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eddietkm

Cuttlefish shot for critque

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Hi,

This shot of the cuttlefish was taken at Pulau Dayang, Malaysia, using Olympus C4000Z in PT-10 housing and sunpak g-flash.

 

I was trying to take a 45 degrees shot of it to show both the frontal and side of the cuttlefish. Good and bad comments are welcome. Thank you very much.

 

Cheers

ET

post-5024-1129005265_thumb.jpg

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Hi ET

Nice shot but the background view of the coral makes it cluttered and distracting. Next time try shooting upwards too against the water to get a clean background, or 'negative space'. Or you can use as small an aperture as possible to make the background as dark as possible.

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You have great composition.

 

But the photo itself is a tad green. Were you zoomed in at all or on the widest setting? Seems that the flash only just touched the cuttle and so didn't give it much colour. If the sunpak is what i think it is it is a tiny little flash? You might want to add some sort of diffuser and spread the beam a little more to get more even lighting across your main subject.

 

Auto settings or manual?

But its a great shot and definite keeper

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Hi ET

Nice shot but the background view of the coral makes it cluttered and distracting. Next time try shooting upwards too against the water to get a clean background, or 'negative space'. Or you can use as small an aperture as possible to make the background as dark as possible.

 

Thank you very much for your advise. For olympus C4000Z, the smallest aperature I can achieve is f11. However this shot was taken with an aperature of f6.3. I do agree about the distracting background and shooting against the water is a good idea. I'll keep it in mind for my next dive in Dec.

 

Thank you very much.

Regards,

ET

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You have great composition.

 

But the photo itself is a tad green.  Were you zoomed in at all or on the widest setting?  Seems that the flash only just touched the cuttle and so didn't give it much colour.  If the sunpak is what i think it is it is a tiny little flash?  You might want to add some sort of diffuser and spread the beam a little more to get more even lighting across your main subject.

 

Auto settings or manual?

But its a great shot and definite keeper

 

Thank you very much for your advise. I did zoomed in for this shot but i think I did not set the flash power higher enough to bring out the beauty of the cuttlefish. Yap i had the diffuser on at all times. Would you recommend a wide zoom for this type of shot?

 

The shot was taken using manual settings and the settings are :

ISO-100, f6.3, 1/100, front curtain flash. The Sunpak G-flash is a slave flash without ETTL sync, hence i have to adjust the output power manually.

 

Thank you very much for your advise.

Regards,

ET

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I too like the composition and agree with Mike's comments.

 

The strobe needed to be closer or, on a higher setting to light the beauty of the cuttlefish. They can look really interesting when lit.

 

Cheers

 

Todd

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I too like the composition and agree with Mike's comments.

 

The strobe needed to be closer or, on a higher setting to light the beauty of the cuttlefish. They can look really interesting when lit.

 

Cheers

 

Todd

 

Thanks Todd, I wish I could go back now to try again...... Hopefully, I have a chance to see one when I go thailand in dec.

 

Regards,

ET

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...the background view of the coral makes it cluttered and distracting. Next time try shooting upwards too against the water to get a clean background...

 

I agree; it's a great shot of the main subject, but -- even without better lighting, it would be a far better photo IF the background was at least partially blue water instead of reef.

 

I remember taking an underwater photo course once where the instructor constantly warned against taking pictures of "dreef" (i.e., da reef). Almost any uw photo (especially those of fish or critters like the cuttlefish) will look better with at least some blue water in the background rather than only reef. To do that, you generally need to get down, get down, get down. If your subject won't let you get between it and the reef (often the case), your best options are (a) get farther below it and shoot UP so there is blue water behind/above it, (B) get to the side of it so you get at least some blue water (off the reef) behind it, or © both.

 

If you constantly remind yourself to avoid "dreef" backgrounds, as soon as you see a subject like that cuttlefish, you'll immediately begin positioning yourself to get some blue water in the background.

 

Here's an example. This lionfish is only a 1 megapixel photo and was taken with NO flash (using the still function of a Sony DCR-PC100).

 

Lionf%20w%20blue%20centered.jpg

 

The thing that makes it a somewhat interesting photo (considering the low resolution and lack of lighting) is the isolation of the lionfish against the blue background. If you imagine your cuttlefish (a far better photo of the main subject) with a similar background, it would be a stunning photograph.

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Sometimes a little bit of red light makes it onto a subject even when we don't realise it. In those cases, adjusting the WB (in RAW) or a little PS work (hardly any in this case, Auto-Color and Color Balance, 30sec max), help to bring out the colors.

 

In addition, remember to convert your image files from aRGB -> sRGB for web viewing.

 

Hope this helps.

 

~Matt Segal

index_1.jpg

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I agree; it's a great shot of the main subject, but -- even without better lighting, it would be a far better photo IF the background was at least partially blue water instead of reef. 

 

I remember taking an underwater photo course once where the instructor constantly warned against taking pictures of "dreef" (i.e., da reef).  Almost any uw photo (especially those of fish or critters like the cuttlefish) will look better with at least some blue water in the background rather than only reef.  To do that, you generally need to get down, get down, get down.  If your subject won't let you get between it and the reef (often the case), your best options are (a) get farther below it and shoot UP so there is blue water behind/above it, (B) get to the side of it so you get at least some blue water (off the reef) behind it, or © both.

 

If you constantly remind yourself to avoid "dreef" backgrounds, as soon as you see a subject like that cuttlefish, you'll immediately begin positioning yourself to get some blue water in the background.

 

Here's an example.  This lionfish is only a 1 megapixel photo and was taken with NO flash (using the still function of a Sony DCR-PC100). 

 

The thing that makes it a somewhat interesting photo (considering the low resolution and lack of lighting) is the isolation of the lionfish against the blue background.  If you imagine your cuttlefish (a far better photo of the main subject) with a similar background, it would be a stunning photograph.

 

Thank you so much for the valuable advise, Bruce. Now after all the advices from the experts, I'm have a much better idea on taking such shots. It is really an enriching experience to learn from you guys. The very thing I have to keep reminding myself now is to avoid "dreef" background. ;)

 

Thank you.

Regards,

ET

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Sometimes a little bit of red light makes it onto a subject even when we don't realise it. In those cases, adjusting the WB (in RAW) or a little PS work (hardly any in this case, Auto-Color and Color Balance, 30sec max), help to bring out the colors.

 

In addition, remember to convert your image files from aRGB -> sRGB for web viewing.

 

Hope this helps.

 

~Matt Segal

 

Thank you Matt. I took this shot with the WB set to cloudy. I don't think i can shoot RAW using the Olympus C4000Z, hence I guess, PS will come in handy. Thanks for the admendment, the it does make the subject stands out. ;)

 

Thank you.

Regards,

ET

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Hi Eddie

I dive in Dayang too sometimes, being based in Singapore.

BTW here is an example of a cuttlefish shot I took with an upwards angle. Note that the absence of a cluttered background makes the cuttlefish stand out more.

 

Taken with Canon S45 camera/housing, Inon Fisheye lens, dual Inon D180 strobes. F8.0, probably 1/100.

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Sorry I can't upload the pic, maybe it's the proxy server at work but I'll check it out..

 

Thank you for your effort. I can't wait too see your photo on the cuttlefish.

By the way, I'm based in Singapore too.... ;)

 

Cheers

ET

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Hi ET,

 

Here's another cuttlefish from Dayang. Probably a cousin of the other 2 ;)

 

post-4904-1129135529_thumb.jpg

 

Not a great shot, but shooting up and more strobe power go a long way in getting more pleasing results...

 

Cheers,

Mat

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Thank you very much Marcus and Mat. The impact of having a plain or blue background does make the subject stands out.

 

Thank you everybody who has contributed to this thread. It has been a fruitful learning experience.

 

Regards,

ET ;)

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Hi Eddie

I have the UCL 165Ad Inon macro lens you describe and I recommend it. I used it with my Canon S45, same as your 4 megapixel Olympus C4000Z and have taken many good macro shots. Here's one of a blue-spotted stingray's eye.

Thanks.

Marcus

post-5222-1129339197_thumb.jpg

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Hi Eddie

I have the UCL 165Ad Inon macro lens you describe and I recommend it. I used it with my Canon S45, same as your 4 megapixel Olympus C4000Z and have taken many good macro shots. Here's one of a blue-spotted stingray's eye.

Thanks.

Marcus

 

Thank you very much Marcus. This is very encouraging. I just check out the price and stock availability today, in which I will probably get it next month.

 

Thank you and have a nice day.

Cheers

Eddie

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Hi Eddie

If you're interested, check out the price from contact@oceanicfocus.com where I have got stuff before for cheaper than other places. Mention my name and you may get a discount!

Marcus

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Hi Eddie

If you're interested, check out the price from contact@oceanicfocus.com where I have got stuff before for cheaper than other places. Mention my name and you may get a discount!

Marcus

 

Thank you Marcus. So far all my underwater stuffs are from oceanicfocus... for the next purchase, i will mention your name, hee hee.... and ask for discount.

 

Thank you very much, marcus.

Have a nice day.

Cheers

Eddie

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