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Feedback on my pictures......

Discussion in 'Darkroom Tutorials' started by Jorgy, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Jorgy

    Jorgy Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Syracuse, NY
    OK, so I've been a SB lurker for many years, so here goes my first post. First I must say, SB has been such a great source of information and answered so many of my questions, my deepest thanks to all those who post on it and allow us to read their threads.

    About me, diving since 2001, now have almost 400 dives. About a year ago I bought a G9 with Canon housing, went to Bonaire where I took a course from Fish-Eye Photo (great class, well worth the money). Thanks to them and the rental strobe my pictures went from the classic beginner blue/green to real live color and I have been hooked ever since. Now my setup includes two Sea & Sea YS-110 strobes (one orange and one gray - gotta have lots of light for color), triggered via fiber optic cable. I use Photoshop Elements 6 to edit the RAW files (to crop and some enhancing). I really like the setup; it is small enough to go with me on every dive. I fold the strobes over the camera and clip it to my D-ring, I dive a hog harnessed plate with 18 lb wing, and I don't even know it is there until some unsuspecting fish is my next victim...subject..I mean.

    In a continuing effort to improve (who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks), I am looking for feedback on my pictures, techniques, camera/flash settings or any other useful tips.

    I shoot RAW, all manual, basically leaving the aperture and shutter speed alone (unless macro or night diving) and use the manual adjustments on the strobes to get the correct exposure. This mean I often take three shots - one over exposed, one under exposed then just right (like some story with bears).....er, I mean 33 shots, I forgot 30 shots of no fish, fish backsides, turned fish, part-of-fish, out-of-focus fish, got-bored-and-left-the-reef-while-Mike-fiddles-with-his-camera-fish, etc

    Camera settings ISO 100, F - 5.6 to 8.0, shutter speed 1/125, AF mode continuous with spot metering, image stabilization continuous, AF frame flexizone, in the center, internal flash turned down to 1/3 power (lowest), digital zoom off, saving RAW files, macro normally on.

    Strobe settings Manual 2 (no pre-flash) and then use the 13 step manual control, diffusers on the strobes.

    My biggest issue (actually, I have many, just ask my friends and family, but for this post, related only to underwater photography) is focus. Speed of focus and getting the subject if the picture in focus. The pictures look awesome on the camera's 3 inch screen but when I get home they are fuzzy when blown up. Does anyone know what the depth of field is for a G9 at the various aperture settings?

    Also, still seem to get some backscatter the FO cable is secured to the housing with a big piece of Velcro that covers the entire upper right corner of the housing and a pull the strobes out as far as the arms will go.

    Please take a look at the pictures below - comments please.

    Thanks, Mike J.

    Attached Files:

  2. redrover

    redrover Guest

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
    CanÃÕ really help with the technical how to and only offer personal composition POV. Please bear in mind I do know at least slightly how much of a challenge just positioning underwater is. :D

    1 is nice, I would try for angle to eliminate the top sun glare, a big fuzzy blob. It distracts eye up and off the otherwise very nice composition and contrasts of shadow, lit entry diver, water rock, and sunbeams. You tell a story. I like this, more and more.

    2 sorry, is lacking, and too bad, the ingredients are there but I am assuming the depth of field choice is the issue? Background is too blah, shrimp too low in corner either too close or too far away focus of the shot and the color foreground is just apparently pretty something fuzzy.

    3 I see what I do not like but cannot say how to fix the blue shadows, you are far better underwater than I. I would compose fish w/ 1 white Antler against deep blue background or try any way. Nice catch the antler fuzz.

    4 very vivid orange but boring? fish. Too bad, striking orange and center detail.

    5 What do you see wrong? To be extra critical I would aim for full eyes detail. Wish I had a photo of me that nice, dang.

    6 is nice try but jumbled, no clear message, composition. CanÃÕ have that coral completely out of focus, and the fish©Õo much for the camera focus to figure out which to deal with and just gives a overall nothing particularly focused?

    7 blah background, needs up close and personal detail. At this point too blah color a fish for the background as well. No story captured, it is a dark fish and pink coral, woopie. Assuming it looked cool enough to you to stop and shoot, some times, I think J, you cannot get on film what the eye is seeing. My experience anyway.

    8 well, poor angle (view) focus and composition. Need the head or the full flipper and the head. Also the lighter upper L corner looks like a horizon and better being level. IÃÅ crop to just the head and on my screen now, dang that is nice detail. And the kinda lacking side profile solved, looks really good!

    9 Gee I am harping on composition. Either they did not cooperate, or you waited too long or snapped too early. Is a snapshot of two potentially intriguing Butterflyfish.

    So, after all that.
    1 I wish I could take underwater photos that well. (Let alone have the gear to.)
    2 composing within the frame and/or the ability to crop after is the main lack I see.
    3 the real treat of digital is endless shots vs only what is on the film strip. 3 shots per subject is stingy, stingy, stingy. Course reviewing and deleting is annoying but far better IMO than developing and chucking the $.
    3 Find someone you admire, with a full card shot unedited and look at their attempts. I will bet there are maybe 30 or more shots trying to capture the same thing, 15 are reasonable and need scrutiny to winnow it down to the good ones. And another 30 or more of instant useless.
    4 Did I mention I wish I could do as well as you are now?

    BLUESEASONBALI Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Sanur, Bali, Indonesia
    I love the first photo, it looks just like the promotion Poster Photos that you see from all the Technical Organizations selling cave courses or equipment etc. Have a look a the Suunto HelO2 adverts and you will see what i mean Suunto HelO2 ­ Blue to black and back

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