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First Try (and first post) - Jellyfish


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#1 bertstephani

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:34 PM

Hi all,

I've been photographing for a couple of years (and turned photography into my job) but only topside. A couple of months ago I bought an Olympus E-PL1, an Olympus housing and an Inon S-2000 flash for a job in a swimming pool. Last year I also took up diving again but I never had an urge to do any diving photography. But since I got the camera, I took it with me on a dive in Holland. Prior to this dive, I'd only tested the camera out in a pool a couple of times.

The Dive:
Last May we visited a site in The Netherlands (I'm from Belgium) called "Bergse Diepsluis" to see if we could find the sepias that come here around that time. At 9 meters the visibility was so bad (less than 50cm) that we couldn't see each other even when swimming shoulder to shoulder. On top of that my buddy got some minor ear troubles and I struggled with holding that brand new camera while doing all the other diving things like navigating, checking my computer, adjusting my BCD, ... No need to say that it wasn't much fun so we quickly decided to head back to shore. Between 1 and 2 meters of depth the visibility was around a meter so we decided to spend the rest of the dive looking around in a small area where we found a willing photo subject.

Posted Image

The Shot:
I suddenly saw a small jellyfish passing by, a very common sight but the thing with common things is that you quickly take them for granted and don't give them a second look. But since there was not much else to see, I decided to try to photograph the jellyfish. I set my camera manually to ISO400, 1/160 and f/8 to block out the ambient light and still get some depth of field. The Inon S-2000 (on a short flexible arm) was on TTL and did a great job exposing the subject. I asked my buddy to backlight the Jellyfish with her dive light.
I only did some contrast and color tweaking in Lightroom. I left the floating particles in the shot because I think these are part of diving in our area.

I don't consider this to be a great image compared to all the beautiful stuff in this forum but it was my first halfway decent underwater shot, so I'd be happy to hear what you guys think.

Edited by bertstephani, 11 December 2011 - 12:36 PM.


#2 Damo

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:34 PM

Well my man...firstly...congrats on your first photo post on wetpixel!

Secondly...as with any photo...the key thing is...you like it!
Thirdly...given the very difficult and challenging conditions you were in...you have done very well indeed to come away with this exposure.
Fourthly...critique wise, all I'd say ...to my eye anyway... the center of the jellyfish looks a little bit overexposed....(left hand side)...but again.. there is potential in any subject.
Try looking at your image in black and white and see what you get!??..if you see the jelly again, as a suggestion..try different lighting angles to bring out more detail??
Just thoughts. :-)

And finally...you have just taken your first steps with your camera underwater..we are all on the learning curve...just enjoy the ride..and your images will improve!!
There are more than enough pics here to delight and inspire you.

Happy snapping :-)
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#3 bertstephani

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:04 AM

Thanks a lot Damo for your constructive criticism, really appreciate it

#4 garyyoss

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:19 AM

Thanks a lot Damo for your constructive criticism, really appreciate it


Just a few adjustments in Lightroom removing the aqua as well as some spot removal and dust/scratch in Photoshop of the black areas in the background and dark areas within the Jellyfish.

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  • 20110506_scuba_bergsediep_024_Edit.jpg

Nikon D800, Sea and Sea MDX-D800, Nikon D300, Sea and Sea MDX-D300, Inon Z-240's, Nikkor 16-35mm, Tokina 10-17mm, Nikkor 60mm, Nikkor 12-24mm, ULCS Hardware