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Peng62

Novice UW photos - Tulamben, Bali

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Hi,

 

These were taken during my recent Tulamben, Bali, dive trip beginning of July. It was only my second dive trip ever and the first time I brought a camera underwater with me.

 

Tulamben, Bali, July 2008

 

I am sure many of these are obviously wanting in techniques, eg, heavy sharpening, out of focus, color casts, mis-aimed strobe, blown highlight, backscattering, you name it, been there, done that, and will still be doing them :huh:. I'll also leave creative composition to the future.

 

Still, I hope to share what can be seen at the dive sites (USAT Liberty Wreck, Coral Garden and Dropoff, all accessed from the beach), though there were lots and lots more that I could not capture. So many critters, so little air...

 

Setup is a Canon A95 with a Inon D2000s. If anyone wants to give me advice on things to improve for any of the photos or in general, feel free to do so, whether nicely or in-my-face is fine. I know that besides practice, practice and practice, knowing what are the faults and what needs to be improved is equally important.

 

Hope you find something that you like. Thanks for dropping by even if you are not leaving any comments or critique. Cheers.

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You may want to have a look at the white balance and levels on some of the pictures. Some appear to be very red indeed.

 

Daniel

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You may want to have a look at the white balance and levels on some of the pictures. Some appear to be very red indeed.

 

Daniel

 

Daniel, thanks for the advice. Someone did tell me to use a white slate underwater for white balancing. I had left it entirely to the Auto WB feature of the camera. My bad. I'll put it down on my checklist for my next dive trip as something to look into.

 

I also did consider compensating for the red color in my post processing. Then again, removing the red in PP might not mean I will get the colors to be right, when I don't have an impression of what the right colors are for some of these critters :huh: So I will work on getting the WB correct while taking the pics. Hopefully, that will work out better.

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Hi Peng,

 

I looked at your photos too - it took me back to my trip to Bali in 2005, thanks!

 

I think the composition is nice, but the shots are too red. I think you may be working on an uncalibrated monitor - so maybe the pix look good to you but WHOA! to us.

 

Cheers

James

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..... but the shots are too red. I think you may be working on an uncalibrated monitor - so maybe the pix look good to you but WHOA! to us.

 

Cheers

James

 

James, thanks for your comments.

 

I have been trying to think a bit more about the redness of the images after Daniel's comments. Here's my line of thought. Wonder if you or anyone else think it might be logical.

 

Admittedly, my LCD is not calibrated, but I think its color rendition is not off by that much. My land photos are reasonable as viewed by my friends on their monitors, so I kinda think it is not fooling me into thinking my colors' great. I do see the redness myself and I actually did not know what to do about that and left them as they are. It looks like that sure helped to raise a little dialogue about it here :huh:

 

I used the Auto WB on my point and shoot camera and with a strobe, and I think the camera was fooled as follows.

 

At greater depth, the camera "sees" a bluish-green environment, and decides that blue-green light are to be suppressed and red light is to be accentuated, to adjust for the white imbalance. Then I fired off the strobe with the release of the shutter, and hey presto, the white lighting from the strobe translated into a red JPG image because the white balancing was fooled. I really don't know how the camera processes the captured image or automatically set the WB, so I am making a really wild guess here.

 

Maybe I could have done better using the customed "sunny sky" setting for the WB, if I did not do a white balancing, with strobe firing, on a white slate underwater whenever the lighting condition changed? Or I shouldn't think so much and just custom white balance underwater :D

 

This is getting to be a very interesting lesson for me, and I hope it has benefits for others who are just starting u/w photography like I am.

 

Peng

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Peng

 

Is it possible that you set the WB manually and then used the flash? That would explain the redness. The camera would be expecting very little red because it would have been absorbed at depth. When the strobe goes off it would have added the red back in but the camera doesn't know about it and so adds even more.

 

Daniel

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Is it possible that you set the WB manually and then used the flash? ...

 

Daniel,

 

You could be right. I did on occasions hit the wrong buttons while underwater and got lost in the depth of some menu selections which I have never dived into before. Could have done some manual WB without realizing it while attempting to get back to my familiar camera settings and what you described happened. I wouldn't rule that out. There's no mistake which is beyond my capability to make :huh:

 

Thanks for giving this some thoughts. I'm learning more...

 

Peng

 

P.S. Sheessh... Most people will make the mistake of ending up with bluish(-green) photos first time, but I gotta go the other way and get them red :D

Edited by Peng62

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Peng,

 

Ignoring the color balance issues, I think you got some very nice shots, and I think you got good compositions on a lot of them, especially since this was your first underwater outing with a camera.

 

I particularly liked the first shot of the Durban shrimps, the large white urchin, cuttlefish, Picasso triggerfish, leaf scorpionfish, clam and the mantis shrimp in its burrow.

 

Richard.

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Richard,

 

Thanks for your very kind words. I am glad there were some that you like ^_^

 

Peng

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For your second ever dive trip and first trip with camera these are very good indeed!

 

If you want to impress your friends a little more simply play around with photoshop to get rid of the red, do some minor PS edits and you'll see that your images can look much better.

 

Next time you shoot, you will no doubt get better results. My advice is keep diving and shooting as often as you can. There are great subjects in every ocean, go seek them and enjoy your photography!

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You saw some awesome stuff - thanks for sharing the portfolio. I enjoyed it a lot.

 

Stephen

 

Glad you enjoyed it. I will put it down to beginner's luck over what I saw. When I did my first open water dive in Phuket early in the year, the water was full of small jellyfishes, in the thousands. My instructor was amazed and after the dive said that in all the years of diving there, she had never seen anything like it. I told her, trying to be real cool, "Oh, that's my welcoming committee. They know its the first time I am diving in the ocean so they are here to greet me." Well, I got plenty of stinging kisses on my face and hands for the welcome. What else but luck? Then again, if only I already had a camera back then...

 

Peng

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For your second ever dive trip and first trip with camera these are very good indeed!

 

If you want to impress your friends a little more simply play around with photoshop to get rid of the red, do some minor PS edits and you'll see that your images can look much better.

 

Next time you shoot, you will no doubt get better results. My advice is keep diving and shooting as often as you can. There are great subjects in every ocean, go seek them and enjoy your photography!

 

Graham,

 

Coming from you, that means a lot and is very encouraging for me. I will try to do a bit more PS edits with the photos and see what improvements I can get, at least till I get some new stuff on my next dive trip, whenever that may be. Glad pros like you are so willing to give us newbies some tips here.

 

On this same trip, I was sitting across a couple named Jeff and Dawn together with Tony and Dot Medcroft of TWD in Tulamben at dinner one evening. I didn't have much of a conversation going with them though they were real friendly folks coz I just rushed back from a night dive and joined in late. It was not until I got home from the trip and was going through some old UWPhotography issues trying to learn more about camera rigs that I saw a photo of Jeff and realized they were the Mullins. Really kicked myself then for missing a great chance to learn something from them. Now I wonder if I will have a chance to also run into you in Bali some time... guess I have to start with going to Bali more often for diving and photography :)... nevertheless, glad to have you leave some advice here. Thank you :B):

 

Peng

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