In a recent conversation with a friend, who is also a very talented underwater photographer, he was extolling the virtues of an arcane technique to create unique images. Upon querying his motivation for wanting to do so, he explained that it would give him a good chance of winning competitions.
It was at that point that I realised that the motivations for shooting underwater vary widely. I have to be honest and say that my primary motivation is to generate images that I can sell to put food on my table. I do enter a few contests, and have had some great results. However my best selling image, that has made me a reasonable amount of money, has never get through the first round in any contests that I have entered it into!
So, when you are shooting, do you do so with the intention of winning contests, or of selling the image/footage? Or have I got it all wrong and the two goals are not mutually exclusive?
I would be fascinated to hear how other view this. It is a real conundrum for me!
Expose to the Right (ETTR) is a technique that deliberately biases exposure towards the highlight end of histogram. The reason for doing this is that nearly 80% of the sensor information is actually recorded in one third of the tonal range-at the highlight end. By exposing the image "perfectly", distributing the sensor information uniformly throughout the histogram range, effectively we are discarding a large amount of image data.
So, with this in mind, it would be great to know how the Wetpixel community control exposure. Do you Expose to the Right? Or do you go for a uniform distribution?
Personally, I try to expose to the right, particularly in scenes that are well lit. In darker scenes, I find it can be a challenge to achieve. The ability of usable high ISO with modern cameras really helps.
We have a few spaces available for the Wetpixel Oceanic Sharks trip. Reports from our operators on Cat Island, Epic Diving, are saying that there are numerous oceanic whitetips around and interacting with their groups at the moment. It looks ike it will definitely be an amazing trip. It runs from 12 to 18 April, please get in touch for more details or to book.