Going on holiday to North Sulawesi is a mixed blessing. Sure, the diving is great, the biodiversity is staggering and the subjects are cooperative. But for the photographer these are challenging waters, because if we are honest, despite the diversity of life, we must admit that all of the photogenic subjects have been captured before.
One approach to get fresh images, that is popular with a number of photographers, is to take portraits actually showing some of the behaviour of these creatures. This is a good approach, but I told you about it in the last issue of UWP, so I need some new ideas for this article! One approach I favour when trying to come up with ideas is to follow the clear logic of Sherlock Holmes!
If I want to do something new I must eliminate what has been done before and whatever I am left with, however improbable, must be worth a go!
North Sulawesi is primarily a macro destination. And the basic rules of macro are simple: "use a small aperture to get the maximum depth of field, use the fastest flash synchronisation shutter speed to remove ambient light, and illuminate the picture with TTL flash".
If we plug this formula into our cameras and focus on the subject we will get good macro results. The problem is that this is what everyone has done before and we will hardly be stretching the envelope photographically. So following Sherlock's logic I decided to ignore these three tenets of macro photography - to shoot macro with manual flash, with slower shutter speeds and to open up the aperture on my lens. The aim of this article is to tell you how I got on and pass on the tips I learned during the process!
Panning with a moving subject will create streaks of movement in the background. The outline of the gunard in this image has been slightly sharpened in Photoshop. Nikon D100 + 60mm lens.
Subal housing. l/15th sec @ fl6. 2 Subtronic Alphas on 1/4 and 1/2
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