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Available light shots


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#81 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 04:30 AM

Hey Guyz lets ask them to give us a price estimate to build a giant[B/] and [B]waterproof Expodisc/card.
Maybe Eric or James are allowed to test a prototype if it is priceworthy enough. One could press it against most
flatports underwater, however I doubt that it will have much use with domeports.
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#82 Nautical Disaster

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:36 AM

Andi..

I'd rather something on the outside of my housing so it can be removed underwater if the need arises.

Do you think that a CC30M or CC30R filter by itself is enough or do you need something else as well.

How would the slip in filters work in the water?? will they be affected by the water??

Dave

#83 RichardG

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 04:57 AM

Folks,

I've been following this topic with interest - as an owner of an Olympus 4040 and PT-010 but no strobe or wide angle lens a lot of my photographs end up using just available light by accident rather than design.

I've recently returned from a trip to the Southern Red Sea where I experimented with using a filter for available light photographs. My experience wasn't great as I found that the reduction in light resulted in poorer quality photgraphs caused by a slower shutter speed. This was probably because I used it mainly whilst diving in caverns which already had limited light available - I shall have to try again next trip.

However, what I wanted to say that it is worth people with a similar set up to mine trying available light shots even if they don't have filters, grey cards etc. When learning to take pictures underwater everybody tells you to get as close as possible to your subject. This is certainly a good thing when using a stobe or internal flash but if you adhere to this rule slavishly you are passing up potentially good shots.

From the camera available light shots may not look that impressive but since we're shooting digital we have the advantage of being able to easily enhance the image. I've attached some before and after images which I have enhanced in Photoshop Elements which hopefully give an idea of the type of shot you can get with this technique. Whilst they may not be magazine quality these type of shots are amongst my favourites for conveying to other people what it's like to dive.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Richard

#84 Major Molly

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 04:22 AM

Richard,

Those before and after shots look great. How did you do that in Photoshop. I have exactly the same set up as you and I've spent ages fiddling with images in the computer to try and achieve the same results but with no success.

Mark

#85 RichardG

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 07:36 AM

Mark,

Not every shot works as well as the ones posted and I haven't got just one technique that works every time. I'm not qualified to give a tutorial on Photoshop but things I've had success with using Photoshop Elements 1.0 are:

1. Use the Enhance->Colour Cast. Initially I wouldn't use this tool as I thought it would be better to try and use less automated adjustments. However I've found there's nearly always something that should be white in pictures e.g. dead coral, stripes on fish. Click on these and you often get good results. You can always reset and try again if you don't like the result, also by clicking the preview checkbox on and off you can check the results against the original.

2. Create a New Adjustment Layer->Levels and adjust the levels of each colour in turn. I find it's best to leave the red to last and often find that you don't want to move the right hand slider right to the edge of the histogram as the the results often look unnatural.

3. Create a New Adjustment Layer->Hue/Saturation and reduce the saturation of the Cyan. This often removes the cyan cast you get on white objects. You can also try; using the sliders to change the range of colour desaturated; change the hue of cyans to be more blue; increase the saturation of reds and magentas.

4. Create a New Fill Layer->Solid Colour containing red/magenta. Set the layer mode to colour and play with the transparency until you get the colours you want.

You will often need to use more than one of these steps 1 & 2, 2 & 3 or 4 & 3. With practise I find that using 1 & 2 gives me the best results.

When you are ready to display your pictures or print them flatten the layers and use the Sharpen->Unsharp Mark tool to sharpen them up.

Good luck,

Richard

#86 Major Molly

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 03:31 AM

Richard,

thanks very much I'll try these and see what happens.


:)

#87 craig

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 08:13 AM

I've had no problems with filter damage due to salt water. The 67mm filters are fine with the PT-015.
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#88 arollingstone

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 06:03 AM

Does anyone know what filter options,if any, are available for the Oly C5050z? I saw a Dive Master in Cairns use simply a gel cut out to the diameter of a PT housing for the 4040 and place it inside the housing and up against the housing "lens", seemed to work fine.

I am a little confused as to the gel to buy, it looks like 30 to 50 cc Red is the choice. My sony MPK housing uses the Cyan UW filter.

I will be using the 5050 in PNG in early November. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Leonard

#89 craig

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 06:47 AM

The PT-015 uses a 67mm thread so you can use external filters. You can also use gels as you describe but you must be careful with them and they can't be changed underwater.

For gels, you can use red or magenta. The magenta gels will pass more blue so they're more appropriate for deeper shots. Either will work shallow. I prefer to use a combination of gels, a magenta and a warming, so that I can control each variable. If you will dive shallow and only wish to use a single gel, the red ones may be a better choice. Se the Filters and Ambient Light feature article for more detailed recommendations of filters and gels.
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#90 SharpDiver

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 04:10 PM

Alex, Craig, or others familiar with this concept.

I am on my way to Bonaire in a few days, and I am going to be shooting some ambient light shots with a Singh Ray FL-B filter (I think I got the last one on the planet).

Craig's link on mixed light sources is very interesting. Any way that I could get a blue gel that I could add to my strobe -- in a hurry? (I leave Friday). Any gels that are durable enough to just wrap around and rubber band to a strobe?

Also for the experienced: I am planning on shooting with the Singh-Ray filter sandwiched between the port ring of an Oly PT-015 and an Olympus wide angle conversion lens. I am concerned about vignetting. Any thoughts?

#91 craig

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 06:08 PM

I've heard that using the filter in this manner is OK but I haven't tried it. I'd check the vignetting carefully and make sure to zoom a little if necessary.

Gels will dissolve in saltwater unfortunately. Depending on your strobe, you may be able to mount a universal Cokin or Lee adapter and use a rectangular filter holder. There is a special Lee 100mm holder than fits my Inon strobes perfectly, for example, so I'm able to do exactly what you describe. Expect to pay good money, though. If you want to shoot with the FL-B attached where the subject is fairly close, I'd recommend a strong blue filter. An 80C minimum or perhaps even an 80A.

If you shoot this way, the overly red subject problem will be solved but there may be a pink or purple cast to the subject that should be easily addressed in photoshop. I've shot with the FL-B and uncorrected strobes, but it's very difficult to turn down strobe power enough to avoid the reds. Either an 80-series blue filter or a strong diffuser is really necessary.

Here is a picture of my strobe with the Lee filter and an 80B:
Posted Image
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#92 SharpDiver

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 07:14 PM

...  Depending on your strobe, you may be able to mount a universal Cokin or Lee adapter and use a rectangular filter holder.  There is a special Lee 100mm holder than fits my Inon strobes perfectly, for example, so I'm able to do exactly what you describe.  Expect to pay good money, though.  If you want to shoot with the FL-B attached where the subject is fairly close, I'd recommend a strong blue filter.  An 80C minimum or perhaps even an 80A.
...

Thanks, Craig. A couple of follow ups, if I may.

Have you tried the -3 diffuser that comes with the INON Z-220? Is that sufficient or is the blue filter a must?

Do you have part numbers for the Lee holder and filters that fit the Z-220? Is that something that B&H would have in stock? I'm leaving Friday, so I would have to have it expressed or just go with what I've got, but it could be interesting to experiment.

#93 SharpDiver

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 07:32 PM

Okay, I found it. B&H does have it in stock. It would take a couple hundred bucks to run this little experiment. How come my bank account always drains when I trade messages with you? :rolleyes:

I already have a bunch of new toys to play with this trip. I think I will try the -3 INON diffuser this time around and study the mixed light / mixed filter issue more thoroughly before whipping out the VISA.

Samples around the third week of September.

#94 craig

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 04:23 AM

The Lee holders and filters are expensive. I bought them for another use but discovered they were perfect for the Inon's.

I haven't tried the -3 diffusers but that's what I would try first. The problem with turning the strobes down is not the power range but the hot spot you get at the lower power levels. The -3 diffuser may be just the thing to use since it allows you to turn the strobe back up some.

I think your is the right one. If you have an FL-D filter it will be easier to use in combination with strobes but won't give as much color in backgrounds.
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#95 John Brooks

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 01:30 PM

The tech info about Alex's three shots describe a "red" filter. Can you be more specific?

#96 craig

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 01:35 PM

The tech info about Alex's three shots describe a "red" filter. Can you be more specific?

Read the wetpixel article located here. It should answer you questions.
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#97 wetpixel

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 10:56 PM

Early available light tests, from the Galapagos:

Posted Image
15mm, two gel filters (30CC Magenta, and 81something warming)

Posted Image
same as above. fairly deep, and very little light. had to pull color out using photoshop.

Unfortunately, we didn't have very much sunlight to work with, and there was often not enough white sand to white-balance off of. Test conditions were really not optimal.

My experiences:

1. you need a lot of light to make this work with still cameras (I must try blue-filtered strobes!)
2. it's hard to get sharp photos with gel filters in the rear filter holder (not sure what to do here)

All of these photos look great on the web, but I wasn't happy with them when I looked at them closely. Need to figure out how to get sharper results.
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#98 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 29 August 2003 - 01:08 AM

I just use Kodak Wratten Gel filters. These are thin optical quality plastic gels that I cut and mount on the back of my lens. I find the Nikkor 16mm very good for this because you can slip the cut circle of gel inside the removable rear filter mount.

I very much use this as a shallow water technique (top 7m ~ 21ft), while Craig choice of filters enables him to get great results at more typical diving depths. I just choose a filter strength (measured in CC units) for the depth I want to photograph and then do my dive accordingly.

For example for this shallow water shot taken a couple of weeks ago, I used a 10cc Red:
Posted Image

and you can use the same technique on film, this is exactly the same lens and filter on my 35mm camera taken on the same day:
Posted Image

Alex

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#99 wetpixel

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 02:01 AM

I just acquired CC10R, CC20R and CC30R filters, and will be experimenting with the great whites in Guadalupe next week. Wish me luck. :lol:
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#100 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 31 August 2003 - 03:16 AM

I just acquired CC10R, CC20R and CC30R filters, and will be experimenting with the great whites in Guadalupe next week.  Wish me luck. :)

Mhhh... I thought this would turn out like this. Therefore I got a CC50R gel.
I hope it is not too strong for shooting rays at The Alternatives. Also I did
not plan to use the gel at greater depth. I will try how the warming and
magenta filters perform on their own first. I will post results when we are
back. Nice to have this hints from Eric before leaving.

Plane takes off tommorow :-) CU GUYZ! :lol:
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