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#1 RussFair

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 03:13 PM

This is probably my best shot to date, but I'd really like to know how I could have made a better picture. This was taken North of Red Slave in Bonaire, Oly 8080 in Ikelite with DS50.
deep_dentist_wetpixel.jpg

#2 Jeff Phillips

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 04:54 PM

This is probably my best shot to date, but I'd really like to know how I could have made a better picture. This was taken North of Red Slave in Bonaire, Oly 8080 in Ikelite with DS50.
deep_dentist_wetpixel.jpg


Not sure how it could be much better - great shot. Maybe a little cloning out of the small amount of backscatter in the upper left and a little burning on the underside of the jaw to reduce the brightness. These are nit picks at best.

Edited by Jeff Phillips, 20 May 2008 - 04:55 PM.


#3 ardy01

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 05:25 PM

As well as Jeff's suggestions, I would most probably crop out the shadow and part of the coral in the bottom left corner. I also think the colour is a bit washed out my shots of coral cod/trout are stronger than this. Still they can vary in different parts of the world.
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#4 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 05:36 PM

Well, one thing you could have tried (reef willing of course) is to get down a bit below the eye level of the grouper and shoot up slightly. Your subject has a background that is out of focus, but not enough to isolate the main subject. Getting lower and around in front of the grouper may have allowed better background/foreground separation.

The grouper's eye is nicely in focus. The main "story" of this shot, though, is the cleaner wrasse, and it looks a bit soft. Because the cleaner is soft and the grouper eye is sharp, the viewer's attention is drawn to the grouper eye. That's fine, as this allows the viewer to first say "cool shot of a grouper" and then realize there is a wrasse in there too, but if the eye is going to move that way through the shot, the starting point (ie the sharply focused grouper eye) is in a position within the frame that feels uncomfortable. I took the liberty of throwing a quick crop suggestion on your shot (attached) that puts the grouper eye essentially on the upper left third-point, giving a line through the shot down the upper jaw and along the bottom jaw to the wrasse on the lower right third point. Getting a bit closer to the fish would mean you don't need to crop aggressively to achieve this.

deep_dentist_wetpixel_edit.jpg

Getting back to the suggestion that getting in front of the fish might have been good, another benefit of this would be that the body of the grouper fades out of focus, giving a feel for the three dimensional nature of the fish. A side on shot like this can look a little flat.

Hope this helps somewhat and gives you some things to think about.

I also think the colour is a bit washed out my shots of coral cod/trout are stronger than this. Still they can vary in different parts of the world.



Ardy, given that this was shot in Bonaire, it is actually a type of Grouper called a Red Hind. They look a lot like the Indopacific coral trout physically, but they are less brightly coloured. This is actually a pretty good exposure for this type of fish and is an accurate representation of their colours.
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#5 RussFair

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 03:00 PM

Jeff, Ardy, Craig,

Thanks for the feedback!

Craig, you hit the nail on the head. I was as low as the reef would allow, but I like your idea of a more head on shot with the body fading out. And your crop addresses what I couldn't put my finger on, the "uncomfortable" composition.

I shot this at f/8 for the most DOF that the 8080 would give me, and it looks like the grouper's mouth is sharp. I think the cleaner wrasse moved on me. After reviewing the shot I remembered a tip about using a high shutter speed (1/500 or so) with the strobe to produce a black background. Guess that might have frozen the wrasse as well.

ID-wise a couple of locals in Bonaire suggested this may be a tiger grouper due to the size, and they apparently can go quite red at cleaning stations. He was 2.5 to 3ft long. Do the hinds get that big?

In any case thanks all for your feed back. Can't wait to get wet again and try this out.

I've got one more of an Eagle Ray that I need to clean up and post later for suggestions.

Thanks,
-Russ