We’ve been diving Raja Ampat for a few days now, which is a perfect point in time to jot down some notes on photo tips while they’re still fresh – before we settle down further and our initial impressions become hazy.
- Listen to your guides. They have much experience, and in the case of Papua Diving, have grown up around the local reefs and will direct you to the best dive site for the conditions, even if it may not be the initial plan. This gives you the best diving and best experience during your trip.
- Bring your macro lens. Raja Ampat is known for pristine reefs, biodiversity, mantas and fish schools, but don’t forget that the area is full of pygmy seahorses and other prized macro subjects. Don’t forget your Bluewater +7 Diopter for the really small stuff!
- Always be ready. Rich reefs are favorite haunts for larger fish like sharks, eagle rays, turtles and mantas, which may pass by at any moment. If your camera and strobe settings/positions are ready for an encounter like this you have a much better chance at capturing the shot.
- Create some variety in your trip portfolio. Shoot reefscapes, shoot the schools of fish, shoot macro subjects, shoot ambient light in the shallows… The list goes on and will keep friends looking forward to the next picture in your album.
- Try shooting video. Dynamic movement is one of the elements that brings underwater video to life, which can easily be found when watching large schools of fish. Most cameras and housings will easily switch from photo to video mode, so make sure to flip that switch every once in a while! Read the Underwater Photography Guide‘s Underwater Video Basics.
This small, light video rig is nimble and steady even in brisk currents.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III & Tokina 10-17mm
Housing: Aquatica A5D Mk3 Housing
Port: Aquatica 4″ Dome Port