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Some of my first attempts up for criticism :-D


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#1 Amelia

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:03 PM

Hi guys, Im trying to get into under photography and eventually filming, any advice on my first few pics would be must appreciated!

Cheers,
Amelia

Attached Images

  • Scorpion Leafy V2.jpg
  • 4. "Flight" Palau.jpeg
  • 3. "Hideaway" Fiji..jpeg
  • 8. "Hidden secrets" Fiji.jpeg
  • Crab V2.jpg


#2 newmanl

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:58 AM

Hi Amelia,

First, please take my comments considering the source... I'm hardly an expert and in no way qualified to offer more than what likely amounts to my opinion and some regurgitation of what I've read!

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like you're shooting with one strobe. Carefully placed, there's a lot you can do with one strobe.

The first photo looks to have been side-lit and seems a bit unbalanced as a result. Perhaps you were trying to back-light the fish. The soft coral its sitting on, particularly to the left is over-exposed. Personally, if I were to take a shot like that with one strobe, I'd place the strobe directly above my dome (high up) and have it fill like filtered sunlight. Of course, that would produce more shadows than it shows in your shot, but we're used to seeing shadows under things anyway. I also find the background a little distracting, but reefs can be that way!

The jellyfish image is very good - sharp, nicely exposed and the colours look great! My only comment would be to shoot or crop leaving some space in the frame for the critter to swim into - the jellyfish is a little too close to the right edge of the frame.

The third shot (hole in the reef with divers) is good, but again, with one strobe I would have placed it directly above the dome (again, high up) and used its beam edges to add just a little light to the openning in the reef nearest the camera position. Having the right side lit and the left side dark (almost black) leaves it looking a bit unbalanced to me. A little fill light on both sides to show just a bit of detail would have been good. Also, in terms of timing, I would have waited for the diver in the upper part of the frame to get visually clear of the coral before squeezing the shutter. Martin edge calls that the "peak of the action" moment.

In the gorgonian image, it simply looks as if your strobe is too far forward and lighting up the water column between you and the subject. Again, I would have put the strobe directly over the dome and then angled it upwards a little to catch the subject(s) with the bottom egde of the beam. That's a concept Martin calls "edge lighting".

The little crab shot looks fine. If possible I would have shot that with the idea of turning it into a pano of sorts by cropping background and foreground giving the crab movement space to the sides.

If you don't already have it, I'd suggest you pick up a copy of Martin's book (The Underwater Photographer) - it should be required reading for anyone wanting to move their underwater photography forward.

I hope some of this proves useful!

Cheers,

Lee

#3 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:49 AM

Hi Amelia,

All of these shots have something very special, they are taken by you! In addition to that they are a lot better than the ones I started out with and will only get better as you dive more. Like the previous poster I am no expert either but here are my impressions.

1: The riot of colors and shapes draws the focus away from the fish which I assume was the main focus. You did get good eye-level positioning but I think it would have worked better if you could have moved to the right for a more head-on orientation for a more "personal" contact. It also appears that that would have added more blue water area on the left, which is a nice contrast with the red and is less distracting. Another way to bring out the fish is to get closer and with these fish that normally stay put you probably could have done that. The previous poster already commented on the lighting. Like Lee I also normally have my strobe above the lens but that is more because I don't want to have to think if it would be better to the left or the right :)

2: To me this is not so interesting as an artistic image but very nice as documentation of a very nice animal. Ideally there would be more blue on the right than the left.

3: I like this one as it is. If you had the divers on remote control you might have asked the one on top to stay away but in practise you need to work with what you get. If you had waited for him/her to swim to a better spot the others may have disappeared. If you did time the shot to get the air-streams where you have them then you are already thinking about "peak action". Actually if this was a Martin Edge image one of the divers would be pointing his torch at you, one of the things I distinctly didn't like about his book.

4: The two pieces of coral take up almost all the frame without space to give the image context or depth. In this case there might not have been much of interest surrounding it and no willing fish to pose in front of the them. The great thing about digital is that you can still take an image. If it works out great, if not you learn from it and can judge better what situations have good potential and which to swim past.

5: I like this one a lot, partly because it is a great little animal, looks like a Pixar character with its big eyes, and partly due to the very good eye-level positioning and this time also eye-contact. The symmetry of the animal also helps and makes it a perfect candidate to put dead center in the image.

Welcome to wetpixel and I wish you many exciting dives to come

Bart
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Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE