testing

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.

Shaun the Sheep Nudibranch, Costasiella sp

Which Diopter – Part 3

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.

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).