Red Coral

Technical: Canon G11, 1/160 sec, f4.5, focal length 30.5

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

Technical: Canon G11, 1/80 sec, f3.5, focal length 13.7

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.

Moray Eel IV

Technical: Canon G11, 1/200 sec, f4, focal length 21

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.

 

Moray Eel III

Technical: Canon G11, 1/250, f2.8, focal length 6.1

Here’s the shot. That is to say the close up with the stick from yesterday’s post is out of context. This is the difficult choice. Zoom in or use the wide-angle view? It’s your call. I guess the right context here is the wide-angle shot. It shows the diver and moray eel interaction. That is the real interest. You can decide and if there’s opportunity, you can both shots. But, I think this shot is the better illustration of the idea.

Moray Eel II

Technical: Canon G11, 1/200 sec, f4, focal length 21

My dive companion decided to see if the moray eel would respond. He pushed a stick toward it along the sandy bottom. The fish nosed closer with a bit of curiosity. It was lethargic. I just kept distance and shot. The moray eel’s color is different from the last shot. Hey, there’s some color! I’m not a fan of poking at dangerous fish with a stick. Trust me. I was farther away from the eel than Farid.

Moray Eel

Technical: Canon G11, 1/200 sec, f4, focal length 21

I actually took the time to zoom in. This eel is a bit dangerous and will bite and hurt you. So it’s not a good idea to get close. It also doesn’t move much. So zoom works. Underwater it’s a dark shape without color. When you do routine color correction in Photoshop, it’s a bit rust colored. The pattern blends with the coral. So I guess it has some camouflage. Either way we gave it a wide birth.

Self Portrait Underwater

Technical: Canon G11, 1/400 sec, f2.8, focal length 6.1

It started upside down at depth, so the color is gone to blue. You have the topside as backlighting. At least it can be done. Not to bad, what can you say? It’s not my best. At this point I’m happy to have the image in focus. And yes, I corrected to get the image right side up.

 

Color Balance Underwater

Technical: Canon G11, 1/400 sec, f2.8, focal length 6.1

Color correction will get you only so far. I know that the real color is orange red. So I color corrected in Photoshop. It’s a bit contrasty and oversaturated. By the way this pair of fish protect the coral in the background. They actually swim at you when you swim too close. On the technical side, I let the camera stay in auto mode for exposure and ISO. I also shot in wide angle. I held the camera in hand without using the viewfinder or LCD (street photography technique). You get a lot of misses. This is partly because there is a lag from the time you press the shutter and when the image is taken. It’s all in the timing. Composition is simply swimming as close to the fish as you can and fire before they swim off. Drifting into place with your hand out in front and camera turned toward the fish works most of the time. Everything, diver and fish, is moving simultaneously. So far my percentage of good shots is low.