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Comment on the first macro shot of Scorpionfish


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#1 eddietkm

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 08:51 AM

Just came back from a holiday dive trip in Phuket, Thailand. This is my first time shooting macro shot using a 2 times macro lens attachment on my olympus C4000Z digital camera in PT-10 U/W housing and Sunpak G-flash.

The setting on the camera is as follows;
ISO-100, f/10, 1/100, Manual setting, brightness is reduces using photoshop as it was slightly overexposed, USM and slight contrast applied.

Thank you very much for your valuable inputs.
Regards,
Eddie :)

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  • Scorpionfish.jpg


#2 Photobeat

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 05:40 PM

I think you did everything right and everything you could do based on where the fish was, it is good technically, composition is fine, the problem is color separation in the negative space, it takes away the impact of the fish especially on the top profile line - not your fault just the way it came out based on where the fish was and how it adapts to its enviornment. Here is a fast P.S tweak to get more pop on the subject, it is a bit more dramatic but I think I like it a little better.

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  • pfishej.jpg

Aquatica Housing - D100 - 10.5dx - 17-55DX - Nikonos 105 strobes - TLC arms

#3 eddietkm

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 07:17 PM

Thank you very much Photobeat. May I know the steps you have P.S the photo?

Thank you.

#4 Photobeat

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 07:37 PM

Easy... 1 min edit if that - Use the burn tool with a large brush and go all around the fish. Then the sponge tool very sparingly on the fish - done !
Aquatica Housing - D100 - 10.5dx - 17-55DX - Nikonos 105 strobes - TLC arms

#5 eddietkm

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 06:39 AM

Thank you very much Photobeat for your advise.

Cheers
Eddie

#6 Painted Frogfish

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 04:25 AM

Hi Eddie
How do you like your underwater macro attachment? Is it the Inon one?
Anyway the photo is a bit overexposed. For digital in general it is easier to underexpose it and then lighten it up, especially if you shoot in RAW. Once overexposed and you blow the highlights, you can't get any detail back.
Marcus Lim
Nikon D200; Seacam; Ikelite DS-125

#7 Painted Frogfish

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 04:44 AM

Hi Eddie
With your camera you can get a darker background if you can use lower ISO, but I know you can't get lower than ISO 100. You also can get a darker background by using a smaller aperture than f10. Is that the smallest? Anyway these are camera limitations. :)

Here is a very similar but not necessarily better photo I took in Bali 2 days ago to show why an SLR is preferable. I could go down to f20 on this shot. Shutter speed 1/200, ISO 200 (which is the D70's lowest). One strobe. Note that the water around the top of the scorpionfish's head is 'black', so the subject stands out more. :)

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  • scorpionfish.jpg

Marcus Lim
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#8 eddietkm

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 09:06 AM

Thank you very much Marcus for your valuable advise. I got the Epoque 2x macro filter instead of Inon. I found that I have abit difficulty to work with once the attachment is on. I have to be very stable. Even as I approach the subject slowly, it will normally swim away. On land photography, I can always use a tripod but in uw, the situation is very different. I guess i need to work on the boyancy and stability and practice more.

For the shots on scopionfish, i only managed to capture 2 shots. For these two shots, the settings were fixed while I adjust the flash output manually. As i do not want to loose track of the divemaster in my group I could not stay there abit longer.

The smallest aperture for my digicam is f11 and you are right, the smallest ISO is 100. SLR is always my prefer choice but not at this moment as the total price for aquiring a casing and strobe is quite out of my budget.

Your photo does make the scopionfish stands out more. May I know how did you place your strobe for this shot? Is firing from the left side?

Sorry for the lengthy message.
Thank you very much Marcus
Regards,
Eddie

#9 Kelpfish

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 04:47 PM

Those are decent pics, but did you over-saturate them? They look a bit overdone on the PS side of things.

Joe
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#10 eddietkm

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 05:23 PM

Thanks Joe,
I did increase the contrast a little and also adjust the level to reduce the brightness.

#11 Painted Frogfish

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 11:58 PM

Hi Eddie
Yeah the strobe was on the top left hand side.
As for not making subjects swim away, yes, buoyancy control is important. So is approaching very slowly and making the breathing more slow. Sometimes I just stay with my buddy and ignore following the divemaster! Sometimes I stay with a subject for the entire dive!

Marcus
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