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NWDiver

Going to see Great Whites! Ambient Light Settings

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(wasn't sure where to put this)

 

Just booked for a September trip out of San Diego to see the Great Whites!!! The dive op says most people shoot without strobes due to light at surface and clarity of water. Have the D100 in Aquatica housing, planning on taking the Nikon 10.5mm and 18-35mm.

 

What settings do you think would work best? Are there any filters I might want to consider? I am using Paint Shop Pro9 and have to admit I’m just capable of the basics on “tweeking†shots.

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Water clarity is variable there but you are at the surface.

 

Filters would be of little use since the total light paths will be very short. Don't bother with that.

 

Strobes are useful though since they will create a different look. You won't need them for good exposure or color but you won't get good white bellies without them. Many will shoot without strobes but I always used one. I don't think you'll want two strobes though since the cages are restrictive.

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I think it is a tradeoff, strobes will make it more difficult to move around the cage but they will produce better results (if used correctly). On my trip most people didn't use them (including myself although I wish I had). One option is to keep you strobes set up and ready to go so that if the shark action is great during your rotation out of the cage you can quickly attach them to your housing and be ready to go.

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Nearly everyone used a single strobe when I was out there. Use a strobe, if you can. If you use a single strobe on a single arm, it's not that hard to handle in the cage. As for settings, I'd shoot in aperture priority, unless you are really fast with the knob spinning as sharks move up and down...

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Typically shooting something this large w/WA lenses I would have the strobes at about the 10 and 2 positions (clock face) and about 2-2.5' from the housing. With one or two strobes a cage and the 10.5mm lens how would you position them?

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I used two strobes at 1/2 and 1/4 power, 12-24mm lens usually at the 24mm end. Strobes are essential for white bellies, contrast, and punch. But be careful not to overexpose.

 

See my website for examples: www.ehanauer.com

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Thanks all, thinking about getting a third strobe as a back up and to try some 3 strobe set-ups for reefscapes, wrecks, schools, etc. (not for this trip). What do you think of adding a more powerful strobe than the S&S 90DXs I have now? I'm thinking along the lines of an S&S350 or Nikon SB104, etc... Is there a strobe that "throws light farther"?

 

Now this is a rookie question, what exactly does the "Guide Number" translate to underwater?

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I used a pair of 90DX autos with a L&M housing on the D100. I used 'em at 1/4 power with diffusers on and the shots turned out fine. As for "How far can light go?" -- you just can't play with Physics. Best thing to do is to use the "Jim Church Handshake" routine and create your own table of

stops and distances at full power. Or better....create a wheel u can use :

 

http://www.daveread.com/uw-photo/exposure1...obe_manual.html

 

- aLV

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Alvinjamur,

 

Sounds like you did this trip. I was planning on taking the 10.5mm and 18-35mm for below water shots, think I can get some decent full portraits with the 18-35? In general I still need a good all around above water telephoto/zoom, something -$500 any suggestions (anyone)??

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NWDiver, I know it's not the latest lens, but you can pick up a nice Nikon 80-200 ED 2.8 for under $500 at KEH.

Alternatively, you could get the Nikon 70-300 (slower, but longer) or for a little more the Sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM (like AFS) is very nice.

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