Maluku Mumblings

Close Focus Wide Angle with Snoot

More photography insight from Maluku Divers’ very own photo pro and all-round photography wizard, Mr Frederick Dion gives tips about snoot photography.

At Maluku Divers the main emphasis of the diving we do is finding and photographing small and unusual critters, which is great as we definitely have plenty of both here.

nudibranch - snoot photography

Photo 1 “Close focus wide shot of a Nudibranch on a colorful reef”

I mainly use a 60 or 105 Micro lens with diopters for those extra small critters. These lenses allow you to fill the frame and see all the fine detail of these strange creatures, but after a while most photos start looking the same. You can play with lighting to get nice black backgrounds and shoot creative ways to make the photos more interesting but eventually they all start looking similar and could do with a change up.

orange frogfish

Photo 2 “Beautiful orange frogfish all alone on a rocky sandy slope”


So the question is, what can we do to make these animals look different?

Lionfish - snoot photography

Photo 3 “A small Lionfish on a piling under the Jetty”

The last few days I have been playing around with a wide-angle lens with a teleconverter on it. Wide-angle lenses have a great depth of field and a very close minimum focus but by installing a teleconverter it will narrow the focus plus allow for even closer focus. That’s all well and good for shooting small critters in a beautiful reef scene but we do not have beautiful reefs on the muck diving sites that we visit. My solution was to only light the animal with a snoot, so all of the surrounding muck will not be lit.


Photo 4 “Nudibranch with eggs on a boring sandy slope”

Take a look at these photos. They give you a sense of how small the animal is in its environment. You do not get the detail that you get with a macro lens but you can definetly get the feeling of where these guys live, and it is definitely a unique look to a muck diving photo.


Photo 5 “Frogfish on some not so pretty coral with diver in the background”

Fred will be back soon with more great photo tips about snoot photography, macro shoot and many more – if you’d like so much time in the water that you get bored with your usual macro shots and want to try something different, get in touch with our charming reservations team and book your stay with Maluku Divers.