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Underwater Photography Settings Guide for Olympus TG5

BASIC UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

By Brooke Lori from @OCEANIC.BROOKE


To all those out there using the Olympus TG series, I've written a bit of a guide for the settings I have found helpful for both macro and wide angle. I hope it helps! Any questions let me know. The photos below each section are samples of what can be achieved with the settings and gear I use.


SETTINGS FOR MACRO WITH VIDEO LIGHTS/STROBES:

Additional equipment used: Noodilab Moby diopter, 2x video lights 6k lumins, tray and arms.

Mode: Microsope (Option 4: microscope control mode)

White balance: fluorescent

ISO: Auto

Colour settings: Natural

Resolution: LF+RAW

Flash: OFF

LIGHTS: Position your video lights (or strobes) to the subject facing inwards on each side so that you have even lighting from both sides. If you have a single light you can position above, however this will mean you have dark shadows under your subject. Play around with your light positioning to get the effect you want.

ZOOM: 2.9 - 11.1 (depends on subject size, for super small shaun the sheep nudibranchs I zoom all the way to 11.1)

Shutter: Use the brightness/shutterspeed dial on top right to adjust brightness as necessary depending on light. Normally I have mine at -1.0

Composition: When using microscope mode you need to get your camera quite close to the subject even as close as 1-5cm away from it if its super small (TG5 can even focus on something touching the lens!). Make sure to get your subjects eye in focus!



SETTINGS FOR MACRO WITH INBUILT FLASH:

Additional equipment used: None (using a diopter won’t work with inbuilt flash as you will get a shadow from it).

Mode: Microsope (Option 4: microscope control mode)

White balance: fluorescent or flash

ISO: Auto

Colour settings: Natural

Resolution: LF+RAW

Flash: ON

ZOOM: 2.9 - 11.1 (depends on subject size, for super small shaun the sheep nudibranchs I zoom all the way to 11.1)

Shutter: Use the brightness/shutterspeed dial on top right to adjust brightness as necessary depending on light. Normally I have mine at -1.0

Composition: When using microscope mode you need to get your camera quite close to the subject even as close as 1-5cm away from it if its super small (TG5 can even focus on something touching the lens!). Make sure to get your subjects eye in focus!



SETTINGS FOR WIDE USING STROBES:

Additional equipment used: Fisheye wide angle lens UWL-04, 2x Sea & Sea YSD2J strobes, tray and arms, 2x fibre optic cables.

Mode: A (aperture priority)

White balance: WB Flash

ISO: 100

Colour settings: Natural

Resolution: LF+RAW

Flash: ON

ZOOM: None (unless to get rid of vignetting from your wetlens)

Aperture: f 9 (adjust as needed according to your stobe brightness, depth available light etc.

Shutter: Use the brightness/shutterspeed dial on top right to adjust brightness as necessary depending on light.

STROBES: Position your strobes far away from your camera on each side (you’ll need long arms for this). Face strobes forwards in same direction as your lens. If you’re using a fish eye lens make sure they are behind the lens otherwise they will appear in your photos. Test and adjust strobe positioning with each subject and depth change.

Composition: Always shoot across or slightly up on your chosen subject. Never shoot down from above, which means you need to get your camera quite low.



SETTINGS FOR WIDE WITH AMBIENT LIGHT:

Additional equipment used: Fisheye wide angle lens and camera tray.

Mode: C (custom)

White balance: Capture white balance (set your white balance manually using a white slate every time you change depth significantly or experience water clarity change). To do this press ‘OK’ and scroll down setting options to ‘white balance’. Press ‘info’ and then hold your slate in front of the lens and then press shutter button. This will apply a digital red filter so account for loss of red light in your UW photos.

ISO: 100

Colour settings: Natural

Resolution: LF+RAW

Flash: OFF

ZOOM: None (unless to get rid of vignetting from your wetlens)

Shutter: Use the brightness/shutterspeed dial on top right to adjust brightness as necessary depending on light and contrast you want.

Composition: Always shoot across or slightly up on your chosen subject. Never shoot down from above, which means you need to get your camera quite low.




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