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tdpriest

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I have always got more out of looking at other peoples' images than anything else on Wetpixel, so, since the Image Improvement Center seems to be a bit sluggish, I'd like to start a thread on pictures that almost work, but not quite...

 

 

post-4522-1306589457.jpg

 

Toyota pick-up, Sha'ab Suedi, Sudanese Red Sea

 

I think that the lighting could be improved, but I'm not sure what to change.

 

Tim

 

:)

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Hi Tim,

 

Good idea. You re right image improvement forum is a great place to learn more...

 

For this hmmmm

 

1) There is no focal point because the truck is a little indistinct. I have tried these sorts of shoots before and have had the same issue. Instead of trying to get the whole indistinct shape in I tried to find a part of the truck that was identifiable, a wheel, radiator, steering wheel. I found doing this I was a little happier with my images (will try and dig them out to post).

 

2) Balance is a little off. I think my eye would be happy if the diver where of to the right..

 

Just my thoughts and lets face it whom am I to say :)

 

Erol

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Agreed - but who am I also.

 

Nice but there's just too much in it for me. A crop, portrait with the diver top right and the steering column coming diagonally through the frame might have more impact.

The tyre is nice though, maybe the camera should have been positioned a little further right to make this crop/composition work.

 

2c

 

Tim.

Edited by Balrog

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Well...

 

... the subject is "diver and car", the technique was to use a slave strobe to put detail on the diver and yet be able to show the context, the whole engine and particularly the front wheel. The point was not to create a typical " bit of wreckage" image. A version with the diver to the right looks unbalanced to me, because the wreckage to the rear is cut off...

 

... hard, isn't it? I agree that a portrait version based on the steering column would have been a good idea, but my buddy swam off to the next vehicle before I thought of that!

 

Tim

:)

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Yes, it's easy when you get in front of a computer on dry land :) - by which time it's too late

 

So on a similar theme.

I wanted to get this eel in its habitat and saw the opportunity for a few sparklies and light rays but.... he has too many random friends and the water colour is just horrible. So what to do.

 

busy.jpg

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Yes, it's easy when you get in front of a computer on dry land :) - by which time it's too late

 

So on a similar theme.

I wanted to get this eel in its habitat and saw the opportunity for a few sparklies and light rays but.... he has too many random friends and the water colour is just horrible. So what to do.

 

 

The friends aren't bad, And overall I find the image pleasing. The two biggest flaws I see:

1) Is that the strobe is on the opposite direction of the light, Lighting up the reef and not the subject.

2) The subject is facing the edge of the screen, which leads me to an unbalanced feeling

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I have always got more out of looking at other peoples' images than anything else on Wetpixel, so, since the Image Improvement Center seems to be a bit sluggish, I'd like to start a thread on pictures that almost work, but not quite...

 

 

post-4522-1306589457.jpg

 

Toyota pick-up, Sha'ab Suedi, Sudanese Red Sea

 

I think that the lighting could be improved, but I'm not sure what to change.

 

Tim

 

:)

 

I think I'm nobody to give critics here, but as the main subject here is an exercise of what can be improved, here are my thoughts:

 

- We can clearly see the light of the slave strobe in the palm of the diver, he blocked a portion of the light. Maybe a different position of the slave strove might help to illuminate the diver a little more.

- It could be better if the slave strove was hidden from the camera, less distracting and more natural.

- And finally I think that the wheel needs a little more light.

 

Just my two cents.

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Framing is a bit tight with the tyre being cut off and the diver cramped for room at the top.

 

Maybe a lower viewpoint looking up more would help, with more light on the tyre or some recognisable subject in the foreground.

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Maybe a lower viewpoint looking up more would help, with more light on the tyre or some recognisable subject in the foreground.

 

I was hovering just above the sea bed, looking into a 45-degree viewfinder: I suppose that I could have dug a hole...

 

... I'm getting the feeling that it's a set-up that was never going to work because the corroding Toyota is too flat and too wide to frame well, the tyre too dark to light without distracting from the diver and an off-camera strobe fired by its own sensor will always risk appearing in the frame.

 

Conclusions:

 

1) Use an Inon Z-240 with a remote sensor on a cable to tuck the off-camera strobe out of sight.

2) Choose a subject that can be framed vertically.

3) Choose a subject with a colourful foreground.

4) Buy better eyes, so that I can see the flaws in the review image!

 

Oh, and the price for comments: you owe Wetpixel a view of one of your own less-than-perfect images! Fair's fair, you know...

 

Tim

 

:)

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I wanted to get this eel in its habitat and saw the opportunity for a few sparklies and light rays but.... he has too many random friends and the water colour is just horrible. So what to do.

 

I tried a little selective colour change to the water, and changed the brightness of the eel. What do you think?

 

 

post-4522-1306756950.jpg

 

 

 

Tim

 

:)

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Two aspects here; the technical aspects as everyone has discussed above, and the subject matter.

I don't think there's anything you can do to make this piece of wreckage interesting, so the image fails before you even start. Unfortunately there's not much interesting about an amorphous piece of a Toyota pickup.

The only way to make this more interesting may have been to make it an image about the model, getting closer in on the model possibly examining the wreckage.

Edited by loftus

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I don't think there's anything you can do to make this piece of wreckage interesting...

 

I think that you're right, but this is, for the same reason that wreck divers like toilets, a "classic" of the Sudanese dive scene and worse images have been published to illustrate diving at Sha'ab Suedi!

 

Now, since you've responded, post your clunker, please?

 

Tim

 

:)

Edited by tdpriest

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Yes, it's easy when you get in front of a computer on dry land :) - by which time it's too late

 

So on a similar theme.

I wanted to get this eel in its habitat and saw the opportunity for a few sparklies and light rays but.... he has too many random friends and the water colour is just horrible. So what to do.

 

busy.jpg

I my opinion I have to agree that the subject is not centered enough and the light is not in the right spot. By getting rid of the to many little friends I would have cropped it a bit. Maybe this works better for you. Just a suggestion.

post-22948-1306787068.jpg

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I think that you're right, but this is, for the same reason that wreck divers like toilets, a "classic" of the Sudanese dive scene and worse images have been published to illustrate diving at Sha'ab Suedi!

 

Now, since you've responded, post your clunker, please?

 

Tim

 

:)

Wasn't meaning to be rude, I just generally find an image just works for me or doesn't. I think the point I would make is that I think it would be hard for anyone to make a great image with the subject matter of that wreck unless one were concentrating on the diver. Maybe interesting for interested divers, but not anything that would get non-divers' attention.

Anyway, I thought about posting my own 'clunker' as you call it, but again find it difficult because most of my images I find either work, one in every couple of hundred or so, or they don't and I trash them. There have been times though when I'm photographing something and while I'm taking it I am very excited, thinking I have a winner. Subject matter is interesting, think I've framed and exposed it well, only to find when I look at it on the big screen it does not quite make it.

Here's one, my thought is that I do not quite have the angle, maybe down and to the left would have been better, lighting also could have been better.

Sipadan%20Water%20Village%202010-04-11183.jpg

Edited by loftus

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Thanks for the feedback.

 

So combining both concepts I've spent a happy 1/2 hour playing in Lightroom.

Added a lightening graduated filter with a blue cast diagonally top left.

Added a lightening brush to the eye

Cropped a bit off bottom right - although not as severely as Blade's version.

Added a fistful of clarity and a touch more black with compensating fill light ..

 

and here we go.

 

Perhaps better but it all goes to show if you don't get it very nearly right in camera, you might as well not bother in post. (imo)

 

busy-v2.jpg

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I think shifting camera position a little to the left for a more head on / oblique view of the eel would have created more depth and helped position the eye better without changing the overall composition as much

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I think shifting camera position a little to the left for a more head on / oblique view of the eel would have created more depth and helped position the eye better without changing the overall composition as much

 

Yes, it's all about composition. Most of us can get exposure and lighting more or lest right - if not in camera, in post.

 

I'd like to comment on yours Loftus but can't really make anything constructive. It's good but not great.

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Yes, it's all about composition. Most of us can get exposure and lighting more or lest right - if not in camera, in post.

 

I'd like to comment on yours Loftus but can't really make anything constructive. It's good but not great.

 

I think that the emphasis on techniques used in competition has meant that some underwater photographers don't spend enough time on digital darkroom techniques. Yup, you need a good image, but careful post-processing has a place, too. I think that I'd have left the moray a little darker as it is a naturally dark animal. I like the "random friends" because so many morays end up looking the same, and your image is that bit different. I found a pair a couple of months ago, but I couldn't get get a good composition:

 

 

post-4522-1307012442.jpg post-4522-1307012534.jpg

 

 

Thank-you for sharing, I know how irritated I get get even when I know that an image is flawed when someone comments. It's still the best way of learning: any new takers for constructive criticism?

 

Tim

 

:)

Edited by tdpriest

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Anyway, I thought about posting my own 'clunker' as you call it, but again find it difficult because most of my images I find either work, one in every couple of hundred or so, or they don't and I trash them. There have been times though when I'm photographing something and while I'm taking it I am very excited, thinking I have a winner.

 

Thanks! I didn't think that you were rude, by the way, but wanted to say why I took the image in that way and on that dive. I think that you are lucky not to feel the need to keep hold of your less satisfactory images!

 

I would, indeed, have framed this differently, putting the subject to the right if possible. On my monitor the highlights look a little blown, but that's web images for you. The other thing that I'd think about is reducing the brightness of the coral's edges: a snoot in the water, or a masked curve in Photoshop would do it. I think the bright yellowish edges pull the eye away from the front of the subject and so you miss the lunch as it's being eaten. This a crop with a curve, masked to keep the front of the cuttlefish brighter than the coral:

 

 

post-4522-1307013025.jpg

 

 

Tim

 

:)

Edited by tdpriest

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Hi,

I've been enjoying this thread, so I thought I'd "jump in" with a clunker of my own.

I came across the these two Octopus mating (I think!) and wasn't sure how to go about shooting them in a more interesting way. So I just ended up with this flatly lit record of two Octopus.

 

post-25388-1307355051.jpg

 

 

Any idea's?

 

Andy.

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Would there have been any chance to get down (and dirty) and shoot up?

 

Tim

 

:)

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Would there have been any chance to get down (and dirty) and shoot up?

 

Tim

 

:)

 

Yeah! I suppose that would have improved it to a degree, but it just looks flat and two dimensional.

By the way don't you mean "snoot up" :)

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Most of the recognised books make the point that much of what we see underwater cannot be successfully photographed and this may be a case in point.

 

That's not to say that the shot shouldn't be taken, just that it will never make a great image. I personally enjoyed looking at the detail of the subject for a couple of minutes so something may have has been achieved.

 

As said, the lighting is a little flat, maybe the 'Edge' inward lighting may have improved it if you couldn't wait for the subjects to re-position themselves. As it is a healthy dose of vignette might bring the subject more to the fore.

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Most of the recognised books make the point that much of what we see underwater cannot be successfully photographed and this may be a case in point.

 

That's not to say that the shot shouldn't be taken, just that it will never make a great image. I personally enjoyed looking at the detail of the subject for a couple of minutes so something may have has been achieved.

 

As said, the lighting is a little flat, maybe the 'Edge' inward lighting may have improved it if you couldn't wait for the subjects to re-position themselves. As it is a healthy dose of vignette might bring the subject more to the fore.

Good points. Thanks for that.

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Hi Tim - I feel that the problem with your shot is that the interest in this subject should be that it is a car underwater. However, it is not clear enough in the image (partly due to wreck deterioration) that the lump in the foreground is a car. Therefore there is no payoff to the viewer. Even with very wrecked cars it is important to use the most recognisable "car features" of your subject. Technically the image is fine.

 

Andy - your octopuses are lost in the background. The easiest way to get separation is with camera angle. Perhaps difficult here, unless they move. Alternatively you can work with selective lighting. One of the simplest and most ignored techniques is to turn off one of your strobes, and then the shadows from the subject (from the single strobe) will help them stand out from the background.

 

Alex

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