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T-shots (UW Tripod use with various light spots

Discussion in 'Tips and Techniques' started by fpoole, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. fpoole

    fpoole Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, WA
    507
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    We've been having a discussion in the Murky Waters thread, and due to the response, thought it might be fun to set one up so it would be available to all.

    We were discussing the use of a Mini (or Maxi if you want?) Tripod - obviously mindfull of the environment reef, life etc... -

    I use a 5050 with one of those backpacking, plastic or aluminum, and a 1lb shot weight tie strapped the the legs. A little cumbersome,but holds it down.

    The idea is to set the camera in 5-10-15 sec mode and fire a hand held strobe or big dive lite in different areas and see what happens...

    I'm going out tomorrow, 3-26 Sat, just to play with the mechanics.

    Will post if it proves helpful.. LOL... more than likely NOT...
    but even some people win the lottery...

    So the question is, has anyone tried this with the different lighting shots.
    I know, read, several people in the past have used tripods with mixed results, so thought it'd be nice to have it in one thread for reference...

    Any thoughts???
     
  2. SuPrBuGmAn

    SuPrBuGmAn Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tallahassee, FL
    12,436
    290
    83
    Looking forward to your progress report, even if you don't get any useful shots, it'll give us an idea on what not to do - which will save anyone else trying this out some time(including myself).
     
  3. f3nikon

    f3nikon Manta Ray

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    Is this going to be a night dive? Because this will only work in total darkness with the shutter left open! Any outside light what so ever at 5,10 or 15 sec. will BLUR anything that moves! Your tripod could be as steady as a rock, it still does not matter.

    I think you are getting murky waters mixed up with total darkness. Murky waters during the day is still ambient light, the picture will still be exposed. Even if you can set the aperture at f 22 or 32, at 5 to 15 seconds you will get an exposure, and if there is some movement, a Blurred exposure!

    Land photographers do this all the time. Taking flash photos of an entire building or house with a single flash or strobe. Has to be done a night without any ambient light (no street light or porch light). The camera is on a tripod, shutter open pointing at the building, no exposure yet because there is no light.

    He then starts firing the flash at different parts of the building, being very careful not to get his body between the camera and the lighted building, his shadow will show in the picture if he does. And just like magic the entire building is lit up! I recommend that you try this on land before you waste your time underwater.

    Good Luck
     
  4. fpoole

    fpoole Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, WA
    507
    0
    0
    Thanx,
    The idea was initially for sea scape shots, steady, none moving. Reefs, pilings anemones etc... but the idea ofa blurred fish running across the sceen is tempting to try..

    Anyway, did the dive and didn't really get a chance to play with it.. will have to either do a solo dive, shallow, or find someone who is willing to take the time to work with it.

    I was using an Oly 5050 w/PT015 and although I've had problems pressing the buttons before it was becoming a PIA this time. Had some My Mode settings, but couldn't adjust the holding & Spinning to move the f-stop or was it speed, I forget...

    So bottom line was that I did get a clearer sharper image by just holding the tripod (pictures to follow) on the ground and taking it than normal holding it. So we made progress. 5-10 seconds is probably way too much, as noted above, for dark murky waters, but up here, with a 30'+plankton blooms, it does become a "Dusk" dive, so it's a combo of both.

    So back to the water when I have better control of the camera/housing (Ikelite?), a dive buddy that is a little more patient and no current...

    Will try it again as it's becoming a challenge heheh... worth while one??? that remains to be seen...

    Back in a bit with a photo or two..
    Here's one, 1/50sec no flash, believe tripodded.. not sure though..
     
  5. SuPrBuGmAn

    SuPrBuGmAn Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tallahassee, FL
    12,436
    290
    83
    I'm planning on trying this inside a cavern, far side from the opening to ambient light.
     
  6. Curt Bowen

    Curt Bowen Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    1,142
    89
    48

    I have shot lots on tripods underwater. I have gotten some awsome shots, but then again I have gotten lots of crap also.

    Fish are a main problem for wreck shots, but if you leave the shutter open long enough, sometimes the moving fish ghost themselves right out of the photo. Its the slow moving ones that cause problems.

    As for bright waters above and dark below. set your camera up. Shoot multiple shots without moving the camera and change you film speed until you have covered the proper exposure for all angles.

    Layer all the photos in Photoshop and merge the proper exposed shots togather until you get the shot you desired. GOOD LUCK

    O- Did I forget, it helps to be a master in photoshop :)

    Currently I am shooting without strobes, but using 2 very large HID video lights. Works well in a cave or night openwater, but not so well in daylight.

    Then if you can afford 2-3 more large HID (21watt to 50watt) for light divers to hold, and use a 10.5mm wide angle you can get awsome shots. But not to many of use have $15,000 to spend on large HID lights

    Its all trial and error, but what the heck else do we have to do in life?

    Curt Bowen
     
  7. f3nikon

    f3nikon Manta Ray

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    I like your thinking out of the box. This is why I love this hobby so much, it's the discovery part.

    Dive Safe
     
  8. MarkH

    MarkH Solo Diver

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    Before you give up on the tripod/long exposure thing, check out this link:http://www.deepimage.co.uk/home_pages/classic_images.htm . I think most of this guy's photos are taken in the UK. -By far, the most incredible wreck photos I've ever seen. I've always wanted to try the tripod thing. I have an old thrift shop one I use for video, but I haven't had a chance to try it with stills yet. There's a fairly deep canyon filled with cloud sponges near where I live that would make a nice photo with a few divers swimming by with HID's or something. Visibility can often approach 100 feet. I'm thinking a 1 second exposure with 400 or 800 speed film and an aperature of 5.6 or so (17mm lens). I've made up my mind! When the plankton blooms are over I'm doing it.
     
  9. fpoole

    fpoole Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, WA
    507
    0
    0
    Yeah, that site is quite impressive considering the depth etc...

    Where in BC are you thinking of the Cloud Sponges... I have a lot of them from Porpoise Bay and a few with Natural light at apx 80' (vis 125' )

    Haven't given up, heheh... just trying to figure out how to make the camera set.. but thinking the 1-2 sec ought to be enough... so i could probablem just put my SB105 in test mode and pick up 2 flashs within the 2-3 sec the camera is set..

    back to the water in time... always something eh???
     
  10. MarkH

    MarkH Solo Diver

    3,299
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    It's in Saanich Inlet near Victoria. Specifically, Senanus Island. There are alot of good cloud sponge areas in this inlet, but at Senanus, there is a flat, sandy area about 30 feet wide with a rocky slope with big sponges on either side. The sandy area would be a good place to set up the tripod (kind of hard to do on a wall). Unfortunately, starting about now until July, the plankton will be going nuts and often, there is not even a "ceiling" that you can get beneath. Fortunately, the other side of Victoria (Strait of Juan De Fuca) has decent vis this time of year: 20-50 feet. (I can hear you tropical divers laughing).The protected Saanich Inlet is completely different from the "strait" side of Victoria, which is more like your San Juans and Salt Creek.
     

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