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Reduction of Backscatter

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#1 seansrs968


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Posted 22 September 2013 - 08:32 PM

One thing I always have issues with or trouble with is having to much backscatter in my pics when shooting WA. I am here in southern Californnia and WA is very difficult to shoot here due to the high amount of particulate in the water. Can anyone give me suggestions in how I can reduce the backscatter? I know I should put my strobe on a low setting. What else can I do?

#2 jmauricio


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Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:59 AM

There are a ton of resources/comments/articles on wetpixel and online to help minimize it. I suggest a search on the beginners forums. There is also a great book by Martin Edge called The Underwater Photographer, which deals extensively with wide angle issues. Many experienced underwater photographers consider it their bible.


I'm no expert and am still stymied by backscatter fairly regularly given the amount of particulate in the water in Miami. However, these are steps i've used to minimize the impact.


1) Get Closer. old cliche, yes, but really does work.

2) Play with your lighting positions. two examples

    a) Angle your strobes slightly away from the subject so you are lighting with the edges of the light cone. This seems counter-intuitive b/c you are not pointing the lights at the subject, but it works.

    b) move your strobes a little further out from your camera. I often get hot spots b/c my strobes are too close.


Check your lcd often and adapt your angle/lighting as needed. Sadly there is no one thing that prevents it. What works in one situation might not work in others.


hope that helps you get started.

Edited by jmauricio, 23 September 2013 - 06:03 AM.

#3 Steve Williams

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:41 PM

I'd second what Jason recommends especially Martin's book.  The only thing I might say differently is the idea that strobes need to be "further out"  from your camera.  This can work but moving the strobes aft or further back, behind the port, on short arms will accomplish the same thing and allow you to shoot Close focus wide angle images.  Have fun with it.




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#4 jmauricio


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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:16 AM

good point Steve! strobes behind the port works wonders.


I also found this talk on youtube that Alex Mustard did on Backscatter. worth having a view. he discusses why it occurs and how to combat it.


#5 tdpriest


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Posted 26 September 2013 - 07:25 AM

I also found this talk on youtube that Alex Mustard did on Backscatter...


I think Alex has deal with the Devil...


... backscatter wouldn't dare sully his iamges!

#6 rocklicj


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Posted 02 April 2015 - 04:57 AM

Too hard to hear...:(

#7 twinner


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Posted 04 April 2015 - 06:21 AM

You may also want to consider taking a few lessons. Pretty inexpensive when you consider the cost of yor trips and gear. Contact me through my website if you would like more info.