Underwater Macro will feature some of Australia’s best underwater photographers in their pursuit to capture the fine details of the underwater world. Aussie Macro Photos is proud to present Gabriel Guzman as the first blogger to be featured.
Welcome to Underwater Macro
My name is Gabriel Guzman, and my passion is underwater photography. I’ve been working on it full time for the last 4 years. I know the reefs and the little creatures that inhabit them very well. I enjoy underwater macro and wide-angle photography alike.
Most of my photos have been taken with Canon 5DSr with different lenses. My favourite lens for macro is the Canon 100mm 2.8 L, it’s a very fast and sharp lens. All the gear goes inside Aquatica housing. For light I use dual strobe Inon Z330, which I can incorporate the Retra snoot to concentrate the light in a very specific spot. For extra magnification I use an Aquatica wet diopter +10. With all these accessories I can capture the smallest critters in the ocean. When it come to night dives, or black water dives, I swap for less magnification and I go with a Sigma 50mm F2.8 DG Macro, otherwise it is very difficult to focus.
Anemonefishes or ‘Nemos’ can be found almost in all the reef. It’s probably the number one fish that most people want to see. This particular species is a Pink skunk anemonefish. It is a quite simple subject, but the challenge is to capture some expressions. In this photo we can see how this shy fish seeks shelter between the tentacles of its host, the anemone.
Pink Skunk Anemonefish
Another very common subject that can be found in small holes, between rocks, corals or even the sand is this Goby fish. This photo was taken during the day but I’m using Retra snoot to concentrate the light only on its face, isolating the subject from the distracting background.
Fortunately for macro photographers, Nudibranchs can be everywhere, and are quite easy to find. There are a thousand of species of them, from all colours, shapes and sizes. This is a tiny one, captured with the Diopter and retra snoot, isolating the subject again and giving a more artistic result.
Every time I find an anemone I check for Anemonefish eggs as well. They lay their eggs right next to the anemone but on the rock, and the parents are constantly blowing them to assure the water flow in between to keep them oxygenated. This kind of scene is not available all the time, but sometimes I get lucky and find a few.
Anemonefish babies in eggs
This small fish is a Wire coral goby, and can be found on most wire corals. At the beginning they move a bit when they see the big camera approach, like we are giant monsters, but with some time they get more confident, allowing you to approach enough to get a good shot.
Wire Coral Goby
This is very close up of a Goby. Shooting with the diopter, we can appreciate the details of the head of the goby, with all of its incredible colours and patterns. Most Goby’s will swim away as soon as you try to approach, but if I exercise some patience, l sometimes find one confident enough to keep still.
Underwater macro photography is one of the most challenging styles. To achieve good quality photos requires of a lot of patience and you must be willing to accept that most of the time, the subjects will be there but not in a aesthetically pleasing position, or too far, or in a inaccessible spot. Sometimes we can have a shot in hour head but return to the surface with zero photos in the camera. The beauty of this is keep trying, be patient, and enjoy the process.
A trip to the reef can bring many surprises. If you want to dive with me, I could teach you some techniques, such as lighting, focusing, the use of diopters, lens selection, the use of fake backgrounds, snoot light, among other things and at the same time how to take the best photos without damaging the fragile ecosystem. Don´t hesitate to contact me if you want to enjoy a macro day at the reef. In addition to photography, I could help with diving techniques since I am an instructor with more than 10 years of experience.