I’m still getting the hang of a higher zoom. You don’t look thru the viewfinder or at the LCD. You just point and shoot. It means you get a lot of duds. Fish are the challenge. If I’ve said it once… the slow moving ones are the most forgiving. I’d very much like to put a DSLR to the test. And… a proper flash. But for now it’s a paparazzi style that is working.
The subtle blue color cast is easily fixed in Photoshop. That is just part of the consideration in this image. My friend Farid was prodding it along so I would have an action shot. So here I am sort of swimming and panning on the fly. Hey, it worked. Your subjects really don’t pose for you as much as you’d like. So I shot. The delay in shutter and exposure can be annoying. There’s no motor drive here. It does make you more deliberate in pressing the shutter.
A little Photoshop can go a long way. I’ve other shots of this fish with more rich brown coloring. But it appears this guy is really black and white. Even for fish it’s the eye. There’s a little catch light and it looks more appealing. This is a big fat fish with little fins and I figured it couldn’t swim fast. Wrong. It’s faster than me. I did a little zoom. The problem with zooming is finding and keeping your subject in the image frame.
We were in a holding pattern at 15 feet to decompress before surfacing. No dice. I popped straight to the surface and couldn’t get my butt down for beans. So I hovered and shot this image. The light is brighter so the shutter speed is faster. There was just no way to coordinate and pose this feeding mass of black fish. Something was tasty on the reef. There’s not too much to love here. You can see an eye or two. The composition is … ugh. There’s not to much detail or color except for the blue edging. I have a lot of these images. I thought to show some mistakes, lest you believe everything comes out great.
I’d have never seen this fish except that it was on the move. The human eye is accustomed to see threat and anything moving is noticed first. I cropped to get this close up. You lose detail as you crop more. But here it’s not possible to salvage the image unless you crop. Otherwise I have a whole lot of homogenous boring sand in the image. With macro focus I could have tried for the eyes. That would have been a shot. But I did not have the time and could not get in close. My BCD kept pulling me toward the surface.
Well at least it has a chance to become a giant. It’s got a big thick shell, that when closed will be a significant challenge for any predator. The color balance is still in play. It’s a bit pink. The inside was more a gold color, which is hard to appreciate here. Composition? I’m shooting mostly wide open, wide angle. It’s hard to compose when everything moves. But I’ve started to zoom a little more. It’s another exercise and another trick to master. Underwater photography has given me some good initial results. But like anything else, it takes a while to learn the nuances.
Hmm…. The settings are the same as the previous image. I don’t much bother with manual. It’s tough underwater to juggle the settings. Shooting fish is a challenge. I guess I like a side view to get the shape of the fish and one eye in focus. Traditional, catalog, fish book – plain vanilla image, and it’s kind of boring. I’m still just trying to get the hang of water, and the camera housing. So bear with me. Some fish are bottom swimming. Try to get a side view of this one, that’s tough. It’s better if they aren’t moving. Curiously my dive instructor doesn’t seem interested too much in shooting fish. And to me, shooting coral is like taking pictures of trees. It’s not too hard to shoot something that can’t move.
The trick here is to recognize that this coral is red. I have images with flash in which the red is brilliant neon. The lighting here was custom white balance and natural, no flash. The color is definitely different than using flash. It’s a matter of taste. I tend to like the more brilliant color, not this image. But then it’s a matter of reality, poetry or prose.
Clownfish are often symbiotically seen with this coral anemone. And about as often there is one larger than the other in the pair. Neither fish eye is in sharp focus. The shutter speed is relatively slow. I was shooting natural light, custom white balance. Focus on moving objects is a challenge and even more so underwater. You can make an image look sharper by dialing down the exposure or increasing the contrast. It will help. I’m just happy with the image but it is not my best and it is not a keeper.
Following along with the underwater theme, here’s one more shot of the moray eel. We lingered long enough for me to snap a few shots. The criticism here is that the background sand is too bright leaving the moray eel relatively underexposed. The eye is hidden. I know. My excuse is that it’s underwater. Zooming in would have made a more even exposure. I wasn’t going to get closer to this wild fish. It bites.