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shooting black subjects....best method?

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography' started by chile7236, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. chile7236

    chile7236 Instructor, Scuba

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    saw my first frogfish today...a nice, football sized one...ALL BLACK. my limited skill only had me taking shots with different strobe settings...what are some other proven methods to bring out something like this? thanks.
     
  2. Nitro91

    Nitro91 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Sydney, Australia
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    their faces are always deformed.
     
  3. vladimir

    vladimir Solo Diver

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    Is there an answer in there somewhere?

    Chile, low-contrast subjects like your black frogfish are a challenge. They generally make boring photos, even though a frogfish is very cool. I'd look to get as close as possible, eliminate any distracting elements in the composition, maximize my depth of field, and try lighting it from different angles and perhaps let the shadows outline the subject's form a little. Be sure to get the eyes in sharp focus—that'll help the viewer see an exotic fish rather than a formless blob.

    Not a frogfish, but this snakefish presented many of the same challenges:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. chile7236

    chile7236 Instructor, Scuba

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    thank you...next time, i will bring both strobes out as well. he was on a ledge, against a wall so i didn't have a whole lot of angles to choose from. tried focusing on what i thought was interesting but the pic did not come out as well as i'd hoped.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. NetDoc

    NetDoc Chairman of the Board

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    Mine wasn't quite so black... but I was using an exceptionally crappy camera with no external strobes.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. vladimir

    vladimir Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
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    Hmm...sometimes the picture is just not there to be gotten. I find the background distracting—less depth-of field would have helped to de-emphasize it by taking it out of focus. Hopefully some of our more expert photographers will chime in—I'll be interested to hear what they have to say.
     
  7. chile7236

    chile7236 Instructor, Scuba

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    i am told that this guy is there a lot so hopefully, i can get another shot using different aperture settings...i was pressed for time on this dive (it was 15 minutes just to see this frogfish) and had to get in and out so i could make it back for an appt.
     
  8. smellzlikefish

    smellzlikefish Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Oahu, Hawaii
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    Looks like a tough shot to get good detail. Here are a few thing you could try, but you might still come away with a detail-less black smudge of a subject.

    You might try back-lighting to help outline the animal if you have the strobe arms for it. I'd try it with a small aperture (f/18+) to reduce the amount of ambient light hitting the sensor. A second strobe focused more directly at the subject would illuminate the details such as the eye.

    Also, you might try over exposing the fish a bit to try to bring out as much detail as possible. Again, a smaller aperture would help darken the background while the strobes would bring out your subject.

    Finally, as mentioned before, byou could use a really large aperture at close range to decrease your depth of field.
     
  9. Dsix36

    Dsix36 Solo Diver

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    shooting black subjects....best method?


    I was shocked to read that title. I was thinking that this was a KKK thread or something.

    Any way the police will fire one shot into the air and yell "Police, Freeze". After that it is anyones guess.
     
  10. Wookie

    Wookie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    I really figured it would be Wormil who replied with "Stand your ground and aim carefully, at least in Florida"
     
    mike_s and Chugwhump like this.

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