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Ben M

Member Since 17 Apr 2009
Offline Last Active Feb 18 2011 06:53 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Exposure settings for cave diving photography

03 February 2011 - 10:28 AM

What exposure settings are you using for cave diving photographs? I found that I was having to shoot at ISO 600, 1/60 sec, f/3.5 and strobes on manual/full power.

Nikon d300s
Inon-Z240 strobes (two) at full power
No remote slave - yet
Tokina 10-17mm

I was unhappy with shooting at 1/60 and f/3.5, either too much blur or not enough depth of field. What exposure settings are you using?
Do I need to shoot at a faster ISO, or do I need to drop more cash on some slave strobes?

In my experience ISO has the most effect, I use something between 100-400 and find I generally like the results from the faster end, but when visibility or size of the space are a factor I have to make changes. I use f/3.5 (same lens as you) and I find that shutter speed makes little difference on the cave itself but sometimes there can be other reasons for adjusting. I use 1/125 or 1/250 when outside of ambient light areas most of the time. I sometimes look at the histogram but find it only a slight guide when setting up as it tends to left unless the cave is bright and highly reflective. I find I don't mess with settings on the camera at all in between shots unless I am seeing some sort of a problem, but I adjust the settings on my on-board strobes for almost every shot.

As others have mentioned something seems off. Is that image you posted heavily cropped? I don't have any experience with those particular Inon's but if I used similar settings and got that close my shot would be blown out. That is a rather dark walled area that you showed and there is the black passage behind the diver would skew the histogram

Slave strobes help a ton, but it does give a different effect.

I'm glad to see some cave related talk here. I've found very little help out there on the topic and would love to learn more and share. If anyone wants to do some NW Florida cave photography give me shout. I'm up for spending dives just figuring out lighting, settings, or messing with slaves. Best way to learn is to get in the water and try out different things.

Here's some photos I've uploaded to my gallery on www.cavediver.net:

In Topic: Help - Triggering off board strobes

10 May 2010 - 04:29 PM

Update. Moved the Ike's offboard with the manual controllers and put the Sea & Sea's on my housing. Much better arrangement. Once I get used to the Sea and Sea's I might even like them better as it is easier for me to adjust the output levels on the fly since the controls are located on the back instead of on the side. The Ike's with the slave sensor are working out much better. It does not even compare. Here's a shot from my strobe check dive. I tried different ranges, angles, light levels, and the sensor picks up almost anything I can throw at it. Thanks for the suggestions.

Posted Image

In Topic: Heinrichs-Weikamp Remote Slave Unit issues

01 May 2010 - 03:46 AM

You could also use your video lights for more additional lighting. I've carried some strobes for some caves photo shoots where other team members brought video lights and that helped out as well. Any well strobg and well diffused light adds some depth to the cave.


In Topic: Heinrichs-Weikamp Remote Slave Unit issues

29 April 2010 - 05:03 PM

Seems we are going down similiar paths. I don't know what the best answer is for you. I just ordered a couple of Ikelite controllers, but I have both Ike and S&S strobes. Good luck and let me know if you find something that works well for you.

In Topic: Help - Triggering off board strobes

29 April 2010 - 04:15 AM

Well, I guess that is what I am asking. I can't cable the slave to the camera but could cable it to an offboard sensor. What I am hearing is that the Ikelite one is the best for this. I think part of the issue with the sensor on the YS is that it is recessed so non-direct light will not trigger it, not considering hiding the strobe, just placement angle at the moment.

I am shooting in complete darkness (caves) minus my focus light (FIX LED 1000DX) so I have that going for me.

So getting a couple of the Ike sensors and swapping my onboard and offboard stobes are my best route forward at this point?

Thanks guys. It was terribly frustrating getting the new strobes in the water and just trying to get them to trigger at all, never mind placement, hiding them, or distance. I just didn't want to make another mistake.