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Underwater Macro – The SONY A7RII with the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS lens

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:

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Soft coral with a pygmy cuttlefish shot with the SONY A7RII and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @32mm in FullFrame mode - F9, 1/60sec


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Soft coral with a pygmy cuttlefish shot with the SONY A7RII and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @69mm in Super 35 mode - F9, 1/160sec


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Soft coral with a pygmy cuttlefish shot with the SONY A7RII and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @68mm in Super 35 mode and 1x SubSee +5 diopter - F9, 1/160sec


The 24-70 is very sharp - even at smaller apertures.

Here are some Lightroom screenshots:

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Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) @42mm, f14, 1/60sec, ISO250


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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)

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Coconut Octopus shot with the SONY A7RII and the SONY FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @31mm in full frame mode, f14, 1/60sec, ISO 320


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.

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20offcc

20% OFF the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan

Are you still using Aperture or iPhoto? Sign up here and get Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop in the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan for only $8USD/month for the first 12 month ($10/month after that).

Offer only valid until June 2, 2017  

 

This offer is also for people who don’t use Aperture or iPhoto. Even for users of the standalone versions of Lightroom and Photoshop it might be good time to switch and get all the extra features of the creative cloud versions. As of January 9th, 2017 the Creative Suite 6 (or CS6) is no longer available for purchase.

Here’s a short video of a strong Lightroom edit to show you what Lightroom is capable of…(not to suggest that you have to do edit your images like this, this is only an example!)

 

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SUBSEE-SMC-A7RII

SONY A7RII with SONY FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS & Reefnet SubSee +5 or Nauticam SMC

SONY A7RII with a 90mm macro lens – Image size comparison with the SubSee +5 and the Nauticam SMC

I was checking out different options of so called “wet-lenses” on the SONY A7RII in a Nauticam NA-A7II housing. I used the SONY FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS lens without a wet-lens, with SubSee +5 and with the Nauticam SMC and compared the subject sizes at maximum magnification.

When using no “wet-lens” in Super 35mode, the image size is very similar to when using a SubSee+5 in Full Frame mode & when using a SubSee+5 in Super 35 mode the image size is very similar to when using a SMC in Full Frame mode.
The difference is that you have 42MP in Full Frame mode vs 18MP in Super 35 mode. Of course when shooting stills we want to have the full 42 MP (why else would we pay for them), but the Super 35 mode becomes really handy when shooting video. In both modes the A7RII is recording 4K in camera. It’s like having an extra teleconverter with you while diving. When I’m shooting video I try to use the Super 35 mode whenever possible, but when the subjects are a bit larger, it’s very nice to be able to shoot in full frame mode and get a tick closer.

Here are some images with my results:

SUBSEE-SMC-A7RII

All images taken at F18, 1/125sec, ISO ranged from 1250 – 2000 (I had the camera on AUTO ISO)

Final conclusion: For shooting video with the A7R2 there’s no need for the SubSee +5, but it can be useful when shooting stills. I will do some more testing and keep you posted.

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Tips For Underwater Photographers – Fluorescent Photography

UV or fluorescence dives are becoming more and more popular and many dive resorts offer them as part of the experience.

Doing fluorescence dives can be very different than normal dives, and the fluorescence is best appreciated on night-dives.

How to shoot fluorescence underwater?

There are different ways to do fluorescent photography; one way is to use a UV or fluorescent focus/video light to look for subjects, fluorescence filters on our strobes, a yellow filter on our camera and a yellow filter on our mask and the other way is to just use UV lights and a yellow filter on the camera (and mask) and no additional strobes. Because of all these filters the light is not that strong in the first place and we need to use different settings on our cameras. High ISO numbers, large apertures (low f-numbers) and slow shutter speeds are typically needed to be able to see something in our images.

Shooting with strobes

Strobes with fluorescence filters strapped on are stronger than UV lights, allowing us to choose lower ISO numbers, faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures, but we still cannot shoot with our typical macro settings…I usually start off with something like ISO 800-1600 , f8, 1/60sec, take a test-shot and then adjust accordingly…sometimes we need to boost the ISO up more to get the desired depth of field, but that can introduce noise (newer cameras can handle very high ISO numbers without having too much noise)

 

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Hermit crab – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO800, f7.1, 1/60sec, 1x i-Torch Pro6 as focus light, 1x INON Z240 with fluorescence filter strapped over the strobe

 


Shooting with video lights:

Many video and focus lights nowadays have the UV function built in. If you don’t want to invest in the fluorescence filters for the strobes it is possible to use only the UV lights to get some good shots as long as the subjects are small. A good starting setting there is around ISO800-1600, f5, 1/30sec and then adjust according to the subject…for moving subjects use a faster shutter speed.

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Mushroom coral – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO800, f4.5, 1/30sec, 1x i-Torch Pro6+, 1xi-Torch Pro 7 with fluorescence filter strapped over the light

 

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Galaxea coral – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO800, 1/30sec, f4, 1xi-Torch Pro6

 


It is easiest to photograph corals and anemones as they don’t move much, but a lot of the critters here in Lembeh are fluorescent as well…

 

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Stargazer (Uranoscopus sp) – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10-17, Kenko 1.4 TC, @17mm, ISO640, f7,1, 1/60sec, 2xi-Torch Venom 50

 

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Wrasse – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, ISO640, f5.6, 1/125sec, 2x i-Torch Venom 50

 

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Needle cuttlefish (Sepia aculeata) – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10–17mm, Kenko 1.4x TC, ISO 16000, f/6.3, 1/30s, 2x i-Torch Venom 38

 

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Lizardfish –  Canon 7D, 60mm, ISO640, 1/30sec, f5, 1x i-Torch Pro6

 

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This is a little scorpionfish with some algae growth on him…the scorpionfish itself is not fluorescent, it’s the algae! – Canon 7D, 60mm, ISO640, 1/30sec, f3.5, 1x i-Torch Pro6+, 1xi-Torch Pro 7 with fluorescence filter strapped over the light

 


With multiple UV lights and a wider lens (i.e. fisheye lens) it is possible to illuminate larger subjects:

 

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Favia coral – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10-17, Kenko 1.4 TC, @17mm, ISO640, f7,1, 1/60sec, 2xi-Torch Venom 50, 2xi-Torch Venom 38, 1x i-Torch Pro6+

 

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Reef-scene in UV view – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10–17mm, Kenko 1.4x TC, @14mm, ISO 5000, f/5, 1/60s, 2xi-Torch Venom 50, 2xi-Torch Venom 38, 1x i-Torch Pro6+

 

©SaschaJanson_20151113_00055-2
Hard coral  (Montipora tuberculosa)  – SONY A7 RII, SONY FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS @16mm, ISO2000, f4, 1/60sec, 1xi-Torch Venom 50, 2x i-Torch Venom 38, 1x i-Torch Pro6+

 

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Close-up of above image

 

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Hard coral  (Montipora tuberculosa)   – helicopter-shot – SONY A7 RII, SONY FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS @16mm, ISO20.000, f4, 1/60sec, 1xi-Torch Venom 50, 2x i-Torch Venom 38, 1x i-Torch Pro6+

 


Scientists still don’t fully understand what purpose(s) fluorescence serves in marine life but theories propose that it may be for communication, as protection and to fool predators. Whatever the reason, it’s fascinating to discover and photograph a whole new side to fish, creatures, corals and anemones whose appearance changes radically under fluorescent light. See if you can discover fluorescence in an organism you never knew had it in them! Remember as always to be respectful of marine life and be cautious if you are using fluorescent lights on an animal, as some may have eyes which are particularly sensitive to that spectrum of light. Also keep in mind that if you are diving with UV lights, non-fluorescent coral is harder to see, so go slow and take care not to damage unseen organisms or habitat.

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How to Photograph ‘Frogfish’

This Week’s Tip:  How to Photograph ‘Frogfish’

Frogfish or Anglerfish are a favorite subject of many photographers, because like nudibranchs they usually don’t move much, although hairy frogfishes tend to be more active than other species. They’re also not shy, so they can be shot from very close distance.

The best lenses to use are macro lenses such as 60mm, 100mm, or 105mm for DSLR’s, (nowadays with different cameras like mirrorless & micro 4/3 etc. the lenses vary a lot, I use a 90mm at the moment on a SONY A7R2). For shooting super-macro images of tiny juveniles, eyes or the lures, use close-up diopters or teleconverters.

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Hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) eye – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm, Nauticam SMC, f5.6, 1/160sec, ISO 160, 1x SOLA 4000, 1x SOLA 2100

 


 

For shooting CFWA (close-focus-wide-angle) of giant frogfish, fisheye lenses are the preferred choice, for smaller subjects we can combine the fisheye lens with a teleconverter. Try to get as low as possible and shoot slightly upwards to isolate the fish clearly against the blue water background.

 

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Giant frogfish (Antennarius commerson) sitting on a sponge at the mini-wall @ Nudifalls – shot upwards into the water column to get a blue background – Canon 7D, Tokina 10-17 @ 10mm, f3.5, 1/80sec, ISO200, 2xL&M SunRay 2000 LED lights

 

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The same giant frogfish (Antennarius commerson) on the same sponge, this time shot downwards in the water column to get a black background – Canon 7D, Tokina 10-17 @ 10mm, f3.5, 1/250sec, ISO200, 2xL&M SunRay 2000 LED lights

 

To show how well they camouflage, it sometimes can be nice to back off a bit and not fill the frame with the frogfish.

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Giant frogfish  (Antennarius commerson) on a sponge – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10-17, Kenko 1.4 TC @14mm, f8, 1/125sec, ISO640, 2xSOLA 4000

 

Black Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) Lembeh Strait

Getting really close is key when shooting CFWA, using a mini dome is recommended. Black hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) very close to the port – Canon 7D Mark II, Tokina 10-17, Kenko 1.4 TC @14mm, f10, 1/50sec, ISO320, 2x i-Torch Venom 50, 2x i-Torch Venom C92

 


 

When frogfish are ‘luring’, try to shoot them from the side, to get the lure and the frogfish in focus

Painted Frgogfish (antennarius pictus) with Glossodoris averni i

Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus) fishing with its lure – Canon 7D, 60mmm macro, f5.6, 1/320sec, ISO160, 1xSOLA 1200 on spot

 


 

Frogfish also look cool when shooting portraits, it can be nice to fill the frame with the face only (especially when you run into a larger frogfish with a 100/105 (or 90mm 😉 ).

Use a large aperture (low f-number) to get out of focus backgrounds and foregrounds.

Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) Lembeh Strait

Hairy Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) close-up portrait shot with a large aperture – Canon 7D, 100mm macro, f3.5, 1/800sec, ISO160, 2x L&M SunRay2000 LED lights. This frogfish was just too big for my lens (100mm), so I decided to go for a portrait.

 


 

Why can using only one light-source be helpful?

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Warty frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) sitting in sponges, 2 lights lighting up the subject, but also the distracting background – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, f13, 1/60sec, ISO160, 1xSOLA4000, 1xSOLA2100

 

Using only one light-source will create dramatic shadows and can give us a darker background if we don’t light up all that sand.

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The exact same subject (and exact same camera position), but this time I used only one LED light on spot – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, f5.6, 1/1000sec, ISO160, 1xSOLA2100 (on spot) – to get a similar result with a strobe, use a snoot.

 

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Warty frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) shot with one LED light on spot – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, f16, 1/60sec, ISO100, 1x Sea Dragon 2100 on spot

 

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When using a snoot or spot on a LED light, black backgrounds and dramatic shadows are possible – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, f11, 1/125sec, ISO160, 1x SOLA1200 on spot

 

Always remember that with moving your strobe/light around you’ll get different results as I mentioned here:

move_strobe

 


 

For hairy frogfish, backlighting with a LED light or a strobe will make the hairs stand out more.  Use one strobe from behind and one from the front to light up the face as well.

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Hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) backlit to make the hair stand out more – Canon 7D Mark II, 60mm macro, f11, 1/200sec, ISO160, 2x SOLA 4000 (1xfront, 1xback), 1x SOLA2100(front), 1x F.I.T.2400WSR (back)

 


 

To get behavior shots like yawning, you have to be patient (and of course lucky), frogfish often open their mouths a little bit only just seconds before the real yawn, so try to be ready for the shot and have your settings right. Take a couple test shots and when you have your exposure right, then wait. Of course don’t wait too long if there are other divers waiting for their turn to see/photograph the frogfish.

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Hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) yawning – Canon 7D, 60mm macro

 

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CFWA Hairy frogfish (Antennarius striatus) yawning – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, CFWA wet-lens (that’s why there are blurry edges), f5.6, 1/200sec, ISO160, 2x SOLA 4000

 

Even if frogfish usually don’t move much and seem to be relaxed, never harass them (the same goes for every creature underwater). We often see frogfishes in the same spots for many months, but if they’re harassed, they move away and future divers cannot get a glimpse of the weird and wonderful world of frogfishes.

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Fangblenny_-18

How to Photograph ‘Fangblennies’

Fangblennies make interesting subjects as they often can be found in bottles where we can separate them easily from the distracting or unappealing background. They’re often under-appreciated as they’re relatively common in the mucky sites of the Lembeh Strait. Giving them a little bit of time to get used to the camera in front of them, they will pose for the camera very easily. Sometimes they even yawn! There are different opinions on why the yawning happens – either to display the impressively big mouth and scare away possible enemies, or to stretch the jaws, or just because they’re tired.

So here’s how to shoot them: Just get very close to fill the frame with the subject and then wait….at first they might hide in the bottle or hole they hang out in, but after a little while they will come back out. So take some test shots while they’re still in the bottle to get your exposure and background color right, after that is done you just have to wait until they’re in the right spot and then – bang!

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Being patient sometimes pays off – after waiting almost 20 minutes and firing at the exact moment of action, I got the lucky shot…Striped poison-fangblenny (Petroscirtes breviceps) – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO 160, f16, 1/200sec, 1x INON Z-240 with DIY fiber-optic snoot


The two enlarged, grooved canine teeth for which fangblennies get their name are situated in the lower jaw. The fangs can get very large and while not especially dangerous to most people, fang blenny bites can be quite painful. Fortunately, because of its small mouth, envenomation of humans by this animal is unlikely. That being said, some of the species we see here in Lembeh have fangs up to 1cm long – I’m sure you heard that before: look, but don’t touch! The two most common species we have here are the striped fangblenny (Meiacanthus grammistes) and the striped poison-fangblenny (Petroscirtes breviceps), which mimics the former – they look very similar at first sight, but upon closer inspection you can tell the difference. Meiacanthus grammistes has a small blueish-black spot near the head.

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Meiacanthus grammistes (left) and Petroscirtes breviceps (right)


The striped poison-fangblenny (Petroscirtes breviceps) can also change color at will and sometimes you can get different images within seconds:

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Petroscirtes breviceps – Canon 7D, 60mm macro, ISO 160, f11, 1/160sec, 2x L&M SunRay 2000

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Petroscirtes breviceps – 7 seconds later and the yellow coloration is almost gone – same settings as above


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Sometimes fangblennies also make a nice black and white image – The striped poison-fang blenny (Petroscirtes breviceps) yawning for the camera (this is a screen-shot from footage shot with the SONY A7RII, 90mm macro lens)


When diving coral sites in Lembeh, we also often see the “smiling” bluestriped fangblenny (Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos) which mimics cleaner wrasses. This species can also change color at will, and can be orange as in the image below or display black and blue stripes to blend in with the cleaner wrasses. I like to shoot them with narrow depth of fields (low f-numbers) and by moving the strobe around, the coral they sometimes sit in can create dramatic shadows even without snoots.

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Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos – Canon 7D, 100mm macro, ISO100, f2.8, 1/250sec, 1x INON Z-240

Almost all of these fangblennies are not skittish and fairly large (around 10cm/3inches) so pretty much all macro lenses are suitable for getting good shots.

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Sometimes less can be more…

To make subjects ‘pop out’ while muck diving, we often have to separate the subjects from the distracting background (often sand), and sometimes this can be done with using only one strobe (or video light) instead of using two. When using two strobes, we light up the whole area (unless we use advanced techniques) whereas when using one strobe only, the subject can produce a black background by creating a shadow.

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Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus) lit up with two lights, one from the left and one from the right side. The light on the right side illuminates the frogfish’s chin and left eye, as well as the sand and surroundings.

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Painted frogfish (Antennarius pictus) lit up with one light from the left only. The frogfish creates a shadow and we separate the subject with a black background from its surroundings.

It is also easier to play around with strobe positions when there is only one. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use two strobes at all, but sometimes it is nice to try something different. Even if you have two strobes connected to your rig, you can always switch one off and give it a try.

Here’s a short video to show the difference between using one light vs. using two.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/139298074

 

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Flyer-Workshop-July---english

cameras@Lembeh Resort Workshop July 2016

cameras@Lembeh Resort workshop in July 16th – 23rd, 2016

Interested in learning more about underwater photography, workflow and post processing of images?

If you are a beginner or advanced shooter underwater, if you are using a point & shoot camera or a DSLR (or mirrorless camera),this workshop will help you get better images underwater and enhance them on land (with Lightroom & Photoshop).

There will be daily talks about shooting techniques, special equipment and post processing of images.Come and join us for a fun week of superb muck diving at  Lembeh Resort / Sulawesi / Indonesia.

7 nights/17 guided boat dives with Nitrox in a Deluxe Ocean View Room $2400USD or in a Garden View Room $1980USD – pp. dbl occ.

Unlimited self guided house reef dives, full board, airport transfers incl.

Flyer-Workshop-July---english

If you want to stay longer, or come earlier, no problem.

For more information please email Sascha.

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Tips for photographing nudibranchs

Here are some tips to help you get better results photographing nudibranchs:

Try to get down low – It’s always a good idea to get down as low as possible, as we learned in TT&T#2 (avoid helicopter shots), but how can we do this in practice? Well, we have to find subjects in the right position. If a nudibranch is just sitting in the sand it’s often very difficult or even impossible to isolate the subject from the background. Look for opportunities to shoot nudis at least horizontally (we can sometimes achieve this with getting down very low), or even better, shoot slightly upwards. Sometimes the dive guides here will not show you a nudibranch which is sitting in a perfect position, because they showed you two or three of them already and there might be something “more interesting” (rare) in that area. Getting good images is not so much about capturing the rare species, it’s more about good composition. It’s better to have a great photo of a common species than a poor or mediocre shot of a rare one. If you see a nudi sitting on a hydroid stick, a rock or coral where you can separate the subject from the background and not include the sand for example, go for it and take a few shots. Remember that the focal point should be the rhinophores (those cute little ‘horns’), or, if it is a species with eyes such as Costasiella kuroshimae (the ‘sheep’ nudi) then it’s important to have the eyes in focus. If you can convey something to the viewer about nudibranch behavior (while adhering to the principles of good composition) this also makes your image more interesting – examples include photos of nudis eating, mating, sniffing the water column or laying eggs. Nudibranchs are most photographers’ favorites. Why? Because they don’t move that fast and this makes it possible to try out different techniques while photographing nudibranchs.

Here are some examples of nudibranch shots (good and bad ones):

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This is a poor shot of a very pretty nudibranch, the Hypselodoris bullocki. Shot from the top, no “eye contact” and not separated from the background.

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Same nudibranch (Hypselodoris bullocki), but interesting angle, “eye (or rhinophore) contact”, made to stand out from the background (by getting down very low and minimizing ambient light) and some behaviour (laying eggs/mating) going on.

 


Flabellina rubrolineata posing in the Lembeh Strait

Flabellina rubrolineata on top of a little rock, made to stand out from the background by bokeh (out of focus) technique.


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Costasiella kuroshimae (the ‘sheep’ nudi) – “eye contact”, made to stand out from the background by bokeh technique.


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Nembrotha milleri sniffing the water column, made to stand out from the background by bokeh technique.


If you want to create a bokeh (out of focus background) effect, you have to open up the aperture. Settings depend on your lens setup, but frequently used settings are somewhere between f4.5 and f11. This is useful for eliminating ugly or busy backgrounds commonly found here in Lembeh such as sand and rubble. Here are some more example shots:


 

Nembrotha chamberlaini sucking on a tunicate

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 f11 – 1/200sec – ISO 160 – 1xSOLA 4000, 1xSOLA1200 – Canon 7D – Subal CD7 – 60mm macro


 

Gymnodoris rubropapulosa attacking a Hypselodoris whitei (watch the surprising video here)

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f10 – 1/60sec – ISO 160 – Canon 7D – Subal CD7 – 60mm macro – 1xSOLA4000, 1x i-Torch Pro7


 

Hypselodoris bullocki abstract shot

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f5.6 – 1/320sec – ISO 160 – Canon 7D – Subal CD7 – 100mm macro – Kenko 1.4 Teleconverter – 1x SOLA 4000, 1x SOLA 1200


 

Shooting with this shallow DOF (depth of field) is sometimes very tricky. It’s very easy to miss that crucial focus point and the image doesn’t look that good if the wrong part of the image is in focus. For nudibranchs we usually aim for the rhinophores to be in focus, as we learned in TT&T#16, or at least the one rhinophore closest to the viewer. The next image could be more powerful if both rhinophores were in focus in order to better distinguish them from the very similar-looking cerata. In the above image however, having just one rhinophore in focus ‘works’ because its eye-catching colour, detail and texture makes it stand out against the very blurry background.

 


 

Phyllodesmium serratum – the rhinophore on the right in this photo (or the nudi’s left rhinophore) is not in focus

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f5.6 – 1/200sec – ISO 160 – Canon 7D – Subal CD7 – 60mm macro – 1xSOLA 4000, 1x SOLA 1200

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The above image at 100% – the right rhinophore is just a tiny bit further ahead of the left one, but at f5.6 and very close distance that’s enough to render it out of focus.

 


 

If you’re shooting with constant light, you can even combine the shallow depth of field with a dark background by using a very fast shutter speed (due to synchronization speed limits not possible with strobes).

 


 

Flabellina exoptata on hydroid

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f5.6 – 1/800sec – ISO 160 – Canon 7D – Subal CD7 – 60mm macro – 1xSOLA 4000, 1x SOLA 1200


 

Glossodoris cincta laying eggs

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f5.6 – 1/1000sec – ISO 160 – Canon 7D – Subal CD7 – 60mm macro – 1xSOLA 4000, 1x SOLA 1200


 

 

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tt15

Set the correct time on your camera after traveling!

It is important to set the right time and date on your camera after you change location. It is always good to know when you took that special shot whether it was sun rays in the right position, fishes mating or other animal behaviour you’re trying to capture which may only occur at a specific time of day.

If you look at your images later you will always know exactly what time you took that shot of the manta with the sun rays at the perfect angle, or of that fan on the wall. It might be crucial to know what time those frogfishes mated – if you set the right time on your camera this will be easy, because it gets embedded in the metadata of every image. There will be no speculation about when the sun is right, you will know with 100% certainty by looking at your images, and you can then decide to go back to a particular location at exactly the same time, or try at a later or earlier time if the sun wasn’t right.

If you don’t check the date at all, it could even indicate the wrong month or year, which could lead to problems when trying to submit your image to a photo contest.

If the time stamp on your images is wrong and you’re using Adobe Lightroom, you can adjust the capture time like this:

In the Library module choose:

Metadata – Edit Capture Time…

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You then have different options, if you just didn’t set the time difference from your home location, you can choose: Shift by set number of hours (time zone adjust) and just dial in the number of hours – and then click change.

Lightroom capture time01

If the time is completely wrong (because of a camera reset), you can Adjust to a specific date and time.

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