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Member Since 03 Aug 2007
Offline Last Active Dec 17 2014 06:37 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: No Backscatter Behind Subject Please

14 November 2009 - 12:17 PM

Hi Jason,

Proper lighting is probably the biggest secret to underwater photography. Its all about angle of your strobe and output and trying to eliminate as much of the water column as you can (getting as close as you can). Here are some really basic hints.
Before you even start with your camera make sure that your buoyancy is up to scratch. Something disturbs the viz and if its you - then by taking that out of the equation you are already on your way. If you come across a great subject (like those ghost pipefish you pictured) then take a little time to get your strobes set up away from the subject, then move in really slowly and avoid excessive movement kicking up the particulate.

keep the distance between the subject and camera to a minimum - get close!!!!
angle your strobe away from the subject so that the subject is lit with the ends of the strobe beam. you can work out how wide your strobe beam is by simply bracketing your strobe angle.
use low strobe outputs the first thing people tend to do is blast the hell out of each image. The key here is SUBTLE lighting. start at the lowest setting (1/8th) and go up maybe one or two increments MAXIMUM.
The only way you can see particles in the water (backscatter) is because your strobe light is reflecting on them thus your camera will pick it up.

And thats it!!! None of this is difficult, it just takes time to perfect. The more pictures you take - the more likely you are of finding the "sweet spot" angle of your strobes, then you will know this angle in the future and all your pictures will be backscatter free!! So get out there and spend a few dives working on getting that strobe angle right, remember LOW outputs and get close!!

Pete Mesley



Here's a couple pictures with what I am getting a lot in terms of backscatter. My single strobe is positioned up and screen left. More lately I'm trying to position the strobe directly above and pointed at the lens. Am I doing something wrong?

Since there's was a good amount of particulate matter in the water, is there any way to light this so I wouldn't get backscatter?

Do people usually get some backscatter and just remove it later in post?



In Topic: Truk Lagoon with a difference...

10 August 2009 - 01:39 AM

Nice shots Allen.

I looked into liveaboards in a big way before I started going to Truk and found that they couldnt serve what I was looking for, but I have heard that they do a great job. Either way truk is a great place. I head off there each year. Heading back in June 2010 and probably sept too. Talk soon


In Topic: Truk Lagoon with a difference...

09 August 2009 - 01:35 PM

Hi Allen,

Yeah the viz for us was well below average, The inner lagoon wrecks were really bad this year. Averaging the viz round 6-10m But the outer lagoon dives (Oite, Katsuragisan etc) were amazing! also the deeper wrecks off the eastern side of Dublon were good too. But with the viz down we just focused on the internals of the wrecks.

The anemone was taken on the Shinokoku Maru. A shallow tanker sitting in 30m of water. The aquatic life on this wreck was stunning. Just a recommendation with posting your images. You have posted your one at top resolution. Try and reduce it to about 600 pixels across. This will make it easier for people to view and faster to download.

Who did you dive with in truk?


[quote]name='allen' date='Aug 9 2009, 11:58 AM' post='221308']
Looks like you guys had a bit better viz than we did in June. I would say we had below average viz. Our first trip was better.

Here are a bunch of my photos - I am just starting out so lots of room for improvement.

Speaking of anemones which ship was it on. I saw one on the Kansho and oddly enough one very experienced diver had never an anemone feeding.[/quote]

In Topic: FS: Nikon Lenses

09 August 2009 - 01:45 AM

I might be keen on your 70-200 2.8 VR lense. have you sold it yet?


Hey Everyone, no offers?

Before I go the ebay route, if anyone's interested, offers accepted via PM please.

I just think ebay is so....
I don't know... such a waste (probably a bad analogy-sorry but lacking the way to say), such a cliche even though I have 100% feedback.

Either way, thanks for your interest.

In Topic: Truk Lagoon with a difference...

09 August 2009 - 01:00 AM

Thanks heaps for your kind words Jean, Yeah, we had a ball this year. Without a shadow of a doubt the best consistent brilliant wreck diving on the planet. Here are some images of the trip. There is just everything for everyone!! I wont bore you with all the images I took over the trip (3000+) but here are a few.

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8 second exposure at F22

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Another angle of the same engine room of the Kensho Maru.

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Bow section of the Destroyer Oite sitting in 60m of water with schooling Jacks.

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San Fransisco Maru in 59m of water. bow section.

In one of the forward holds of the San Fransisco Maru some truks

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Also for the "plant lovers" the aquatic life and soft corals were amazing!!!

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If you want to come with us each year have a look at my site www.petemesley.com/truklagoon.htm for all the gorey details. Wreck divers paradise!!!! I will have all my images up on the site soon.

All the best

Pete Mesley