Capturing Critters in Lembeh Workshop day
Our 3rd annual Capturing Critters in Lembeh Underwater Photography Workshop is fully underway. To date participants have had some great diving, enlightening presentations by the pros and lots of laughs. Since the dive guides have spotted Blue-ring octopus on every dive, I think we can safely say everyone has had ample opportunity to capture that perfect shot (some wonder if it is truly “rare” to see them). Although we can’t cover all the tips and techniques presented in the workshop (for that you’ll have to attend our 4th annual Capturing Critters in Lembeh) here are few highlights from the pros.
If you are familiar with Keri Wilk’s work, then you will have seen many of his ‘super macro’ shots, they are truly amazing. He shared many practical tips on strobe set-up, positioning and also ideas on what subjects can help make the perfect creative macro shot. Keri wasn’t just playing with toy critters in these shot above, his presentations included tips on back lighting; such as the “glow effect” – light behind the subject making light pass through, giving the illusion of glowing. Or “rim portrait” – light behind and below the subject, with just a small portion lighted to get a portrait effect. Background silhouettes are also an option, lighting up the background so just the subject is “silhouetted”.
After playing with new underwater techniques, Erin Quigley, who is a wizard with Lightroom does presentations and one-on-one time working with participants to touch up images. Erin always suggests you do your big changes 1st; otherwise you are reworking the little changes as you move on. Backscatter removal was an important part of the workshop, let’s face it, everyone gets it sometimes. Of course correct strobe placement is optimal in reducing backscatter to begin with, but it does happen; and although Lightroom is great for removing small amounts of backscatter Photoshop is better for large areas. Participants were shown tricks to move between the two seamlessly, saving Photoshop work onto the Lightroom file where the majority of your work should be done.
In house photo pro Sascha Janson has been invaluable to guests with his “MacGyver like” skills. With so much equipment in one place there are bound to be problems and Sascha has been able to keep “things” running on many occasions. Photographers were surprised with his lighting techniques, since so much of Sascha’s work is video for Lembeh Resort and Critters@Lembeh he uses fixed LED lighting, but even with stills, he prefers using his LED lights. Enabling him to see how the subject is lighted on the LCD screen before he takes the shot. Sascha reminds participants “try taking video with your DLSR, especially animal behavior”. Today’s DSLR can take amazing video, consider capturing the scene rather than just the shot.
In house marine biologist Catherine “Dimpy” Jacobs fills in a little background on some of the marine life participants are shooting. Knowing a bit about behavior and habitat can help you capture better images. If you watch the critter and know a bit about what it’s doing, you may know in advance what it’s about to do next. In this way you can have can get the shot set up and have a better chance of capturing that perfect mating or predation shot.
Here are a few guest images from our 3rd annual Capturing Critters in Lembeh 2014. More to come as participants have time to edit.