Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
g3cko

Feedback and critique

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone,

 

I'm soon to be taking a trip to Lembeh/Bunaken (for the first time!) and since I'm traveling alone, I wanted to try to gather some feedback on my pics to get some ideas of things to focus on improving.

 

I tend to shoot macro the most since I usually shore dive SoCal (lower vis), so I am going to spend some time on the Bunaken side to practice my WA. If anyone has thoughts or feedback or even tips for diving Lembeh/Bunaken - please let me know :) I think I've watched Mucky Secrets about 20 times, and I was in Anilao earlier this year (also for the first time) so I have an idea of the diversity to expect. Hope to find flamboyant cuttlefish and some ghost pipefish (and blue ring, and...) this time though :)

 

The trip originally consisted of 3 day dives, but I added a few extra days on the Lembeh side, and I plan to add as many night dives as I can.

 

Here's my some of my most recent local dives (no ads/selling anything, promise)

 

http://www.aaronhalstead.com

 

and two facebook albums, which have some of my more favorite/best pictures

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.940386655982733.1073741833.758498744171526&type=3

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.874274615927271.1073741830.758498744171526&type=3

 

I feel a little spammy linking either of these, but I don't currently have these hosted elsewhere (and I'm at work). Open to any and all feedback/criticisms! I'm sure the things I notice may be quite different from what others notice.

 

Oh, since it's not posted, I am currently shooting a Nikon D90, 2 ys-110a strobes with 60mm, 1.4x tele, 105mm, 10-17 and wet diopters.

 

Thanks in advance!

-Aaron

Edited by g3cko

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With beautiful images like that from California water you won't have any trouble in Lembeh. Just relax and have fun with it.

 

Cheers,

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to move back a bit! All I can see is eyeballs and whiskers...fish have tails you know.

 

My only criticism is that many of the pics seem overly "white". Maybe a little less strobe? Or invoke some more shadows to force some subject contrasts.

 

Composition is interesting. We all know that depth of field is an extreme challenge at this level and I claim you are doing great.

 

A while ago I sat back and concluded that many of my pictures were "too busy" - lots of subject, too much other stuff in the background. The cluttered background detail pulled the viewers eye away from the prime subject. My last few dive trips I have be concentrating on "black background" techniques - with varied success.

I have reverted to "strobe only" lighting. Good results with normal WA and macro shots. Not so much yet with super macro shots.

 

Next trip will include several different "extreme" strobe positions in order to induce shadows and exclude background lighting for super macros. My first go to strobe position will be vertically looking down at the subject, pointing a little towards the camera - with a lesser amount of under and front lighting from the other strobe. I could be wrong...but I have a few very interesting high contrast super macro shoots using above and below strobes instead of from-the-side strobes.

 

My suggestion is to experiment with various non-standard strobe positions and unbalanced power settings to use your artificial lighting to highlight / contrast your subject against the background. Make the background disappear from the viewers eye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terrific pix, Aaron.

 

I'm sure you'll have a great time in Lembeh.

 

The tips I'd suggest: be prepared to be maybe shocked when you first get in. The dive sites are not always attractive..... I used to warn guests at the resort I ran there not to to be worried if they immediately thought, what, I paid $xxxx to see this?!?!??!

 

As Steve says, take your time, relax and watch. Then stay NEAR the guide. For most of us the last thing we want is to be shepherded around. But in Lembeh you need to be shown around. Finding things, to start with, is tricky, till your eyes get used to the black sand, the sparse surroundings and the small size of many of the critters.

 

There are WA pics to be had in Lembeh: Nudi Falls and Angel's Window especially. But expect turbidity and particulant in the water. CFWA can be good if you can set up for that with your 10-17 and x1.4. But, obviously, macro is King. Looking at the pics on your website, you should get some crackers!

 

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the feedback and comments! This is super helpful to get some new thoughts and opinions, appreciate you taking the time.

 

 

The tips I'd suggest: be prepared to be maybe shocked when you first get in. The dive sites are not always attractive..... I used to warn guests at the resort I ran there not to to be worried if they immediately thought, what, I paid $xxxx to see this?!?!??!

 

Ah! Yes, I think I did get a hint of this in Anilao. By the end of the trip, I did find the mucky sites o be my favorite overall though! I've not tried CFWA, but I currently have an 8" dome, so I'm not too sure if that is a feasible combo? I think I would enjoy CFWA though, sounds fun!

 

 

You need to move back a bit! All I can see is eyeballs and whiskers...fish have tails you know.

 

My only criticism is that many of the pics seem overly "white". Maybe a little less strobe? Or invoke some more shadows to force some subject contrasts.

 

 

Thank for the suggestion! I will definitely add this to my list of things to keep in mind. I can see I get into a habit of shooting similar shots, and this also applies to my lighting as well I'm sure. Just because I have two strobes, doesn't mean I need to always use them both (at equal power). Also, I like your note about "too busy" - that is something to keep in mind as well, I've def noticed some pictures I've taken have too much going on

 

 

Just relax and have fun with it.

 

Super excited! I am sure I'll have a blast.

 

Again, thank you all for the feedback!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aaron

 

8" domes aren't ideal for CFWA for sure. The best results I have had are with a 100mm dome. But, hey, why not give it a try? Nothing to lose, right.

 

As you've done muck sites before, you're home and, errr, dry. :crazy:

 

Have a great time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tim

 

Very true, worst case I have to try to get creative with my shots. And actually, might make a good pre-trip test for this weekend :)

 

Thanks! I'll be sure to share some pics when I get back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great Aaron,

Congrats on a good trip. More please.

 

Cheers,

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aaron,

 

There are some beautiful images in there, well done.

My favourites are the Black-finned Snake Eel, the Yellow Pygmy Goby and the Feather Star silhouette!

 

We will be looking forward to seeing more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve and Morten, appreciate the kind words.

 

I really can't get enough of the little pygmy gobies :) so fun to shoot! These (there were actually two) were hiding among some flamboyant cuttlefish eggs under a coconut shell, which I thought was kind of funny.

 

I'll be sure to post an updated gallery as I make it through my pictures

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...