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#1 nekolonay

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 12:53 PM

I am incredibly new to underwater photography, and would like any help I can get. Unfortunately it won't let me upload due to file size, but email me at nekolonay@gmail.com and I can send some. Any help is appreciated, thanks!



#2 troporobo

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 02:46 PM

Welcome. Folks here are generally pretty helpful but this approach isn't going to work well. Nobody wants giant attachments in their inbox and it's not possible to have a discussion if others can't see what you're talking about.

Suggest you post images to an on line site like Flickr and learn to embed them here. It's easy once you get the hang of it.

#3 nekolonay

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 08:08 PM

Welcome. Folks here are generally pretty helpful but this approach isn't going to work well. Nobody wants giant attachments in their inbox and it's not possible to have a discussion if others can't see what you're talking about.

Suggest you post images to an on line site like Flickr and learn to embed them here. It's easy once you get the hang of it.

So I created a Flickr account and added a few photos. How do I get them here? Link my account or something?



#4 TimG

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 10:47 PM

Hi nekolanay

 

Yeah, you could add a link, but even better if you can downsize your images so that they can be uploaded directly to a Wetpixel post. Lots (most) of photo editing programs will do the downsize. What are you using to edit your pics?

 

As troporobo suggests, the easier you make it for members to see your pics, the more likely you are to get help......


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#5 nekolonay

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 04:56 AM

Hi nekolanay

 

Yeah, you could add a link, but even better if you can downsize your images so that they can be uploaded directly to a Wetpixel post. Lots (most) of photo editing programs will do the downsize. What are you using to edit your pics?

 

As troporobo suggests, the easier you make it for members to see your pics, the more likely you are to get help......

Well, I'm trying to get them on here, but they won't cooperate. I haven't really edited any of my photos, except I cropped one. The program I used to do that was built into the program I used to import the images from my SD card onto my camera. I believe it's called Olympus Viewer or something similar. This is the account I created on the advice of troporobo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139128673@N08/with/24717420646/ 

Are you able to see the images there? Also, you can almost fullscreen them by clicking on them. Let me know, Thanks!



#6 troporobo

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 05:46 AM

Click on an image in your Flickr album.  Somewhere in the procedure will be an option to choose a size, something like 800x600 is good for web sharing. Then at the bottom right will be the "share" button (looks like an arrow). It will pop up a dialog box. Copy the code.  Come back here, click the photo button in the tool bar. Paste the code. Save.  If you've done it right, the image is now linked and will show up in your post. 

 

I think I've outlined that correctly, but I can't check as I'm in China this week and Flickr is blocked, so I can't look at your album directly. 


Edited by troporobo, 01 February 2016 - 05:47 AM.


#7 adamhanlon

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:55 PM

The advice above is almost perfect!

 

When you click on the "Share" arrow, please chose the BB code option and Medium size.

 

Copy the code and paste it into you post and you should be all set.

 

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#8 nekolonay

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:15 AM



The advice above is almost perfect!

 

When you click on the "Share" arrow, please chose the BB code option and Medium size.

 

Copy the code and paste it into you post and you should be all set.

 

Adam

Well, I tried that, and all I got is this:

 

24717469366_8fe485e477_c.jpgP1280134 by N Kolonay, on Flickr

 

 

Did it work at all? It won't let me see.




The advice above is almost perfect!

 

When you click on the "Share" arrow, please chose the BB code option and Medium size.

 

Copy the code and paste it into you post and you should be all set.

 

Adam

Trying the same thing with a different photo, I still can't tell if it works:

 

24717420646_7f389fd178_c.jpgP1280099 by N Kolonay, on Flickr



#9 tursiops

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:23 AM

Nekolonay, I've looked at your Flickr Photostream. I see nine images.

 

The things that make a "good" picture are focus, exposure, composition, and content. Lurking in that mix are color balance and depth-of-field ("bokeh").

You pretty much need all four of these things.....miss one, and it is just a picture. Get all four, and you might have something that is worth looking at twice.

 

Of your nine, most are focused pretty well, but the clownfish (#2) is not. The pectoral fins are sharp, but the eye and face are fuzzy. People usually try and get the eye of a fish sharp; you need to work for that. the banded coral shrimp is remarkably good; they are hard to get in focus!

 

I'd say (by my eye) that 7 of the 9 are too dark, either a lot or just a little. That is all correctable in post-processing as with Lightroom. You will want to work with something other than the Olympus Viewer. Color balance is pretty good on all of the 9. It looks like you are using one strobe, off high and to the right?

 

Composition needs work, and some judicious cropping in post-processing can be helpful. A simple rule-of-thumb is to put the center of interest (like the well-focused eye of a fish!) at the 1/3 points, the crossing of a tic-toe-toe grid. Diagonal line are more interesting than across or up-and-down. If a fish in in the picture, get the whole fish in, not just the front half, unless you are working on an eye or mouth picture. Don't cut off the fins. Example: the clown fish behind the sponge could maybe be made more interesting by cropping so the eye is at the upper-left of a tic-tac-toe grid...all that negative space to the left and the rock at the bottom don't contribute to an interesting picture, so crop them out.

 

Content: people tend to try for "fish portraits," behavior, ID pictures, reef scenes.

  • Your pix #1, 4, 7 are ID pictures; they can be great memories and very helpful post-dive to figure out what you saw, but rarely are interesting.
  • Pix #2,3,8 are pretty much fish portraits; they are the sorts of things you'd see in an underwater guide to the marine life....not meant to be eye-catching, but rather to capture that animal in his native habitat. But #2 is missing the rear part of the fish; #3 is almost a reef scene; and #8 needs cropping to get rid of the left part of the picture.
  • Pix #5, 6, 9 tend toward behavior: hiding, peeking out, etc.

 

The is a great start on your underwater photography journey!  My advice would be to work on focus-on-the-eye, think about what kind of picture you are trying to achieve *before* you press the shutter-release, and then commit to some post-processing for cropping, exposure, and color-balance.

 

Mind your buoyancy, and have fun!



#10 nekolonay

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 02:09 PM

Nekolonay, I've looked at your Flickr Photostream. I see nine images.

 

The things that make a "good" picture are focus, exposure, composition, and content. Lurking in that mix are color balance and depth-of-field ("bokeh").

You pretty much need all four of these things.....miss one, and it is just a picture. Get all four, and you might have something that is worth looking at twice.

 

Of your nine, most are focused pretty well, but the clownfish (#2) is not. The pectoral fins are sharp, but the eye and face are fuzzy. People usually try and get the eye of a fish sharp; you need to work for that. the banded coral shrimp is remarkably good; they are hard to get in focus!

 

I'd say (by my eye) that 7 of the 9 are too dark, either a lot or just a little. That is all correctable in post-processing as with Lightroom. You will want to work with something other than the Olympus Viewer. Color balance is pretty good on all of the 9. It looks like you are using one strobe, off high and to the right?

 

Composition needs work, and some judicious cropping in post-processing can be helpful. A simple rule-of-thumb is to put the center of interest (like the well-focused eye of a fish!) at the 1/3 points, the crossing of a tic-toe-toe grid. Diagonal line are more interesting than across or up-and-down. If a fish in in the picture, get the whole fish in, not just the front half, unless you are working on an eye or mouth picture. Don't cut off the fins. Example: the clown fish behind the sponge could maybe be made more interesting by cropping so the eye is at the upper-left of a tic-tac-toe grid...all that negative space to the left and the rock at the bottom don't contribute to an interesting picture, so crop them out.

 

Content: people tend to try for "fish portraits," behavior, ID pictures, reef scenes.

  • Your pix #1, 4, 7 are ID pictures; they can be great memories and very helpful post-dive to figure out what you saw, but rarely are interesting.
  • Pix #2,3,8 are pretty much fish portraits; they are the sorts of things you'd see in an underwater guide to the marine life....not meant to be eye-catching, but rather to capture that animal in his native habitat. But #2 is missing the rear part of the fish; #3 is almost a reef scene; and #8 needs cropping to get rid of the left part of the picture.
  • Pix #5, 6, 9 tend toward behavior: hiding, peeking out, etc.

 

The is a great start on your underwater photography journey!  My advice would be to work on focus-on-the-eye, think about what kind of picture you are trying to achieve *before* you press the shutter-release, and then commit to some post-processing for cropping, exposure, and color-balance.

 

Mind your buoyancy, and have fun!

I'm going to try to go through each of these one at a time, because I have a lot of questions.

 

You suggested lightroom, but as you'll find out later, I'm a poor college student. I certainly intend on getting good editing software and a good camera when I can afford it, but for now I'm stuck with the basics. Any suggestions on free software that does a similar job? Also, the only post-picture stuff I did was crop the bamboo shark in the first picture, that's it. How do I learn such softwares? Trial and error? 

 

I'm not quite sure that I understand your rule of thumb about the tic tac toe board. Also, in the picture when you suggested that I crop the clowns eye to eliminate the rock, algae, and space, why do those need to be removed? When I took the picture, I felt like if I got too much of the sponge on the right it would make it look crowded and bland. Should I prevent that, and if so, how?

 

I'm confused as to why you classified some of the pictures as you did. You said that most people try for the behavior, ID Pictures, and reef scenes, but then you seemed to imply that they were bad things? I can see how just a basic ID photo could be boring, but you also seemed to lump it with the rest. Also, I'm confused on why 3 is a reef scene while 5 is not? Also, I am confused as to how the corals were classified differently.

 

You mentioned my strobe, and now I'm afraid that I must truly disappoint you. Only three images utilized anything other than ambient light, and that was because of accidents. I don't have a strobe, and I was trying to keep my camera flash off the entire time for the safety of the fish. I took about 100 images total, and only posted those I though stood out. Except for #2, I realize how terrible that was, not sure why I put it up. The 3 that had the flash on was due to the fact that whenever I change shooting modes, the flash gets automatically turned on. I can't quite afford a proper housing or strobe yet, so I'll have to wait on that.

 

I truly appreciate all your help, and I am glad that you took your time to help me. 



#11 tursiops

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 03:01 PM

You are a student, so you can get some incredibly good prices on software. Check it out. If you are on a PC, IrfanView and its plugins are free, and it is quite powerful.

I did NOT mean to imply that Fish Portraits etc are bad, rather that you need to decide why you are taking the picture, because that helps with the composition. Sometimes, for example, you look into the distance and see a beautiful scene. Nice coral nice fish nice lighting, and you want to take a picture to show that beauty. This is a reef scene. Or, you see a really interesting fish you have never seen before, then your picture maybe for purposes of fish ID. You will want to have the entire fish in the picture, and preferably a broadside view.

I did not classify your pictures of coral as a reef scene because the pictures were of individual corals as opposed to a wide angle scene showing all the light and beauty. Yours' are more like a coral ID picture.

For the tic-tac-toe grid, imagine two vertical lines dividing the seen in two thirds, and two more horizontal lines dividing the scene in two thirds. Now you have a grid of 9 little rectangles, but where the grid lines cross are the common points at which to put the thing of interest in your picture.

For using ambient light you did a terrific job; it is hard to use.

#12 nekolonay

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:17 PM

You are a student, so you can get some incredibly good prices on software. Check it out. If you are on a PC, IrfanView and its plugins are free, and it is quite powerful.

I did NOT mean to imply that Fish Portraits etc are bad, rather that you need to decide why you are taking the picture, because that helps with the composition. Sometimes, for example, you look into the distance and see a beautiful scene. Nice coral nice fish nice lighting, and you want to take a picture to show that beauty. This is a reef scene. Or, you see a really interesting fish you have never seen before, then your picture maybe for purposes of fish ID. You will want to have the entire fish in the picture, and preferably a broadside view.

I did not classify your pictures of coral as a reef scene because the pictures were of individual corals as opposed to a wide angle scene showing all the light and beauty. Yours' are more like a coral ID picture.

For the tic-tac-toe grid, imagine two vertical lines dividing the seen in two thirds, and two more horizontal lines dividing the scene in two thirds. Now you have a grid of 9 little rectangles, but where the grid lines cross are the common points at which to put the thing of interest in your picture.

For using ambient light you did a terrific job; it is hard to use.

Why are the tic tac lines the common points to put things? I would think that the eye would be drawn to the center of the picture, why is it not?

 

I didn't word one of the others very well. I didn't mean to ask why the coral wasn't a reef scene. I meant to ask why the lionfish was almost a reef scene while #5 wasn't, as it was closer. On a different note, I was asking why the corals were classified differently. They were all just portraits of coral, nearly identical shots of different ones. Why did you group them under different headings? What changed between them?

 

As for the ambient light, don't give me much credit for that, it was in a controlled area where there was extra light, I just meant that it wasn't due to the flash.



#13 troporobo

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:15 PM

I've now been able to have a look at your Flickr album.  If these are your first efforts, you are off to a good start.  

 

In addition to the good advice above, I'll add a couple of points.  When possible, try to get lower and shoot horizontally and upward, rather than downward as doing so often places the point of view in a more natural and interesting angle and can allow you to isolate a subject against the water. Look for subjects that stand out against their background like the anemone fish in front of its its anemone. Try to eliminate foreground obstructions, unless they lead to an interesting composition, which you almost did by framing the anemone fish behind the coral.  Get closer when possible. Above all, add an external light, ambient light is very limiting and strobes won't hurt the fish. (By the way, your built-in camera flash won't cut it under water except within a foot of a small subject, and is a great way to increase backscatter due to its position right next to the lens).

 

I have found a few good web resources to learn the basics relatively quickly.  DPG and UPG both have some good articles on techniques:

 

http://www.divephoto...phy-techniques/

 

http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/

 

As for the so called "'rule of thirds", these two articles will get your started:

 

http://digital-photo...rule-of-thirds/

 

https://en.wikipedia.../Rule_of_thirds



#14 tursiops

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 06:48 AM

It is possible that we are not looking at the same series of pictures. I am looking at your Photostream on Flickr (displayed in order of date taken) which has a different sequence than you appear to be using. The bamboo shark is #9, the lionfish is #8, etc. You seem to be looking at a different sequence.

 

Read the links troporobo posted, re composition.



#15 nekolonay

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 07:59 AM

It is possible that we are not looking at the same series of pictures. I am looking at your Photostream on Flickr (displayed in order of date taken) which has a different sequence than you appear to be using. The bamboo shark is #9, the lionfish is #8, etc. You seem to be looking at a different sequence.

 

Read the links troporobo posted, re composition.

Yes, we were looking at them in a different order, however, they should have been all on the same day, so I'm not sure why flickr changed them. I certainly appreciate your help, and will be looking at the links when I have time. Thanks!



#16 tursiops

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 08:11 AM

Yes, we were looking at them in a different order, however, they should have been all on the same day, so I'm not sure why flickr changed them. I certainly appreciate your help, and will be looking at the links when I have time. Thanks!

Flickr uses the EXIF data embedded in the photo's metadata so knows the time to the second that a photo was taken. That is part of its sort order.





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