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TRACI
04-24-2008, 16:13
I have a Nikon Coolpix s200, I know it is not the best camera, just a typical point and shoot. Is there anything I can do to get better U/W pics, maybe with not so much green and blue.

I know I can purchase a strobe, but that cost more then the camera and housing combined, and I am not ready to spend that much $$, so I was thinking of purchasing a red filter , is this a waste of money?

ChrisA
04-24-2008, 16:33
I have a Nikon Coolpix s200, I know it is not the best camera, just a typical point and shoot. Is there anything I can do to get better U/W pics, maybe with not so much green and blue.

I know I can purchase a strobe, but that cost more then the camera and housing combined, and I am not ready to spend that much $$, so I was thinking of purchasing a red filter , is this a waste of money?

not so much green and blue? You can do quite a bit with post processing on the computer. You can get the color about 90% correct that way. Or maybe you are trying and not happy with the 10% residual gren and blue. You don't say.

If you don't have a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 you really should.

As for a filter, they look orange, not red. But the filters can only help a litle. remembers filters can't make light all they can do is block light. Filters block their complimentary colors so the orange filter flocks green and blue. If yuo do this then your software can have less residual error. If you buy the filter in a camera store ask for the one used to corect for flourecent lights. The filter will lok orange to the eye. but if you get one that is to strong it just makes everythign look brown.

You can also get very technical and use "CC" filters These are a big package in CMY of asorted strenghts that you stack but I'd only do that if I were shooting slide ot movie film. With digital you fine tune the corection in post processing.

In any case the purpose of the filter is to cut the blue/gren so when yu increase the exposure by the "filter factor" you don't blow highlights on the green/blue channel. As not as none of the tree channels are blown out you can fix the color in post. (But then turning down the exposure 1/2 EV may also provent a blown highlight and costs nothing.)

The other tricks are (1) get shallower. The color problem only gets worse with depth and (2) try using a dive light. It really does work as a "poor man's strobe" Your eye sees daytime color better with a light so will your camer. No fancy trays just a camera in one hand and the light in the other. But you need a big light not one of those little AA powered things. Somthing with a wide angle beam like a UK D8 works best.

There are also stobes in the under $200 range but stobes and the dive light really only work for macro photography. Few have the power to light up the whole reef.

Post one of your pictures here. I bet a few people here can try and fix it for you so you can see what's possable.

TRACI
04-24-2008, 16:42
I just have Adobe 3.0, I guess I will have to upgrade, here is a sample pic

TRACI
04-24-2008, 16:44
I have read the manual from back to front, but not much help. I may just have some settings off. I never thought about using a dive light.

ChrisA
04-24-2008, 16:55
I just have Adobe 3.0, I guess I will have to upgrade, here is a sample pic

No, don't upgrade. I just ment 6.0 if you have to buy something. If you have 3.0 then use that.

DevilDiver
04-24-2008, 16:56
I have a Nikon Coolpix s200, I know it is not the best camera, just a typical point and shoot. Is there anything I can do to get better U/W pics, maybe with not so much green and blue.

I know I can purchase a strobe, but that cost more then the camera and housing combined, and I am not ready to spend that much $$, so I was thinking of purchasing a red filter , is this a waste of money?


You can try the filters....This is not a true fix but if you are looking for snapshots for personal and can live with this it could work. I have seen some great results with them on top of making adjustments to your settings.
M A G I C - F I L T E R S (http://www.magic-filters.com/)

Depending on the housing you use there could be filters available that would be removable during the dive depending on conditions and what you are going for.
Underwater Digital Housing Accessories (http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/oly5050acc.html) (bottom of page)

As far as settings, what are you doing now? You can make some basic corrections that will help depending on what your camera will allow you to do.....

ChrisA
04-24-2008, 17:13
I just have Adobe 3.0, I guess I will have to upgrade, here is a sample pic

No, don't upgrade. I just ment 6.0 if you have to buy something. If you have 3.0 then use that.

I did this in 2 minutes on my office computer that runs Linux and does not run photoshot so I used something a lot more primitive. With more work and access to other software this could be better. Actually it could a LOT better my screen here is why out of whack. At home I have my screen calibrated. Calibrating the screen is the first step in getting the color corect.

DevilDiver
04-24-2008, 17:15
(2) try using a dive light. It really does work as a "poor man's strobe" Your eye sees daytime color better with a light so will your camer. No fancy trays just a camera in one hand and the light in the other.


No disrespect meant but I can not agree with this. Trying to dive, hold a light in one hand and compose a camera in the other? This does not sound like a relaxing fun time..........

The truth of the matter is you probably will not get the result you want without biting the bullet and purchasing the strobe(s) but you can still get some great photos though, especially in 25' (clear blue not green) or less of water and you can actually get some great close up's with out a strobe or filter as well.

I know you have only had this set-up for a short time (from previous threads) and it takes allot of time and practice. Try picking up one of the digital U/W photo books out there.........

If you plan to make it out to CSSP this summer let me know. I have a couple of strobes we could hook up to your camera so you could try....:smiley2:

fkostyun
04-24-2008, 17:32
Does your camera have a manual white balance? - I have been playing with that function on my camera - and it seems to help a lot. I will get a "real" chance to play with it in Hawaii, and learn even more.

I have also found that the white balance option in Photoshop for RAW images is incredible. I will try to post some example photo's of what can quickly be done tonight.

ChrisA
04-24-2008, 17:45
[quote=DevilDiver;163026](2) try using a dive light. It really does work as a "poor man's strobe" Your eye sees daytime color better with a light so will your camer. No fancy trays just a camera in one hand and the light in the other.


No disrespect meant but I can not agree with this. Trying to dive, hold a light in one hand and compose a camera in the other? This does not sound like a relaxing fun time..........[quote]

Fun time? I know of at least two divers where the only reason they dive is photography. Even with a strobe, they will many time hand hold it so as to better control the angle (the flexible arms are only so long)

I did this quite a bit mostly on night dives when I already had the divelight and needed to put it on the subject so I could focus and compose. Then I found I was getting better shots with the dive light then with the internal flash. So then I'd bring the dive light on day dives. Floating in the water and not moving is not hard. The hard part is that you always loose your buddy because you are floating there looking at the camera.
Many photographer like paddle fins (like Jets) so they can move both backwards and forwards while working the camera and lights.

The divelight shots all have a "spotlight" effect becasue no dive light is wide enough to cover the entire field of view. You can use this to good effect. It really does work if you like to photograph nudebraches and other small scale life, the spot light effect can lead the viewer eye to the subject. A lot of people do this. I didn't just make it up.

I did buy a strobe. I was lucky and got a good used strobe for (relative) cheap.

DevilDiver
04-24-2008, 18:41
[quote=DevilDiver;163026](2) try using a dive light. It really does work as a "poor man's strobe" Your eye sees daytime color better with a light so will your camer. No fancy trays just a camera in one hand and the light in the other.


No disrespect meant but I can not agree with this. Trying to dive, hold a light in one hand and compose a camera in the other? This does not sound like a relaxing fun time..........[quote]

Fun time? I know of at least two divers where the only reason they dive is photography. Even with a strobe, they will many time hand hold it so as to better control the angle (the flexible arms are only so long)

I did this quite a bit mostly on night dives when I already had the divelight and needed to put it on the subject so I could focus and compose. Then I found I was getting better shots with the dive light then with the internal flash. So then I'd bring the dive light on day dives. Floating in the water and not moving is not hard. The hard part is that you always loose your buddy because you are floating there looking at the camera.
Many photographer like paddle fins (like Jets) so they can move both backwards and forwards while working the camera and lights.

The divelight shots all have a "spotlight" effect becasue no dive light is wide enough to cover the entire field of view. You can use this to good effect. It really does work if you like to photograph nudebraches and other small scale life, the spot light effect can lead the viewer eye to the subject. A lot of people do this. I didn't just make it up.

I did buy a strobe. I was lucky and got a good used strobe for (relative) cheap.


OK..... Just my opinion.

If you have issues "spotlight effect" try checking out the "Fisheye Focus Light" around $45....should help.

fkostyun
04-25-2008, 04:01
Here's the picture after a few minutes in Photoshop - it looks like the photo was previously corrected - as I started to get some coloration on the sand.

TRACI
04-25-2008, 08:08
I do not know enough about my digital camera yet to know what settings I need to adjust, I do have white balance I need to experiment with.

I am still trying to master just taking pics U/W, the first trip I used it own in Coz, I just got frustrated and left it own the boat, and wouldn't ya know, I saw two spotted eagle rays I did not have my camera.

I plan on getting several dives at CSSP this summer and I am going to get more practice before my trip to Bonaire in Aug, cause I definatly want to be able to take lots of pics there.

The housing I am using is a Fantasea.

fkostyun
04-25-2008, 11:09
It's been "quite a learning" experience for me - while I can take good photo's "out of the water" its been a new experience to be able to translate that into great underwater shots.

I have spend a good amount of pool time and lake time working with the camera underwater, and I think I'm much more to be able to take photos now that I was when I first got the camera a year ago. It has just taken me a lot of time and practice. If you have an LDS that will let you just spend some time in the pool playing it will make a huge difference. I typically go "play" when they have a smaller OW class and go sit in a corner and fiddle with the settings, trying out different settings, etc.

Another big thing that I found is that for underwater use - its a little "tricky" on my camera to set either manual mode or video mode, so what I did was take a sharpie and put black marks on the case so I could easily see where the lever goes, so, I don't have to fumble through the "nope, thats not it" settings while underwater.

ChrisA
04-25-2008, 11:18
I do not know enough about my digital camera yet to know what settings I need to adjust, I do have white balance I need to experiment with.

I am still trying to master just taking pics U/W, the first trip I used it own in Coz, I just got frustrated and left it own the boat

You can't learn this on vacation. Well if you can you are difference from most everyone else. UW photography is hard and it take lots of practice. Practise shooting while at home where the price of the dive is just an airfill and you have loads of time.

You need to get in many cycles of dive, look at pics on computer, dive, look repeate. Everyone goes through a rather long learning curve. It is not just you or your camera. It will take a couple dozen dives at least best to do that near home.

It is the same with spear fishing. You can't just buy a gun and get a big tuna. Expect it to take about a year and about 1,000 frames to come up to speed. It takes everyone that long.

TRACI
04-25-2008, 11:27
I am just going to keep practicing, shooting pics on land is so much easier then U/W. I guess I thought I could just be a pro shooting pics right out of the box.

mrbheagney
09-04-2008, 18:46
Stick to macro shots, these camera cannot handle wide angle.

DevilDiver
09-04-2008, 22:37
Stick to macro shots, these camera cannot handle wide angle.

I can't agree with this. I shoot a P&S camera and feel it can handle wide angle just fine. If you could explain you thoughts I would be interested. Thnx....

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3047/2812603402_04782f122e.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3064/2675267557_7638e47dfd.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3270/2813655579_f52330ba07.jpg