Macrophotography for the Southern Ocean.

I’ve been practicing macro-photography and trying to work out the best setup to use on a moving ship (hopefully not TOO moving!). After some false starts, lots of help (and a few sighs of despair) from my talented other half,  I have settled on the setup in the picture.

Macro setup with off camera flash

For techie geeks the setup is:

Camera: Nikon D700 with Nikon 105mm 2.8 Macro Lens and Nikon SB910 flash unit  (off camera, reflector out)
Remote Flash Trigger: Speedlight Commander SU-800
Tripod: Manfrotto 190XPROB with ball and socket head.
White Card
or notebook for reflector/ fill light.
Settings as follows
Camera set to manual shutter and aperture 1/6oth sec f51 ISO 200
Lens focused manually and checked with “Live View”
Flash on TTL (DO NOT press any buttons!!)

I  am under strict instructions NOT to press any buttons on the flash unit as it works on different channels (no, I have no idea what that means either)- but I will do my best not to randomly press buttons. Those of you who know me will appreciate how difficult I am going to find that!

The tripod has D rings that I can hang weights off to stabilize it, or better still use them  to tie the thing to the floor if that is possible once I get into the lab.

Below is the best image I managed to get on the trial run. It is nice and sharp and  has been “cleaned up”a bit in Photoshop.  Looks good don’t you think? Hope I get some great shots of exciting marine animals from the kelp and from the rest of the cruise when we will be collecting  samples from depths of 500-2000m!

Macro Shell low res


Author: cathwaller

I'm an Antarctic ecologist working mainly on intertidal and nearshore ecosystems. I have worked at various locations around the Scotia Arc and Antarctic Peninsula. I am interested in what can survive in these environments, how things get there and how they might survive in a rapidly changing world.

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