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Results from Thailand - Improvement needed

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#1 ErinBrown


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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

So I'm just back from an incredible trip to Thailand and was somewhat please with my results but none of them are quite what I was hoping for. I have several shots I'd like a little feedback on but I'll stick with the original guidelines and start with a single image.

Always thought the Mantis Shrimp was pretty cool and got a couple decent shots. I think this is probably my favorite. Wish I'd been able to isolate him a little more from the gravel in the foreground. unfortunately I wasn't able to prevent all the backscatter though I was able to eliminate some of it in post.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


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#2 MortenHansen


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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:01 AM

Hi Erin,

First of all, thats a pretty nice shot!

I don't think you could have done much with this picture without doing something radical, like using snoots to direct the light onto only the animal or maybe a supermacro shot of its eyes.

Too be honest, if I see a mantis shrimp in its hole which is a bit shy, I probably would just have a look and swim on- they're awesome animals, but when they are in their holes it so hard to get a shot where the shrimpy really pops!

I don't know what setup you're shooting with, but if its DSLR/large sensor compact maybe you would wanna try a high aperture to blur the background, I find that my eye gets drawn quickly to the coral in the top right corner, if the coral would have been unsharp maybe it would be a little less distracting?

Either way, you're off to a good start! :)

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#3 Steve Williams

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:24 AM

Hi Erin,
I'm with Morten. I quick ajustment in LR to darken the corners would help. I used the simple Post crop Vignette slider -50. I tend to try this technique quite a bit with macro subjects that are centered up in the frame. See what you think.



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#4 ErinBrown


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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:34 AM

Thanks guys,

Guess I should have mentioned. This was D7000 in Nauticam housing, 60mm macro with a single S&S YS-D1. I definitely agree that I should have played with the aperture to narrow the depth of field but you no how it is when you're making a quick call in the heat of the moment.

I do like the vignette option and will play with that to see what I can do.

Thanks again,

#5 TomR1


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

What i would do is mak a lawyer via copy and on each copy adjust the background and foreground (Shrimp) to suit your taste. If you are shooting in RAW make a copy and adjust each each copy in RAW first, then Photoshop. You might even try two copies of the shrimp and adjust the front (face) differently then the back (body) of the shrimp in order to get more pop on the body of the shrimp without blowing out the white on the face. You can blur and reduce saturation in the background and not sharpen in order to make the foreground pop. You then layer these 2 or 3 pictures together and paint in what you want.

Obviously this is a lot of work for 1 shot BUT getting a shot this good of this critter is rare. I, in fact, don't have one this good. IMHO it is worth the work.


#6 KirkD


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:26 PM

Dodging and buribg in photoshop is a good option. Remember that eye is drawn to the brightest object in the picture, so I would just paint with the light so to speak. Anyway, you took a great photo.