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Alex_Mustard

Digital sunbursts - the saga continues

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After reading all these threads, I am still a bit confused. I am not sure what is considered a good sunball? I assume that when possible, you would want sunball with lots of ray and is mostly white with not lots of blue fringe!

Is this correct? Here is a sample from my recent trip, not the greatest picture, viz was kind of crappy.

 

 

It's easier to say what's bad. The most common problem is the unnatural looking sharp cyan ring around the sun. It's caused by clipping of the blue and green channels in digital cameras. Film has more gradual cut off.

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Thanks Herb. Will look for Craig's posts right away.

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This may sound like a dumb question but I haven't seen it stated or at least it has not been talked about much in regard to what meetering mode are you guys using and how do they affect your sunbursts. If in full manual mode I don't even know for sure (yet) can you use 3d and spot in most cameras or does it default to centerweight? The Auto Exposure lock feature could also be a tool that may help for speed. I would like to see more feedback on camera settings that seem to work under most condtions that would give me a good starting point to take the 1st few shots and adjust from there. Alex's three picture shutter speed examples were great. (Wish I could go to 1/500). These pics are a good example of not missing TTL when there is a front subject to light with the sun. :lol:

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Accurate exposure metering is of course an essential part of any sort of photography, but will not help deal with the clipped highlights produced when shooting into the sun from underwater using a digital camera. The burnout and unwanted blocky fringes are produced because the digital system has a linear reponse to light intensity unlike film. Film not only has a non-linear response but can also 'suffer' from reciprocity failure at high light intensities, which may allow it to record more information than it should be really capable of (and sometimes this can lead to increased density in highlights too). Raw converters can also handle the 'blown' data from extreme overexposure strangely, sometimes producing spurious colour.

 

What we are seeing are two different mechanisms at work which produce different interpretations from the same input data when subjected to extreme conditions.

 

Depending on your point of view this may be a disadvantage of the digital system compared to film, OR if you want to be positive about it, you might think that we need to reconsider such images in terms of what we class as acceptable.

 

Unless of course someone develops a digital capture device with an astonishingly high dynamic range!

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I understand what you saying.... I should have been more to the point. As far as getting acceptable or at least more consistent results does a specific metering mode seem to help/hurt.

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I don't know if metering really help much in this scenario.Since I shoot with manual strobe, I am not sure if any particular metering scheme is any better than other with such extreme exposure range. I usually just kind of eyeball the situation a bit, take a couple of pictures, review the picture then adjust accordingly. Leave the shutterspeed at the fastest setting ( 1/250 in D2X case), then keep going on the f-stop and adjust strobe power accordingly.

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I always use centre-weighted or even spot metering. Any evaluative metering system is effectively a form of automation as it takes into account a varied set of parameters. If you are shooting a fairly static image or can pre-meter, then take a shot to 'pre-meter' and then use the histogram to adjust exposure to as high a level as you feel possible (this will inevitably losse some suburst information) - the top 1 stop of information from a linear, digital exposure represents 50% of the information so any underexposure will affect shadows the most. Hope this is the sort of answer you were looking for.

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Wanted to ask a quick update on sun balls

 

Are the tips and techniques still the same now that technology has moved on considerably. This is something that I would really like to try on an upcoming trip, currently have a d7000

 

Any help much appreciated

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i use the lo ISO settings on my D90 and it seems to render them nicely - before at ISO 200 they were awful and i found it hard to meter and expose for on my D70. but the D90 is easy and i imagine that the D7000 will be even better : )

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Any chance of the shutter/aperture you are using?

1/200 as it is as high as my D90 will go with the flash attached.

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Here are some examples of unedited sunbursts with both the Nikon D90 and Nikon D7000 to give you an idea. Both setup used hardwired Ikelite DS161 strobes. The fastest the D90 can sync as stated before is 1/200th and the Nikon D7000 can sync at 1/320th. I think that with opitical tiggered strobes like Inon Z240s the fastest it can sync is 1/250th, but I am not 100% sure, someone with that setup can confirm.

 

5437264221_d3f32e8d4a.jpg

Nikon D90 with Ikelite ds161 x2 and Tokina 10-17mm FE @ 10mm. ISO Lo (100) f10, 1/200th

 

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Nikon D90 with Ikelite Ds161 x2, Tokina 10-17mm @ 10mm. Iso Lo (100) f10, 1/200th

 

5623932126_a137db28ee.jpg

Nikon D7000 with Tokina 10-17mm FE @ 10mm. Ikelite DS161x2. Iso100, f10, 1/320th

 

6949289230_3ffcc6b35c.jpg

Nikon D7000 with Tokina 10-17mm FE @ 10mm with Ikelite DS161 x2 strobes. Iso100, f9, 1/320th

 

There are other factors which need to be considered. Water clarity, Depth, position of the sun, surface conditions (ie waves or glass out conditions). Most successful sunbursts I have found personally is shooting shallow (ie less than 10m) on a clear bright day with the sun high and in clear still water but generally the position or location of your primary subject has alot to do with the final outcome.

 

Sometimes your subject isnt in the ideal position for a dramatic sunburst but using the sun to high light the subject can also be done. Here is an example of subject not being in the ideal position for a dramatic sunburst but the effect of the sun still gives an attractive highlight.

 

6078016161_255c50090e.jpg

Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17mm FE @ 10mm, Ikelite DS161. Iso 100, f9, 1/320th

 

All shots posted are unedited to give you a more accurate idea.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Regards Mark

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