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Christmas Tree Worms

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As in the eel shot, focus/depth of field looks too far back?

Careful strobe positioning to would have isolated the worms from the background.

 

Cheers,

 

Bob

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Careful strobe positioning to would have isolated the worms from the background.

 

Bob - could you elaborate on this... Given the exact same composition, how would you attempt to isolate the tree without lighting the coral. I use a snook, but haven't had much success with this type of isolation.

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Hi Kasey,

I have a love/hate relationship with my snoot (snook?) as well. I'm sure Bob has some advice for you but I thought I'd share the little bit I've learned using mine.

If you leave the strobe on the arm, you're really in for a lot of throw-away shots. I've found hand holding it helps keep the light on your subject. (Although, I'm still deleting a ton of black shots).

 

The up-side is, when you get it right, results can be pretty cool. Here's an example:

 

christree2macro400.jpg

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I'm going to go against the grain and take a contrary position. In this case (and many others), I often prefer to see the substrate and immediate environment, rather than isolating the subject against a deep black background.

 

I think the isolation works well in randaplex's shot, which is a tighter view showing detail of the spiral structure of the serpulid's branchiae. But I think DeepDiscovery's shot works very well, showing the entire animal (as it is normally seen) - both the feeding structures and the operculum, as well as the interesting and complex environment in which it lives.

 

The contrast between the yellow branchiae and the background seems more than sufficient to isolate the animal visually.

 

A tougher related question for me is what to do about highly camouflaged subjects, such as frogfish, etc. The rule seems to be that it's wrong to show subjects like this in situ unless one uses special techniques to isolate them from their very similar background. (And of course we would never move them, would we?) But I also feel that these creatures' amazing ability to match their background is an essential feature of the experience of encountering them in the wild - and the difficulty of finding them. This is something that I'd like to see made evident in any image depicting them and their way of life.

 

As for focus, I really can't tell in a jpeg image this small. Anyway, nice pic.

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Robert - I think the difference you discuss is simply the difference between documenting what you see, and creating an artistic and somewhat abstract image. Artistically, I think that the second image is a show-stopper, while the 1st image is a technically correct image of the worm in its environment. The degree of difficulty in the second shot makes me appreciate it even more.

 

 

For those of us that dive the same areas frequently, we are always searching for unique ways to depict common subjects. Randaplex's shot has given me yet another way to approach one of the most frequently photographed subjects.

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