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Puffer Fish
01-12-2008, 10:34
Ok, you have your camera... what now? Will see if I can put down a simple path to follow that makes the learning of UW photography a bit easier.

fisheater
01-12-2008, 12:21
My wife got me an UW camera system (simple P&S) for our anniversary, so I'm all ears for your tutoring.

Thanks.

Puffer Fish
01-12-2008, 12:34
My wife got me an UW camera system (simple P&S) for our anniversary, so I'm all ears for your tutoring.

Thanks.
Ok, so you will have one of three possible groups of equipment:

1. A simple P&S without a strobe.

2. A simple P&S with a strobe or two.

3. A full blown DSLR, with all the "stuff".

If you have this last one, take a trip to Palau and see my friend Mike V. He will take care of you.

For the rest...will address the camera without extra strobe (but start saving, as you should have one).

fisheater
01-12-2008, 12:54
I got the Sea & Sea DX-860g (point and shoot digital 6.2 mb), housing, tray and arm, YS-27 strobe, macro lens and wide-angle lens.

One question up front: Each of the add-on lenses (which attach to the front of the housing on a bayonet mount) comes with a leash that attaches to a tab on the bottom of the housing. Any problem with having them both dangling when using neither is being used? Or, do I have to make up my mind, pre-dive, which add-on lens to use?

Thanks.

Puffer Fish
01-12-2008, 13:07
Ok, you have a camera and a case... now.. and I know this is going to hurt.. but read the directions and try all the features..actually learning how it works is important.

Note: If you did not already get a giant memory card... you need to get one (ask and will give you places with the lowest prices)

Then read the thread on basic camera settings.. and try those out.

Then, learn where the macro button is (you will most likely need to use this a lot) and try taking pictures and going back and forth between it and normal.

Then read the directions that came with the underwater case...pay close attention to all the care and feeding of O-rings - this is important stuff.

If you don't have moisture packets, get some (ST's sells them)

So, you have the right setting on the camera, you know the main buttons... you are now ready to get the thing wet.

Put the camera and a moisture packet in the case and close it. Now put the unit underwater in some very, very cold water... hold it down for at least 5 minute (but 10 is better). Dry off and very, very carefully look for leaks... even the smallest amount of moisture getting inside the case. Se any and you are not ready to dive.

Note: The reason for cold water (ice water works well if you are in a warm area) is that the cooling puts suction on the case o-rings.

Assuming it does not leak...time to go diving.

Puffer Fish
01-12-2008, 13:47
If you don't have a way to attach it to you... get one before you dive... I own somewhat like this:

Cetacea Locking High Force Retractor - Cetacea Clips (http://www.divebooty.com/item/2358/cetacea-locking_high_force_retractor.html)

I like SS Carabiner attachment, and a lock... but that is just me. You can use much simplier stuff, but I sometimes have to get on a boat without being able to hand up my camera, so with this, I attach to my should D-ring and let it hang (locked).

I'm sure ST has something that would do the trick.

Ideally you have a nice calm place to pratice... with clear water. In florida, that would be one of the many springs, but any calm place will do.

Drift diving, like they do in south florida, is not the place to learn...

You are going to need an understand buddy...or one that does not bore easily.. so just be aware of that.

So, you put your freshly charged batteries in you camera, the camera and the moisture pack in the case, seal the case and head out to go diving.

Here are some general guidelines:

1. This is "practice", have fun... try things and don't worry about how good or bad they are...Practice.

2. Do not.... I repeat... DO NOT jump in and go try to chase down fish to get pictures of.. you may get a good shot, but you will not learn much doing it, and you will have a lot of fish butt pictures (I have thousands).

Note: Later, I will be using my images to show the good and bad..

3. You want to start out, without the flash on... in hopefully clear and shallow water and take pictures of either people (your dive buddy for example or the bottom. You want to get a feel for how it focuses and how easy it is to use.

4. Find something small (and not moving) and take pictures moving slowly closer and closer... when you get too close, switch to macro and get as close as the cameral will allow (normally closer than you think). Make a note when you think you have it just right, and later look and see if that is true (most people do not get close enough)

5. No take pictures of lots of things that don't move fast... anything you find interesting.

6. Turn the flash on and see how the images look with it on... do some close macro shots (it may not work with the flash... but check).

7. After you can go back and forth between macro and normal... are reasonably comfortable with the quality of exposure and focus... then just have some fun (now you can chase the fish).

Next we will cover lighting of slow to non-moving things.

Puffer Fish
01-12-2008, 15:17
I got the Sea & Sea DX-860g (point and shoot digital 6.2 mb), housing, tray and arm, YS-27 strobe, macro lens and wide-angle lens.

One question up front: Each of the add-on lenses (which attach to the front of the housing on a bayonet mount) comes with a leash that attaches to a tab on the bottom of the housing. Any problem with having them both dangling when using neither is being used? Or, do I have to make up my mind, pre-dive, which add-on lens to use?

Thanks.

I would start with just one.. and do some testing..one of the problems is that you will not be able to easily see exactly how good the images are while the camera is still in the housing.

And, you will be surprised just how much task loading you will have when you start out.

As a general rule - keep in simple, until you are comfortable with making it more complex.

Odds are, by the way, that you will use the macro way more than the wide angle, at least in the US...but there are places where the wide angle is a wonder addition.

Let me give you an example:

When I first switched from a nikonos to digital, I read the directions, tested the camera and did a nice learning dive... but when I went on my first real dive, I hit one of the small buttons that turns the display information off... so there I am, with the camera in manual, and no information. I didn't remember which button it was, and you cannot see the writing on the buttons with the camera inside the case.... messed up the whole dive....I now know the buttons by heart.

fisheater
01-12-2008, 17:28
Thanks for the info. You're my new hero.

I'll do as you say and be ready to take a few pictures when I go to Monterey in two weeks.

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 00:37
Thanks for the info. You're my new hero.

I'll do as you say and be ready to take a few pictures when I go to Monterey in two weeks.

Keep in mind that there are essentially 4 types of pictures:

Scenes (usually best with that wide angle).

Fish

People

Little critters (the macro stuff)

They each require different skills. You may not even like to take some of the above groups. I know two very good photographers (commercial) that one only likes macro stuff and the other only likes to take scenes... I will be going thru each of those tomorrow.

cummings66
01-13-2008, 11:39
I was wondering if maybe you should include a part about testing the lenses? I know that on my SLR's it's common knowledge that unless you have something like an L lens that the results wide open are nowhere near as good. I know on some of my zooms that at the 300mm range to get an acceptable photo would need no less than F8, where at the middle I could use no less than F6.4 and at 75mm I'd need no less than f7, but it doesn't really crisp up until F9.1.

Other lenses vary from there. I've never tested my point and shoots but I suspect they exhibit the same issues over the range they offer. It's easy to test, just download an iso 12233 chart for prints and take a lot of pictures.

Sometimes you might wonder why a picture is soft and yet another is sharp and you assume it was movement when it might have really been the lens causing it.

I learned that doing aerial photo's when it seemed that the shutter speed was fast enough to stop anything yet the photos were somewhat blurry, yet on another day I'd get good results. After learning about how lenses behave and testing mine I got more consistent results.

Here's a pdf of one that works fine. Newspaper print can be used too.
http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~westin/misc/ISO_12233-reschart.pdf

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 11:59
I was wondering if maybe you should include a part about testing the lenses? I know that on my SLR's it's common knowledge that unless you have something like an L lens that the results wide open are nowhere near as good. I know on some of my zooms that at the 300mm range to get an acceptable photo would need no less than F8, where at the middle I could use no less than F6.4 and at 75mm I'd need no less than f7, but it doesn't really crisp up until F9.1.

Other lenses vary from there. I've never tested my point and shoots but I suspect they exhibit the same issues over the range they offer. It's easy to test, just download an iso 12233 chart for prints and take a lot of pictures.

Sometimes you might wonder why a picture is soft and yet another is sharp and you assume it was movement when it might have really been the lens causing it.

I learned that doing aerial photo's when it seemed that the shutter speed was fast enough to stop anything yet the photos were somewhat blurry, yet on another day I'd get good results. After learning about how lenses behave and testing mine I got more consistent results.

Here's a pdf of one that works fine. Newspaper print can be used too.
http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~westin/misc/ISO_12233-reschart.pdf


I did that for my F50, and the edges were soft... when I compared mine to what DPreview got... their edges are soft. Seem a design issue.

You are correct, but I would first suggest that people check what has already been done and use that as a guide.

Sometimes people get too into the technology (me, for example) and forget about beauty.

As I was looking information, I came across these pictures:

Bob Whorton Fuji S5 Photos (http://www.ikelite.com/web_two/whorton_s5.html)

They were taken with a S5... which does not have the best resolution, but does have a much larger exposure lattitude. I don't know about you, but these are impressive images.

So I did a search for Bob, and came up with this:

Photo by Dr Bob Whorton ŧ Underwater Photos from Indonesia (http://underwater.terong.com/photographer/bob_whorton/)

And that most of his pictures were taken with a P&S.

Yes, that is one beautiful place, but talk about the camera or lens being only part of it.

By the way, his exposure control/focus is something everyone should be trying to do.

Will address that next, by the way.

divingchef
01-13-2008, 12:38
My wife got me an UW camera system (simple P&S) for our anniversary, so I'm all ears for your tutoring.

Thanks.
Ok, so you will have one of three possible groups of equipment:

1. A simple P&S without a strobe.

2. A simple P&S with a strobe or two.

3. A full blown DSLR, with all the "stuff".

If you have this last one, take a trip to Palau and see my friend Mike V. He will take care of you.

For the rest...will address the camera without extra strobe (but start saving, as you should have one).

I have a Fuji E900, Ikelight housing, arm, but no strobe yet.....I need help!!

Actually I just figured out that I have a macro button.....wow, thatīs gonna change things a bit.....

Hey Puff, i guess youīre right...helps to read the directions no?

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 14:16
My wife got me an UW camera system (simple P&S) for our anniversary, so I'm all ears for your tutoring.

Thanks.
Ok, so you will have one of three possible groups of equipment:

1. A simple P&S without a strobe.

2. A simple P&S with a strobe or two.

3. A full blown DSLR, with all the "stuff".

If you have this last one, take a trip to Palau and see my friend Mike V. He will take care of you.

For the rest...will address the camera without extra strobe (but start saving, as you should have one).

I have a Fuji E900, Ikelight housing, arm, but no strobe yet.....I need help!!

Actually I just figured out that I have a macro button.....wow, thatīs gonna change things a bit.....

Hey Puff, i guess youīre right...helps to read the directions no?
You have one of the finest P&S cameras made for UW photo's... consider yourself lucky.

With strobes you can make Bob's images look bad...

divingchef
01-13-2008, 14:38
You have one of the finest P&S cameras made for UW photo's... consider yourself lucky.

With strobes you can make Bob's images look bad...[/quote]


Really? Wow, I didnīt know.....I posted some of my first shots in the main gallery of the photo gallery. Check em out and let me know what I need to work on......I am the ultimate newbie when it comes to UW photos....

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 15:41
You have one of the finest P&S cameras made for UW photo's... consider yourself lucky.

With strobes you can make Bob's images look bad...


Really? Wow, I didnīt know.....I posted some of my first shots in the main gallery of the photo gallery. Check em out and let me know what I need to work on......I am the ultimate newbie when it comes to UW photos....[/quote]

Well, to be honest...there are 6 major aspects to taking any picture:

1. Focus..

2. Lighting

3. Timing

4. Angle of view

5. Composition.

6. Exposure

Will it help if I said that your composition was not bad?

Part of this you cannot do anything about (without strobes), but the rest is very correctable (we don't have to shoot you quite yet).

So lets go thru some of the big hitters:

Focus:

In the old days, you turned the lens ring to a specific spot and the camera stayed focused at that distance. Take this simple picture of a sitting goat fish:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/GoatFish2.jpg

If the camera missed the goat fish, it would focus on the bottom.. and the picture would still come out alright. Get a big enough fish and you will not have any issues... but what if they are little, or moving fast... if there is nothing for the camera to focus on , the image will be out of focus....

But look at this image:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/bluefish1.jpg

Natural light, and fairly deep, so there is no red, but how did I manage to get them in focus?

Note: I should point out that these little guys swim in... dart around and swim out in less than a minute, and it took 20 or so attemps to get a picture of them.

Well, I pointed the camera at the reef, at around the distance I wanted it to focus, half depressed the shutter, until it locked the focus and then turned the cameral up to take the picture. Simple to do, if you know to do it.

You use this method to control where you are focused, but remember that you also have depth of field with the f stops...

Will cover all of the items later, but one other thing... fish butt.... you have a perfect example of this (I will bet I have a lot more). This takes luck, timing and some skill and is one of the hardest things to learn... but the first thing to learn is that it happens to the best... just take more pictures.

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 18:11
For anyone reading this thread... chef has a great image on his profile page...

Before getting to some of the other skills...a word on lighting.

I used to use dual strobes... with my Nikonos...and nothing will give that 3d look like a set of strobes. Last year or so, for ease, I have been using one strobe... it works, but it does not have the wonderful dimensional quality to it. Still it can work alright.

Compare my scorpion fish to the one in chef's photo's - but that is not his fault, it is the strobe...

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/scfish6.jpg

My picture would be better if I had had two strobes...but I did the best I could with what I had...

If you have the equipment, two strobes can do more than just give great lighting... they can, if used correctly make great images. I am using Bob's pictures to show this, as he has a skill with them I have not seen:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/diver1.jpg

and

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/whorton_s5_04.jpg

Both of these images are not your normal strobe postion or settings..both are examples of fill flash, using the flash to lighten and add color, while keeping the natural look to the environment.

In the first, he uses one strobe for the foreground and one for the diver. In the second, he uses two strobes on one side... with one much higher up to light the entire column.

He seems to have learned all this from using a fuji F810 - just a nice P&S...which the first image was taken with.

My suggestion to anyone is to, when you can afford it, get at least one strobe... get a smaller one if you cannot afford a big one... get a simpler one, if cost is a concern... but you need to have that light if you want to take even snapshots in some conditions.

Those images above, can be done with a couple of small strobes....hard as that is to believe.

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 19:36
Timing.... ok, well I leave a lot to be desired in this regard. Timing is about getting the fish, animal or person in the right position and taking the image...

As I have thousands of examples of doing this wrong, it is easy to demonstrate.

But before pictures, remember a couple of things.. your camera has lag.. so you have to learn to shoot before you think you should...with some people this is hard to learn...You also have to be lucky at time.. and have everything ready to go... remember luck favors those who are prepared.

So, if you want to avoid fish butt, take pictures early and often.

Here is Joyce, who knows to exhale for a picture:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/Joyce1.jpg

This is where you would like the fish to be:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/Fishsmall9.jpg

But more often than not, you get:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/2007_0903florida070021.jpg

It was, believe it or not, a really interesting picture, 4 seconds before I pushed the shutter..I had to dig this out of the trash, by the way. Shame of it is, there were lots of interesting subjects (I was going for the angel fish... where I managed a near perfect rear end picture).

Sometimes, as in this next piece of junk, the fish, rather than turning away.. faces you...which now makes the fish almost impossible to see:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/Killerfish2.jpg

But even a slow person like myself can get it right, every so often:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/fish68.jpg

Ok, he was standing on his tail...but at least I got the image.

But with practice, you will eventually get images of the sides of fish... really:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/filefish1.jpg

I should point out, that after taking the above picture, it was obvious, it is actually a really ugly fish...

It is far better to take a picture of something pretty:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/fish61.jpg

But if you are having issue with this... don't feel bad, just go take pictures of something else:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/PGbalconyview.jpg

There, I am feeling better already.

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 19:57
Angle of view... I know that Larry has information on this already, but the basic idea is that you can never be too low... either level with or below the object is best.

I am going to borrow some images for this...

Here is a simple picture of a lobster:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/Lobster-small.jpg

It is a nice exposure.. the subject is near the middle of the frame, but it is from the wrong angle...

I just went looking for lobster pictures, and it seems all that I have, are ones we caught.. sorry, will make a note to take a good picture of one:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/joyce7.jpg

How about, instead, we look at a turtle:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/turtle1.jpg


This was right before it rammed me...

For the most part, people like images that are level with or looking up...Bob's images make use of this a lot.

That means you have to be low...and for the sake of the reef, that means you have to be careful...There are places where this does not count, but they are few.

This picture was taken with most of me, below the level of the deck...

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/fish10.jpg

As with macro, where it is hard to be too close, the rule is... get as low as you can.

jwdizney
01-13-2008, 19:58
this is great, Puffer! it's certainly easier to comprehend technique when it's explained (and illustrated!) rather than trying to get it from a manual..you've inspired me to get a strobe for my DC600... looking forward to your next 'chapter'....:smiley20:

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 20:11
I am going to skip composition, first because what is great varies so much, and second because it is the most human part of the image. You can learn all the skills, all the tools, but your images end up reflecting what you like..and there is nothing wrong with that. In other words, if you like it... don't let others tell you other wise.

One is a hard flash, the other natural lighting..

Note: for all that don't know, that fish, when concerned, goes into a nose down position, ready to suddenly accelerate, which results in the head coming up. I know that, and for reasons I don't understand, never tip the camera...shows how thoughtful I can be.

Should you take black background strobe pictures? I don't actually know the answer to this, but I know that it is harder to use fill flash with manual settings, and easier with TTL.

Most camera's have some sort of fill flash program in them...at least ones that have manual setting, but you have to be far more careful of what shutter speed the camera uses, or you will get blurred pictures.

My suggestion to anyone, is to learn how to do both, and then decide which you want to do...

I believe, that except for close macro images, the combination of flash and natural lighting makes the best pictures.. but that is just my feeling.



So on to exposure...

Which of these is right?

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/fish66.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/garinj/HoggFish1.jpg

Puffer Fish
01-13-2008, 20:24
this is great, Puffer! it's certainly easier to comprehend technique when it's explained (and illustrated!) rather than trying to get it from a manual..you've inspired me to get a strobe for my DC600... looking forward to your next 'chapter'....:smiley20:
You can use the new SL961.. which has some kind of auto system and would be ideal with your camera...you have great macro with the DC600...and every image you have seen could be done with that camera...ok, Bob's you also have to be in a place with 300 ft of vis...

All of my pictures have been with a 6 meg point and shoot...as were several years of Bob's

Oh, and thanks, my hope was to get people out having fun, with the least amount of work involved.

cummings66
01-14-2008, 19:52
A lot of nice photo's. Wish I had places like that where you could actually see something that has color. Our fish are all gray, kind of monochrome for most of our stuff.

I can only dream...

Puffer Fish
01-14-2008, 20:01
A lot of nice photo's. Wish I had places like that where you could actually see something that has color. Our fish are all gray, kind of monochrome for most of our stuff.

I can only dream...

Color is not that big of a deal... I used to have (they were film) lots of images of fresh water fish... I like them. I have taken pictures in less than 5 ft of vis.. ok, they sucked but I got pictures to prove they sucked...will see if I can find some mud pictures...that should give Aussie something to be upset about.

divingchef
01-18-2008, 10:16
Hey Puff, thanks for the tips....(super photo-newbie) Since I didnīt even realize that my camera had a Macro setting I have been playing around with it out of the water.....using it alot in the kitchen to get huge shots of little tinny food (amuse bouches, petit fours etc) Very cool....obviously the light is an issue UW. Right now I using only a flash deflector, but I am searching for a strobe.....Our diving here in Cabo right now is also "winter-diving" so limited vis, low sun angle, cold water (does H2O temp have affect on camera peformance?)

I will be splashing Monday with your advice. I actually had your hints tatooed on the inside of my left forearm so I wouldnīt forget them UW.....and upside down on my right forearm so my wife can read them when she has the camera......now I just have find a wetsuit where I can roll up the sleeves....

But seriously, thanks for these tips.....I already feel better about my abilities, whereas, before it was sort of like photography russian roulette....

thor
01-18-2008, 11:40
This is great. I only wish I had seen this earlier, especially the part about, "Don't try to learn this on a Florida drift dive"


Can you talk about white balance a little and the best way to get accurate white balance?

divingchef
01-18-2008, 11:54
AH!!!! FISH BUTTS!!!


http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1277&catid=member&imageuser=2410

dbh
01-18-2008, 15:52
Here is a bluegill from beautiful Kentucky :-)




http://www.myunderwaterworld.com/blue01.jpg

divingchef
01-18-2008, 15:55
Here is a bluegill from beautiful Kentucky :-)




http://www.myunderwaterworld.com/blue01.jpg


Hey DBH......some great shots on your website!!!!!

Gombessa
01-18-2008, 19:23
Great advice here. I love the pic examples too!

jwdizney
01-18-2008, 21:08
no zoom, camera flash only, 5' vis...... Oklahoma lake diving at it's finest!
1336

dannybot
01-20-2008, 15:19
Puffer has a lot of good and helpful info, what I have learned was mostly by the school of hard knocks. I have been using the KISS (keep it simple stupid!) approach, combatting my natural urge to complicate anything I do. I have so far resisted the urge to buy a strobe, so I mostly shoot macro, but the onboard strobe on my camera is more effective at night. A good dive light helps a lot, I can shoot video at night with a light, especially if my buddy has one, i have gotten some good results. You can also use a light and the built in flash to add depth to your shots, similar as if you had two strobes. This is hte same subject on consecutive shots, with just flash, and them side lighting from a dive light:

Cheddarchick
01-20-2008, 19:10
Thank you Puffer... We are going to Curacao on the 6th of feb. With my set up of my Oly SP350, PT30, Inon WA lens, DS51 Strobe with ttl with slave (which I have no idea of how to run). I have been taking pictures in the cold grey lakes with 5' of viz all summer and can"t wait to get to clear blue waters. So I have been reading your advice with great interest. Thanks a lot!

mpd525
01-20-2008, 21:29
Great Stuff Puffer, I just bought an oly fe-280, and i need to get a housing, just out of curiosity can i get an ikelite for it, or will the oly housing be good. Also what other tips can you throw to us newbies, going to the keys in about a month, and want to get some decent photos.

Mtrewyn
01-20-2008, 23:02
GREAT info, Its nice to see some "real" instructions so we mear mortals can understand them.

thanks for the help!!

Puffer Fish
01-21-2008, 14:54
Great Stuff Puffer, I just bought an oly fe-280, and i need to get a housing, just out of curiosity can i get an ikelite for it, or will the oly housing be good. Also what other tips can you throw to us newbies, going to the keys in about a month, and want to get some decent photos.


They currenly do not make a housing for it...but in general, the Japanese housing are not that bad...and very reasonably priced.

That is a completely auto camera, so don't expect great things if you are going deep. But, here are a couple of pieces of advice.

1. Check what the default ISO sensitivity is.. and set it as low as you can (100 or 200), and only use auto sensitivity when you have to.

2. Learn where the macro button is, as this camera can take images very close... but you need to be able to switch back and forth (leaving it in macro results in a whole bunch of out of focus images)

3. Use the built in flash... as long as the water is reasonably clear.. you will get backscatter, but as long as it is not 100 items on a picture, it can be removed later.

4. Make sure you have a big memory card... or several.

5. Try taking a video... one of my favorites I took while doing a dive called the washing machine in PG- shallow dive in a 6 knot current. Kind of neat looking.

6. If you are in shallow water, then shoot away, just make sure you are in focus and have a good exposure...

7. Don;t know if that camera has an UW setting, but if it does, try it. You may or may not like it, but what the heck...

8. Initially, don't have great expectation...just have fun.

9. Make sure you soak your camera case in fresh water, and keep out of the sun.. the sun can do some serious damage if the case is left out in it (heat damage).

10. You can leave the camera in the case, but make sure you clean the outside lens if you take surface pictures... and do take lots of surface pictures.

Puffer Fish
01-21-2008, 15:01
Danny... nice exposure on the second image.

Humm, honestly, have never tried that...thanks.

I would guess that you can use your camera flash to add the red back and provide fill flash during the day.

Anyone creative enough to use a dive light should have no issues doing it.


Puffer has a lot of good and helpful info, what I have learned was mostly by the school of hard knocks. I have been using the KISS (keep it simple stupid!) approach, combatting my natural urge to complicate anything I do. I have so far resisted the urge to buy a strobe, so I mostly shoot macro, but the onboard strobe on my camera is more effective at night. A good dive light helps a lot, I can shoot video at night with a light, especially if my buddy has one, i have gotten some good results. You can also use a light and the built in flash to add depth to your shots, similar as if you had two strobes. This is hte same subject on consecutive shots, with just flash, and them side lighting from a dive light:

Puffer Fish
01-21-2008, 15:12
Thank you Puffer... We are going to Curacao on the 6th of feb. With my set up of my Oly SP350, PT30, Inon WA lens, DS51 Strobe with ttl with slave (which I have no idea of how to run). I have been taking pictures in the cold grey lakes with 5' of viz all summer and can"t wait to get to clear blue waters. So I have been reading your advice with great interest. Thanks a lot!


Only scary thing you said was that comment about not knowing how to use a TTL control (not that difficult actually). I will be posting a thread on strobe controls and setting and their effect by next week (all I need is delivery of that second strobe this week).

Just remember: You control it, it does not control you.

A couple of the major control issues you can practice on land... overall exposure (ev adjustments) and flash to ambient balance. If you have those, you are king.. ok, queen.

P.S. I also need a week to get over my Green Bay depression - I'm originally from Janesville.

mpd525
01-21-2008, 18:40
They do make a housing for it, it's the same as the FE-230 housing, according to OLY's website. It was between the oly, and an ikelite/Nikon setup or something else, and to be honest i just don't have a ton to spend. I would've bought a S&S, but the one i was gonna get didn't come out of the housing so i didn't like that.

The camera has 3 UW settings, UW Wide 1, UW wide 2, and Macro, i'm not real positive what the difference between the 2 Wides are, but i'm gonna give it a shot. I'm sure someday i will upgrade, but this will do me well for now. I hope.



Great Stuff Puffer, I just bought an oly fe-280, and i need to get a housing, just out of curiosity can i get an ikelite for it, or will the oly housing be good. Also what other tips can you throw to us newbies, going to the keys in about a month, and want to get some decent photos.


They currenly do not make a housing for it...but in general, the Japanese housing are not that bad...and very reasonably priced.

That is a completely auto camera, so don't expect great things if you are going deep. But, here are a couple of pieces of advice.

1. Check what the default ISO sensitivity is.. and set it as low as you can (100 or 200), and only use auto sensitivity when you have to.

2. Learn where the macro button is, as this camera can take images very close... but you need to be able to switch back and forth (leaving it in macro results in a whole bunch of out of focus images)

3. Use the built in flash... as long as the water is reasonably clear.. you will get backscatter, but as long as it is not 100 items on a picture, it can be removed later.

4. Make sure you have a big memory card... or several.

5. Try taking a video... one of my favorites I took while doing a dive called the washing machine in PG- shallow dive in a 6 knot current. Kind of neat looking.

6. If you are in shallow water, then shoot away, just make sure you are in focus and have a good exposure...

7. Don;t know if that camera has an UW setting, but if it does, try it. You may or may not like it, but what the heck...

8. Initially, don't have great expectation...just have fun.

9. Make sure you soak your camera case in fresh water, and keep out of the sun.. the sun can do some serious damage if the case is left out in it (heat damage).

10. You can leave the camera in the case, but make sure you clean the outside lens if you take surface pictures... and do take lots of surface pictures.

mpd525
01-21-2008, 18:42
I'm getting the Camera and housing for about 250.00, is there something else i should've gotten in that price that would have been better. I haven't yet ordered the housing and i've got 30 days to send the camera back?

Any suggestions, or will i be ok.

dannybot
01-21-2008, 19:41
I'm getting the Camera and housing for about 250.00, is there something else i should've gotten in that price that would have been better. I haven't yet ordered the housing and i've got 30 days to send the camera back?

Any suggestions, or will i be ok.

The camera and housing for $250? Great deal. I really like the Olympus housing, it allows full operation to the camera's controls.

dbh
01-21-2008, 19:49
I'm getting the Camera and housing for about 250.00, is there something else i should've gotten in that price that would have been better. I haven't yet ordered the housing and i've got 30 days to send the camera back?

Any suggestions, or will i be ok.


For about the same $$$:

Amazon.com: Canon PowerShot A570IS 7.1MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom: Electronics (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-A570IS-Digital-Stabilized/dp/B000NK3H4S/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1200967530&sr=8-1)

Amazon.com: Canon WP-DC12 Waterproof Case for Canon A570IS Digital Camera: Camera & Photo (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-WP-DC12-Waterproof-A570IS-Digital/dp/B000OEP3JA/ref=pd_sim_e?ie=UTF8&qid=1200967530&sr=8-1)

I believe this will get way better results underwater.

HTH,
Dave

Puffer Fish
01-22-2008, 05:01
I'm getting the Camera and housing for about 250.00, is there something else i should've gotten in that price that would have been better. I haven't yet ordered the housing and i've got 30 days to send the camera back?

Any suggestions, or will i be ok.


For about the same $$$:

Amazon.com: Canon PowerShot A570IS 7.1MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom: Electronics (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-A570IS-Digital-Stabilized/dp/B000NK3H4S/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1200967530&sr=8-1)

Amazon.com: Canon WP-DC12 Waterproof Case for Canon A570IS Digital Camera: Camera & Photo (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-WP-DC12-Waterproof-A570IS-Digital/dp/B000OEP3JA/ref=pd_sim_e?ie=UTF8&qid=1200967530&sr=8-1)

I believe this will get way better results underwater.

HTH,
Dave

While I am a big Fuji fan (f50), the A series canon's are a great line. You can pick your price point and get manual controls (something you will want if you take a lot of UW images).

Here is a short list of the best features:

1. Wide angle lens - at least down to 35mm.

2. Good macro - you will use this a lot.

3. Manual controls (at least semi-manual)

4. Good battery life.

5. Short recycle time.

The Canon only is a bit weak in recycle time with the flash... but I know of no camera that is perfect in this price range. The Fuji F50, for example does not have full manual controls.

The next model up (the 8meg image one, not the 12) is also an excellent camera, but it costs more. Same with the F50.

One thing about the canon is that it uses AA batteries, and you can speed things up, and get more pictures with bigger batteries. I'm up to 2,900 mAh ones, and they are seriously faster than your normal ones.