Top 5 Tips for Shooting Nudibranchs
Text and photography by: Todd Winner
Let’s face it, underwater photographers are obsessed with nudibranchs and California has more than its share of the colorful sea slugs. But how can we create images that stand out from the crowd? Below are five of my favorite techniques for producing stunning nudibranch images.
One of the easiest ways to improve your nudibranchs shots is by finding ones on interesting backgrounds. Look for nudibranchs on sponges, kelp and sea fans.
If used properly macro snoots can produce stunning results. Setting up a snoot image underwater can be frustrating. If possible have someone else hold and aim it for you.
Spanish Shawl nudibranch. Catalina Island, California, Nikon D2X, Nikon 60mm Macro Lens, 1/250, f/10, ISO 100
Isolate your subject:
Isolate your subject from the background by angling your camera up. If you can shoot into the water column you can easily achieve black backgrounds by stopping down the shutter and aperture with a low ISO.
Using the same techniques that we use to isolate a subject with a black background we can create blue backgrounds by simply aiming toward the sun and opening up the shutter or increasing the ISO. If you use the ISO method you will need to readjust aperture and strobe power.
Depth of Field:
Use shallow depth of field to create soft dreamy backgrounds and direct your viewers to the important features of your subject.