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Member Since 07 Nov 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 04:42 PM

#370540 Philippines Fish

Posted by Tom_Kline on 16 February 2016 - 12:56 PM

Very nice color contrast between the anemone and clownfish (pic #1 above)!


#369309 Great Lakes, not so exotic but worth it just the same!

Posted by Tom_Kline on 14 January 2016 - 04:35 PM

Great images! The divers provide a very nice sense of scale too.

#367933 Best photograph/er lists -What makes for a great image?

Posted by Tom_Kline on 04 December 2015 - 10:37 PM

The question posed in the thread title reminds me of the iconic image thread started by Steve Williams a while back. IMHO this is a different question then what gets selected for a given publication.


Lists of "best" seems dubious at best given the great diversity in range of underwater image content. As well the majority of people have not been underwater in a natural habitat while maintaining vision; thus most underwater images are a bit exotic to them.

#367856 Strobes versus Video Lights

Posted by Tom_Kline on 03 December 2015 - 08:54 AM


edit. The concept of the I-torch symbiosis I like better (strobe and LED-lights are thermally separated), their specs (poor CRI LED, high CT strobe) less so. 



Good point! To get the specs you need you will have to buy lights and strobes separately. Combo units are likely to compromise one or both with respect to your needs.

#367410 Full Frame SLR wide angle corrector port tests

Posted by Tom_Kline on 23 November 2015 - 11:11 PM

Did some more shooting with the ICL today. Swapped the 16-35, ICL, etc. and shot it @ 16mm on my 1DX to take advantage of the better AF. The in-focus corners are particularly impressive. No corner smearing! I am attaching a full frame and a blow-up of the lower right hand corner.


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#366876 How to have a clear photo of a fish moving in front of a camera ?

Posted by Tom_Kline on 06 November 2015 - 12:32 PM

I am posting here a couple of "technique" shots that may better explain what I do. Both cameras in the shot showing two housings are set up with a single Seacam strobe positioned at 12 o'clock and above the water. These are my primary light sources. I also have some available light pix done with no strobe - most of the recent (last few years) shots on my site showing schools of salmon are done this way. High ISO is generally needed. Available light shots generally have less issues with reflective parts of salmon bodies. Even when it is sunny such as the shot with two housings, the light is very patchy in forest settings so strobes are generally needed on the spawning grounds. There is no sun at all hitting the ground late in the season, like right now (November), at spawning grounds located in valleys due to very low sun angle.


You can see the remote cord from the housing in top of the frame (two housing pic) - it ran over to where I was standing to shoot the technique shot. From this vantage point I was able to shoot both cameras. Note that there is a salmon pair in front of each housing. These salmon are about 0.5m long (for scale). I have to anticipate where a salmon is going to be in the next second when I push the button. Two housings (different models, one being older or "obsolete") is a convenient set up - I hold one release in each hand.


The shot showing one housing shows evidence of one of my "issues". It had rained a bit in the days before the shot. The water level had been much higher leaving a layer of sediment on the leaves of the trees - mostly willows (genus Salix). Rain brings in glacial sediments from the main stem of the creek into the side channel creek seen in the pic. There is still some fine sediment even though the water looks pretty clear. So almost all shots from here have very fine backscatter. Mature Sockeye Salmon do not have too much of a reflection issue except for their mouths. I have had blown highlights in the mouth and had to throw those pix out. Dolly Varden are partially reflective even when mature. This is most evident when the female turns on her side to make a dig as seen in the posted pic. They also have white in the mouth. I have had blown highlights from both of these reflective areas and have had to toss a few pix. This is not my only issue with shooting local Dolly Varden spawning. My local spawning area is just downstream from a small waterfall, which is barely visible in the background of the shot. It generates a lot of tiny air bubbles which you can see in the pic. They can also get stuck on the port due to surface tension. Bubbles are especially bad when there is a lot of flow such as after rain, which is when they spawn. This site does not have glacial sediments, instead the water is stained like tea. Staining is worse after a rain as well. Staining darkens the water a bit, about a stop less light transmittance. Lots of problems that need some adaptation in order to get the shots. I have worked them out (more or less) with trial and error. BTW, the fallen tree I described in my earlier post is what is seen in the middle of this pic. I was standing behind where the male is and the spawning was upstream of the tree in the dark part of this pic.


I hope this helps!




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#366844 How to have a clear photo of a fish moving in front of a camera ?

Posted by Tom_Kline on 05 November 2015 - 11:53 AM

Thanks Tim! I do both!


I believe the problem is that a salmon sees us as a potential predator (a good reason!) and so will move away from us very quickly. However, if one is very still they can be approached. For example, last month I had one rest against my foot (but another salmonid, a Dolly Varden) while I was standing in a stream shooting them spawning by remote control - you can see examples of my work on salmonography.com. However, I avoid being in the water with them as much as is possible for a given shooting situation. I was in the water to shoot the DV because a treefall next to the spawners was blocking my view of them from out of the water. So I stood just behind it and ~1.5 m from the activity to see and know when to "push the button". Still, I could only see the front end of the fish (which was enough) as the fallen tree blocked the rest.


Your image suggests a possible solution. You will notice that some of the salmon in the background are sharp - also it looks like your visibility in Norway is much better than what is typical in Alaska fjords, at least in the summer. I do not have a Gopro but saw some University of Oregon students use them at one of my sites. They left the cameras on the bottom in some sort of self-shooting mode and got some decent shots. If your Gopro can do this you might consider clamping yours to a fixture holding the net (visible in your shot) and letting it shoot for you. The next level up in expenditure would be to get a pole cam set up for it. You may want to use this from the surface (from a boat?). The next level up would be a remote control to use with the pole cam so you could decide exactly when to shoot.


I use a pole cam type solution. There is a blurb on it on the about me page on my site. As well, I have made a few technique postings on Wetpixel over the past decade. Most recently I have added a Canon 1DX to my arsenal. When doing available light shots with the 1DX I have been using autoISO with a 12800 ceiling value. Many shots end up being done at 12800 as the light level is not too high here even during the long day time (i.e., July). I did one shoot at 25600 (in May) because it was after the sun went behind the ridge forming the valley I was in, which was forested, and it was getting close 7pm. Even with such high ISO the shutter speeds get a bit long for a moving fish. I do not go higher in ISO because I need to do quite a bit of color correction as well as some highlight recovery - recall that dynamic range goes down as ISO goes up and I need as much of this as well. I also do long soak times. I have had a camera in one spot without moving it for as long as 12 hours. More typically it is less, but a few hours nonetheless. The pro body DSLRs have a big enough battery power to last. IMHO this is one of the main shortcomings of any camera that uses live view as they use more power and seem to have undersized batteries. As well one needs very fast autofocus that works well in low contrast.


Any questions?

Good luck!


#362621 Strobe positioning with fisheye - tips needed!

Posted by Tom_Kline on 24 June 2015 - 11:23 PM

FWIW I have been shooting a fisheye at ground level with a single strobe positioned at 12 o'clock for a few years. The reason for that is to use the port shade to block direct lighting of the dome's glass. Lights from strobes positioned to the side ended up striking the glass through the shade cut-out resulting in flare. Subjects are right up to the dome. There are some videos on my web site showing this set up in action for shooting salmon - located under the species listings.


#356180 Your Favourite/Best Image of 2014

Posted by Tom_Kline on 02 January 2015 - 12:53 PM

Alex: congratulations on your marriage!


It is always a challenge to pick just one favorite shot! This year I had more than one candidate from the same day of shooting the most challenging local (i.e., location not requiring a plane trip or boat ride to get to) salmonine species to shoot, the Cutthroat Trout. Locally, this species is about three orders of magnitude less abundant than salmon. The alternate pic to the one chosen here is in my Christmas E-card (posted on another thread).

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#355940 Cold water problems

Posted by Tom_Kline on 28 December 2014 - 12:16 PM

I see this same phenomenon when shooting in Alaska during the autumn when ambient tempertures, both water and air, are near freezing.  NiMH and to some extent Li batteries show reductions in capacity. One has to live with it, bring batteries to swap out, etc. The shorter day length makes this problem easier to deal with ;-> I typically plant my camera set-ups in a stream for multiple hours at a time; fewer hours as the season progresses.


BTW I have had zeroed out batteries (Seacam strobes have nifty battery charge indicators) show non-zero charge levels back at home after warming.

#351988 New Canon 16-35 f/4 IS

Posted by Tom_Kline on 25 August 2014 - 04:42 PM

And your conclusions are???  I was just about to order the 16-35mm f2.8 for my upcoming Galapagos trip when I heard about this lens.  Greatly interested in any comparison.



No more in the way of conclusions than what I stated above. Have stayed with the 55mm port extension, which is what Seacam HQ recommends for the 16-35/2.8 II lens but not what Stephen Frink recommends for it. Looking forward to S.F.'s analysis of the 16-35 IS. 16mm is stretching it a bit for the superdome, which was designed for 18mm. Have not shot any other Canon made UWA rectilinear lenses so comparison not possible. The new lens is to replace my Sigma 20 and 28mm f/1.8 lenses. The new lens does appear to focus faster than these. Have you read Roger Cicala's reports? Here is a more recent shot. Done at f/8.


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#349927 TTL, a-TTl, e-TTl, e-TTL II

Posted by Tom_Kline on 06 July 2014 - 03:27 PM

TTL without any extra letters refers to the Nikon/Nikonos film type TTL as you surmised - light was measured bouncing off of the film during the exposure and the flash quenched accordingly. The newer systems are mutually incompatible. Most use pre-flashes to determine the flash exposure prior to taking the picture. You need a separate adapter, if one is available, for each type.

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#348910 Underwater reflection photography

Posted by Tom_Kline on 10 June 2014 - 01:42 PM

You are looking through Snell's window. http://en.wikipedia..../Snell's_window

Avoid getting too much of the surface (looking upward) in the shot to not get this effect.


#340894 D800 write to card delay

Posted by Tom_Kline on 19 December 2013 - 08:11 PM


It sounds like you have long-exposure noise reduction activated on your camera. Shoot long exposures manually - you should see a similar relationship. You can deactivate this feature via menus, but you will get long-exposure noise.


 Is this normal for a camera to take 30 seconds to write after a 30 second exposure?...  It pretty much seems to take a second to write each second of exposure.  




#340606 Your Favourite/Best Image of 2013

Posted by Tom_Kline on 13 December 2013 - 05:19 PM

I look forward to this thread every year. One reason why I chose this photo showing Chinook Salmon (as of 2013 common names of North American fishes are to be capitalized- https://afs.confex.c...Paper12336.html) was because it is the one North American Pacific salmon species not found spawning in my backyard (within 10km of my abode) so I have relatively few of them in my portfolio. I took it while on a drive around the state looking for them in cataloged streams. It was partly cloudy on the day I took this shot (available light only) - I got in just a few shots with the sparkle of direct sunlight and this one is my favorite. I returned to this location a week later and the water was quite murky.


Chinook Salmon is also a species of concern in many Alaskan systems. These are in a tributary of the Deshka River (a couple hour drive north of Anchorage), which got an escapement of 18.5K this year. This was up a bit from recent years but much less than years ago.

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