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Exposure settings for cave diving photography


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#21 errbrr

errbrr

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 06:17 AM

Great shots! I like the softer foreground light in your "failed" strobe image Chip. I note you've also got some of those nice DIR divers who swim around with their non-torch hand out in front as well - it's a good place to put your strobe sensor.

 

I agree with Lee on the safety front, I usually only take photos on the journey into the cave and I avoid taking them immediately after turning for home. Photos inbound also takes advantage of the clear water. Even if it's not silty on the way out it will be slightly milky from bubbles through the water.

 

If people are coming this way with cave diving photography in mind, get in touch! We have some speccy caverns close to civilisation and some even better large caves out in the back of beyond. A few more decorated caves would make me very happy but you can't have everything.



#22 newmanl

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:10 PM

Hi Alison,

 

Here are a few photos from my last trip in June. All were taken with a Canon 7D, at 1/40th, between f 5.6 and 6.3 and at 400 ISO. I use one DS-160 on the camera and one or two slaves (also DS-160's) depending on the number of models (each model carries a slave). The strobe on the camera is dialed down in terms of output, and in some cases where the rock is white, or the strobe is close, the slaves need to be powered down a little as well. However, that requires additional communication after the shot between the shooter and the models - obviously. That's partly where video lights would make the exposure easier to manage - just adjust the settings from the camera.

 

I should also point out that contrary to some, I prefer some dark areas in my images. It keeps some of the mystery of the cave alive, as well as maintains the point that these are dark places and as such, need to be entered, explored and recorded with respect.

 

Hope that helps! Great shot of the diver in the cenote!

 

Lee

 

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#23 Alison Perkins

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:10 PM

Nice shots Lee! What lens are you using? How do you fire your remote strobes?


Underwater photographer based in New Zealand.

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#24 newmanl

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:25 AM

Thanks Alison. I was using a Tokina 10-17. As long as one avoids the getting too close to speleothems with straight edges/forms, the distortion is manageable (IMHO). As for the remote strobes, each is fired by an Ikelite EV Manual Controller.