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Storker

Member Since 05 Dec 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:23 PM
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Topics I've Started

Strobe positioning with fisheye - tips needed!

13 June 2015 - 12:14 PM

So, I got my FE dome port this week and took my new Panasonic 8mm/3.5 for a spin today. I had anticipated a certain learning curve to get comfortable with the FE perspective, but I hadn't anticipated the trouble with my strobes. Hotspots and uneven lighting galore!  :aggressive: I pulled the strobes closer to the housing and even angled them inwards, but I still had problems getting something even reminiscent of even lighting :(
 
Here's one of the shots, SOOC (or, at least, before any adjustments in LR):
20150613_SMOM3775_2.jpg
 
I managed to turn it into something that at least didn't hurt to look at:
18590180960_a96744a3e9_c.jpg
 
But I don't think I like the thought of having to dodge every shot to get rid of the hotspots. There has to be something I haven't learned about positioning the strobes when using a fisheye. So, any tips or links to articles are highly appreciated!

GoPro video post-processing - recommendations?

09 April 2015 - 10:09 PM

Coming from still photography using raw file format and Lightroom post-processing, I'm quite comfortable with having to post-process.

 

The amount of light available at depth up here makes me want to avoid any use of filters. Right now I'm shooting in 2.7k (to allow for cropping in post), protune on, low sharpening and native color balance. I sometimes use a SOLA 1200 as my (only) light, sometimes only ambient lighting. 

 

For video editing/processing, I'm using Adobe Premiere Elements 13. I briefly tried out the GoPro video editor, but the lack of adjustment layers turned me off that program and got me to buy a license for Premiere Elements. 

 

I'm still at the start of my learning curve here, so any tips on alternative/better editing programs, and/or recommended adjustment settings would be appreciated.

 


Should i get a fisheye?

08 April 2015 - 11:56 AM

I got my UW rig about two years ago. I've been shooting topside for more than a couple of decades, and I had a half-decent idea about my weak and strong sides there. So, since macro basically was out of the question due to buddy obligations and I was more of a tele perspective person than a WA perspective person, I opted for a rectilinear WA zoom (Olympus 9-18mm/4-5.6). It had a fairly moderate WA perspective which I felt fairly confident I'd be able to use properly without too much trouble, and the zoom function gave me some flexibility WRT shooting the slightly more skittish critters.

Now, the 9-18 has its limitations. Rectilinear WAs give weird corner distortions on some closeup shots, and the close focus limit isn't the best for CFWA. And I have to use a dry diopter to avoid mushy corners. So, I've started thinking about a fisheye. Problem is, I'm not sure if it's a real need, of if I'm just feeling another onset of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome). So, I'm sort of trying to do a pro/con analysis here. Pro: More FOV enabling me to get closer with less debris causing backscatter, better CF limit for CFWA. Con: Co$t, less flexibility. I think using a FE will basically deny myself the possiblity of snapping the odd semi-closeup or two of smallish and/or skittish critters. There's also the question of whether I should just go for the Panasonic 8mm/3.5, or if I ought to wait for the Olympus 8mm/1.8 and hope that Nauticam has (or designs) a suitable port for it, and that I won't have to sell a kidney to afford it.

I guess that what I'm basically asking is: What would you guys do? And why?


Spring is here...

07 April 2015 - 09:57 AM

..., spring is here
Life is skittles and life is beer
I think the loveliest time of the year
Is the spring, I do, don't you? Course you do
But there's one thing that makes spring complete for me

 

... and that's the annual phytoplankton bloom. Current vis in the top layer is some 3 meters, making photography a bit of a challenge:

 

16861423517_0ac5efd5bb_t.jpg

But get deep enough and close enough, and even pea soup vis can be handled with reasonable success. Just remember to bring a light and a couple of strobes:

 

16873255459_c2dc458e46_t.jpg 17058015422_fe1c9a78cb_t.jpg 16871686778_e226c9b6ce_t.jpg

 


Geotagging and depth in pictures' EXIF data

17 March 2015 - 12:10 AM

I like to geotag my photos. For geotagging of topside photos, I've been using Geosetter for a few years now. It's a simple program that reads a GPS tracklog (in GPX format), compares the time stamp of the picture with the trackpoints' time stamps, grabs the GPS coordinates from the trackpoint with the closest match to the picture's timestamp and inserts those data into the picture's EXIF field. The program uses Phil Harvey's EXIFTool to manipulate the EXIF data. For raw files, it can write the location data to an XMP file.

 

This works great as long as your camera's clock is reasonably accurate. You can also geotag the pictures manually. 

 

For UW pics, I'm also using Geosetter, but getting the depth is a bit of a pain in the nether part of the back. I can get the depth profile from my PDC, but there's always an offset between my camera's clock and my PDC's log. Apparently, there's enough variation that just a direct comparison of the pictures' timestamp with the times of the depth log isn't feasible. So I'm going the long way: A couple of times during the dive, I take a picture of my PDC and hit the bookmark button on the PDC. This gives me a calibration, so I can offset the depth log time to fit my camera's clock. After that, it's manual comparison of picture timestamps with the depth log, and manual insertion of the depth as a negative number in the Altitude field.

 

This is pretty work-intensive, so I'm thinking there must be some way to take a simple two-column ASCII file with the time/depth data , feed it to e.g. EXIFTool or the Geosetter front-end, and make the process go automatically. Are there anyone else who have tried this?