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June 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Ethics in Macro Photography

are critters sentient beings?

from the June, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Underwater close-up or macro photography has always been popular, because even in the more difficult days of film cameras, a diver could go into the water with a camera and strobes pre-set for guaranteed results. With the digital revolution, underwater photography has grown exponentially and macro is the rage.

Whether it is because of the obvious loss of pelagic species or because of the seductive success of macro photography, the minutiae of marine life have spawned a huge interest, hence the wealth of illustrated publications concentrating on colorful nudibranchs and other invertebrates. This in turn has seen the advent of dive guides who have become expert at spotting the tiniest creatures for the benefit of photographers.

It's not uncommon to see dive guides armed with pointers, searching out these critters and coaxing them into a better position for a clear view for the macro lens. At the same time, underwater photographers, seeking to produce a different result from the mainstream, go beyond moving a gorgonian frond to get a better view of a pigmy seahorse, to such actions as moving a critter on to a piece of white Perspex or other artificial surface for a more graphic shot....


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