Underwater Photography - Underwater Videography - Photo and Video Instruction
From taking images with basic Point&Shoot to making videos with DSLR cameras and camcorders - We have you covered!
Many know these adorable little sap-sucking slugs (technically not nudibranchs) as ‘Shaun the Sheep’, due to their resemblance to sheep grazing on grass. They are tiny (from just a millimeter up to about 12 millimeters maximum length) and can be found feeding on the host algae Avrainvillea spp which looks like a large, single, round green leaf which sticks up vertically out of the sand on Lembeh’s muck sites. They are members of the Sacoglossa family which is the only group of animals known to engage in kleptoplasty, a process where the sea slug stores chloroplasts from the algae it feeds on in its body and benefits from the food they produce via photosynthesis. In this detailed, close-up footage you can actually see the chloroplasts in the animals’ cerata (the pointy bits on the back), impossible to observe with the naked eye due to the creatures’ tiny size. Enjoy this detailed video showcasing a cute and also fascinating Lembeh critter and be sure to have a look to try and find some yourself next time you dive in Lembeh!
After testing the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS extensively (I did over 200 dives with this lens already), I have to say - it's a pretty good setup for Lembeh! It gives me the flexibility of shooting a wide range of subjects and I'm not stuck with a macro or a wide-angle setup. I can shoot critters that are very small - I cannot fill the frame with a hairy shrimp, but when using an extra macro wet-lens (like the SubSee +5 or Nauticam SMC), I can fill the frame with subjects the size of around 1-2cm (around 1/2 inch) in Super35 mode. When shooting in full frame mode @24mm I get vignetting from the flat port, but I can shoot at the 32mm range of the lens without vignetting and shoot subjects the size of around 30 cm (1 foot) right in front of the port (I'm using a Subal Type4 flat port on a Nauticam NA-A7II housing with a Nauticam to Subal adapter).
I used the Nauticam SMC only for subjects smaller than 3cm (1 inch), for subjects between 3-8cm (1-3 inches) I used the SubSee +5 and everything larger than 8cm (3 inches) I was able to shoot without having to add an extra wet-lens.
Here are some example shots:
The 24-70 is very sharp - even at smaller apertures.
Here are some Lightroom screenshots:
Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) @42mm, f14, 1/60sec, ISO250
Same image like above at 100%
Here's a shot @31mm - on the top left the port is still visible, that's why in full frame mode the lens has to be at @32mm (at least with my setup)
Here's a short video shot with the A7R2 and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4, for best viewing experience watch in 4K:
When shooting video I also use the Clear Image Zoom function of the A7R II - then I can shoot very small stuff like the Costasiella kuroshimae, also known as the "Shaun the sheep nudi" with the 24-70mm lens (with an additional Nauticam SMC) and I can fill the frame @70mm in Super35 mode with subjects smaller than 1cm in size - pretty amazing! :-)
Don't get me wrong, I still use other lenses and the 90mm macro is a "must have" lens in Lembeh, but the 24-70 is also a very nice lens for shooting macro and even super macro in the Lembeh Strait (when combined with a flat port).
This test was done while diving with Critters@Lembeh Resort.
This episode features some of the highlights of July, including a lot of baby frogfishes, oodles of nudibranchs (including the Melibe colemani) and some awesome cephalopods like the wunderpus and flamboyant cuttlefish. The king of photogenic fishes, the weedy scorpionfish (aka ‘Rhinopias frondosa’), also makes an appearance in some moody and dramatic lighting. Enjoy the dive!
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For many nudibranch lovers the “Melibe colemani” tops their list of must-see creatures. This critter is so perfectly camouflaged that it is very hard to spot – it lives in the waving polyps of a Xenia family coral (Anthelia) where it hunts tiny organisms by extending its large oral hood. If you watch carefully, you can see at 50 seconds into the film how a small brown acoel flatworm (Waminoa sp.) living on the base of the coral flees the attacking Melibe! Best watched in 4K!
If you don’t have hands to hold on to your food, it can be tricky to eat. Especially when your meal has venomous spines on the pectoral fins, like the catfish. These spines with barbs got stuck in the mouth of the moray making it impossible for it to swallow the whole fish. In an attempt to eat it, the moray got some “battle scars” from this deceptive snack. Best watched in 4K.
June was a great critter-filled month and on many days the visibility was excellent (for Lembeh!) Be sure to watch for the blue-ringed octopus feasting on a crab larger than the cephalopod itself. Best watched in 4K!
The Lembeh Strait is famous for all the weird critters, but there are as well colourful, thriving corals at many of the dive sites. This video shows the fantastically diverse coral at our nearby dive sites, where you can ‘have it all’ and see not only famous critters but also beautiful reefs. I couldn’t resist and had to include a few scenes of critters, shot with a fish-eye though :-). Best watched in 4K!
Make sure your sound is turned up for this epic underwater battle between the tiny skeleton shrimps and the ‘massive’ sea hare. Will Luke Skeleton Shrimp save his young from the sudden attack? Watch ‘The Skeleton Shrimp Strikes Back’ to find out!
March was another wildly critter-filled month here in Lembeh! Among many other things we saw a seahorse wearing a funny hat, an one-eyed shrimp, a reef octopus getting his eyes cleaned and a ghost-pipefish photobombing a coconut octopus. Enjoy!
Sascha packed so much into 2 hours my photography improved instantly.
The camera pro – Sascha – is really talented and happy to help you out. My wife took a short one-on-one class with him and it made an immediate impact on her photos.
Sascha is a consummate Pro, whether it be with his photography, videography or post-production skills. His wealth of knowledge can help fine-tune enthusiasts from novice level to pro alike. His enthusiasm and passion flow through into his teaching style. I also appreciated his patience and trouble-shooting skills. My photography and knowledge level literally improved overnight after working with Sascha.
A special thanks to Sascha, the Photo Pro, who I learned a lot from and who was always available for help and advise. Anybody who wants to improve their photography skills, Sascha is the Pro to go see and spend time with!
Arriving as a complete novice underwater photographer and leaving with some relatively decent photos can only be credited to the technical knowledge of the inhouse photography expert Sascha, as well as the help of guides underwater.
A few helpful comments by the in-house photo pro Sascha considerably improved my pictures.
Extremely satisfied with the Photo Center service. Finally, we have also made progress in our uw photography with valuable tips from Sascha, who also introduced us to the world of Lightroom.
This could happen when you do a photo course with Sascha. It brought real improvement to my pictures. Thanks a lot for the fun and the lessons learned!
I was particularly grateful to the Lembeh photo-pro Sascha Janson for his patient and tailor-made tuition. I can highly recommend the DSLR course, especially for those who want to get the most from their underwater photography during the trip. Sascha was also able to provide a tailor-made lesson on post-editing which I found invaluable.
I took an underwater photo class with Sascha. Sascha provided some excellent tips and advice on camera settings, lighting, and even on organizing and editing pics in Lightroom. It was very helpful and made the trip even more interesting, giving me a fun mission to improve the quality of my pics while I was there. I don’t have an SLR, but am happy with the results from my Canon S95 and the class was worth every penny!