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heynsheyns

Blackwater photo tips?

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Hi all,

 

I'm going to Hawaii for some blackwater diving later this year and looking to learn more about any tips/techniques that will help me maximize the opportunity.

 

Shooting an RX100 rig with both macro and wide angle lenses, dual sea & sea YS-D2 strobes, and some video lights as well.

 

What's the best way to get good photos of critters that come up? Are there good presets for that kind of thing?

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Go to Face book /black water photo group

A full web site devoted to black water diving.

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Be prepared to shoot very small creatures. I took this shot several years ago of the DM pointing out a comb jelly: https://www.salmonography.com/Aloha/Hawaiian-Invertebrates/i-gsmF4NM/A

 

You will need a good focusing light - the brighter the better! I bring along a narrow beam light as well to search for incoming things. Make sure you have a tether for your camera system.

 

I have a lot of examples of inverts in the same gallery as the link above. As well, there can be larval fishes - I have shots of them in this gallery: https://www.salmonography.com/Aloha/Fish-Portraits/

While not transparent like the jellies, some can move rather fast make focusing challenging as well.

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Nice article! On my last trip to HI (2018) I tried low rather than high ISO (see article) and had some success. Recent shots at the the top (gallery is in reverse chrono order) of the gallery with the DM shot mentioned above. https://www.salmonography.com/Aloha/Hawaiian-Invertebrates/

 

Low ISO allowed me to do more vigorous PP without noise. FYI EXIF data for my shots are in the tiny dot with the "i" in it to the left of the buy button (Smugmug interface). As well my apertures were not as small as suggested. f/14 was OK for me DOF-wise. Too small an aperture like those suggested can result in a loss of resolution. I was using 8 AA batteries with each of my Retra strobes so did not have to wait for recycling (issue brought up in article).

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I found a narrow-beam focus light was much easier to use than a wide angle one. For some reason a wide beam was almost vertigo inducing. I don't know if all BW dives are like this, but my experience is from Anilao and being in the water reminded me of a snow storm. The narrow beam, with its limited field of view, was much easier comprehend.

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I found a narrow-beam focus light was much easier to use than a wide angle one. For some reason a wide beam was almost vertigo inducing. I don't know if all BW dives are like this, but my experience is from Anilao and being in the water reminded me of a snow storm. The narrow beam, with its limited field of view, was much easier comprehend.

Good point! I use a 5 degree Inon light for looking around and a moderate wide angle light for focusing (AF on a DSLR). The 5 degree light also works well for daytime dives for looking in crevices, under overhangs etc.

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Nice article. Thanks for sharing!

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