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Manta Cleaning


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#1 diver dave1

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:45 AM

So this friendly Manta was getting cleaned by a few wrasse at Kona last summer. I really want to love the picture but somehow it just does not pop the way I wish it would. So how to improve it in post?
I tried spot removing the various small fish in the frame, wondering if they were distracting. I took out brighter ones, left darker ones.
White balance has been adjusted and some noise reduction applied. It all improved the image but somehow, I feel there is more there.

So what do others recommend/think?

If I had the option to duplicate the shot, what should be different?
Short of just getting closer, what composition would be better? My right shoulder is nearly touching the coral so just getting lower would not really be possible.

Posted Image

I tried some cropping. Is this better to your eye?

Posted Image

(note: there is slight banding in the blue with the lower res. reproduction. It is not present in the high res. pic.)

Nauticam D7000, Inon Z-240's, 60 micro, 105 micro, Tokina 10-17

www.shiningseastudio.com


#2 philsokol

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 10:10 AM

Hey Dave,

You should love this picture - it's awesome! The only thing I would suggest is a tighter crop, a little tighter than yours and from the other direction so the reef-side fin has more room and putting the visible eye in the center of the frame.

Really nice image!

Phil

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#3 diver dave1

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:29 PM

Tighter, from the open ocean side, more room for the reef side fin...
Is this what you were suggesting?

Posted Image

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#4 tdpriest

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:01 AM

The port-side fin is lost against the reef: photographed from a little lower, so that it appears white, or from closer to the reef, so that it appears against the blue, would help. If the image were tilted a little, putting the manta on the diagonal, that might help, too. The exposure, depth of field and the lighting are spot on, and i would have been very pleased to get an image like this.

Tim

:)

#5 diver dave1

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:56 AM

Thank you for the comments and suggestion.
I think the tilting is a good idea. I took our a few distracting fish, tilted, adjusted the light gradients so it looks as if a morning dive at that location/direction rather than an aftn dive.
Seems to me the tilt gives it a feeling of motion more than the original. What do you think?

Posted Image

Your suggestions about the port fin are spot on...if only I could get the Manta to glide where desired...or I was better at anticipating..
But wild life are a lot like golf balls and teenagers. They often do not do what you want and ignore you when you talk to them.

All your kind comments mean a lot. I only got to dive for 8 days in 2011. I see all these magnificent offerings on this site and dream of doing more.

Nauticam D7000, Inon Z-240's, 60 micro, 105 micro, Tokina 10-17

www.shiningseastudio.com