Jump to content
CADiver

Need advise on camera setting for Galapagos !

Recommended Posts

After reading a bunch of scary advise about diving Galapagos, I need some more advises !

Knowing it's going to be heavy current and won't have a lot of time to fiddle with camera setting for the most part. What would you recommend me pre-set the camera to so I have more success with just focus and fire when there is little to no chance of doing anything to adjust the camera.

 

I shoot a Nikon D80 in an Ikelite housing and 2 Ikelite DS125 strobes.

I will be primary shooting w/ the Tokina 10-17.

Also may be Tamron 17-50 (in the same 8 in port).

I also have the Tokina 12-24 but I don't like the edge distortion, so I might not use this lense much.

 

Thank you for your advise !

Dominic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my technique:

 

Shutter priority

Shutter speed 1/125, faster for sea lions

Matrix metering

Strobes on half power with diffusers

- 1/3 exposure comp

ISO depends on clarity, but I bump mine to 320 or 400. I hate it, but the extra stops get you more sharpness.

 

For most whaleshark and hammerhead shots, your strobes aren't doing much of anything. I use the -1/3 stop just in case the strobes do light something up. No adjustments in the middle of shooting.

 

It is imperative that you shoot at an upward angle.

 

img_1223030254_840_lg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is my technique:

 

Shutter priority

Shutter speed 1/125, faster for sea lions

Matrix metering

Strobes on half power with diffusers

- 1/3 exposure comp

ISO depends on clarity, but I bump mine to 320 or 400. I hate it, but the extra stops get you more sharpness.

 

For most whaleshark and hammerhead shots, your strobes aren't doing much of anything. I use the -1/3 stop just in case the strobes do light something up. No adjustments in the middle of shooting.

 

It is imperative that you shoot at an upward angle.

 

Thank you ! It helps !

I would have never thought of using matrix metering or scale back the strobe but it make sense.

Edited by CADiver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not wishing to sound insincere, and the previous post is good info...but my advice is not to get your self all worked up and worried about the current...settle down and make your self relax. Take a meter reading of the blue.

Bump the ISO to 200/250. Greatthing about shooting digital is you get toreview your images immediately...take the time to look at the display. Slow down....you'll be there for more than one dive.

 

That said...on my first dive with hammerheads...the whale shark showed up. Shoot RAW...it just might save your best file.

 

Larry Gatz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not wishing to sound insincere, and the previous post is good info...but my advice is not to get your self all worked up and worried about the current...settle down and make your self relax. Take a meter reading of the blue.

Bump the ISO to 200/250. Greatthing about shooting digital is you get toreview your images immediately...take the time to look at the display. Slow down....you'll be there for more than one dive.

 

That said...on my first dive with hammerheads...the whale shark showed up. Shoot RAW...it just might save your best file.

 

Larry Gatz

 

 

Thanks Larry !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Larry's comment about not getting worked up about the current. You have to swim a bit to get down to rock ledges but once you're there - just wedge yourself into the rocks and watch the fish swim by. Its great, you don't need to burn up energy and air swimming around - everything pretty much comes to you. I did shred the knees on my wetsuit keeping myself wedged in while taking pictures. After about 40 minutes or so, you'll just head to the surface and go where the current takes you. We usually had pods of dolphins follow us up to the surface.

 

Of course, if a whale shark swims by - everyone just rushes out to get as many shots in a possible.

 

You'll have a great time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello :uwphotog:

 

This is my first post here on this forum so - Hi Everyone! :fishblue:

 

I'm not the most experienced person here on this forum compared to a lot of other people (there's a lot of folk with more experience and skill here!) but I will try to let you know what works for me. I have never dived in Galapagos, but I have recently come back from the Maldives and the settings I talk about here were the good base line for shooting there.

 

I shoot with Nikon D60 in the Ikelite housing with the 8" dome for wide angle and a flat port for macro. I have used Nikon 12-24DX, Nikon 10.5 fisheye and Nikon 105mm VR micro lenses. I also have a single DS125 strobe which I leave in TTL.

 

I shoot in Manual mode and I have the ISO set to 100. First I would try to get the blue color of the water the way I like it. For this just shoot a couple of frames at the beginning of the dive into the blue, and change the shutter speed. Set the aperture to something that will give you a good depth of field (for wide angle, I would set it to f/5.6 or f/8 to start with). Then set the shutter speed. I would start off 1/125sec and if it's too dark I would go to 1/100, 1/80, 1/60 and so on. If its too bright, go 1/160sec or 1/200. If at some stage you'd need to go too slow (slower than 1/60), try to change the ISO up to 200 instead of going 1/30sec. This will allow you to avoid the motion blur.

 

For macro lens the above would depend whether I'm shooting something really small or really up close (in which case the f/22 or more and full power out of the flash is what you need) or something that's further out (like shooting clown fish from about 0.5m to 1m distance to get them in frame with a bit of anemone; in this case I would set f/8 or f/11 and again, blast them with flash).

 

You would then control your exposure with either the flash power (in TTL you might change the exposure adjustment or you can switch your strobe to manual and have it going at more or less power).

 

You can also try to change the shutter speed to control how much ambient light you have - remember that changing the shutter speed has no effect on the strobe, it only controls the ambient. Changing the strobe controls the exposure (but not the ambient), and changing the aperture controls the exposure for both the strobe and the ambient :ninja:

 

There's plenty articles here about the flash positioning and I was trying to apply the stuff that was written there, so there's no need for me to repeat that here.

 

Anyways - I hope the above is helpful and that I really didn't make it too complicated. By the way - there's a great site that I read about flash photography. It's not about underwater photography (all stuff they talk about is land photography), but it's all about off-camera flash. You can learn a lot about controlling your exposure and your lights from there. And it turns out, having everything in Manual is actually very easy! :) check them out: http://www.strobist.com/

 

Best Regards and good luck in Galapagos,

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I just got back from a Galapagos trip just before Thanksgiving... Wow, was that fun! I was on the Deep Blue and we did 8 dives at Darwin where the Whale Sharks were. I saw about 2 WS per dive, but it was a challenge for everyone that I encountered. I'm sure everyone that goes to this magical place has a different experience, but overall this is some incredible diving. Depending on the current you will hang out on the reef while the DM goes out looking for the WS. In my case I never encounter the WS when I was just hanging out in the blue waiting to see if I'd run into one. This was true for some, but for me it was a full out sprint when there would be a sighting. I'm in good shape and I could catch and keep up with the WS when this would happen. I was using a Canon 40D with dual Ikelite 125's, and a Tokina 10-17mm, which works well there. However, be ready to swim hard to get the coveted head shot, unless you are lucky and the beast just comes to you.. Also, be ready to shoot, adjust, and swim hard simultaneously! It's great fun and you will have a blast. At Wolf there were walls of Hammerhead sharks that would pass by, it was just crazy. You will want something with a little more reach like a 10-22 or so. You may also need to think about locking focus as the light at 80ft was not enough to get focus lock all the time, etc... Some of the Hammerheads come in closer and you will need to hold your breath, as the HH do not like bubbles and scare easily.. By the way, a 5mm suit should work fine and a 6-7mm you will be plenty warm... I did not need a hood at Wolf or Darwin. Bring good gloves as you will be hanging on to sharp rock/reef most of the time. Also bring at least a 60mm macro for the Cousins dive, otherwise you will shoot WA on every dive.

 

Have a great time!

 

Cheers

Derek...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...