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I hate the dead blue faced zombie diver photos

Need lens filter advice.

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#1 Don in Colorado

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:02 AM

Many times I look at photos of divers, and the diver is blue.  This is true even in popular underwater photography books.  Look at the cover of the most popular underwater photography instruction book.

 

Here is my actual question.

 

I want to use a filter on my lens that has a slight tint, but not as saturated as a magic filter, or fl-b filters, or ur-pro filter.  I use ikelite 125 strobes, but I shoot from about 4-6 feet away from my subject.  I know i could get less blue faces if I was closer, but divers really don't want the photographer in their face, unless they are modeling.  I am not using models, just fellow divers as subjects.  If I use an filter from the above choices, I get too much orange in the diver's face, but at least I can tone that down in photoshop.  I prefer a strobe shot with filter compared to a strobe shot without filter.  I'd just like a less saturated filter. I am not interested in ambient light photography.  I am only interested in wide angle photography.  I shoot with a sigma 17-70 for my diver photos.  I have zero interest in a fisheye lens, such as a tokina 10-17, as I dislike the distortion of fish eye photos.

 

Does anyone know of a less saturated filter than the ones I have mentioned above?

 

How do you keep your divers from looking dead if you cannot be 6 inches away from them?

 

Thanks,

 

 

Don


Edited by Don in Colorado, 03 April 2013 - 07:14 AM.


#2 MortenHansen

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:08 AM

Dear Don,

 

My suggestion is to warm up your strobes with a lee straw filter rather than putting a filter on your lens, that way you can get the foreground warmer and the water still looking blue, you just have to set your whitebalance using your Kelvin setting and then do the fine-tuning in post. 

 

-Morten



#3 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:13 AM

Can you fit a screw-on filter on your Sigma 18-70mm inside the port?

Chris


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#4 Don in Colorado

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:29 PM

Thanks for the tip on the lee straw filter.  I will investigate that.

 

As far as front mount screw-on filters are concerned, the answer is yes, I can screw-on front filters.  The last time i went diving, I used a custom made, 77mm, fl-b singh-ray filter on the front of my lens.  I shoot raw, and I am able to tone down the orange color pretty well, but it is a lot of orange,  Using a filter on my lens has always helped me more than just using a strobe alone.  (I know that I am far away, but that is the reality of my shooting. )  I look forward to hearing your advice, and I welcome others to add their thoughts.

 

Thanks!


Edited by Don in Colorado, 03 April 2013 - 07:00 PM.


#5 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:40 PM

Don,

have a look here: http://www.tiffen.co...format=Screw-In

I am sure they have the right color to achieve what you want.

 

As Morton already mentioned, use the INON Color Correcting filters on my Z-240 strobes and i believe that they work good.

 

Chris


Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 03 April 2013 - 05:42 PM.

Nikon D800 - Sigma 15mm - Nikon 105mm Micro VR - Hugyfot Housing - 3 Inon Z-240 strobes - 2x2 8'' ULCS arms

Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
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#6 the_dragon_no1

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:41 AM

What about a wide angle lens? Not fisheye. How do you tweek the raw files? Sendt fra Samsung Galaxy S2, via Tapatalk forum app.

#7 bcliffe

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:10 AM

Doesn't matter if it is a wide angle lens or not, here is an examle with a 12mm on 7D.

 

http://www.flickr.co...ffe/6546312679/

 

The trick is lighting your subject with the gelled flash that color corrects for whatever white balance you are shooting in.  My conditions are green water (St. Lawrence River) and not what I want in my images, so my solution is.

 

Full CTO on the flash

Tungsten WB on the Camera

 

Straight out of the camera the model skin looks living, and the water blue. 

 

Really the only post tweaking will be adding some saturation, if you did not pre-set the WB in camera and set to auto you will likely have to select the WB in post that makes sense for the desired outcome.

 

Cheers

 Ben


Edited by bcliffe, 04 April 2013 - 06:07 AM.


#8 John Bantin

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:45 AM

My wife has a beautiful skin colour when photographed underwater. She starts off by wearing a natural Wratten 81EF! Kathie Rockett is another very good example. Choose your models carefully. (I had to marry mine!)


Edited by John Bantin, 04 April 2013 - 08:47 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#9 diver dave1

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 11:19 AM

Marrying your model is quite an expensive method!


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#10 Aussiebyron

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:38 AM

Don are you after something along the lines of these shots?

 

Unedited uncropped

 

2455443957_bd30d7806c.jpg

2571728023_81a60841c4.jpg

5773958741_615225d1ee.jpg

 

Regards Mark


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http://www.flickr.co...s/22898788@N04/

#11 John Bantin

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:30 AM

Nothing to do with this thread, but looking at Mark's pictures makes me wonder at the fact that we all take the same pictures of the same things. I'm embarrassed to say I recognise that telegraph!!!


Edited by John Bantin, 05 April 2013 - 01:30 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#12 Aussiebyron

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 03:24 AM

John I think of it more like we both been to some amazing places..........Nothing to be embarrassed about.

 

Regards Mark


Nikon D7000 with Aquatica housing called "Deedee", Tokina 10-17,Nikkor 60mm, Nikkor 105mm, Sigma 17-70, Ikelite DS161

http://www.flickr.co...s/22898788@N04/

#13 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:58 AM

Well, the cannon on our house wreck have a similar function like the telegraph ....

I saw adults "shooting" with the cannon or the machine guns for approx. 5 minutes and only the experience that this things transform adults in kids avoided

that i started to ascend with them in the believe that they are narced ...

Chris


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#14 Don in Colorado

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 07:22 PM

Hello Everybody.

 

      I have been unable to reply to everyone in a timely matter, and I apologize for that   I will try to get reply to everyone now. 

 

Don,

have a look here: http://www.tiffen.co...format=Screw-In

I am sure they have the right color to achieve what you want.

 

As Morton already mentioned, use the INON Color Correcting filters on my Z-240 strobes and i believe that they work good.

 

Chris

 

Thanks Chris,

       I emailed tiffen and they replied that I should talk to the folks at URPRO.  I do believe that filters on my strobes might help, and I may experiment with that.  Thanks for the tip.



#15 Don in Colorado

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 07:24 PM

What about a wide angle lens? Not fisheye. How do you tweek the raw files? Sendt fra Samsung Galaxy S2, via Tapatalk forum app.

 

I like the flexibility of the 17-70.  Often I cannot get as close to my subject as I would like, so the zoom is very handy for me.

 

I tweek my raw files in Lightroom or photoshop.  I just decrease the orange saturation, and play with the color balance. 



#16 Don in Colorado

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 07:34 PM

Doesn't matter if it is a wide angle lens or not, here is an examle with a 12mm on 7D.

 

http://www.flickr.co...ffe/6546312679/

 

The trick is lighting your subject with the gelled flash that color corrects for whatever white balance you are shooting in.  My conditions are green water (St. Lawrence River) and not what I want in my images, so my solution is.

 

Full CTO on the flash

Tungsten WB on the Camera

 

Straight out of the camera the model skin looks living, and the water blue. 

 

Really the only post tweaking will be adding some saturation, if you did not pre-set the WB in camera and set to auto you will likely have to select the WB in post that makes sense for the desired outcome.

 

Cheers

 Ben

 

That is a beautiful photo Ben, and I admire your model.  The skin color in the photo appears to be very natural, and it is the effect I am looking for.

 

I will be diving in Utila in June, in blue water.  I have Ikelite 125 strobes.  Do you have a CTO filter to recommend for such conditions?

 

Thank you



#17 bcliffe

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:44 AM

Lots of variables really go into that one, depth, natural light conditions.  Some experipmentation would probably be required. 

 

Generally above the waterline some photographers leave a 1/4 CTO on their key flash just to warm people up.

 

For blue water if I had to figure it out I would probably still stay with the CTO family, would probably have some full, 1/2, and 1/4 cut to fit my strobe and stack then in various comibnations until I get the feeling I like.

 

I would think in blue water the change you will probably make is to let your camera WB drift to something more natural, perhaps cloudy.

 

I don't shoot in blue water, so those that do and filter their strobes may want to pipe up.



#18 Giles

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 09:17 PM

I am sorry, and i know you said you couldn't get closer to your subjects but to me using a filter either on the camera or on the strobe is just hindering.

If the face is looking blue or the diver in general is looking blue that is because not enough light is getting to the diver and or then to the camera sensor.

If you are already using a strobe and you know you are not close enough putting a filter on will limit again the amount of light getting on the diver or to the sensor.

Simple solution .. get in the models face .. take a photo. Talk to the dive buddies before you get in, tell them not to mind you and to just buzz by as close as they dare. This is the same for taking photos of people anywhere anyplace anytime .. especially if you don't know them. People don't mind having their photos taken, especially if you let them know why and offer them a copy. So give a little explanation, ask if you may take their photo and give some hints to them on what to do to make it look good :)

Just my humble opinion.

 

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#19 Aussiebyron

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:50 PM

Don are you after something along the lines of these shots?

 

Unedited uncropped

 

2455443957_bd30d7806c.jpg

2571728023_81a60841c4.jpg

5773958741_615225d1ee.jpg

 

Regards Mark

 

Don the whole idea of using filters on strobes is due to the higher colour temp of Inon strobes (5500K) when compared with the lower temp and warmer looking Ikelites (4900k).  This is the major reason why people who shoot alot of wideangle prefer to use the bigger and heavier Ikelites in blue water diving. 

 

I agree with Giles if your not getting close enough to the Subject your not getting enough light onto the subject and a colour filter will not do much to bring out natural skin colour. As you know the distance a strobe can light up a subject is greatly reduced when shooting through water and its a bit like trying to lighten up someones face when they are standing in a shadow. You need direct light on the face not a colour correction filter.

 

This is why alot of people use a Fisheye lens. Not because of the distortion it gives but the ability to get very close to the subject while not filling the whole frame with the subject. This allows then enough strobe light to light the whole subject.

 

My examples above are shot with the Tokina 10-17mm @ 10mm.  I am close to the subject, the subject is getting lite up by the strobes and also there is little distortion as the isnt too close to the lens. 

 

I agree with Giles again if your after shots of people in the water ask people before hand if they wouldnt mind. I dont think I have had someone yet to refuse me taking their photo underwater.

 

So borrow a fisheye like the Tokina 10-17mm, ask your potential models if they are willing, and get close as you can while still fitting them whole in the frame and I bet you wont be having the blue faced zombie faces again.

 

Regards Mark


Nikon D7000 with Aquatica housing called "Deedee", Tokina 10-17,Nikkor 60mm, Nikkor 105mm, Sigma 17-70, Ikelite DS161

http://www.flickr.co...s/22898788@N04/