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Need Help Improving Splits/Over Under


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#1 ragebot

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:28 AM

Posted Image Hi All,

My name is Tom and I am a recovering underwater photographer. I have recently switched to digital and am trying to improve my splits (over under) images. I captured this image recently and am hoping for tips on how to improve it. I used a Nauticam 7d housing with a Zen dome port and a Tokina 10-17. I am considering getting a Nauticam viewfinder, and have seen some claims that the 45 degree viewfinder is better than the 180 for splits, but am not sure about this.

The image was captured at Wakulla Springs State Park. I have had good luck there as the water is very clear and manatees will sometimes initiate contact with divers coming very close (like as in 2 feet close). Any hints on how to improve image quality of splits is welcome.

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#2 Autopsea

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 11:05 AM

Go to F/14+, the surface will then be a lot more in focus and so less blurry :D

#3 Panda

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:43 PM

f/16, zoom wide (10mm), large dome, spit on dome and rub it around.
Dip under, lock focus then shoot a few shots while lifting the camera up.

Shoot RAW and set exposure so that above water highlights like clouds don't blow out.
Darken the above and lighten the below in Photoshop.

Edited by Panda, 07 October 2011 - 12:45 PM.

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#4 ragebot

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:18 PM

OK, I get the stopping down thing, but I guess my real question was not just about focus and exposure (which could certainly be imporved); but composition as well. I am not sure this is the right term, but the water line seems to be too thick, and I suspect this is the result of the camera being at the wrong level; I am guessing the water line would not be almost hitting the manatee's back, but would show the manatee was really about three feet or so below the surface. While the Nauticam housing seems to be a good one using live view and trying to compose looking at the LCD while holding the camera at arms length is not a skill I have developed yet. In fact I am not sure that is the best way to compose. I have seen a couple of Nauticam viewfinders, the 180 and 45 degree, but again I am not sure if the addition of a viewfinder would help.

Panda's suggestion to dip the camera under water and "shoot a few shots" makes sense in a spray and pray type of shooting, and this is something I use when shooting birds in flight with my 1d4. Now I am wondering if a spray and pray method of just capturing as many images as possible in high speed mode and picking out the best ones would produce more keepers than trying to carefully compose fewer shots.

I am planning to return to Wakulla Springs next week (have a dive at another location planned for the weekend) and will definitely stop down more and see how that works.

Thanks for the replies, and more input welcome.

#5 elbuzo

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 04:33 PM

.... "the water line seems to be too thick, and I suspect this is the result of the camera being at the wrong level"

The wider the dome port , the thinner the water line .

JA

#6 Steve Williams

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:52 PM

I think part of what you are seeing is due to the angle of the housing. If it's pointed up slightly and/ or wave action will cause the effect you're seeing.

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#7 Panda

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:57 PM

Yes what Steve said. You're actually seeing some of the under surface of the water. If the water level aligned exactly with the centre of the lens and the camera was horizontal then you would have a thin line. It also looks like you're more towards the 17mm end of the zoom and maybe using a small dome??

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#8 jcclink

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 04:52 PM

I have similar issues with over/under shots. I haven't tried this yet, but was thinking that marks on both the back of the housing & sides of the port corresponding to center of dome at 3 & 9 o'clock positions would provide references points for proper alignment.

Edited by jcclink, 08 October 2011 - 04:53 PM.

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#9 ragebot

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 06:24 PM

I am using an 8 inch Zen dome. The Tokina was at 17mm and still the manatee is less than 1/3 of the entire FOV. While sometimes manatees will initiate contact if they choose to stay afar there is no way a diver can close the distance. I was in a designated swimming area at the park and holding on to a rope (there is about a 2 knot current from the spring) that designates the limits of the swimming area.

While I like the idea of maybe using touch up auto paint to designate the 3 and 9 o'clock positions I am not sure every image should be composed with the surface of the water at the 1/2 mark.

I am still wondering about adding a viewfinder to help with composition, something I asked about earlier. Nauticam makes both a 180 and 45 degree viewfinder and I am leaning towards the 45 degree because I think it would help with splits.

Do any of you guys use a viewfinder, and if so what is your impression of the difference between the 180 and 45.

#10 NWDiver

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 06:04 AM

No expert but I do really enjoy shooting over/unders. Typically I "set-up" with shooting o/u in mind. Using Tokina 10-17mm, 9" Aquatica dome, 2x Inon240. Typically I shoot them on the vertical. I like to have both strobes underwater in the 7&4 o'clock positions (roughly). Since my strobes attach to my handles the "top" one must have more strobe arms to hang down so even with the strobe attached to the "bottom" handle.

In the water I try to find a subject of interest underwater, large coral head with lots of life or fish that is not shy. Regardless it to be large or a creature you can get really close to or it will lost in the frame. If I can use my strobes I tend to expose for the sky, increasing the power of the strobes to compensate. But in general I find I have to Photoshop the Over, bringing down the exposure. Once I have found a spot I fill up my BC and floaty. Camera is on slow burst. I shoot as I raise the camera out of the water, as mentioned keeping it straight up and down as possible. For me the rest is luck.

A few examples of my attempts.

Willing Subject
Posted Image

Goofing around
Posted Image

I was worried about bumping into this lion fish but still looks tiny in the shot
Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by NWDiver, 12 October 2011 - 06:13 AM.


#11 errbrr

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:04 PM

The lionfish is cool, and I love your boat shot with the fish. My problem with splits is that my camera (5DII and 14mm lens behind an 8" dome) tries to focus on the water line across the dome. It upsets the autofocus, slows everything down and takes forever. The way around this seem to be changing the active focus points to target either above or below. Alternatively, under overs in the dark zone mean there's no light on the water line to allow for focus, and everything gets easier.

Here's one of my recent ones from a cave...don't have to worry about the sky blowing out.
Posted Image

#12 sideways

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 06:39 AM

Wow.... awesome shots NW!!! LOVE the first one. I don't have as much a focus problem, mt biggest problem is water dropplets on my 8" acrylic dome ^_^


Posted Image

Edited by sideways, 14 October 2011 - 06:44 AM.

Similan Islands....
http://www.flickr.co...804385191/show/

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#13 bchris113

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 02:54 PM

Posted Image Hi All,

My name is Tom and I am a recovering underwater photographer. I have recently switched to digital and am trying to improve my splits (over under) images. I captured this image recently and am hoping for tips on how to improve it. I used a Nauticam 7d housing with a Zen dome port and a Tokina 10-17. I am considering getting a Nauticam viewfinder, and have seen some claims that the 45 degree viewfinder is better than the 180 for splits, but am not sure about this.

The image was captured at Wakulla Springs State Park. I have had good luck there as the water is very clear and manatees will sometimes initiate contact with divers coming very close (like as in 2 feet close). Any hints on how to improve image quality of splits is welcome.


Hi,

I am new to UW photography but shooting splits is of great interest to me. In addition to stopping down the aperture for greater depth of field I have experimented with setting the focal point on the "virtual image".The virtual image is somewhere between 2 and 3 feet in front of the dome.
http://www.jonathanb.../photo_tip2.htm
http://www.uwphotogr...ome-port-optics

~c

#14 diverdoug1

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:26 AM

Wow.... awesome shots NW!!! LOVE the first one. I don't have as much a focus problem, mt biggest problem is water dropplets on my 8" acrylic dome :)


Posted Image

RAIN_X!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#15 Cary Dean

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:15 AM

Hi All,
My name is Tom and I am a recovering underwater photographer. I have recently switched to digital and am trying to improve my splits (over under) images. I captured this image recently and am hoping for tips on how to improve it. I used a Nauticam 7d housing with a Zen dome port and a Tokina 10-17. I am considering getting a Nauticam viewfinder, and have seen some claims that the 45 degree viewfinder is better than the 180 for splits, but am not sure about this.

The image was captured at Wakulla Springs State Park. I have had good luck there as the water is very clear and manatees will sometimes initiate contact with divers coming very close (like as in 2 feet close). Any hints on how to improve image quality of splits is welcome.


Hi Tom,

The first step is admitting you have a problem :)

I see this is an old post....

Viewfinders - The 45 is great for splits if you can stand (shallow water)
or lean out of a boat (also good for keeping you off the reef if shooting macro).
The 180 is great for general shooting as it gives you a magnified image.
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