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#1 mike frens

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 10:48 AM

I used my gear for the first time last month. (d70 ikelite housing with 18-70 lens and DS125 strobe and 8 inch dome).

I would like some critism (in terms of distance, camera settings, stobe settings, composition etc...) on the picture I took, in order to improve my holiday pics.


Everytime I surfaced and checked the pictures I wasn't very happy with the result, but I don't know what to change.

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#2 mike frens

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 10:56 AM

second one....

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#3 mike frens

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 10:58 AM

third...

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#4 Rocha

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 11:08 AM

Hi Mike,

How about some more background information? Are you shooting in iTTL mode? The third picture looks a bit overexposed.

In the first picture you were too far from the Manatee and no light from the strobe hit it, that's why there is a blue cast and the subject doesn't "pop". For large subjects try setting the lens as wide as possible (17mm) and getting as close as possible.

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#5 yahsemtough

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 11:36 AM

Yep a couple of settings would help focus the discussion.

You may also want to look at adjusting the pictures White Balance to improve the look and coloUr.

In general I do agree with Rochas comments about strobe to subject distance on the first shot.

You should also try to work on the old adage of get close and shoot up. This will also help provide a more appealing photograph to your viewers.
Todd Mintz
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#6 acroporas

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 12:26 PM

Mike, the biggest problem I have with your shots is that the horizion is almost 45 degrees off level. It makes the photos look as if you were just clicking away without even looking through the viewfinder or thinking about what you were doing.
William

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#7 Ingvald Arne Meland

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 02:42 PM

I would rotate the second image 90 CCW, so you get the water on top and the bottom at the bottom.
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#8 mike frens

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 12:40 PM

Thanks everybody for the comments. Top answer a few questions. I shot the pics with ittl. I though this means that the strength of the strobe is automatically adapted to the right level. I have plenty of so called overexposed pics that all flashed and where in close range (like the third pic). Also a common problem to the pics is the white balance. I used the clouded setting. But every time the pics end up blueisch of greenisch (like the first pic). all the pics where shot in manual mode with approximately f8. The shutter time was set depending on the lightmeasurement scale in the camera.

I am planning following a course to get the theory better, and besides this i have to practice, practice and practice. I hope that you can give me some more advise, for know I know that:
- closer, closer and closer to the subject.
- straight horizon

#9 acroporas

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 12:45 PM

Mike, what exposure mode was the camera set to?
William

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#10 james

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 02:24 PM

William,

It sounds like the camera was in M with F8 and he used a few different shutter speeds.

The pix look like they have a LOT of ambient light in them, so I'm guessing 1/60th and longer.

Cheers
James
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#11 acroporas

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 02:29 PM

Ahh thanks James, I see it now. Looks like I need to learn how to read. ;)
William

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15FE | 24/2.8 | 35/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 150/2.8 macro

#12 james

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 02:47 PM

No worries.
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#13 Kelpfish

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 08:08 AM

I agree that your ambient light is overwhelming. Don't be fooled into thinking your strobes "automatically" put out the right amount of light. It depends on the situation. In wide angle strobes are generally only good for 5-6 feet, but less is better. In the case of your images, it looks as though you were shooting images with the reef-subject too far for your strobes to make a difference. If you are new to UW pjhotography, start off with trying specific shooting situations and work only on that until you start to get better results. GET CLOSER. The biggest mistake newbies make is to not get close enough. Closer=better impact (in most cases).

And the most important thing to remember is to have fun doing it. ;)

Joe
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#14 mike frens

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 11:27 AM

CLoser ok, but how do your explain the third pic looks overexposed? The strobe should have enough strength, but it looks to me that it has too much strength. How can I estimate the strength when taking a pic up close.

Second, what is meant by ambient light is overwhelming, and how do I anticipate on it.

I realy appreciate you all taking the time and effort to answer questions.


Mike.

#15 yahsemtough

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 11:40 AM

For the ambient light, you need to meter your background to determine your best exposure for the ISO and shutter speed you are using. Look at the exposure meter in your camera to see what it is showing when you half press the shutter while pointing the camera at the background, not the subject.

Then, based on subject to distance, you then need to consult the chart that would have come with your strobe to determine what the correcponding strobes setting would be for that f stop and distance. (that being if you want to match the lighting with the background exposure) For taste and artistic reasons some may vary this lighting accordingly.
Todd Mintz
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#16 mike frens

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 01:29 PM

Todd,

This might be a new leason to me. Do I understand correctly that if I take a picture:
1- measure the background light instead of the subject light
2- adjust the exposure and shutter to get the lightmeasure in the middle
3- adjust the strobe power according to the table (shouldn't the ittl adjust this correctly?!?)

If this is correct, does it work for all situations?

Mike.

#17 baddpix

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 03:14 AM

It depends whether you want the background to be visible or not.

There are two sources of light - the available sunlight, and the strobe. The strobe light can only reach a very short distance through the water. So there is a distinct `foreground' range (where the strobe will provide the dominant source of light) and `background' range (where only the dim sunlight is present).

If you meter the background (pointing the camera at the background and half-pressing the shutter button) the camera displays what it thinks are the right exposure settings to make the background come out adequately bright (like an average scene on land). These settings would be appropriate, for example, if you are pointing the camera upwards at a fan with open water behind it and you want the background water to come out as a sky blue. To get richer deeper blues, adjust these metered settings to a darker exposure.

If the main subject of interest is not within the strobe's range, as in your first two photographs, then effectively you are just taking a photograph in available light. Then there may not be enough contrast in brightness or colour to allow the subject to stand out, and I guess this is the main comment on your first two photos. The first two photos are probably exposed OK, it's just that at that distance from the subject there is insufficient contrast to isolate the subject from the background.

Your third photo has a nice subject that is (marginally) within range of the strobe. Using TTL the camera will control the amount of light put out by the strobe and usually make a pretty good job of adjusting the brightness of the subject. In your third photo the TTL has done a reasonable job, stopping the flash at the point where the coral is starting to look too white. But the background is also visible, which weakens the contrast and the separation between foreground and background. The background is just sand which is not so interesting. It would be have been better in this case if you had severely under-exposed the background, so that it came out much darker. That could have been done by metering the background, then setting an exposure that was 3-4 stops darker.

In the third photo the foreground subject is roughly correctly exposed, but the colour is rather too washed out. Getting the camera closer to the subject would have retained more of the saturated reds and greens that otherwise get absorbed as the light travels between the strobe and the subject. But hawkfish *are* pretty hard to approach.

I would recommend Skerry and Hall, Successful Underwater Photography

HTH
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#18 TimG

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:15 AM

Hi Mike

A couple of other thoughts which you might know already: its worth bearing in mind the rule of thirds. Objects generally look better if the main point of the subject (a fish eye perhaps) is located where two lines (one vertical, one horizontal) of third cross (I hope that makes sense!).

Also, pictures can look more dramatic if you shoot the subject on a diagonal rather than vertical or horizontal. Sometimes with u/w pics you can get away with holding the camera at 45 degrees to make the subject look on a diagonal -rather than actually having to position yourself to achieve this. But beware of making a background look distorted, eg a 45 degree reef.

If you can combine the rule of thirds and the diagonal you should find your picture composition improves.

And, as others have said, get as close as you can. And then get closer. Your last pic of the hawkfish is a good example of this.

And then have fun!

Tim

(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)


#19 mike frens

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 11:18 AM

I really want to thank everybody for taking the time to comment on my pictures!!!!

Mike Frens.