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adamhanlon

Wetpixel Live: Muck Photography Primer

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Muck diving is a genre of diving in areas where the fascinating inhabitants live in areas that are not especially beautiful or photogenic. @Alex_Mustard and @adamhanlon chat about it and outline the techniques and equipment that are needed to photograph amazing creatures in less than perfect environments

 

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24 minutes ago, helgromite said:

Do you carry a muck stick for additional stability? 

No need if you’ve got your buoyancy right

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39 minutes ago, helgromite said:

Do you carry a muck stick for additional stability? 

Adam and I don't typically use them. But lots of photographers definitely find them a big benefit. Well worth trying.

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1 hour ago, Alex_Mustard said:

11:15 - invader!

Star of the show!

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1 hour ago, Alex_Mustard said:

Adam and I don't typically use them. But lots of photographers definitely find them a big benefit. Well worth trying.

I sold dozens of them at the Lembeh resort I managed. But the good photographers didn't have them......   :P

I guess if a diver's buoyancy skills aren't up to it, it's better than smashing up the reef. But then I'm tempted to say if buoyancy skills aren't up to it they shouldn't be using a serious camera. But that's probably being excessively sniffy, right? :rolleyes:

 

 

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I have good enough buoyancy to go without but it’s still more comfortable to use one. I’ve done muck diving with and without a stick and I really think that it’s just a matter of preference. Some people surely use it in place of good buoyancy but I wouldn’t assume that’s the reason everyone who is using one is using it for. 
 

Also if there is a little current all the buoyancy skills in the world won’t help you stay in place, but you can easily anchor yourself in the sand with a stick. 

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47 minutes ago, hyp said:

Also if there is a little current all the buoyancy skills in the world won’t help you stay in place, but you can easily anchor yourself in the sand with a stick. 

This. As I understand it, a good muck dive site needs current, as the current is what brings nutrients for the critters to develop, but shooting something the size of a rice grain without a solid anchor is nigh on impossible in all but the calmest of waters.

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Current is not a feature of muck diving sites, but is sometimes present. Many muck subjects move about so don’t need current to provide nutrients.

Muck sticks are very much a personal decision. I typically do not carry one. I find them a struggle to manage and prefer to have both hands to manage my cameras gear.

What muck sticks should not be used for is: Subject rearrangement, as a substitute for poor buoyancy control and to try and get pictures in situations in which there is a possibility of damaging the environment. If a shot is proving difficult to get without impacting on the environment, move on....

I can normally shoot super macro without touching down however if there is a current, I would simply look for larger subjects :)

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1 hour ago, adamhanlon said:

What muck sticks should not be used for is: Subject rearrangement, as a substitute for poor buoyancy control and to try and get pictures in situations in which there is a possibility of damaging the environment. If a shot is proving difficult to get without impacting on the environment, move on....

I think we can all agree on that!

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