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Midu

Moray Eel, maybe too busy?

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I took this photo last week in Cozumel, I personally quite like it, lol, but a friend found it too busy. I am new at underwater photography so my question, are "busy" photos liked by many or are the more simple shots more desirable or is it all up to individual taste?

 

I am very open for critique because I want to learn!

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Hi Midu

 

I think you are right that it all boils down to personal preference. This is art not science. There is no right or wrong. A picture you think is great might not be appreciated by the next guy - and vice versa.

 

My own personal preference is for something that strikes an emotional chord. Think Wow. For me that usually means simplicity. The picture focuses your attention on the main subject. It might be through colours, lines, harmony or contrasts. But the subject strikes that chord.

 

I've found over time that the pics that work best for me - but maybe not the next guy - are usually taken when I've found a background that sets off the subject. So I've tended to look for good backgrounds then waited to see what might wander into it - or live on it. This might be a goby that jumps onto the complex lines of a brain coral; or the lines and spines of a lion fish against an inky black background.

 

For me simplicity rules. But, like I say, it's art, not science. And the next guy might be a scientist.

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Thanks for your input, great advice on choosing the background then waiting, didn't think about that yet, will try that.

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No problem! It took me years to find that - and it was prompted by asking a serious (well-known) u/w photog who visited the resort I was managing how to break out of the usual "fish portrait" photos.

 

It's definitely worth a try but it takes restraint! :crazy:

 

A few pics attached which I hope show the idea.....

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post-2756-0-07956200-1494827240_thumb.jpg

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It's a good shot, well exposed, but I also think it is a little "busy". In addition to Tim's great advice, try to get lower if possible. I tend to like eye level shots and morays often cooperate if they are stationary and not on the move hunting.

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@TimG, amazing photos, love the artistic touch and that they're not just the usual fish portrait.

@Troporobo, good advice, I've tried getting lower before but I didn't get the exposure right. I'll try next time.

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Hey again, Midu

 

Troporobo's point on getting low is spot on. Definitely worth persevering at shooting upwards - especially on macro shots.

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