I am right now in the Philippines, in Dumaguete a place world-renowned for its corals and its muck diving, and I have been having a wonderful time! I was invited here by the Atlantis Imagemakers; a group started two years ago by photographer Marty Snyderman. His goal was to bring together a group of talented image-makers from around the globe for two weeks of diving in a world-renowned location. Marty decided he needed more young people to be involved and so he reached out to the scholars and invited me along. As someone new to photography, this has been an incredible, educational experience! I have been learning so many new skills and techniques, and have gained a whole new appreciation for all the photography gear and tools provided to me by Reef Photo and Video.
Painted Frogfish - Antennarius pictus ~10cm
As anyone in underwater photography will tell you; lighting is everything. The Inon S-2000 strobes are amazing tools because they are very powerful and very compact. But the quality of equipment doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you are doing.The TTL (Through the Lens) mode on the strobe is great for me as I learn because it auto adjusts lighting for each shot. And as I get more and more comfortable, I am slowly switching to manually adjusting both strobes for optimal lighting. Lighting subjects underwater is tricky because you have to use a combination of ambient and artificial light. In general, with macro photography, the closer the better. But experimentation is key, and I have found the most important thing is to MOVE the strobes around and see what works with each subject.
Shrimp with eggs ~2cm
My favorite piece of equipment I have been using this trip is hands down the Compact macro converter. The plethora of tiny creatures that the Philippines is known for has been perfect subjects for me to use this lens to its full potential! The converter is so easy to move between the port and the mount on the arm, and it allows me to get some amazing shots!!!! As someone who loves the small and underappreciated, I am so excited to be comfortable with it.
Christmas tree worm - Spirobranchus giganteus~1cm
Sexy Shrimp - Thor amboinensis ~1cm
Learning macro photography in the Coral Triangle; the mecca of muck, is an opportunity of a lifetime, and doing it with some of the best underwater photographers in the world has been an unforgettable and valuable experience. To see some more images from the trip, as well as tips from my companions please visit my blog at https://owussnorthamerica.org/.