The Art of Underwater Motion by Shawn Miller

As an underwater photographer there will be a time when you feel all your photographs look similar and you might lose interest for a while. Creating motion in still photographs will definitely give you a new challenge and purpose. The goal is to try to show some type of motion in a still photograph. The photographs emphasize the energy, power and or speed of the subject moving. Dramatic motion images will provide depth and variety to your portfolio.

Try panning or dragging the shutter underwater 

  • Move the camera in sync with the moving subject while the shutter stays open. A slow shutter speed will be necessary to achieve this.
  • Once you understand this technique try adding flash at the end of the exposure to freeze the motion of the subject (Rear curtain sync).
  • Get creative and add a spin the camera
Striped surgeonfish on the move (Rear curtain sync)

Striped surgeonfish on the move (Rear curtain sync)

Anemone fish with a spin ( RCS )

Anemone fish with a spin ( RCS )

Sea whip - feel the flow

Sea whip – feel the flow

Ocean art ( slow shutter with a spin )

Ocean art ( slow shutter with a spin )

Angelfish on the move ( Rear curtain sync )

Angelfish on the move ( Rear curtain sync )

Striped surgeonfish and coral reef (RCS)

Striped surgeonfish and coral reef (RCS)

Indian mackerel feeding

Indian mackerel feeding

Sunset wrasse reef racing ( RSC )

Sunset wrasse reef racing ( RSC )

Ctenochaetus striatus on the move

Ctenochaetus striatus on the move

Coral with a spin -Ie Island

Coral with a spin -Ie Island

Masked bannerfish on the move ( RCS )

Masked bannerfish on the move ( RCS )

Motion sickness (In camera triple exposure)

Motion sickness (In camera triple exposure)

Scuba-diving with a spin (RCS)

Scuba-diving with a spin (RCS)

Hopefully these images will inspire you to try something new underwater!

 

 

Light and Motion macro field setup – Constant lighting by Shawn Miller

Light and Motion lights produce constant lighting with studio quality output. This light configuration is convenient while shooting macro photography at night. The camera, tray, arms and lights are combined into one lightweight unit. The light output can be easily adjusted with a touch of a switch. Having the lights on loc-line arms allow simple light angle adjustments.  

The custom Light and Motion macro field setup consists of

  • Sola Tray kit with extention tray and arms
  • Third custom loc-line arm mounted
  • GoBe 700 wide light
  • Sola 600 light
  • Sola 1200 light
  • Canon 70D with 60 mm macro lens and strap
Light and Motion macro field setup

Light and Motion macro field setup by Shawn M Miller.

I was fortunate to have beautiful weather both nights testing the constant lighting setup in northern Okinawa. Six of the animals below are endangered species listed as threatened on the IUCN red list. All of these night dwellers are decreasing in numbers due to deforestation.

Kuroiwa's ground gecko -Red list

Kuroiwa’s ground gecko -Red list

Namie's frog (Limnonectes namiyei)

Namie’s frog (Limnonectes namiyei) – Red list

Okinawa tree frog (Rhacphhorus viridis)

Okinawa tree frog (Rhacphhorus viridis)

Ryukyu Tip-nosed frog -Red list

Ryukyu Tip-nosed frog -Red list

Anderson's crocodile newt- Red list

Anderson’s crocodile newt- Red list

Kuroiwa's ground gecko -Red list

Kuroiwa’s ground gecko -Red list

Ryukyu brown frog -Red list

Ryukyu brown frog -Red list

Holst's frog ( Rana holsteri ) - Red list

Holst’s frog ( Rana holsteri ) – Red list

Ryukyu Kajika frog

Ryukyu Kajika frog

If you would like to learn more about these lights, check out the site!

http://www.lightandmotion.com/the-perfect-light

Have a great day!

 

Using the Light & Motion Sola red light feature to document the marine life of Okinawa

I have been using the Light & Motion Sola series underwater lights for over two years now. They are the most reliable lights I have ever used underwater. The Sola photo series 800 and 1200 offer a red light feature. This feature enables the user to photograph the marine life without disturbing them. Most marine animals do not see or react to the red light.

I decided to put the Sola red light to the test on some marine subjects. I first setup a small studio saltwater aquarium to place the specimens in.

Aquarium setup - Documenting the Marine Life of Okinawa

Aquarium setup – Meet Your Neighbours Project

I wanted to photograph some marine gastropods with their shell and body showing. I first tried using white light, but they immediately retreated back into their shell.  As soon as I turned on the red light the marine snails crawled around as if it was nighttime. This red light feature allowed me to get the documentation photograph that I planned.

Cowrie shells are one of many beautiful marine animals found in Okinawa. Photographing the animals on white isolate the subject without any distractions.  

Chinese cowrie ( Ovatipsa chinensis )

Chinese cowrie ( Ovatipsa chinensis )

The animals are handled with care and then released back into the the environment without harm. The Images are used for conversation awareness and educational purposes.

 

Teres cowrie shell ( Blasicrura teres pellucens )

Teres cowrie shell ( Blasicrura teres pellucens )

I usually use the Sola Red light underwater. This is my underwater rig with the Light & Motion Sola 600 mounted on top of my Ikelite underwater housing. 

Underwater setup with sola 600

Underwater setup with sola 600

Learn more about the Light & Motion Sola series.   http://www.lightandmotion.com/choose-your-light/sola

Learn more about the Meet Your Neighbours Project.   http://meetyourneighbours.net/okinawa-neighbours/

Have a great day-