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SilvioMarchena

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About SilvioMarchena

  • Rank
    Moray Eel
  • Birthday 07/30/1964

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Profile Information

  • Location
    NYC, NY, USA

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    D2x
  • Camera Housing
    Seacam
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Inon Z-240s, SS200s, SB105s
  • Accessories
    Nocturnal, Seacam Wet Diopter,S45,S180,UL Arms,
  1. I think that we may very well be close to the point where technology out works the human eye. It won't be long before resolution is less important than the physical relationship between the human eye and the printed image. Yes, we will be able to make images within a razors edge of perfection, but will we be able to recognize this perfection without massive projections or printed images? Maybe we have already had the best, maybe there will never be any digital image as fulfilling as what a lightbox, slide and loup gave us. It's tough to believe there will ever be any digital imaging that will converse with our eyes in the same way.
  2. Already we see 10-12-16 mp cameras exhibiting the shortcomings of current glass. It is a real problem when resolving power outperforms glass and in doing so sometimes creates some fairly significant "new" photographic challenges. I question if makers will ever create glass, at acceptable prices, that won't marginalize current or higher available resolving power.
  3. What is it they could offer in a new D-body that would make you want to move to the newer camera for UW shooting? I'm just kind of interested in what you are looking for. Happily I think I am at the point where it doesn't matter to me anymore. The D2x is a camera I can live with for a very long time. From this point, regardless of what they do with resolving power, I think the only thing that would even get me to consider changing cameras is if they were to offer a substantial decrease in noise at higher ISOs. To me that is the most meaningful thing. To be able to shoot at higher ISO's and keep my shutter speeds slow for good ambient capture would really open up the possibilities. With the film cameras they still had significant room for improvements in AF and matrix/auto metering, but these dslr's are so good that what are they going to offer to make people want to move from a D200, D2x, idsmkII or 5D to something else.
  4. For RAW capture I think it is better to remember that WB setting in the camera has no effect at all on the pixel capture information. This way all you have to think about is that you are simply attempting to create a differential in foreground and background temp that allows you to cool/warm the whole image in a way that brings foreground and background to a point where both are pleasing to your eye. But in all cases getting the same exact blue background is as easy with one strobe temp as it is with the other, if you consider that a person's foreground temp is a matter of personal preference.
  5. NO YOU DIDN'T!!!......no you didn't say "Whoa nelly"! James, that's way to funny Listen, I am sincerely sorry if you thought I was calling you a sheep (I am generally far more crass than to call anyone a benevolent fuzzy animal). I must admit though, that it is a curious interpretation of what is an accurate comment (the e-mails I have received indicate that there are people who look unkindly on challenging Alex's assertions). To me there's no harm to this being the case and there is nothing cowardly about any forum having preferred commentators.
  6. I use both 4800k and 5500k strobes, but cannot show a comparison because I do not have anything shot..same subject, same day, same conditions, once with each temp strobes on board. And without that benchmark it will be meaningless. But I can tell you that at those temps the differences are very very subtle. They are certainly real, but in reading these forums one would think there is this drastic cold blue image vs. this saturated red one, and that isn't quite the way it works out. The words warm and cold each infer a natural and expected level of comfort, but you should not translate that to strobes. The "cool" strobe is one that is actually trying to replicate daylight on a sunny day (5,000 to 6,000k), nothing more. A "warm" strobe is one that infers a bit more red on on most images. In my view there is a time for each and circumstances in which the properties of each apply differently. And keep in mind that the temp of each is at full power without diffuser. Lower power settings and diffusers will lower temp. So while you can easily go down from the rated temp of a strobe, I do not believe you cannot go up. I'll say this though----if I was to carry but one set of strobes they would be warmer ones.
  7. For many of us whose words carry little weight, semantics seldom matter. But you cut a fairly authoritative presence on these forums. And when you say "warm strobes give you better blues", assuming everyone within reading distance fully understands what your intent is or is completely at ease with digital means, then to chance for a distribution of misinformation is rather high. Rather than arguing, I have simply been offering a qualifier to your short statement on this point (though I understand that being in some disagrement with you, on this forum, is not looked upon kindly). Let's be honest, depending on what you prefer in your foreground you can use any strobe, or no strobe, to create the same blue. And depending on the time of day a cool strobe might be preferable for no reason other than it projects better in a medium mostly devoid of red and yellow, let alone that your preference is for daylight rather than something warmer. I believe I have already said this, but I see your article as spot on with accurate methodology. The technique has been around for decades, well thought out, widely taught and proven. My first exposure to it was a very long time ago when the burning question for uw-photographers was "How do you get a blue, rather than purple, water background and pleasing flesh tones in the foreground?". The only difference is that you are substituting WB/strobe temp where I and others were at the time taught to factor for emulsion bias/strobe temp. Shutter speed will have a dramatic effect on the depth of blue in the water. Sorry, couldn't resist
  8. Then don't say they do. There are people who may read in on this forum from time time looking, but not asking, for info. And somebody who possibly doesn't have your depth of understanding on this point may be caused to believe he/she has to get a warm strobe in order to obtain deeper blues. In my mind that is a shame and potential waste of money, all because the obvious, as you claim it to be, wasn't presented with a clarity obvious to people who did not read Alex's article or do not yet have a firm grasp of digital means.
  9. What Alex said in his article is that you set a cooler WB to capture a bluer ambient background water and the warmer temp strobe will compensate to produce a not-as-cool artificially lit foreground. It's a simple measure that has been around for a long time. Shoot a bluer-biased film for blue water and then light the foreground with a warm strobe to compensate for the blue bias. I heard this in seminars given by Marty Snyderman, Frank Fennel and, I believe, one by Paul Tzimoulis years and years ago. And that is a photographic strategy that I have no argument with. It works. And Alex is as correct today as those three men were two decades ago. I am also quite certain I have read articles, from years ago, by Stephen Frink discussing the matching of strobe temps and emulsions for rendering bluer backgrounds with warmer foregrounds. Velvia and SB-104? It's really old and proven techniques. And none of those guys ever said a warm strobe makes water bluer. The plain and simple statement that warm strobes render a bluer blue is simply wrong. Strobe temp does not affect water color (see my rather obvious example below), in this case WB does. Yes, I understand that it may seem silly to make such a distinction, but I believe there is a need to avoid casual unqualified statements that over time become accepted realities. I mean, digital capture is nice, and it may seem magical at times, but it cannot change the laws of physics. And warm strobes do not render bluer water. If he had only said; "Warm strobes will compensate for a higher WB setting and allow you to make the water look as if contains more blue color, yet maintain comparatively more warmth in your foreground. And if you like cooler foregrounds you can obtain the same blue water with a cooler strobe too"------I would have kept my mouth shut Example: Set in-camera WB at a numerical temp, any temp, shoot the same scene, with same camera settings, with a 5700K strobe and a 4800k strobe. Is there any difference in water color? Open that same image in PS and slide the WB slider left or right to the same extent for each pic. Is there any difference in water color between the two pics at the same WB settings? Strobe temps don't do a thing to the water color.
  10. Swimming barracudas, in available light photography, are more often than not going to look soft at 1/100. I think I would have notched up the shutter speed and opened up the lens. I also might have turned to face the oncoming school because if you can get a few fish faces in focus and well lit, the remainder of the school sometimes doesn't matter. Fish tails don't allow you the same compositional latitude. But I realize there may not have been time to do that and your compositional choice may have been exactly what it is. I know you say the vis was good, but if I look at the rocks in the bottom right foreground (which with the lens short at 10mm must have been close and should have some clarity) it looks like the vis was a little bit south of giving you the opportunity to make a good balanced photograph. Sometimes you simply cannot overcome vis that just isn't good enough. Like Mike V, for highly reflective subjects, I turn down strobe power and flip over a diffuser, in your case I'd go with the -1.5 rather than the -0.5. While with your strobes that doesn't really widen the beam pattern much ( I think maybe another 8-10%?), it does soften the light a great deal. Pretty cool shot though! Schooling fish are the best. Sometimes when I'm in PNG or Indo I get so depressed when the photo ops are mostly macro. There just aren't too many dramatic macro shots, but these days most people shoot that as a preference and the boats have seemingly tilted thier itineraries for those kinds of ops.
  11. Hello James, I thank you for the comments. With regard to the subject of strobes changing water color and your two examples------what is changing that water color is your selection of WB, not the strobe. It is really no more involved than that. To suggest that the strobe is changing water color requires a rather convoluted digression predicated upon, in the end, the choice of WB. I appreciate Alex's methodology, as it applies to his preferences, but obtaining the same blues he likes is just as easily accomplished with a 5500k, 4300k, 5700k or 5400k strobe with that camera set at an appropriate WB, and just as easily you can render a purple water color using the same strobes with a WB setting much much warmer than daylight. I think of strobe and WB, or strobe and emulsion, in a way very similar to balanced light photography. You must balance your strobe temp with your WB temp in a way that renders both artificial and ambient lit portions of the image to your liking. In this case none of the strobe temps currently availble on the market will preclude one from obtaining "richer blues". To suggest only warm strobes produce bluer blues is to disregard a photographer's preference of foreground color and to exclude the use of a cooler strobe to acquire those results. Because if a shooter likes a more daylight temp in the foreground, and shoots with a warm strobe he will have to cool the image and there goes the "richer blue" the warm strobe is supposed to render. In regard to Alex's comment that in the film days water color remained the same I have to disagree. With film your emulsion preference, just like your WB preference with digital, had a massive effect on water color regardless of strobe choice. With film, people who really cared/care about such things would, or do, choose emulsions based upon any number of properties, but one of them was almost always how the film rendered the blue water. And during this selection process one would also see which strobe rendered foreground subjects to a personal preference, but no one ever said it was the strobe choice which changed the water color. With film your water color never changed due to strobe temp, but rather due to emuslion and shutter speed. With digital it is precisely the same, except WB replaces the emulsion factor.
  12. Please forgive me for saying so, but I believe the notion that strobe temp affects ambient is real strange The predications for such a suggestion demand that everyone does, will or must enjoy only warmer light on subjects. It's really that simple. The opinion that *strobe color temp affects water color* is valid, for everyone else, only upon the condition that a person who likes warm temp on subjects all the time, for some reason goes out and buys cooler strobes and has a preference for water color that isn't dissimilar to Alex's. That's correct. But I think "nice" is relative----or better said: personal. I am not a big fan of the blue-screen blue that seems to be the rage on these forums. It is striking, but I don't find it necessarily pleasing. You may find that you like different temps for different shooting scenarios. I like warm strobe for macro and cooler for wide angle (note: I do not prefer a warm strobe for wide angle), so I carry both Inons and Ikes providing temp options as well as backups.
  13. I'd imagine the importers/distributors B&H buys their cameras and lenses from pay some import duties, and I'd bet that amount is included in the cost B&H pays the importer, and the cost you and I pay B&H. There are quotas and import levels, but in the end we all get duty-dinged to some extent. If you have purchased a Japanese camera in the US, you have paid whatever duty your own government charged the importer for that piece.
  14. I think that the shear weight and number of responses claiming that digital manipulation in post-production is fair and equitable photographic measures, is telling. It's the old *they protest to much* moment of clarity for me. Just listen to the excuses making examples of emulsion bias. Or look at the dictionary references to what "manipulation" means. These kinds of responses would not be necessary if this post-production manipulation had a valid correlation to established photographic means and measures viewed as acceptable for over a century. The bottom line, I think, is this: people are getting better images with digital manipulation then they could without. Is it because they are lazy in the field or because they are unable to create the same image via traditional photographic means? I believe more often than not it is the latter and I believe it will get worse. I felt the same way about dodging and buring as well. If I had shot the image better, dodging or burning would not have been necessary. So while I believe digital manipulation renders the image weightless, I also felt dodging and burning did too. There is something to be said for capturing an image that satisfies all the expectations of your vision when making that shot. I don't hate digital manipulation, nor do I feel the need to call anyone who employs it a "cheater", but I see it as strange that anyone would find satisfaction in that type of image or wish to offer it up or show it as an example of their photographic efforts. I understand the business aspect of manipulation and find that perfectly acceptable, but when considering photography as an art-----I simply don't see how post-production manipulation is an acceptable component of the photographic endeavor.
  15. No I'm not I was responding specifically to the suggestion that the only cost the housing maker has for the materials in the housing are those materials which remain in the completed product, regardless of whether the issue is pure Al content or a 7000 series alloy. All the issues regarding falldown, waste and quantity/cost remain pertinent. That is why we cannot simply weigh our housings and take a worst-case extention of the cost as if it were made of pure Al, and then assume we understand the material cost for the final machined product. As I said prior, I suspect the aluminum cost in a housing is significantly more than 10 bucks.
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