Live Reports: Wetpixel/Mustard Macro Workshop 2018

Day 4

The fourth day of the Wetpixel/Alex Mustard Macro Workshop commenced again at 6:45 with breakfast, followed by Alex’s next talk. So far, we have covered a primer on gear, backgrounds and this morning’s topic was how to show subjects in their best light, or in the most creative and impactful way.

Alex discussed some ideas about how to shoot a wide variety of subjects. The key here is not to produce documentary species ID style images, but to use techniques that allow macro subjects to be artistically portrayed.

Ornate goby taken using deliberate shallow depth of field and the plastic bottle in which it was founds as a softbox

The same subject as above, taken using conventional exposure and lighting

Once we had discussed a wide range of ideas, we set out to find critters to practice with! The Lembeh Strait is the ideal venue for this, with a huge range of easily accessible sites, each offering photographic opportunities.

Earlier in the week, Alex’s SMC macro lens fell out of his BCD pocket while he was diving. He put out a post about its loss on social media and was reunited today with the errant lens.

Many thanks to eagle-eyed Iwan Muhani, the diving community here North Sulawesi and the power of Facebook for finding it and getting it back to us so promptly.

The dive sites did not disappoint:

I was diving with Critters@Lembeh’s legendary resident marine biologist Dimpy Jacobs, who seems to be determined to find the tiniest and most fascinating subjects for me to photograph!

We did two-tank morning dives before returning to Lembeh Resort for lunch along with memory card and camera/strobe battery changes.

Our plan for the afternoon dives was to try and find pygmy seahorses at a site called Makawide 2. We failed to find any, but there was a plethora of great subjects on the reef.

Back again for a quick change before a night dive:

Back on shore in time for a quick shower, followed by a wonderful dinner:

The last event of the day was an image review, carrot out by Alex, with each participant submitting one image. These provide great technical feedback and stimulate great and lively discussion.

Everyone is starting to get pretty tired though!

  1. Day 1.
  2. Day 2.
  3. Day 3.
  4. Days 4, 5, 6.
  5. Day 7.
  6. Workshop 2-Day 1.
  7. Workshop 2-Day 2.
  8. Workshop 2-Day 3 and 4.