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chile7236
April 21st, 2012, 05:50 AM
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.

Nitro91
April 21st, 2012, 06:37 AM
their faces are always deformed.

vladimir
April 21st, 2012, 08:01 AM
their faces are always deformed.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:

http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/data/507/lembeh_snakefish.jpg

chile7236
April 21st, 2012, 08:06 AM
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 subject presented many of the same challenges:

http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/data/507/lembeh_snakefish.jpg

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.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e343/chile7236/hoshufrogfishcopy.jpg

NetDoc
April 21st, 2012, 08:12 AM
Mine wasn't quite so black... but I was using an exceptionally crappy camera with no external strobes.


http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/data/4491/medium/Frogfish01.jpg

vladimir
April 21st, 2012, 08:17 AM
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.

chile7236
April 21st, 2012, 08:22 AM
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.

smellzlikefish
April 21st, 2012, 12:52 PM
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.

Dsix36
April 21st, 2012, 01:26 PM
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.

Wookie
April 21st, 2012, 01:46 PM
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.

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

Ardy
April 21st, 2012, 06:34 PM
Very hard and you rarely if ever see a black subject in a good photographers portfolio. I have hit the same problem with frog fish but also black ribbon eels. The only thing you can do once you have fooled the camera into over exposure assuming you wont have a background that is totally distracting, is to try to get the flash reflected in the eye. Apart from this I have no idea, tried several times but nothing great or even keep-able if I admit it to myself (I do anyway). Not my best of a black subject but the quickest to get i.e. an apology or appeal for mercy?
122218

chile7236
April 21st, 2012, 08:10 PM
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.

i spit out my drink just now...was so consumed with tips that i forgot to really look at the title...should i be ashamed? ;)

Superlyte27
April 21st, 2012, 09:03 PM
So this isn't a george zimmerman tutorial?

alcina
April 21st, 2012, 11:03 PM
Black subjects like those froggies are biatches to shoot. The best options I've seen have been shooting a little wider so they are part of a scene - for some reason those images seem to show the subject off better than filling the frame.

Good luck, they're toughies.

chile7236
April 21st, 2012, 11:09 PM
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e343/chile7236/64d2dcbd.jpg

chile7236
April 21st, 2012, 11:11 PM
Since I was in a hurry (always a bad thing to be when shooting)....some very noticeable particulate and less than ideal strobe positioning

Interceptor121
April 22nd, 2012, 07:31 AM
I have looked at my set and could not really find anything black that was decent
The issue is always the lack of highlights and whites as here
122238

However if I look at video such as this one Philippines Diving Moalboal December 2011 1080p.mov - YouTube (http://youtu.be/U5y1RICpBes) that I shot this Xmas in Moalboal you can see around 13:58 there is footage of a black frogfish without lights I had a blue water filter. You can see that the water colour greatly enhances the frogfish

I would think that instead of shooting at speeds of 1/250 and faster shooting at 1/60 and pointing upwards so that the water can be seen instead of the reef together with a wide aperture could achieve a better result however I have no practical examples as the ribbon eel is quite erratic so you need minimum 1/100 and even there is quite blurry because of movement. I have looked at older frogfishes that I have and the better results go to old shots taken with an Ixus 65 that was full auto and shoot at 1/60 F4 confirming the theory

Next black frogfish here I come hahaha!

highdesert
April 22nd, 2012, 03:20 PM
Good to know I'm not alone .... I had the same problems.

Interceptor121
April 22nd, 2012, 05:34 PM
You seem to be lacking a strobe?


Good to know I'm not alone .... I had the same problems.

dna77054
April 23rd, 2012, 01:51 PM
I too have had this problem with ribbon eels and frogfish and I do not have a solution. Real shame we cannot share such cool creatures. These things are really black, black-hole black, no light comes back.

For those who catch the reference, the following quote is most appropriate:

"How much more black could it be?"
"The answer is none, it could be none more black."

Larry C
April 23rd, 2012, 06:57 PM
It's really not that bad. You can see the texture, the eyes and the mouth. The background is a little overexposed. You might go into Photoshop or whatever program you're using, touch up the particulate, then lasso the subject, darken the background and slightly lighten the subject and increase the contrast. In PSE, you can go into the exposure section on enhancement, choose lighten shadows/darken highlights. That will reduce the background blow-out and lighten the subject. If you use midrange contrast, it can sometimes bring out detail.
Other than that, next time get a lot of light on the subject and less on the background and try about 3 different shutter/aperture settings for the same shot. If it's not going anywhere, you might even be able to keep the camera in a fixed position and combine the three for an HDR shot.

Ardy
April 29th, 2012, 06:49 PM
It's really not that bad. You can see the texture, the eyes and the mouth. The background is a little overexposed. You might go into Photoshop or whatever program you're using, touch up the particulate, then lasso the subject, darken the background and slightly lighten the subject and increase the contrast. In PSE, you can go into the exposure section on enhancement, choose lighten shadows/darken highlights. That will reduce the background blow-out and lighten the subject. If you use midrange contrast, it can sometimes bring out detail.
Other than that, next time get a lot of light on the subject and less on the background and try about 3 different shutter/aperture settings for the same shot. If it's not going anywhere, you might even be able to keep the camera in a fixed position and combine the three for an HDR shot.

Hi Larry - Really not that bad is not that good either. I suggest that apart from recording these black items we keep them hidden from public scrutiny.122975
Even slightly off black is enough but black - black is death!

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