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View Full Version : White Bio Fins are Camera Gear?



ScubaToys Larry
10-20-2007, 06:18
Ok, we just got a call from a photographer who uses a DSLR camera - tons of gear... and he just bought a pair of the white apollo bio fins (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=WhiteAplloBioFins) from us. He tells us, they save him a bunch of time and hassle because they work out perfect for setting his white balance and he doesn't have to mess with pulling out a slate all the time. Every time he moves to a new coral head, changes depth, etc, he just resets by aiming at the white fin - says it works great!

I've head of video guys setting their focus for manual at fin length, but never had one use it for color balance before! Thought it was a cool trick I'd share!

Cheddarchick
10-20-2007, 06:26
sweet, and you are giving them away free right???

ScubaToys Larry
10-20-2007, 06:40
One pair will be be free - to the best topic post of the month... come up with some good thread topics!

Charlotte Smith
10-20-2007, 08:48
sounds fair to me...

BobArnold8265
10-29-2007, 15:18
I never thought of that but that's really a great idea. It'd be nice to set-up your white balance on something that actually is white. Larry, I've been leaning towards buying a pair of Bio Fins and this might have just convinced me to do it !!!!

pains
11-05-2007, 00:51
I have the white Apollo bio fins but never thought of it. I will try it on my next diving.

Anyway, does it work great white balancing underwater not using strobe?

Puffer Fish
11-05-2007, 06:16
I will never understand why people don't understand that white balance is nothing more than a mathematical formula applied to the RGB values of each pixel..with digital images, one can do that adjustment at any time, including long after the image is taken...there are some potential for data loss, so it has to be done carefully and the right way, but it is not necessary (sorry Larry).

ScubaToys Larry
11-05-2007, 06:23
Hey, no need to be sorry... I've got some heavy duty photo guys that get stuff from our store - guys that shoot for dive training magazine, scuba diving, etc - and one told me that he hits the white balance anytime he moves to a new spot during the dive... does it help?? Heck if I know, but I haven't shot multiple magazine covers, and he has so I was just passing along what he told me!

I don't know if the idea is - sure you can adjust the color later - but then what are you adjusting too? Did you make the eel too green? Too yellow? and by white balancing, you are getting what the natural colors are instead of making a photoshop picture after the fact.

Puffer Fish
11-05-2007, 06:33
Hey, no need to be sorry... I've got some heavy duty photo guys that get stuff from our store - guys that shoot for dive training magazine, scuba diving, etc - and one told me that he hits the white balance anytime he moves to a new spot during the dive... does it help?? Heck if I know, but I haven't shot multiple magazine covers, and he has so I was just passing along what he told me!

I don't know if the idea is - sure you can adjust the color later - but then what are you adjusting too? Did you make the eel too green? Too yellow? and by white balancing, you are getting what the natural colors are instead of making a photoshop picture after the fact.

Understand, and in the land of film... it was an absolute requirement. Oddly, I do a lot of high tech color matching, and using a consistent white balance does get you always in the ballpark...but as to is the color exactly correct? The answer would be no... and I have tried every way possible. Is it reasonable? Absolutely.

Note: But I have the ability to actually measure the color of the object and then measure the resulting color of the image - something that is not practical underwater.

With the understanding that this is a time honored concept...and gets one out of the big photoshop issue, I stand corrected... sorry.

The math used in photoshop or any other digital adjustment software is actually very interesting...most of the time it is far less complex than one would imagine..

Puffer Fish
11-05-2007, 06:39
Oh, I forgot to explain how to do it without making the adjustment in the water... just take a picture of the fins.. actually two pictures, one close and one far away (relative to what you are photographing). The adjust each picture based on the difference distance it was from you (approximately)... it is a far more accurate way to do it, but it requires some rather special math work, and an understanding of how the adjustments are made. More mathematical than photographic.

Puffer Fish
11-05-2007, 11:38
Ok, I am so dissappointed in everyone... particularly Larry... you are supposed to come back and call me names.. tell me I don't know what I am talking about... say that this is a very important requirement....etc, etc..

So, I wil do it for you.... what the heck are you talking about???

Puffer Fish
11-05-2007, 11:51
There have been two major issues with the advent of digital technology... first is using the tools that came from film (as they actually suck) and photoshoping things to death, just because we can.

That first item is where we get white balance from... which can produce color accuracy around about 10 Delta E (10 times greater than a person would consider the difference that makes a new color). It also assumes that there is one "ideal" light source and we should all see things that way.

Suppose you wanted to actual know what color a green Moray was in your living room? It is not that difficult, not that hard today, if you know how.

It turns out that there is one place, where very slight shades of color cause great concern... part of the world where your exact skin color means your ethnic background. There, it is not good enough to just be close.. you have to exact.. and exact in the lighting you are seeing it in.

Turns out, that is not that difficult... you need a reference (a fin would be a good start, by the way), and that reference included in any set of images. You need some fairly simple software (not photoshop) and you need a measurement tool. It would be helpful to have two references... a light and a dark.. say something stuck on the fin.

You take your pictures... you take a set in the lighting you want to see the objects in and then adjust every image to have the same color, and dynamic range (both are needed).

Most professional software from Japan has this capability built in... just that no one here uses it.

Oh, as a side note.. the actual color of a green moray is not what most people think it is...

So... stepping of my soap box... and moving away quietly...

quasimoto
11-05-2007, 20:08
Putting white tape on the ends of your fins works to. I still like the idea of the white fins.

Brewer
08-12-2008, 11:27
do they make a "dummies" book for this crap? Do they make a camers that takes pictures and has all the auto settings? I have a 860g and like it well enough. My first problem was baclscater, then it was that everyone else has a red filter and the 860 doesnt have one. Now its that I still dont get how you are using white ballance, I thought the problem was with red?

MSilvia
08-12-2008, 11:58
do they make a "dummies" book for this crap?
I don't know of one, but Canon publishes an online guide to underwater digital photography that you might find helpful.
Canon BeBit Digital Camera Underwater Photography Guide (http://web.canon.jp/imaging/uwphoto/index-e.html)

3rdEye
08-12-2008, 12:20
I will never understand why people don't understand that white balance is nothing more than a mathematical formula applied to the RGB values of each pixel..with digital images, one can do that adjustment at any time, including long after the image is taken...there are some potential for data loss, so it has to be done carefully and the right way, but it is not necessary (sorry Larry).

assuming you're shooting raw....with jpegs,results might not be as good

mr_tabasco
08-12-2008, 12:29
do they make a "dummies" book for this crap? Do they make a camers that takes pictures and has all the auto settings? I have a 860g and like it well enough. My first problem was baclscater, then it was that everyone else has a red filter and the 860 doesnt have one. Now its that I still dont get how you are using white ballance, I thought the problem was with red?
First of all I am not an expert on this but wanted to give a description of this from a layman's perspective. For those that don’t understand setting the white balance it is basically adjusting the color of the picture so that white objects look white under the lighting conditions that the picture is taken under. You see this all the time at say a football game where the lighting gives objects a funny color. The photographers will have someone out on the field holding a large white poster board (beore the game). When they take a picture of that then they have a reference of what white looks like in those conditions. The SLR cameras (and some of the point and shoot) shoot in a mode that called RAW which means it captures the actual image as it was recorder without doing any conversion or compression. This means the image size is much larger than say a JPG but you have the raw data that you can tweak to your heart’s content. Setting the white balance after the fact is fine if you have something as reference and are shooting in raw format. However, IMO most armatures don’t want to mess with post processing issues or the huge files sizes. You can also do this in JPG files but it is more of a guess than an exact science. I guess I am just not picky enough since I just do it by adjusting the color in a jpg image and it seems to look good enough for me. No matter when you do it you have to know the lighting conditions and use a predetermined adjustment or have a reference color as a go by. But still you have something of a know color that you can us as a reference in those lighting conditions. Most of your point and shoots will have different preset white balance settings that are pre configured for different lighting conditions but they are based on general conditions and probably won’t match your exact lighting conditions. The idea behind the red filter is to put some red back in the picture before you capture it. You lose the red light due to the wave length and the water so you can put red over the end of the lens or you can add it in after the fact electronically. Either way you are trying to get the colors as close as possible to their true color and compensate for the color of the ambient light.

OK now someone that really understands this can explain why I am all wrong.

3rdEye
08-12-2008, 12:35
First of all I am not an expert on this but wanted to give a description of this from a layman's perspective. For those that donít understand setting the white balance it is basically adjusting the color of the picture so that white objects look white under the lighting conditions that the picture is taken under. You see this all the time at say a football game where the lighting gives objects a funny color. The photographers will have someone out on the field holding a large white poster board (beore the game). When they take a picture of that then they have a reference of what white looks like in those conditions. The SLR cameras (and some of the point and shoot) shoot in a mode that called RAW which means it captures the actual image as it was recorder without doing any conversion or compression. This means the image size is much larger than say a JPG but you have the raw data that you can tweak to your heartís content. Setting the white balance after the fact is fine if you have something as reference and are shooting in raw format. However, IMO most armatures donít want to mess with post processing issues or the huge files sizes. You can also do this in JPG files but it is more of a guess than an exact science. I guess I am just not picky enough since I just do it by adjusting the color in a jpg image and it seems to look good enough for me. No matter when you do it you have to know the lighting conditions and use a predetermined adjustment or have a reference color as a go by. But still you have something of a know color that you can us as a reference in those lighting conditions. Most of your point and shoots will have different preset white balance settings that are pre configured for different lighting conditions but they are based on general conditions and probably wonít match your exact lighting conditions. The idea behind the red filter is to put some red back in the picture before you capture it. You lose the red light due to the wave length and the water so you can put red over the end of the lens or you can add it in after the fact electronically. Either way you are trying to get the colors as close as possible to their true color and compensate for the color of the ambient light.

OK now someone that really understands this can explain why I am all wrong.

hmm...adjusting color temp is not going to put the red light back into your photo....2 different things.