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Problem with the strobe/sand etc. how shall i try this the next time?

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#1 divetheworld



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Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:14 AM


i have a problem with this picture. i am using a nikon d90 in the nauticam housing with one inon z240 strobe. the pictures was taken on the housereef. i'm new to photography and was wondering if you guys may tell me, how to take a nicer picture from this nice ribbon eel, as i can go there at anytime. my problem is the sandy surrounding, which makes everything look overexposured. on the backside of he eel is a coral block as well. and to make it worse, on the housereef is poor visibility with lot of floating stuff.

taken with iso 200 and f14 with 60/s. shall i take a fast shutterspeed to get the background darker? please help

Posted Image

thanks in advance.

Edited by divetheworld, 04 June 2010 - 12:16 AM.

#2 DDT uk

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:47 AM

I am no expert on here but these are my thoughts anyway.

The first thing that I would do is get closer. The more than the main subject occupies the frame the less the sand will appear to intrude. The eel is what you are trying to show and is the point of interest. The sand is not particular interesting and so you can get rid of as much as possible.

The flash fires very quickly and this is want is lighting most of the frame. Therefore the shutter speed won't have a great deal of difference on this composition. It is possible to use a snoot to only light the subject but as you are new to this I would stick with the basics.

You should also remember that if you shoot upwards then you can also remove the seabed.

So, if I were you I would get as close and as low as possible when retaking the shot.

I hope that helps


#3 ckchong


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Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:53 AM

Yes ... you need to dia up the shutterspeed will help to darker the back and use maybe 8/f or lower to blue up the background. Are you using F/O for TTL? The bast lens to shoot ribbon eel is using 105mm lens and i guess you are not close enough to get rich coluor. Try not putting your strobe close to your port and try different angle will be help.

Just my personal opinion

#4 ckchong


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Posted 04 June 2010 - 01:05 AM

One more thing...menu flash will help to this white sand situation

#5 tdpriest


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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:24 AM

Sadly, there isn't a good way to shoot a dark eel against a white background, so you need to shoot the ribbon eel against the water by getting down onto the sand, or look for a subject away from the coral fragments. You need to light the eel, without lighting the light colours of the background: you could use a snoot, but I guess that most experienced photographers would look elsewhere for a subject as the negative space is so hard to handle here.



#6 stewsmith


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Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:18 PM

I have tried many times to get a nice shot of a black ribbon eel and all have been unsuccessful. Nowadays I just wave at them and try to find something else to photograph.


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#7 james


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Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:17 PM

Haha, good point Stew. The same goes for black frogfish. How about waiting for the eel to come out to feed at night and photographing him somewhere else? Or you can wait for him to transition from his juvi phase to a blue adult :-)

While you've given us your camera settings divetheworld, you haven't said anything about the flash settings. What were you using, TTL or manual flash? How much power?

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#8 Edward Lai

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:34 PM

It does help minimize over-exposing the surroundings by using 'snoot' (selective lighting) which is a popular topic here in WP. Try search for these topics in WP forums and you will find a lot of information.