Over on our Bali Academy of Underwater Photography website, we have a series of articles called “How To??” which are very short posts discuss “How To” shoot a certain type of photo or photography style or even post processing techniques. If you haven’t had a look at the site before there are several of these short posts on the site as well as a few full articles, check them out on the Tutorials page.
I have copied the latest “How To??” article here, entitled “How To?? Limited Depth of Field Macro Underwater Photography
Limited Depth of Field composition is a very effective and stunning form of photography when it’s done well. Although it does look complicated, it’s actually a very easy technique to setup. Here are a few steps to follow to learn “How To” take macro underwater photos with great bokeh.
- Choose an fstop between 1.8 and 8, the more open the f-stop the less DOF there is
- Strobe strength has to be at a very low power or else utilize TTL
- Choose subject accordingly, a flat subject will not “show off” the bokeh properly, therefore subject selection is key
- Don’t forget the background, a colourful background will enhance the “out of focus” aspect of the background itself. Bright colours work well
- Use a fast shutter speed: the DOF is very narrow so any little movements from the camera will be multiplied in the photo, using a fast shutter speed helps
- Use manual focus or focus lock, keeping a very narrow area of a macro image is hard to do, using manual focus helps so that the lens does not “hunt” while focusing
That’s it, very simple yet effective hints for trying this fun form of underwater photography
Over on our Bali Academy of Underwater Photography website we often post short “Photo Tips” in a section called “How To??“. This page is dedicated to very short tutorials with quick tips on helping you improve your photography; for those interested in longer tutorials we reserve those for our “Articles” page instead. So head on over to the site when you have time and check them out! Here is the latest “How To??” article below
How To? Shoot Stunning Coral Reef Garden Photos
Nothing shows the reality of a healthy coral reef better than a wide angle photography of a beautiful hard coral garden. To shoot a coral garden effectively there are a couple of things to keep in mind that will help to achieve the best results.
1. Stay shallow! The best results will be in less than 10 metres of water
2. Turn off your strobes and use the sun at your back, the sun will illuminate the coral and bring the colour in
3. Shoot at a slightly downward angle, this will allow you to frame as much of the interesting coral reef as possible
4. Use a fisheye lens or a higher f-stop (such as f11) in order to avoid bad corners from a rectilinear lens. Bad corners will show very obviously with intricate corals filling the frame
5. If possible utilize a red filter or magic filter and manual white balance settings. Using a filter will help filter out the blues and greens from the image and create a more even colour tone. Also, shoot in RAW so you can experiment with WB in post processing.
6. If time of day and conditions allow, try to include sunrays at the edges of the photo in order to add a second element in the composition. Including a distant diver or freediver is another excellent choice of a secondary subject.