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Member Since 26 Sep 2011
Offline Last Active Mar 10 2014 06:12 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Time For A Major Philosophy Change?

02 March 2012 - 03:34 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments so far. In many ways opinions are the most important thing here.

I have a traditional outlook - I guess that was my reason for posting. But I am beginning to conclude that this point of view might be a drawback and does it really have any justification?


As your question implies, there is no right or wrong on this. For me, diving opened a beautiful world that very few of us ever see. I was drawn to UW photography as a way to try to capture that beauty and take it home with me. As I've gained experience, I've found that just taking underwater snapshots (photos where the fish or reef is recognizable) is not enough.

I'd love to progress in my technical ability to be able to touch the art of underwater photography (defined by me as creating images that convey some of that beauty and emotion to both my fellow divers and 'unenlightened' friends).

The odds of achieving my goal are very low if I don't continue to work very hard on the 'in camera' capture side of the equation. I am also devoting a lot of time to understanding the 'digital darkroom' side of the equation. With time, I'll be able to see progress.

The risk for me is to allow the software to become a bandaid instead of a tool to better understand what is possible.

In closing, I think we are all on different but similar paths and can use these tools to reach our individual goals/visions.

Chris Bernhardt

In Topic: Strobe Test Needed?? Or Are Results Typical??

27 September 2011 - 09:49 AM

Hi chris

Pull your strobes in closer. It sounds to me like your just not getting enough of the light on your subject. Can u post an image?

Yes, you are absolutely correct. I needed to get within about one and 1/2 feet from the subject with the strobes pulled in to get a reasonable exposure.

In your experience, are you able to get reasonable exposures when you're about 3 feet away from the subject?

If so, I'd be interested in the camera settings and strobes used.

Thanks, Chris

In Topic: Strobe Test Needed?? Or Are Results Typical??

27 September 2011 - 03:51 AM

Hi Chris,
A couple of things to check first, were you shooting ISO 100? When you say 2 1/2 feet away from the dome, is that between strobes or truly 5 feet between the strobes?

What kind of water are we testing in? Tropical, good vis, UK-green, ???

Which lens are you testing with?


Steve - I was shooting in the Keys with a Nikon D300 at ISO 200. The visibility was reasonable - about 60ft in slightly greenish water that morning.

The strobes were about 5 feet apart and pointed straight ahead. The lens was a Tokina 10-17.

I was using this dive as a way to get familiar with proper lighting for wide-angle (It was time to move past macro).

My pre-reading of advice on the forum suggested that full power at this distance (even with the diffusers) in these conditions should have been more than adequate. My surprise at the need to get so close (~18 inches) to get a proper exposure led me to set up the test in my entry way.

And then, I was really surprised to find that in the absence of water [my entry way is above the Ohio river's flood plane ~:) ] at 31 inches from the subject with the strobes set an equal distance on each side of the camera that the shot was at least one full f-stop underexposed.

That's why I'm interested in understanding what experience others have had with the shutter speed and f-stop needed for a wide angle shot in tropical waters with reasonably good visibility.

Thanks, Chris

In Topic: Tips for using a Nikon 105mm

26 September 2011 - 01:14 PM

I've struggled with getting a good focus with this lens too, and it's still a work in progress.

My current challenge is to get better control on my buoyancy by relaxing (breathing out) as I focus. Beside this, I get the focus close with autofocus lock, frame the photo for composition and then move the camera back and forward until I see a sharp image through the viewfinder (magnified) and then pull the trigger on the shutter release.

I then check the result in the viewfinder and repeat if needed (which happens a lot).

Hope this helps.

And remember, you're not alone. I believe getting a sharp focus is one of the most challenging aspects of macro.

Good luck.


In Topic: Tips for using a Nikon 105mm

26 September 2011 - 01:04 PM

Well I finally bit the bullet and bought the 105mm. While playing around with it on land yesterday I found it quite difficult to get the focus right. I've been shooting the 60mm for a couple years now, and have had pretty good success with it.

For those of you guru's/experts who made a similar transition, what would you recommend as far as tips and or technique?

** Do you utilize auto or manual focus? Or a combo of the 2?

**On the lens, you have a selector for full or .5 (I believe this is for reduced focal range?)

**I noticed when getting as close as the focal length would allow, it was extremely difficult to keep the subject in focus. Should I back up more?? Obviously for land it's tough without a tripod, but you don't have a tripod UW :laugh:

Any tips will help!! Thanks in advance!!! I would love to practice in a pool, but don't really have one available.