Live Reports: Wetpixel/Mustard Macro Workshop 2018

Day 7

The final day of the workshop phase of the Wetpixel/Alex Mustard Macro Workshop followed a familiar pattern. After an early breakfast, Alex presented a talk which rounded up his previous presentations. The gist of this is that it is crucial to develop a series of tools that can be drawn upon with specific subjects and circumstances. Not all subjects will suit every technique and once a technique has been mastered, the critical decision that faces all photographers is whether it will suit a specific image or not.

This is compounded by the fact that wildlife photography is unpredictable. In some other forms of photography, the availability of a type of subject and hence the technique that will be deployed to capture it can be accurately predicted. While it is a good idea to plan any image, the plan must be flexible and the photographer adaptable enough to modify it should the need arise.

Alex’s talk finished so it was time to head out on the boats for more diving.

Over the past week, we have been able to get to know the sites and what is living on them fairly well. This greatly aids things like lens selection and to decide which accessories to carry. This does not mean that things are entirely predictable Theresa and Peter set out to do Close Focus Macro on the first dive which entailed mounting a fisheye lens and a small dome port. However, the site with the greatest number of suitable subjects had too much current so they ended up on a site with lost of conventional macro subjects, which were all too small for their camera setups.

Apparently, they passed the dive taking pictures of their dive guide!

The Straits is particularly critter rich, and it was common (for most of us) to be moving pretty much constantly from subject to subject. This forces the process of adapting lighting and exposure to suit the subjects almost constantly. You can get a great deal of practice in a very short time!

After two dives, we returned to Lembeh Resort for lunch and card/battery changes.

After lunch, we headed out for another dive…

Lembeh Resort has a great house reef that is shallow and full of subjects. It is an ideal place to practice techniques free of the pressures involved in diving with a group at one of the sites some distance away from the resort.

It also offers the option of a dusk dive as opposed to a night dive. The “change of shift” between night time and daytime creatures makes for some interesting subjects.

The final image review session was held tonight, and again the participants showed some amazing images. It is fascinating to see how quickly and how far their skills have developed in such a short time. There is no doubt that being able to focus completely on image making and sharing the experience with a group of similarly dedicated and motivated people makes for a superb environment very conducive to learning and improving.

Today marks the end of the formal workshop, with the remaining two days being time for the participants to do more practice. Alex and I will be on hand to help of course!

  1. Day 1.
  2. Day 2.
  3. Day 3.
  4. Days 4, 5, 6.
  5. Day 7.
  6. Workshop 2-Day 1.
  7. Workshop 2-Day 2.
  8. Workshop 2-Day 3 and 4.