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View Full Version : critiques, and editing tips



mpd525
02-28-2008, 10:12
THese are some pics on my trip to the keys last week. I'm by no means good at this, it was my first attempt at digital U/W photography. So be gentle.

mpd525
02-28-2008, 10:14
a few more

mpd525
02-28-2008, 10:17
those are just a few that i color corrected wth the oly software. I tried the PS elements, and i couldn't figure it out. I found that i enjoy taking more scene type photos, instead of macro or just single fish. I really like silhoutted type photos, and lots of fish and other things going on. I guess that means i need to buy a wide angle.

All these were taken with no flash, and just an oly FE-280, and oly PT-038 housing. I kept the strobe off almost all the time and used the cameras U/W wide 1 setting. But i forgot to try the different White balance settings that are on it.

So tell me what you think, and what else i can do to make them look better for the next trip to bonaire.

mpd525
02-28-2008, 10:21
couple of topside photos.

mpd525
02-28-2008, 10:22
this is one of my favorites because of the feeling of motion, problem is it's a fish butt.

CompuDude
02-28-2008, 17:33
That's really nicely done for a first effort!

DevilDiver
02-28-2008, 18:08
Excellent shots! Very nice for the first time out. I see you like scenery shots. Very cool .... It appears you have a good eye for composition! I do not know what experience you bring from topside photos but the suggestion i would make is to pick up "Jim Church's Guide to Composition".

This is an older book (Deals with film photos) but it is a classic. One of the best books on the subject and applies to all levels. The only other advice would be to practice and try things out one at a time until you are comfortable and then move on to the next....

W/A lens and strobes would be good but skills are as important as equipment.

Great job!

dbh
02-28-2008, 19:49
Great job for your first time out!

First....when you think that you are close enough....get closer!

Second.....you need light (a strobe or your internal flash). The first picture on the 2nd row would be really nice if you had lit up the reef and got some color in the foreground.

Dave

mpd525
02-28-2008, 20:08
i really don't have any experience, but i've always kinda like taking pics. Like i said i really enjoy the scene photos, so i know i'm gonna have to get a W/A, and a strobe, or even 2. I'm kinda proud of what i did, i definately wish they were better.

One bonus, the wife was so impressed, she said to make them better, she's gonna let me buy my lens and at least one strobe before we go to bonaire in december.

THanks for all the kind remarks.

Devildiver, i was actually looking at that book, and a couple of others on amazon last night.

dbh, i've got one or 2 other's i'll post that i took that are similar to that, where i actually did get a little more light on the reef, after i did the color correction.

Again, thanks for the input guys, makes me feel a little better.

mpd525
02-28-2008, 20:21
see what you guys think of these, a couple more scene shots, but with a bit more color. I know these still aren't lit enough dbh, but what else could i do other than an external strobe. Do you think one of the auto-magic filters would work, or just bypass that and buy a strobe.

Again i'm open to all kinds of criticizm. There are some i took, that would look alot better for various reasons, but to me it's like anything else in diving, you figure it out as you go.

blainer
02-28-2008, 22:40
im no expert at all when it comes to underwater photography, but i really like alot of your shots i thought the color was great. I especiallly like the shot of the 2 Barracuda.

dbh
02-29-2008, 21:08
I know these still aren't lit enough dbh, but what else could i do other than an external strobe. Do you think one of the auto-magic filters would work, or just bypass that and buy a strobe.


Those are more appealing to me because of the foreground color. There is no substitute for a good external strobe. The magic filters will give you better results than no strobe and are very affordable. Just remember, you will have to manually set your white balance when using the magic filters.

You will take some decent pictures....but when you get a camera with manual controls & an external strobe....you will see a significant improvement in your shots.

Dave

mpd525
02-29-2008, 21:28
well my next plan is to get the U/W fisheye they make for it, and a strobe for my current set up, and once i get about 2 years on that, i'm gonna upgrade to something better with all manual controls. Right now it's alot to learn so i want to start small, and get my base down and then move on from there, instead of spending tons of money and having crappy pics.

But thanks for all the help and kind words.

rfb3
02-29-2008, 22:47
mpd,
Those are really good! I can't believe you took some of them with no strobe!

bversteegh
03-01-2008, 02:00
Excellent first efforts. If wide angle scenics are your passion, get a decent strobe with at least 90 degrees coverage (Inon 2000 or 240, Sea and Sea 110, Ikelite DS125). The smaller cheaper strobes just don't have the oompth to light a wide angle lens, unfortunately.

I know these are a little more expensive, but getting a decent strobe will allow it to grow with you, whatever camera you get (camera's go obsolete every 18 months or so now, a good strobe can last 10 years or more).

While you save up for a strobe, Dave (DBH) made a great suggestion - use a magic filter in the interim (just search magic filter in Google, come from England).

Remember, when you get your external wide angle lens - GET CLOSE. A wide angle lens will probably achieve focus at around 8 or 9 inches - you will be amazed at how much better (color, sharpness, detail) your pictures will look if you get close. Try to get you foreground subject close (24 " or less).

Here is an example that illustrates several things I described above. I am very close to this group of gorgonians - around 18". I had 2 small strobes (Ikelite DS50s with a 70 deg coverage); and notice I didn't get enough light on the bottom of the picture. Why I just bought 2 DS 125's (this was taken with a Canon 20D, Sigma 15mm fisheye lens, 2 DS50 strobes). That lens has approximately a 115 deg horizontal angular coverage with that camera - so it is a pretty wide lens.

http://inlinethumb43.webshots.com/33578/2428994740059861092S600x600Q85.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2428994740059861092vjOkkQ)

dbh
03-01-2008, 06:22
well my next plan is to get the U/W fisheye they make for it, and a strobe for my current set up, and once i get about 2 years on that, i'm gonna upgrade to something better with all manual controls. Right now it's alot to learn so i want to start small, and get my base down and then move on from there, instead of spending tons of money and having crappy pics.

But thanks for all the help and kind words.

Actually, the beauty of digital is making that learning curve almost flat. You can pick a static object in your house or outside and shoot it while adjusting your aperture. You will quickly learn what this does. Same goes for your shutter speed. If you practice enough (hey...its free), it will become second nature.

http://www.myunderwaterworld.com/beetle%20%28Medium%29.jpg


http://www.myunderwaterworld.com/smile%20%28Medium%29.jpg

mpd525
03-01-2008, 08:22
Thanks for the Tips, and the advice on strobes. I was looking at lenses last night, and i had read somewhere that you can get better wide angle shots with a dome port lens, as opposed to a flat port. But the only W/A lens i can find is a flat port on reefphoto.com. Is there a way i can put a Dome port fisheye on my housing. It's a Oly Pt-038 with 46mm threads.

The Unfortunate thing with my camera is the fact that i can't control the shutter speed, or f-stops. It's got macro settings, and 6 or 7 WB settings, and i can maunually control the iso. ABout all the pics i posted were on iso 50 or 100, to try to tkeep the noise down, but i still got some.

I really wish now that i had bought a camera with all manual controls, but i was afraid i would spend more time messing with controls, and not diving, i would take the fun out of it by constantly adjusting. So i went with an "auto" set-up. But now i want to upgrade. So until i can afford a better camera housing, i'll buy a few things for this one to make them better.

bversteegh, thanks for that tip, i was looking at strobes last night, and i was wanting to get one that will grow with my future camera, and didn't even know where to start to pick the right one.

dbh those are great photos, i have trouble holding steady enough for the macro shots, even on land.

bversteegh
03-01-2008, 12:50
A dome helps correct for the refraction index of water - what makes objects look bigger underwater. at a flat the boundary between air and water (ie a flat port or your mask) the light bends, effectively providing about a 35 % increase in magnification. Good for macro where you want lots of detail - but it also reduces the angular field of view of your lens. A dome corrects for this effect by acting as a lens element "bending" the light, and restoring the angular coverage of your lens to the same you would have in air. It also helps focus the light rays from the extreme edges in the same plane (if everything is set up correctly, at your camera sensor) - so the extreme edges of your scene are still in focus.

Now all that said - if there is a wide angle lens that was designed for your specific camera/housing - they have designed the optics to ensure good focus across the coverage of the lens. What angle of coverage do they advertise for that lens with your camera? Probably somewhere between 80 and 100 degrees, which is pretty good. The other major benefit of the wide angle lens is the close focus capability - again, it should allow you to focus at just a few inches from your camera (probably somewhere between 8 to 12 inches). The importance of this is it allows you to get close - so your pictures will have more impact.

I know Inon has some Wide angle lens that fit 67 mm threads (both with and without a dome - but a WAL + dome is around $400 I think, so not cheap) - so if you can find an adapter (and Inon makes these also) that converts from your diameter to 67 mm - you're in business. Try going to the Inon America website, and see what you can find.

CompuDude
03-01-2008, 13:39
The Unfortunate thing with my camera is the fact that i can't control the shutter speed, or f-stops. It's got macro settings, and 6 or 7 WB settings, and i can maunually control the iso. ABout all the pics i posted were on iso 50 or 100, to try to tkeep the noise down, but i still got some.

Thing is, due to the way digital chip sensors work, unless you have a DSLR, generally you don't want to go above 100 anyway. The chip has essentially a "native" ISO rating. By going up, all you actually do is increase the sensitivity... you turn up the gain, and it brings on the noise.

DSLRs use much higher quality (and larger) sensors that can handle delivering higher usable ISOs, but there are only a few P&S cameras that deliver truly useable ISOs about 200.

I generally shoot ISO100 all the time, and only vary aperture and shutter, unless there is a real problem with a particular shot, then I might go up to 200 for the one shot, then back.

dbh
03-01-2008, 15:11
But the only W/A lens i can find is a flat port on reefphoto.com. Is there a way i can put a Dome port fisheye on my housing. It's a Oly Pt-038 with 46mm threads.


Call them and ask. If a dome can be fitted to your housing, they will know how to do it.

Dave

Nancy Lynn
03-11-2008, 22:24
I know these still aren't lit enough dbh, but what else could i do other than an external strobe.

I almost never shoot with flash. You can actually do quite a bit with an electronic darkroom, and you don't create as many artificial shadows. Here's four of your photos with only grey world balance correction (Paint Shop pro):

http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/files/3/3/2/1/photo5_thumb.png (http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1548&c=2) http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/files/3/3/2/1/photo4_thumb.png (http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1548&c=2) http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/files/3/3/2/1/photo3_thumb.png (http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1548&c=2) http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/files/3/3/2/1/photo2_thumb.png (http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1548&c=2) http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/files/3/3/2/1/photo1_thumb.png (http://forum.scubatoys.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=1548&c=2)

mpd525
03-12-2008, 20:33
wow, you made those look quite a bit better, i thought i had done ok, but they look alot better. Now if i could figure out how to lose the backscatter on that Eel pic, i would be a happy man.

DevilDiver
03-12-2008, 21:19
Now if i could figure out how to lose the backscatter on that Eel pic, i would be a happy man.

You said you have PS Elements.......

Start with the guided edit under "fix" until you get comfortable with the program. Go to the selection that says "touch up" on the right side menu. There will be 2 selections both with an icon of a band aid. The top is to fix small areas "Backscatter" the other is for large areas. Pick the top icon of the band aid with the dotted line circle, size the tool just a bit larger than the size of the spots in your photograph and click. If you mess up go to edit "top of screen" and click undo.
If you are comfortable with this program and do not need to use the "guided edit", go to "full edit" and find the same icon of the band aid on the left side menu........

Good luck.

Nancy Lynn
03-13-2008, 10:16
Now if i could figure out how to lose the backscatter on that Eel pic, i would be a happy man.

I usually use the clone brush to remove backscatter. Find a portion of the picture with similar color and texture to use for a target and clone it into the backscatter bubbles.