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Macro in the Maldives


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#1 Blade305

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 07:21 AM

Hello everybody,
I am looking for some feedback on one of my latest trips to paradise. The Maldives were absolute amazing. To bad my wife and I just missed the manta and wale shark season but nevertheless the trip was heaven.
Here is one of my better pics and I would love to have some feedback from some fellow underwater photographers. My camera is a canon 50D with a Sea&Sea housing and all my macro is shot with a 60mm macro. Setting was on automatic. I am also adding a little story to the picture and the rest of the trip you can check out at http://hwelle.square...er-photography/ . Please let me know what you think.
IMG_1877.jpg
<h3 id="main-picture-description-title" style="font-weight: bold; margin-top: 1em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 1em; padding-left: 0px; font-size: 1.2em; color: rgb(30, 30, 30); ">"Being whipped"</h3>After an hour boat ride we finally reach our destination. It was pitch black by then; only the stars and the boat lights letting me see our location.

Open ocean and in the far distance the shadow of a deserted island.

For me, the night dive always starts with a funny feeling in my stomach when I have to jump into the black liquid, rolling underneath the boat.

After I got organized with all my lights and camera gear in the water, I start my descend. The funny feeling disappears and getting replaced with calmness and amazement. The colors are incredible vivid, from bright reds to neon yellows.

At a depth of about 40 feet, we just cruise along the reef wall. It feels like I am flying, looking down into the blackness and out of reach of the lights.

A while into the dive I come across something that looks like a steal wire, which spirals horizontally away from the reef wall into the darkness. When I got closer with my camera searchlight, I saw the full beauty of the wire coral.

They open up their tentacles to filter the water for food in the current and I set myself up for a shot.

It looked like illuminated barbed wire and it was not an easy task to get the right position. Controlling my buoyancy with my breathing, fighting the current with my big camera rig, getting the right angle and not being able to hold on to something, made this a bit difficult. Especially for a macro shot, I had to get very close, without touching and damaging this fragile creature.

After a few minutes repositioning myself, calming down my breathing and some test shots, I finally got this one.
Henrik Welle
www.hwelle.net
wavephoto305@gmail.com

#2 TomR1

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 08:23 AM

I like this shot. I know how difficult these shots are. I would probably crop it to a vertical. I thought about an off-90 degree crop to place the wire coral on an angle but I lose the extreme lower which is most interesting.

#3 Blade305

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:23 AM

I like this shot. I know how difficult these shots are. I would probably crop it to a vertical. I thought about an off-90 degree crop to place the wire coral on an angle but I lose the extreme lower which is most interesting.


Thanks for your reply,
I tried to show the depth of field. Wished I had left a bit more of negative space or a more diagonal angle. But like you said the condition didn't allow it better. Next time. But I know now what to look for.
Thanks,

Henrik
Henrik Welle
www.hwelle.net
wavephoto305@gmail.com

#4 Damo

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:24 AM

Thanks a mill for the running commentary Blade- nice memory and a lovely image taken in difficult conditions.
I fully appreciate what you say about the Maldivian currents
Personally I would have run the coral image more on the diagonal- ie. going from top right to bottom left of frame- (and of course- if I could get little animal such as a goby or a little critter- that would be excellento-but then again- once you are happy thats the main thing!!)

I'm heading there soon - and your post has done nothing but inspire me.
Thank you kind sir- your timing is perfect.
Nikon D200- Sea and Sea DX-D200, YS-90 Auto/Duo strobes: Nikon 60mm/105mm macro : Sigma 10-20mm wide, now also with added Tokina 10-17mm power.

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#5 TomR1

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:45 AM

I agree with the inspiration. I don't dive the Maldives because my old body is allergic to currents. However, I will try a super macro shot of a wire coral next time I dive.

I also agree with the commentary. It helps others to visualize the dive for voyaristic pleasure and possible future destination.

#6 Blade305

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:43 AM

Hello there,
I really appreciate the replies and if you guys want me to post more pics here (without you cruising through my gallery), please let me know. I always like the feedback, no matter how bad or good it is. You can only get better with experience.
Definitely will try a different angle next time.

The currents were only bad that day and usually the night dives had no current at all. The best dive was on one of the wall dives. As far as your light would allow you to see, the wall was covered with yellow sun corals. It looked like a field of vivid bright sunflowers. Amazing!
Here is a close up (60mm macro of that day):
Sunny_Day.jpg
Henrik Welle
www.hwelle.net
wavephoto305@gmail.com