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Ok shot... but can't put my finger on why it's not great


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#1 Skeptic14

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 03:57 PM

Scorpionfish

Gulf of Mexico, North Florida

Olympus TG-4, YS-03, UWL-04

 

I was pretty happy with the shot at first, the colors came out well, but the longer I looked at it the more I realized it just didn't quite "pop" as much as I hoped it would.  I don't know if it's that it isn't as sharp as it could be, or if the low light at depth (75ft) in the gulf without using a focus light was the problem or if it doesn't have enough depth.  I was within 1-2 ft of the subject and got as low an angle as possible, also maybe with a single ys-03 at that depth I just don't have enough light.

 

It's not bad, and considering my gear and being new to uw photography it's probably about what to expect but it would be nice to know why it falls short of being great for future shots.

 

Thanks for critiques.

 

29740574844_f7942a344a.jpg



#2 troporobo

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 05:28 PM

This is a tough shot to work well.  Scorpionfish have evolved great camouflage to blend in to their habitat so making them pop out of the background is not easy.

 

With this scene, I might have tried the pulling the strobe out to the right of the frame and angling it extremely inward aimed behind the port, or alternatively up high and angled inward to catch the fish with just the edge of the light or even backlighting it, and leave as much of the background as dark as possible. 



#3 jahjahwarrior

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 07:22 PM

I would start by cropping more rectangularly, to get rid of a lot of that upper right corner, and some of the right side, then play a bit with the brightness and saturation of your yellows, greens, reds and oranges. Increase highlights, decrease blacks, and then use the "post crop vignetting - highlight priority" negative amount to value -35 or so. 

 

Nice picture! The gulf is hard. Come to West Palm Beach and dive BHB! We have lots of scorpionfish but most aren't as brightly colored as yours. You found a good one! 



#4 TimG

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 10:37 PM

Hi

 

Yeah, tough shot indeed. 

 

Have you tried re-cropping so that the subject is at a bit of an angle - diagonal rather than horizontal across the centre? The other trick I find works well is to try and get the eye of the subject at an intersection of the Rule of Thirds point.

 

It may be not be possible to record this particular image along these lines, but worth a try.

 

The other thing, for me, is that there is too much background. I'd crop out all/most of the rock above the subject (as jajjahwarrior suggests) and then try and re-align the image as I suggest above,


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D800, Nikkors 105mm and 16-35mm, Sigma 15mmFE - Subal housing

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#5 Skeptic14

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 05:00 AM

Troporobo, thanks for the idea regarding strobe position.  I will give that a shot next chance I have.  A few dives before this one I got a chance to shoot batfish that were walking across the bottom and similarly they were ok shots, but none really jumped out well from the background so I like the idea of trying a "radical" strobe position.

 

Jahjahwarrior and TimG, I struggled on cropping with this shot.  I tried rule of thirds on the prominent eye but I think I was not cropping close enough around the subject so it wasn't working great.  I will give another go at cropping with your suggestions and see what I can do.  As far as your color sat/bright suggestions, are those options for lightroom?  I'm currently pretty limited on my editing abilities/software but will see how I can address those as well.



#6 TimG

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 06:56 AM

Troporobo, thanks for the idea regarding strobe position.  I will give that a shot next chance I have.  A few dives before this one I got a chance to shoot batfish that were walking across the bottom and similarly they were ok shots, but none really jumped out well from the background so I like the idea of trying a "radical" strobe position.

 

Jahjahwarrior and TimG, I struggled on cropping with this shot.  I tried rule of thirds on the prominent eye but I think I was not cropping close enough around the subject so it wasn't working great.  I will give another go at cropping with your suggestions and see what I can do.  As far as your color sat/bright suggestions, are those options for lightroom?  I'm currently pretty limited on my editing abilities/software but will see how I can address those as well.

 

Yeah, you can change pretty much anything in Lightroom as long as you shoot in RAW. I've found it very good at making pictures "pop" by ensuring the the image covers both ends of the histogram - easy with Lightroom - and then a touch of Lightroom "dehaze". Bingo.


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D800, Nikkors 105mm and 16-35mm, Sigma 15mmFE - Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#7 Skeptic14

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:23 AM

It might be time to invest in something like lightroom then, I'm currently using photoscape.

 

Edit...

 

So thought I improved it but after uploading meh...


Edited by Skeptic14, 21 October 2016 - 07:27 AM.


#8 Skeptic14

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:42 AM

I found a few things that seemed to pull the subject from the background maybe a little and applied to both the orig shot and a second scorpionfish from that dive.

 

At this point, not sure if placebo or better :laugh:

 

 

Thanks again, I appreciate all the feedback.


Edited by Skeptic14, 22 October 2016 - 03:00 AM.


#9 jahjahwarrior

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:47 AM

Lightfoot is the best thing for photography since the flash tube or the waterproof box!

It let's you show the picture you saw in real life without the camera making editing decisions for you.

And compare to other photo gear it's relatively cheap!