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Sunball shot/Fiji


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#1 randapex

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 08:39 PM

This is kind of a for what it's worth post and I'd like to hear any comments or questions on this one. As some of you know, I've gone a little overboard including the Sun in my shots. More than anything else, the comments from people that the Digital cameras can't handle sunballs inspired me to see if it's at all possible.

It seems one of the keys is high shutter speeds, this one was shot at 1/1000 f6.3 with the Inon Dome. Oly C5050. Depth was around 16' which accounts somewhat for the clouds being visible. This was an un-expected bonus and something I'll try to incorporate later when conditions are favorable.

I took a lot of sunshots in Fiji but this was the only one that had a weird sparkle where, (I think) the surface conditions allowed some sunlight to penetrate in small beams of light.

Posted Image
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#2 herbko

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 08:56 PM

Excellent Rand. I like the color combination. Nice exposure too.

I think you are right about the shutter speed. I was shooting at around 1/500 for shots like that when I used the 5050. Any faster will cut into the light from the Z220, but it may be worth losing a stop of light from the strobe for a better Sunball exposure.

The DRebel can only go up to 1/320 before the shutter ends up in the flash exposure. Here's one:

Posted Image
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#3 Lionfish43

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 05:14 AM

What's there to improve Rand. On a shot like your's, where the foreground subject occupies a large portion of the frame, the technique works very well.
IMO, on Herb's shot, the anemone and coral don't dominate the image and the background looks too dark....the lighting doesn't look natural.

Larry

#4 tshepherd

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 05:51 AM

I think the statement that digital cameras "can't" do it might be attributed to the fact that capturing a good sunball with digital must be done differently. I played around with diver's and sunballs briefly on my trip to Key Largo last week and found that while I need a lot of practice composing the shot, there's certainly a possibility of getting it to work.

BTW, great shots from both of you.

#5 randapex

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 07:26 AM

Thanks for the comments. I'd be interested in seeing any attempts, especially the new d70 or 300d. Tom, my favorite sunball shot came from Florida on a glass smooth day. Probably seen it but hey, it's the Sunball thread!

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#6 critter

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 05:54 PM

wow what nice images, all of them..nice work guys.

Tony
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#7 laz217

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 07:17 PM

The images you've both produced has always been the standard by which I, till this day, strive to reach. I will agree with you that the high shutter speed seems to be the most important aspect of producing those incredible solar flares but I wonder how much the depth, the stillness and visibility of the water plus the angle of the sun play in making this shot possible.

One of my best flared shot was taken in about 10ft of water while swimming with manatees...

Posted Image

My settings were f/5.0 and 1/320 sec at ISO 64. I remember looking through the LCD and whole thing being washed out from the bright light. I was attempting to capture the sun entirely behind the manatee but I missed it slightly.

What I've never understood was why the 5050 is able to sync with the strobe at even 1/1000 of a second while most DSLRs can not. Is it because of the electronic shutter on the 5050?

I have attempted to replicate these solar flares at depth of 50ft+ but I've have not been successful. Have any of you had any luck?

I also think my old 3040 was better at producing solar flares than the 5050.

{Just throwing random thoughts here}


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#8 laz217

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 07:24 PM

One more.. Have any of you guys ever attempted to shoot a flare with a small aperture (f/8 on the 5050) and a slow shutter speed (1/60) ? I don't believe I've ever tried it (intentionally) and I'm curious to see its outcome. Any thoughts?
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#9 randapex

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 08:33 PM

Hi Laz,

As for the slower shutter speed, no, I've gotten some really bad shots at 1/125. It's just too slow in my opinion to do much. I belive you're right on the shutter for the dslrs. Mechanical vs electronic.
And also yes, my best results have come from calm, shallow water. Finally, I wait until I can see the "sparkle" of the sun before snapping the shutter. If I see the blown screen, I either move the camera or myself until I can diffuse the ball. You're Manatee shot is a beauty. But I'd say if you'd have moved right or it left...well who knows.

Rand
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#10 herbko

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 09:31 PM

It all depend on the conditions. It's hard to generalize. I would normally agree with Rand about the need for high shutter speed, but here's a counter example:

Posted Image

Taken on that magical day in Monterey a couple of weekends ago. Here's the EXIF.

File name : CRW_6347
File date : 2004:07:17 14:57:10
Camera make : Canon
Camera model : Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
Date/Time : 2004:07:17 14:57:09
Flash used : No
Focal length : 15.0mm
CCD width : 1.18mm
Exposure time: 0.033 s (1/30)
Aperture : f/6.3
ISO equiv. : 100

Yes. 1/30s from below about 70 feet of Monterey water. I think the key is to keep from over exposing the sun if possible
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#11 randapex

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 07:04 PM

Great shot Herb, and it's encouraging to see the slower speed on the Drebel still catching the rays. I saw incredible rays thru the kelp on our No. Channel Is. trip. My broken aperture/shutter gear prevented me from getting any decent shots although now I wonder if I could have caught them at my pre-set of f8 @ 1/320 which in the past was too slow. But I think the kelp does a magnificent job of diffusing the sun light.
Wish it wasn't such an ordeal for me to get down there. It's a wonderful subject. Maybe one of the best.

Rand
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#12 laz217

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 04:56 PM

I had the opportunity this past weekend to try for some solar flare shots. With a very willing subject, this was the best I could do with solar flares (not very good) after running through most of the higher shutter speeds (1/400-1/1000) on the Olympus 5050.

Posted Image

The best from the bunch -- this was shot at f/5.6, 1/500 at ISO 64.

There are few variables that are different between this shot and the manatee shot (above). Exposure is slightly different.. visibility was slightly clearer in the manatee -- about 30ft on the starfish shot, the depth on both was about the same (15ft). The starfish shot was taken during the early morning (8:30am) while the manatee was shot during the midafternoon.

Could you guys share your information on your shots? Time shot, visibility and depth. I'd like to eventually pin down the main variables for producing better sun rays.

Otherwise I can skip this whole thing and simply apprentice under the wise knowledge of one of you two Jedi masters -- that'll save me some time. :lol:
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#13 randapex

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 09:29 PM

Ahhh Laz, one must crawl before attempting the impossible! LOL!

You may notice that for the most part, I'm not trying to get "Just" rays but a sunball too. And as you see on the star shot, (Which I love BTW) those fast shutter speeds can really turn water dark on you if you're not shooting into the light.

Vis on the two shots posted here was 100' maybe more. Perfect days.
Anyway, the soft coral shot at the top of this thread has the info you wanted in the initial post.
On the Florida shot: f5.6 @ 1/1000 15-20' of water, flat calm, late morning.

Rand
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#14 Starbuck

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 04:35 AM

hello fellow sunflare enthusiasts -

I too, am addicted to the sun.. my wife knows this (she is the subject of most of my photos).. Personally, I shoot all the shutter speeds..there are just too many variables (depth, angle of sun, angle of subject, viz, etc, etc.) It seems there is no "right" shutter speed or f-stop. For my oly 5050, f8 and 1/1600 to 1/2000 works... For my d70 1/500 worked on a recent trip to Cozumel..

Michael Aw's new book suggest shooting at a slight angle up toward the sun..as opposed to directly into the great ball of fire... something to try on the next trip!

M.