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gibson1525
11-04-2007, 16:33
here's some more pics for those of you who would like to critique them.

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc137/gibson1525/Lobster-small.jpg

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc137/gibson1525/M0010086.jpg

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc137/gibson1525/StingRay-5-small.jpg

(the red dots are a product of photoshop)

Aussie
11-04-2007, 17:09
G'day Gibson1525,

What camera are you using?

Presume no strobe?

Aussie

texdiveguy
11-04-2007, 17:26
Hey dude they look great to me....but I can't operate a camera on land let alone in the water....nice photos!

Puffer Fish
11-04-2007, 17:47
lovely spiny picture...can almost see him on the grill (sorry)..

NitroWill
11-04-2007, 18:02
Very nice pictures! Please post your camera setup (or even better, put it in your signature!)

gibson1525
11-04-2007, 18:26
the camera is a sea & sea dx-8000g with a ys-27dx strobe. all settings are on automatic.

quasimoto
11-05-2007, 20:54
Only thing that pops out to me is that with the spiny and the ray you chopped them off. No tail on the ray and only part of the antennae. Other than that they look good.

wgt
11-08-2007, 17:07
OK, Gibson. How about you critique them?! Tell me the most obvious strength in each photo (re: see my message to you of the other day). I've picked out mine. Give me yours, and let's see if we get a match.

gibson1525
11-08-2007, 18:38
wow, this is harder than i would have thought, here goes:

1-i like the colors of this shot (although to be honest i think my wife played with it in PS). the thing i like about it most is also the thing i dislike about it most. i like the way the feeler comes out at the camera. i think it really gives it a 3D feel but i wish i would have included all of it.

2-i think i like the idea of this pic more than the pic itself, i like the sense of 'endlessness'. it needs to be straightened out and i'd like to add some color to the sand.

3-i actually like the composition of this one. several have commented about how i cut the tail off but that doesn't really bother me. i also like how the ray is looking at the camera. the timing was pretty lucky as he is in motion but still has sand on his back. i would have liked to have been a little lower, about the eye level of the ray and a little closer to get some more color in the shot.

alright, that's what i've got. how about you??

kyfriedchipper
11-09-2007, 00:16
I think these are all good starts - I think getting a brighter flash and/or more sunny part of the day may improve them

Aussie
11-09-2007, 01:44
wow, this is harder than i would have thought, here goes:

1-i like the colors of this shot (although to be honest i think my wife played with it in PS). the thing i like about it most is also the thing i dislike about it most. i like the way the feeler comes out at the camera. i think it really gives it a 3D feel but i wish i would have included all of it.

2-i think i like the idea of this pic more than the pic itself, i like the sense of 'endlessness'. it needs to be straightened out and i'd like to add some color to the sand.

3-i actually like the composition of this one. several have commented about how i cut the tail off but that doesn't really bother me. i also like how the ray is looking at the camera. the timing was pretty lucky as he is in motion but still has sand on his back. i would have liked to have been a little lower, about the eye level of the ray and a little closer to get some more color in the shot.

alright, that's what i've got. how about you??

Photo 1. Subject is out of frame. Colour looks unnatural (over done in photoshop). Shooting down onto the subject instead of getting low and shooting up. Strobe lighting low ( need to get closer with wideangle wetlens or a bigger strobe or both).

Photo 2. Foreground is out of focus. Colour is very green and looks like you had no strobe. Use of a wide angle lens to gather more light might help alot here.

Photo 3. Sunject out of frame (tail cut off). Shooting down like you said. Need to get closer like you also said. Clour is still green needs to be touched up in photoshop. Maybe Desaturate and go for the black and white effect. Strobe has done little for you.


Does your strobe fire everytime or only every now and then? Some P&S cameras when on auto will not fire its internal strobe as it thinks there is enough light. This failure to fire the internal strobe will also not fire the external strobe.

Are you using the wide angle wet lens which is available with your setup? This will give you more room to get in a full framed shot and make you get closer to your subject and therefore more light from your strobe onto the subject. This will give you more colour.

Like Ronald McDonald says "Get down low and go go go". Same with your shots get down low and slowly get close to your subject. Take the extra time and you be surprised with how long a subject will stay and let you take its picture. More shots you take and the more you think about your shots the more keepers you will get.

If worse comes to worse in the way of colour just desaturate and go for a artistic feel. Do not dismiss a shot because the colour is bad.

I am not an expert but these things helped me alot with my own photography. I started out as you did with a P&S and went from there.

Any questions ask me.

Aussie

gibson1525
11-09-2007, 07:19
unfortunately a wide angle lens isn't in the budget right now. i've got the camera flash on so it fires all the time. on the pic of the sand i should have pointed the strobe down to light up the sand. on the ray i was just too far away for the strobe to be effective.

kyfriedchipper
11-09-2007, 09:38
I also wanted to say that I like your attempts at getting those texture shots - I think they are cool and if you work at it - they are bound to turn out great sooner than later

wgt
11-09-2007, 09:39
You are correct that it may be difficult to self-criticize (or self-congratulate as the case may be), but you did well. You correctly identified a prominent virtue of each of the shots.

My calls, in fact, are quite similar to yours:

Image 1. This is an action shot. I get the sensation that the lobster is on his way, and the position of the antenna contributes greatly as you suggest.

Image 2. You have captured texture once again. You do this well.

Image 3. Action makes this shot work. The subtle undulations of the fringes of the ray are the difference between ho-hum and exciting.

Now the most obvious photo-specific deficiencies (you have noted some already):

Image 1. Startling white patches are evident on the ground and on the lobster. Shooting from closer to the ground would help.

Image 2. Focusing on the sand closer to the camera would help. Maybe aiming the camera about 3/4 of the way up the first mound of sand would yield benefit.

Image 3. Depth is an issue. Again, shooting from a lower angle would give you a more complicated image with greater depth.

Most obvious problems common to all three images (already suggested by our colleagues):

1. The balance between natural and stroboscopic light is a general issue, with too much emphasis being placed on natural light given the subject matter. The fix would probably reflect a combination of things. First, get closer. Second, find out whether you can get more juice out of the strobe. TTL can often underpower the strobe. See whether manual power adjustment can be achieved.

2. The white balance is an issue. Definitely take this function off automatic and fool with the manual settings.

3. Pay attention to Aussie's suggestions.

More good efforts. Congratulations. Like you, I tend not to be too bothered by chopping off body parts (e.g., the ray). However, to ensure that you are getting the most out of your images, try some shots from a slightly more head-on angle to make the tail disappear into the background (assuming cooperation on the part of the subject) rather than simply having the tail exit through the side of the image. Then you've got a choice of images.


wow, this is harder than i would have thought, here goes:

1-i like the colors of this shot (although to be honest i think my wife played with it in PS). the thing i like about it most is also the thing i dislike about it most. i like the way the feeler comes out at the camera. i think it really gives it a 3D feel but i wish i would have included all of it.

2-i think i like the idea of this pic more than the pic itself, i like the sense of 'endlessness'. it needs to be straightened out and i'd like to add some color to the sand.

3-i actually like the composition of this one. several have commented about how i cut the tail off but that doesn't really bother me. i also like how the ray is looking at the camera. the timing was pretty lucky as he is in motion but still has sand on his back. i would have liked to have been a little lower, about the eye level of the ray and a little closer to get some more color in the shot.

alright, that's what i've got. how about you??

Aussie
11-09-2007, 15:51
I also have a thing for getting both eyes in the shot. gives the impression that the subject is looking at you.

Just keep on taking shots after shots. You will start to take great shots and try to remember what you did for these great shots and reproduce.


Its a learning curve and more you ask "how can these be better" the steeper the learning curve will be for you.

Aussie

bversteegh
11-10-2007, 18:00
Get close, then get closer again. Minimizing the water column is the first thing you have to do to take pictures that POP off the screen. With a small strobe like you have, you need to be closer than 3 feet to get nice colors.

Shoot horizontal or up whenever possible. Shooting down just doesn't produce as pleasing a picture.

Use the rule of thirds on your composition. Try and have a feature of your subject (usually the eyes) close to the imaginary intersection of the lines if you draw a tic tac toe grid on the picture.

gibson1525
11-11-2007, 11:25
thanks for the tips everyone, they are really helpful. i did 5 dives yesterday and did nothing but play with the strobe to try and find a balance between getting enough color and not washing the subject out. i'll post a few pics later tonight for review.

gibson1525
11-11-2007, 12:54
here's another round. i'm having better luck with the strobe i think but it is manual so it usually takes me a few shots to adjust it. let me know what you think.


http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc137/gibson1525/IMAG0294-small.jpg

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc137/gibson1525/IMAG0067-small.jpg

wgt
11-12-2007, 10:38
As always, make your analyses first. Then, invite the rest of us to participate. Most of the improvements that you will see over time arise from your own analyses occurring between dives. Underwater, we test most of the good ideas that our brains have generated while studying our photos.

1. Strengths
2. Weaknesses
3. Proposed fixes

Tell me what you think of the two photos that you present.

gibson1525
11-12-2007, 13:09
1st pic-i like the color contrast between the coral and the blue background, i think it really makes the coral stand out. i think i finally got the strobe right on this one.

i cut off a little bit off the right side of the formation, getting all of it would make it a better picture.

2nd pic-i like the composition of this one. i tried to use the rule of thirds from bversteegh's suggestion by putting the eyes in the upper third and head then filled out most of the rest of the frame.

i like this angle because of the good look at the head and both eyes but i don't like seeing the shadow at the bottom. positioning myself on the sand opposite of where i was might have given a better point of view so i could have shot up and not gotten the shadow in the pic.

wgt
11-12-2007, 14:29
Your analyses are excellent, as are your efforts. You have developed already, as you are clearly thinking about what you would do differently. Take many shots. A subject like the octopus may give you all kinds of different looks, postures, colors...

gibson1525
11-14-2007, 19:30
wgt-thanks a lot, i appreciate all your advice. unfortunately i won't be able to get into the water again until christmas comes. but when it comes i'm headed off for a solid 30 days of diving , i'll post some pics along the way.

wgt
11-15-2007, 05:23
It's great to see your enthusiasm. Growing enthusiam is, in fact, the fuel for a higher yield of terrific shots. Just remember the basics of self-criticism that we have discussed. If you honestly and rationally combine these basics with the wisdom that the others have posted, then your talents will really start shining through. Still, expect disasters. There truly will be days when you just shake your head at the modest results. However, those rough days should do nothing other than to motivate.