Tuesday Tips & Techniques from Photo Pro Sascha Janson #10

Tuesday Tips & Techniques from Photo Pro Sascha Janson #10

On select Tuesdays, Cameras@Lembeh (the first and only Photo & Video Center in Lembeh Strait) will feature Tips and Techniques by Photo Pro Sascha Janson. Sascha will offer up a range of information, you never know what piece of wisdom he will impart.

Sascha says: Don’t use Program mode (or underwater mode) if you’re shooting macro!


Most digital cameras today have multiple settings and it can be hard to know which one to choose. They often have modes like “intelligent AUTO”, “AUTO”, “SCENE” “Av”, “Tv”, etc. Many of the newer cameras have also the “M” mode, if yours does, you should consider using it if you don’t already do so! Program modes on digital cameras (both Point&Shoot and DSLRs) are made for topside use and they work great there. However, they don’t work underwater unless you’re shooting with natural light (which doesn’t really work well for most macro situations).

We’ll get the best results if we’re shooting in manual mode – for macro photography we typically want a small Aperture (high f-number), a relatively fast shutter speed and a low ISO number. If we’re shooting in anything other than MANUAL (M) mode, the camera decides to use the opposite, which is a large aperture and a slow shutter speed and often a high ISO number, because underwater there is not enough light (unless we’re very shallow) and the camera chooses all the settings without taking into consideration that there will be light coming from the strobe! Often, when the external strobe kicks in, the images are overexposed. I’ve seen people switching OFF their strobe and not using it at all because of that (on a Point&Shoot system, that is the most expensive piece).  Some of you might say that they got good results while shooting in program mode, that is because the camera occasionally lucks out. We are more likely however to get good results if we can tell the camera what to do!

Stay tuned for more Tuesday Tips & Techniques