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Posts posted by uw_nikon

  1. old 105mm macro vs. new 105mm VR macro


    the new 105mm VR's advantages:

    -focusing speed

    -nearly silent focusing (it's always fun when your shy/flighty subject hears the old 105mm grinding away and zips back into hiding)

    -no need to switch between AF and manual focus (you can use single servo AF to get close to exact focus then tweek it with the manual focus knob on the port without having to switch to manual focus)

    -I don't know if the new 105mm suffers from the bellows affect (loosing a stop or more of light) when shooting 1:1. I would guess, it doesn't because the lens doesn't telescope out.


    I don't have one yet. But, it's on my list. I did play with one in the shop.

    (I do have the old nikon 105mm AF-D micro.)


    Take Care,


  2. What size was the image you uploaded?

    (if it was bigger than 640 pixels in its long dimension, it was resized to 640 in its long dimension. Without running an unsharp mask filter, the resulting smaller image can look slightly blurry.)


    Did you embed a color profile in the image?

    (pc gamma is lower than mac gamma which will make a mac image look dark on a pc screen; maybe, the same macro that resized your image also bumped up its brightness to compensate on pc screens?)

  3. I use Cressi-sub Master Frog fins size XL, open heeled. They are only 3 inches (75mm) shorter than the Gara 2000s and a have little wider blade otherwise they're constructed the same as the Garas and have the a good freediving fin action. (I beach dive in a dry suit so full-foot fins won't work for me.)


    Take Care,



    PS, I used XL Jetfins for 10 years and after I tried the Master Frogs using the Jets felt like strapping rubber bricks to my feet. I've tried split fins. Couldn't get the fine attitude adjustment by flicking the fin tips like I can with a paddle type fin.

  4. The mode you shoot in depends on what you're trying to shoot.


    The only concrete rule is:

    the shutter speed cannot exceed the maximum flash sync speed.


    I normally shoot in full manual.


    Aperture priority, if depth of field _or_ balancing ambient light is important.

    Shutter priority, if freezing action is important.

    Auto = major chance for bad photos underwater (cameras make dumb assumptions because they're optimized for land shooting in sunny conditions)


    TTL works fairly well for macro. But, can be easily fooled when shooting wide angle.


    Many digital photographers shoot with manual strobe settings: varying the strobe power, strobe to subject distance, adding a diffuser. Instead of shooting TTL. Learn how to use the histogram display on your camera.

  5. The ocean is not a "tidy" place.


    You didn't bring a feather duster and vacuum? :^)


    The white specks of sand/grit allow the viewer to see more of the shape and contour of the frogfish. Otherwise you have a black blob; for most non-divers, all they will see is a black blob sitting next to the feathery plant (actually, animal = crynoid). Maybe, try to shoot it in profile with its lure extended.


    Keep the shot if _you_ like it. (it's your memory of that dive).


    Black color = tough photographic subject (i.e., the black exposure suit and gear that many divers wear in cold water; especially true with pale skin and a black hood)

  6. That gives me a good excuse to keep one of my housed nikon n90s/F90X systems. (I'm currently waiting for my Aquatica D200 housing to arrive. Then my underwater digital learning curve starts.)


    What causes the major difference between sun balls shot with film and those shot digitally?

  7. Maybe, something like this?

    -fish fills about half the frame

    -good diagonal

    -fish has room to move into (without the distracting negative space)


    -it might work even better if cropped even tighter on the head

    (I like the lighting on the fish's face.)


    Take Care,



  8. I use a modified 8 C-cell light. I think, it's a shockwave (wide even beam; fairly bright; decent burn time; around $50 + ULCS mounting hw). Basically, I cut off the pistol grip handle, drilled and tapped two holes, and screwed on a V-plate. The light is mounted on top of my housing using a ULCS ball adapter and clamp.


    Normally, I use the light to spot subjects from a distance and then use the edge of the beam to focus.


    One modification I'm considering is switching to an EverLED bulb and rewiring the 8 C-cells into two groups of 4 separated by an ON-OFF-ON switch. (this would more than double the burn time; but might cut down on beam brightness slightly)


  9. The healing brush in Photoshop can remove limited backscatter. Someone at Adobe had an action that eliminated much of the backscatter automatically.


    But, it would be much better to work on your lighting technique (edge lighting using external strobes) and eliminate/minimize backscatter while you're taking the photo.


    Take Care,


  10. A few books:

    Jim Church's Essential Guide to Composition, 1998

    The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge, 1996 (there's a 2nd edition)

    Essentials of Underwater Photography by Robert M. Jackson, 2000

    The Art & Technique of Underwater Photography by Mark Webster, 1998


    A few tips:

    -shoot in manual while underwater (cameras make dumb assumptions for UW shooting)

    -know what makes a good image (critical focus, exposure, lighting, composition, negative space, impact)

    -visualize images you want to shoot (sketch them so you don't forget)

    -know what your camera and lenses can do

    -look at your images, fix your most common mistake (repeat as necessary, fixing the next most common mistake)

    -make good images with your camera (don't rely on Photoshop to "fix" everything; remember garbage in garbage out)

    -look for good negative space _then_ look for subjects on the good negative space

    -tell a story with the image

  11. It's not really a good idea to aim the strobe(s) directly at your subject. (flat lighting and backscatter)


    -make sure you can move the focusing light independently from the strobe (separate mounting point and clamp for aiming light)


    -use the tip (below) to help visualize what your strobe will illuminate

    http://www.kelpfish.net/tip_edge_light.htm (look at Strobe beam angle visual aids)


    -a light with an even beam (no hot spots), semi wide, not blazingly bright

    (most of the time I use my aiming light to spot the critters from a distance; then use the edge of the aiming light's beam to focus because most critters don't like to be in the spotlight; another trick is use red celophane rubberbanded over the front of the focusing light; many critters don't react to red light)

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