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Giant Pacific Octopus


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#1 adobedavid

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Posted 07 March 2002 - 12:01 AM

Here's a photo I tookl last weekend of a Giant Pacific Octopus. The rest of the gallerys can be seen at:

http://www.ecreative...allery/alki3.4/

The balance of the photos are not particularly good, but have a look if you like.

image

-David

#2 ssdiver

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Posted 13 March 2002 - 11:02 PM

I like the detail in the tentacles

#3 adobedavid

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Posted 14 March 2002 - 12:50 PM

Thanks SS... I had (and still have) a tough time with this subject (because she's on her eggs right now, we are tracking her progress on a weekly basis).

The problem is that I want to capture the subtle details in her skin, but to expose properly for the skin means that the white areas of the suckers are totally blown out. I have spot metered for the suckers, but the resulting photo is so dark that even Photoshop can't do anything with it.

This is a simple problem for me on land, but being a new underwater photographer, I'm really struggling with exposing subjects underwater that have bright white spots - I have the same problem with some of my shots of white plumose anemones, but less so there because the entire critter is white.

But this one has me baffled. Anyone have any ideas? Is there a lighting technique I could do differently? She's in 100' of Puget Sound water, so there's no ambient light at all.

This octo, by the way, is pretty dang big. Her arms are bigger around than mine, the suckers you see here are about 3" across, and her mantle is the size of a basketball. She's a very pretty girl... ;)

Thanks for the comment, SS.

#4 ssdiver

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Posted 14 March 2002 - 04:37 PM

I'm an amatuer, so I don't know if this will help, but I have seen people using video lights, rather than strobes, when the subject needs illumination without washing out the rest.
See the picture of the spawning coral in this forum. That is the technique used in that shot.

btw-almost sounds like you have a crush on the octupus---I don't blame you
;)

#5 SharpDiver

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Posted 16 March 2002 - 07:08 PM

First, I am trying to remember your rig. Is that a DS-125 strobe on a Ikelite housing?

If that is correct, here are a couple of things to try. If you have a diffuser, try adding that. If you don't, make one out of the side of a plastic milk jug and some bungee cord. Also, try aiming the center of the strobe off to one side or the other of the subject. In this case, I would have aimed the center of the strobe at the big rock on the left, so that the suckers are edge-lighted. Also, while you have to get the camera close to get the shot, try pulling the strobe back a bit. 8 to 12 inches further away from the subject would have made a significant difference.

It would also be interesting to see what you can do with manual strobe control in this situation. The rumor mill has it that Ikelite will soon release a manual controller for the DS-125 that would give you control over the strobe output instead of the camera's circuitry.

#6 james

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Posted 17 March 2002 - 04:21 PM

I've heard that rumor too Jeff...

All good advice.

Cheers
James Wiseman
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#7 DigiSnap Mark

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Posted 17 March 2002 - 10:59 PM

Hey Dave,

It really is more difficult to get a good exposure underwater, particularly with semi-macro shots like you have... I'm finding that the old adage "Expose for the Highlights" is particulary important. If you get the whites right, you can generally compress the dynamic range in software enough to pull out the rest of the image.

BTW, you ought to come down to Sunrise Beach for Octopi... ;)

image

#8 DigiSnap Mark

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Posted 17 March 2002 - 11:04 PM

Ooops, just noticed your Wolfie post... guess you've been to Sunrise!

Here's one of mine...

image