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Photography in Cold Water

Maine cold water wide angle nikon d500

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#1 ScubaJess

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 05:25 AM

Hi,

 

I recently bought the Nikon D500.  I live in Maine and hope to take some wide angle photos in my home state. The visibility is terrible 5 to 15 feet.  Is it possible to do wide angle in these conditions?  I have both the Nikon 10-24mm and  Tokina 10-17mm.  I also have Sea & Sea Ys-D2 strobes.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated! 



#2 davehicks

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 11:15 AM

Yes!  You absolutely can but it takes a bit more finese with your lighting to do it well.  We have similar conditions in the Pacific Northwest (Washington State to British Columbia) and we shot this way often.  Visit https://nwdiveclub.comto see lot of pictures and discussions.

 

Some tips: 

* Get some long arms for your strobes, perhaps 12" & 16" pairs.

* Higher ISO, lower strobe power to minimize backscatter and glow

* Listen to other local divers for periods of better visibility and go diving

* Bring your macro ports along in case conditions are too poor


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#3 errbrr

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 02:40 PM

More than possible, it can be fun :)

 

But it does require a little more patient experimentation. Try taking photos of the same scene with the strobes turned off, then with them on low power in different positions, then with high power in different positions. Look at the results on the computer to get a better idea of where the backscatter is coming from. Look up "close focus wide angle" techniques and think about framing that minimises the amount of water in your background. Or, move your strobes so the light only falls on things close to the camera. I often shoot with the lens pointing up and the strobes pointing down at the reef. There's no point lighting the water when there's all that dirt floating around. 

 

If you live locally and get to know the conditions, you will get photos on good days that noone else gets. People don't travel to cold water locations with variable conditions because the chance of getting a "good" day is too low and even then the vis isn't crystal clear. Equally don't be too disheartened by the fact that none of your photos have red fan corals on pure blue backgrounds. 



#4 davehicks

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 07:24 PM

Green is better than blue!

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#5 ScubaJess

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 04:26 AM

Thank you so much this is so helpful. I'm so excited to get started. I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes

#6 adamhanlon

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 12:15 PM

Jess-check out the images from Gulen, Norway during the latest Shootout:

 

http://www.uwshootou...-angle-results/

 

http://www.uwshootou...-round-results/

 

http://www.uwshootou...brates-results/

 

They were all shot in green water with similar visibility...  :good:


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#7 DanielD

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 04:46 AM

Jess-check out the images from Gulen, Norway during the latest Shootout:

 

http://www.uwshootou...-angle-results/

 

http://www.uwshootou...-round-results/

 

http://www.uwshootou...brates-results/

 

They were all shot in green water with similar visibility...  :good:

 

For a second there I was a bit confused seeing clown fish on pictures from norway :alien: .. until I red a second location being in indonesia :mocking:



#8 Tom_Kline

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 12:45 PM

Since I live in Alaska you could say I take pix in cold water. My most used lenses for AK shooting are fisheyes. I used the Nikon 10.5mm lens the most with the DX format. The 14mm (old D lens) was the second-most used lens in DX. So another yes for wide angle shooting!

 

Here there is quite a bit of temporal and spatial variability to visibility. The best vis occurs when it is below freezing so I get a lot of my best shots of salmon late in the year. But if it should rain (we get lots during the fall-winter as well as rest of the year) the vis will go down rather quickly.


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Currently used housed digital cameras: Canon EOS-1Ds MkIII, EOS-1D MkIV, and EOS-1DX; and Nikon D3X. More or less retired: Canon EOS-1Ds MkII; and Nikon D1X, D2X, and D2H.

Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 200mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 60D, 150D, and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/

 






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