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[hammerhead me :)] Shark Shots


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#1 jbonehoss

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 11:36 PM

Recently returned from an amazing Bahamas shark trip on the Shearwater (www.scuba-adventures.com). We had great luck cage-free diving with Tiger Sharks, Great Hammerheads, Bulls, etc. I thought I would share a couple shots! Please feel free to hammer away with any/all opinions. Its hard to pick from the thousands of shots on a trip, but here are 4...


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I highly recommand the trip - its very intense and real :angry:
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#2 MikeVeitch

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:08 AM

Love those first two shots Justin! Absolutely fantastic.

Great to hear you loved the trip as well, i am sooo wanting to do that one.

I like the idea of the third shot as well, nice moody natural lighting, however, your strobe placement was off and the bright foreground sand on the right distracts from the shot. Getting that strobe up off the sand would have helped, sand really reflects light and you need to get that strobe up away from it. However, i would imagine the action was fast and furious and is therefore difficult sometimes to change strobe positioning when a Tiger is bearing down on you! :angry:

Also the last shot, a bit underexposed on the belly for my liking. It seems to be in the blah zone between flash exposed and silhouette.

Love the composition throughout. Well done, looking forward to more

M

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#3 yahsemtough

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:03 AM

I agree with Mike's comments. The sand is a bit distracting due to the strobe but I love the idea of Mood that the shot conveys. Maybe a touch more light on the first shot or WB but love the composition. Great stuff. Hope you got to have Jimmy on your trip as he can add to an already great experience.

As for wanting to go on that trip...you bet although I think I have done it 4 times. :angry:

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#4 elbuzo

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:06 AM

Justin:

I agree with Mike , plus:

The blue water saturation and the balance light in your first is perfect .

The second is great but i would liked best with some light touch on the mouth and teeth . I know that light coming from below is not natural but in this case it could be a break-the-rule one.

Congratulations


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#5 Lionfish43

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:38 AM

Wow, really nice. I especially like the first one - great perspective. No 3 +4 don't work as well for me. As the others have pointed out the strobe positioning is off on 3 and 4 could have used a little fill to light the underside of the shark although I know how difficult that is when the animal is that close.

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#6 jbonehoss

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:53 AM

OK - great feedback. This is awesome!

So, here is a modified version of #3 based on the criticisms so far. Is this better? I pulled back on the lighting and also pulled the hook out (haha). Its a little blue but seems much more pleasing. My goal of the shot was to have the rippled sand well lit along with the rippled/lit sky. Sounds like I should have also made sure at least 1 strobe was better targeted at the shark.

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I also agree with #4 problem with no fill flash - I like the composition but its a wasted shot without the belly lit. I have a bunch of reef sharks that are much better lit but they seem less interesting than these other, bigger sharks.

Any thoughts on the new #3?
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#7 james

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 11:13 AM

Hi Justin,

I hope you don't mind, but I worked on your tiger shot a bit.

I went to Levels and white balanced by using the white dropper on the sand. I clicked around till I found a spot which wouldn't blow out the sand too badly. Then I went to the blackpoint slider and clicked it while holding down ALT. This lets you slide it until you start to see underexposure. I pulled it to the right.

Then I went to the channel mixer and selected Green, then pulled down the Absolute by about 4.

Anyhow, this all brought out the nice bronze color on the shark, but it did mess up the water and the overexposed sand a bit.

Hope that helps.

James

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#8 Photobeat

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 01:26 PM

James you did a great job on the shark, really good but the Sun rays in the back were a great part of the pic actually I think it makes this pic really distinctive compared to many shark shots. So Here is James's shark on the original picture, some contrast brightness adgustments. Three guys = one great pic.

As far as the others go. Pic number one is an awesome composition - world class, needs a little work just like the one below and is also a perfect example of when having TTL is a godsend. Don't get many chances to practice on this type of pic. Pic two might have needed more depth of field or taken at a slower shutter speed ,I would sharpen it up on photoshop a little but it is such a great shot. The one below is a contest winner for sure thanks to James and a simple overlay by me, The last one is killer. When have a great subject and composition you don't have to be perfect, perfect for the image to carry a lot of impact. The power of Photoshop can really make couple of these incredible pics even better. Justin you did a great job wish I had some shots like these, even if not perfect with exposures you were smart to be a liittle under than over, cause you can work with them. If they were blasted out with the strobe it woud be hard to do much.

Notes on the edit: I would duplicate the backgrond image in the layers menu, follow what James did on the duplicate. Then hide the locked background and erase all around the shark. Next use the shadow highlight tool to just bring out some of the tiger markings on the shark, unhide the background and done!

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#9 jbonehoss

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:04 PM

Thanks for the words of encouragement and help you guys...You inspired me to go back and take another crack at it :unsure: So - I worked to try to preserve the light rays Photobeat was working on and get that bronze color James pulled out in the shark and keep the sand OK.

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Basically, I adaptively applied levels adjustments to various aspects of the image (shark, background, etc) via masking. Hopefully its starting to look better!! Thanks y'all
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#10 Michel Braunstein

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 11:17 PM

Hey Justin!

You pics are outstanding! My prefered are #1 and #2.
#3 looks great as well after some PS works.
#4 is also nice but I think the sun is making a too large burned place on the picture and could be corrected and the shark's belly should be "whiter" and again it could be corrected. Globally the pic is nice.

Michel