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Alex_Mustard

Nikon D2X in Cayman

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I have been in Cayman for just over a week now and everyday that I have been here I have recieved emails asking me about the D2X. So I thought I'd share some images and try out the new gallery feature on Wetpixel.

 

Unlike my initial tests in the Red Sea,(Red Sea Tests) where I wanted to test the camera under as many types of shooting as I could, here I have been doing most of my photography for myself. I've been mainly shooting fish during my first week - particularly concentrating behavioural shots and fish portraits.

 

The Gallery is here:

Cayman D2X Gallery

 

All comments appreciated.

 

Alex

 

gallery_713_18_44453.jpg

 

gallery_713_18_33828.jpg

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Alex -

 

congrats! more impressive images. I am particularly fond of the fish images that relate mating behavior. That definitely adds another facet to the story the images tell, and as a biologist, we just love it when behaviors are documented...Keep up the good work.

I am also impressed that you showed restraint and didn't put a single stingray in that Cayman gallery...

 

regards...

 

- MP

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I love the detail in the photos .. you can still see all the fairy basslet detail even though it has been shrunk.

 

How come in the shallow water ones there is a purpley hue ... is that filter or post process ? (i am assuming it's not the camera it's particularly visible in the snorkler shot)

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Great stuff Alex - as usual. I was really sad that I couldn't join you guys last week - but I can't be in two places at once.

 

I like the screaming secretary blenny - too cool! That's a contest winner IMO.

 

We had a Subal D2x shooter on our Wetpixel trip so I got to check out his camera and housing. Compared to the Canon 1D bodies, the D2x is MUCH lighter. The D2x w/ 10.5 and a fisheye dome will make for a great "compact" setup.

 

I like your use of the Wetpixel gallery Alex - it looks great. I hope more people will "discover" this feature soon. It sure makes posting images here very easy, eh?

 

Cheers

James

 

PS, I sent you a PM yesterday, did you and Giles get one? We seem to be having some PM trouble so please let me know.

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Thanks guys.

 

I've got a bit of a thing about shooting fish portraits on blue backgrounds recently. Adds a new challenge shooting long exposures - while still getting DOF.

 

Alex

 

Matt, it was easy not to post any stingrays - as I haven't been to SRC this trip! Hoping to go - but not sure I'll make it.

 

James, its a pity you couldn't make it down to Cayman. Although I would have rather been visiting you up there with the tigers. No I have not got a PM from you.

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Alex,

Superb work as ever – I first saw your work at a Visions conference some years ago, shot on F100 and was amazed by your fish behaviour and portrait shots. Combining the knowledge and patience of your marine biology backround with your increasingly formidable camera skills yields results like this. The D2X is a remarkable rig indeed, but as we all know, cameras don't make photographs...

 

Regards,

 

John Collins

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Really very good images. Nice shots.

But in the other side,

I think all the images are over-saturated.

I can't believe that images are direct shots from the camera.

Lot of post-processing? Cropping? Velvia Filter?

I think it's a good idea to show us any image direct from

camera to understand d2x possibilities.

 

And again, nice and difficult shots.

Congratulations.

 

 

Regards,

fRAS

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These images are pretty much straight from the camera and have very minor processing - as I have better things to do with my time!

You can still see backscatter in some. I'm not working from the RAW files yet - these are all from the JPG Basic files. The reason for the highh saturation is that I am shooting in Adobe RGB III mode on the camera - which everyone comments is very close to a Velvia film emulsion in look. Shooting in sRGB would be better for showing the images straight on the web - but that is not my main goal for the shots!

 

Post processing is just resizing, sometimes AUTO CONTRAST and AUTO COLOUR then sharpen and save for web.

 

Giles is best placed to comment independantly on the colours as he is seeing the images on the LCD screen and then on my computer. But I am sure he would say that they look like this on the back of the camera. I attach a 50% crop of the fairy basslet above. Straight from the camera, just resized and save for web.

 

IMO most of the top photographers I know do a lot less Photoshop than people think. Its a lot easier and quicker to get it right underwater.

 

Alex

 

p.s. I would add that I do sometimes have some colour space issues on my laptop. Which can make images look a bit wierd in some browsers - although I thought I had solved them. They certainly look fine in Safari on the MAC - but IE does not read the colour profiles and can make them look a bit wierd.

post-713-1112960591_thumb.jpg

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I am using a work computer right now .. on IE6 windows with a CRT and the colours look the same as they looked when you took it ... the fairy basslet is a great subject to test a digital camera IMO as they have a wicked contrast in colour which is often lost in detail .. the colours are spot on.

 

As for your comment about post processing I love to talk to people about that. I hear about so much post processing going on in wetpixel here and often wonder how people have time to do all of that work .. I barely have time to sort through my images and organise them let alone post process any of them.

My theory has always been .. if you know how to take a photo .. take the photo. The digital age changed this somewhat by allowing people to easier post process but I have always liked using a digital camera like I would any film camera (in general) a great example though of where I have used digital for everything it is was when me and Alex used the little Olympus P&S, UWP Mag. I think I mostly like to try and get it right in camera is just from the way I was taught originally .. but mostly because I am too lazy to do too much work afterwards. Some people really enjoy the afterworks and at the end of the day .. it's both skillfull and takes talent to get it right .. they are just different methods.

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Alex, one of the things that has me so excited about the D2X is just that, the saturation.

 

I often have had the same said of my shots from the S2. I like the look the S2 sensor gives, and felt there was "no equal" that sensor.

 

Now it looks like the X has all of the "modern" upgrades I am lacking in the S2, and a sensor that will still give me "the look" I love so much!

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I do think that fRAS makes a decent point that the D2X on Adobe RGB III is very saturated. And possibly at times a bit over saturated. Obviously in RAW this can be fine tuned (once I have PSCS2)! But I agree with Richard - 9 times out of 10 I want saturation.

Al

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Thanks guys.

 

I've got a bit of a thing about shooting fish portraits on blue backgrounds recently. Adds a new challenge shooting long exposures - while still getting DOF.

 

Alex

 

 

 

Its funny that you should be doing that, i was doing a bunch of that myself a few months ago when i got some new close up filters and wanted to play around.

This is my fave, 60mm with a +4, f18 ss50. Pain in the ass trying to shoot straight up with a +4 when these little buggers keep flying up and down the wire coral, talk about focus problems...

 

What lens are you shooting your fish mating shots with?

post-2598-1113032225_thumb.jpg

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Alex,

 

Like John Collins I've admired your work at Visions and I think you are producing some of the finest fish images we are seeing. Your CY1156.jpg is the best of the bunch on this gallery and a shot you should be rightly proud of - enter it for the BBC Wildlife Comp!

 

Kind regards,

 

Jim Anderson

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Alex,

 

Fantastic pictures. Your and Eric's work are an inspiration for u/w photography.

 

You wrote above that you shot the pictures in Adobe RGB Mode III, Auto

Contrast, Auto Sharpening with no processing of the JPGs the camera threw out.

Are the posts themselves still in Adobe RGB or are they converted to sRGB for

the posts here?

 

I love the deep saturated look, too. If Jay Maisel and Seth Reznick have that

love I don't think I, a rookie, can be misguided. I only shoot RAW and assign a

Prophoto colorspace when I bring 'em into Photoshop. I've still not played with

any d2x raw images as I just don't have the patience for Capture to do its thing.

 

Fantastic Images!

 

-aLV

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Thanks for the kind comments.

 

I am back in the UK now, :D and have updated my D2X gallery on my home page.

 

In an attempt to control the number of Alex's D2X threads I have running I am going to attempt to lock this one, which was a test of the new gallery software as much as anything, and start a new thread in DSLRs - as a review of my first month or so with the D2X underwater.

 

Alex

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