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Everything posted by kelpthrasher

  1. Thanks, Matt for your comments. I checked out your web site a while ago - your shot of the two spotted eagle rays is absolutely stunning. It is also interesting (and encouraging) to see how the quality of your images has steadily improved over time.
  2. There are some really nice shots - well done! Just one thing though: is there a way to view the entire image at once rather than moving the view box around? - that does get a little tedious. Keep up the good work!
  3. I took a Canon 20D on a one-day trip to the frontside of San Clemente Island, in California's Channel Islands. There is still a lot of newness here - I'm relatively new to UW photography, and this is only the second outing for the camera (except this was the first time out with the wide-angle lens). Visibility was for the most part in the 30-40ft range, not bad for summertime off the California coast. The sky was overcast so there was not much ambient light to work with. Please follow the link below to see a posting of photos from this trip. San Clemente Island Photos The shooting was all done with a Canon 60mm macro on the first two dives, and the first test of the Canon 10-20mm on the third (and final) dive. It was apparent from the very first wide-angle shot that I'm going to be on a steep learning curve for a while.
  4. Sometimes your DOF is restricted by the conditions in which you are shooting. I wanted to get an ambient light shot of this Hilton's Aeolid in about 20ft of water. Because the water was quite surgy, I needed good shutter speed to keep the shot from blurring. I also knew that I would end up with a fairly shallow DOF; I focused on the orange band on its right rhinosphore and hoped for the best. This is the result.
  5. I haven't had a chance to test my Canon 10-22 lens with the 8in. dome yet due to unfavorable water conditions locally, but I've been told that 1) the extension ring is essential, and 2) it's recommended to go without even the smallest lens shade, or vignetting will occur with the lens set at 10mm. Of course, going without a lens shade could potentially cause sunburst problems in very shallow water situations.
  6. Yes - one of the best things about using an SLR is the ability to take the shot when you need to take it - this is so critical when shooting in surgy conditions. The solitary metridium was fixed to the hull of the SM-1 wreck near Pt.Conception. The natural light shot of metridiums was taken at a shallow dive site on the southeast end of Prince Rock (Island?) just off San Miguel.
  7. Just one more thing, now that I think about it... On your shots illuminated with the strobe, did you adjust the white balance in the .RAW images to "flash" ? Starting off with a reasonably accurate white balance can make a big difference.
  8. Hey Darryl - congrats on putting together a nice rig! And it looks like you had some great dives in Palau. I feel kind of uneasy making comments critiquing your photos, as I just put a new Canon 20D to work only a week and a half ago - my first experience with a DSLR. As long as everyone realizes that I realize that this is likely a case of the blind leading the blind, here goes. My favorite shot was the apparently natural light shot with the free diver and jellies - great composition and a good exposure. It seems like in some of your closer-up shots that there was't a lot of light from the strobe reaching the subjects, so to me they looked like they lacked warmth. I know you've got just a single strobe - like I do - so I'm sure it's hard to get sufficient illumination sometimes. Here's a link to my first batch of 20D photos - they're all 60mm macro shots: 20D 60mm macro shots I was pleased with the overall warmth in most of these shots. Maybe in your case there is something that can be done on the image processing side too. I do sometimes adjust the EV values in my .RAW images before working on them a bit in Photoshop, where I sometimes tweak the brightness histogram. In this regard there are a lot of really smart & experienced people out there who should be able to give you some good guidance. In any case - best wishes on your trip to Bonaire!
  9. Those are some pretty nice shots for your first foray into UW photography - well done! I like the picture viewer on your web site, but is there a way to move the semi-transparent controls so they don't interfere with the bottom portion of the images?
  10. Here are my very first DSLR images, taken this past weekend on a three-day trip aboard the dive boat Vision out of Santa Barbara, CA. Previously I had used a point-and-shoot for about 6 months. We visited two wreck sites near Pt. Conception, as well as doing dives around San Miguel and Santa Cruz Islands. Water conditions were generally poor, with visibility ranging from 5-15ft, and 10ft being about average. The outer Channel Islands are known for their rich abundance of invertebrate life, so there was never a shortage of macro subjects, despite the limited visibility (I also brought a wide-angle lens and dome port but never took them out of the box). Here is a link to my first batch of images. Channel Islands Macro Shots All images taken with 60mm macro lens. Enjoy!
  11. That's a great collection of shots for your first time out with a DSLR. Well done!
  12. I just returned from my inagural voyage with a 20D as well. Like you, I'm very pleased with the initial results. I was fortunate to be accompanied by several experienced digital UW photographers on a 3-day trip to the outer Channel Islands (California). My photo-colleagues advised me to 1) get comfortable with macro shooting before moving on to wide-angle due to the trickiness of getting good lighting for wide-angle shots and 2) don't use a longer focal-length macro lens (such as 100mm) until I'm very familiar with using a lens in the 50mm to 60mm range. I brought two lenses: Canon 60mm and Canon 10-22mm. The outer Channel Islands are known for their rough, unpredictable conditions and on our trip we certainly had less than ideal conditions. Visibility ranged from 5ft-20ft, with 10ft being about average. The rough seas meant lots of surge at shallower dive sites. Here's a link to my first batch of images: Outer Channel Islands Photos Because of the poor visibility, the wide-angle lens never came out of the box. All shots were with 60mm macro, and I was usually moving quite a bit when each shot was taken. Though you may not want to hear this after investing in a 100mm macro lens, I strongly recommend that you at least borrow a 50mm or 60mm for your next trip. The Canon 60mm lets you get down to 1:1 but it's still very user-friendly. Once you feel good about shooting a "rifle" (50mm) you can advance to "bazooka" (100mm) for those really small critters. Good luck on your next trip!
  13. Glad you're back on-line. The site was sorely missed!
  14. This is a great site - just found it and already have seen some very useful info. Have used simple digital point-and-shoot (Canon PowerShot) for 6 mos. (see URL to personal web site for past photo postings) and just made huge commitment (as in $$$) to digital UW. Will take new set-up UW next week on 3-day photo expedition in California's Channel Islands. Am excited, but know learning curve will be steep. Baby steps - that's the key. Kindest regards to all.
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