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Member Since 23 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Sep 29 2016 03:09 PM

Topics I've Started

two porcelain crabs - great color but something lacking?

17 August 2016 - 06:25 PM

I found these two porcelain crabs on a night dive a couple of weeks ago.  I love the colors, but the flat lighting leaves me feeling a little blah. They were tucked well into their soft coral hosts so the strobe light is very diffuse.  I have done very little editing of either shot, just tweaked the contrast a bit.  Any suggestions to bring a little more punch into these?


I shot these at a site that is normally still as a pond, but 10 minutes into the dive a stiff current started making macro photography impossible, so I should be happy with any result at all.  I failed to nail the focus on the eye of the first crab (blame the current, yeah, that must have been it!) but am happy with the second. Shot with the Olympus 60mm lens. 







a tale of two octopi

25 July 2016 - 05:31 AM

I had an unprecedented (for me, anyway) opportunity a couple of weeks ago to shoot portraits of two relatively cooperative reef octopi.  As luck would have it, it was my first outing with a new lens , the Panasonic 7-14 behind a Nauticam 6" dome.  The octopi were in a crevice, open at both ends, that was a cleaning station.  I got one shot with an octo that was in focus, and one with a shrimp that was in focus, but nothing where both were clear.  







These were shot at f8 so I should have stopped down, obviously, but how far could I have gone and maintained good IQ?  Advice welcome.  


The octopi took turns swapping places as I disturbed them with strobes. And since the alpha shrimp is posed identically and someone is probably going to ask if I was sure there were two of them, here's the only (lousy) shot I got with them in the same frame.



Lembeh Gulen Shootout - Charlton's filefish photo - how?!

15 June 2016 - 03:05 AM

I keep returning to this photo and still haven't figured out how it was made.  A buddy swimming parallel on the other side with a backlight?  A crazy long strobe arm with a snoot hanging over the fish?  A serendipitous burst of concentrated bioluminescence?  Someone (maybe Richard Charlton himself) please enlighten me!



experiment with selective colour - please critique

29 April 2016 - 10:30 PM

This experiment started with a desire to salvage a photo where the subject was well captured but the background was horrible and distracting.  I started to wonder about using the technique in a slightly more creative way to make a subject pop out more dramatically.  Most of these photos had in common a background very close in colour and texture to the the animal itself.  


My non-diving friends seem to like these, but divers and photographers mostly don't.  True, they are obviously artificial and are the sort of thing that you might find on a postcard in a seaside gift shop, but there is no attempt here to hide the technique.  On the other hand, we know what the environment should look like and it is disorienting to see monochrome coral, not to mention that eliminating colour selectively takes away from the wonderful demonstration of how some animals fit into their habitat so well. 


I wonder if anyone else thinks this could be an interesting effect if applied selectively from time to time?  Let me have your thoughts, and don't hold back!






Manufacturer ethics - when is it time to draw the line?

11 April 2016 - 04:59 AM

Full disclosure: I love my OM-D now, and have been carrying an Olympus (on and off) since I was shooting Kodachrome and Tri-X.  I'm planning to upgrade as soon as they announce the new flagship E-M1.  This question really pains me. The latest disclosures of the company's apparent ethical lapses bother me.  It's seems that they have engaged (yet again) in dodgy behaviour and bribery to evade rules that they knew applied:




This follows after their spectacular accounting cover up a few years ago, which resulted in exactly zero change at the company other than firing the (non-Japanese) manager who revealed it:




So how much do folks worry about corporate alignment with principles when buying gear?  I don't think this kind of thing is unique to Olympus, though that company appears particularly inept and insular.  After all, Apple appears to give exactly zero damns about things like worker rights in its suppliers' factories.  I suspect that if anyone was to look closely into the operations of just about any major equipment manufacturer that sticky questions would arise.


Yeah, I know that I can let my wallet speak on this.  I'm curious if others feel the same.