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Have Underwater Camera. Will Photograph Fish.

Have Underwater Camera. Will Photograph Fish.

Hi Vivid-Pixers!

“Have underwater camera. Will photograph fish”. 

I think this mantra applies to just about every underwater photographer in the world. After all, colorful fishes are one of the underwater world’s feature attractions, and for photographers many species are simply irresistible. But despite all of the things that fishes have going for them- color, beauty, eye-catching antics and fascinating behaviors etc.- it is still possible to take rather boring photographs of even some of the more handsome fishes.

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5507 Hits

Light-hearted Contrasting Opinions

Light-hearted Contrasting Opinions

So just what is lightness and contrast?

In an image, lightness (or brightness) is the overall light level.  The picture of an eel in a coral crevasse at 30 feet is a good example of an image without much lightness, unless you illuminate it with a strobe.  A dolphin just under the surface can be an example of an image with high lightness.

But wait a minute…that dolphin may be nicely illuminated by the rays of the sun entering the water just a few feet above, but the odds are that the picture you took is not very close.  The light bouncing off the dolphin and into your camera is filtered and lessened by the water in between.  So that dolphin image may not have much lightness, even though the mammal is nicely lit.  A better example of high lightness is a coral fan close to the surface, motionless or nearly so, allowing you to get close so that your camera can soak up all that light.

Related, but slightly different, is contrast.  A good way to imagine contrast is as the difference between the brightest and darkest portion of the image.  For that coral, it’s the brightest part, probably near the top (hopefully not bleached) where the angle reflects the sun best toward you, and the darkest shadow, lower down where the sun does not hit at the moment you clicked the shutter button.

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6132 Hits

One Strobe Or Two? What’s Right For You, And Why

One Strobe Or Two? What’s Right For You, And Why

In almost every underwater photography class I teach, when the subject is lighting and strobes students are quick to ask a question regarding how many strobes they should use. My answer usually comes in the form of a question, or several questions. That’s the way I teach. I want students to think about the potential answers and my reasons for answering the way I do instead of trying to memorize my answer and simply accepting it.

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6115 Hits

Lookin' Sharper

Lookin' Sharper

While there are many techniques for sharpening, some yield better results than others.  We have selected one with a counterintuitive name...Unsharp Masking.  Why?  Because it tends to accentuate the important parts to the image without increasing visual noise or graininess.

Unsharp Masking actually began as a clever technique to enhance the sharpness of printed images in the chemical/analog world.  Digital Unsharp Masking is uses a similar technique, and works something like this:

- It’s good to determine what should be sharpened, so edges are detected.  This is in effect “applying a mask” so that only those parts of the image that are significant enough to enhance are subject to sharpening.  In other words, those areas that may have small differences from pixels to pixels, like water in the background, are not subject to sharpening, while the intricacies the fish scales are sharpened.

- A threshold is applied.  If the change from one part of the image to another at an edge is small, the edge is not sharpened.  If the threshold is set high, only major transitions are sharpened.   In particular, if you are seeing graininess and pixellation, set the threshold higher.

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6818 Hits

Let There Be Light!

Let There Be Light!

Here’s A Question For You

Let’s assume you want to create an image that has a strobe-lit, colorful foreground subject and properly exposed water in the background. If you are diving in rather dark, greenish water as you might be in New England, California, Oregon and Washington etc., would you want your strobe to emit a brighter light (more powerful strobe or higher power setting on your strobe) because the water at depth is not brightly lit by the sun, or would you want a less power, thus light that is not as bright, to be emitted from your strobe?

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6032 Hits

Orange Photos

Orange Photos

It is always fun to add any new twist that you can think of for your underwater photography. I decided to experiment with things that were orange. I selected out lots of photos that I already had, and I also went on a few dives looking for anything with orange. I was very lucky and found my absolute favorite but elusive subject, the gaudy clown crab (Platypodiella spectabilis).

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6162 Hits

Reef Ball - Restore a Picture, Restore a Reef

Reef Ball - Restore a Picture, Restore a Reef

As part of its Doing Good activities, Vivid-Pix is proud to be working with Reef Ball Foundation, an organization that has conducted over 6,000 projects, in 70+ countries, rehabilitating coral reefs. 

 

Supporters that purchase our software will receive a $10 discount and Reef Ball Foundation will receive a $10 donation.  Have Fun, Doing Good!

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3666 Hits

Vivid-Pix Picture-Fix reviewed in July Issue of DIVER Magazine - Repost

Vivid-Pix Picture-Fix reviewed in July Issue of DIVER Magazine - Repost

Read the article written by Michel Gilbert & Danielle Alary that appeared in the July Issue of DIVER Magazine.

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6125 Hits

Muck Diving

Muck Diving

Muck diving. The term hardly sounds appealing, but in many popular diving destinations muck diving is the rage. As the name suggests, muck diving involves diving in areas where the sea floor is mud, clay or sand, preferably black sand in an area near where a freshwater river empties into the sea. Thus, muck diving habitats are considerably different than a kelp forest or coral reef where the vast majority of sport diving has been done for years.

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7104 Hits

Use side lighting to make shadows

Use side lighting to make shadows

Don’t just use your strobes to light up everything. Sometimes you need to be careful how to use your strobes to NOT light parts of the image so that you can make shadows.

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5889 Hits

Photographing Dolphins

Photographing Dolphins

Hi Vivid-Pixers!

I think it fair to say that dolphins have a special place in the hearts and minds of a lot of divers. We admire their aquatic skills, obvious intelligence, and social nature. And we appreciate the fact that dolphins just have a way of lifting our spirits and bringing out the best in us whenever they appear.

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5624 Hits

Turning a small subject into a dramatic photo

Turning a small subject into a dramatic photo

Have you ever wondered how people find these huge red finger sponges on the same dive where you saw only little ones? The answer is that these ARE the little ones you saw but photographed very close with an extremely wide-angle lens that includes everything within a 180º diagonal area. That means that you can stand very close to your 8 foot wall at home and get the entire wall from floor to ceiling in your photo from just a few inches away.

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6344 Hits

Expose For The Highlights

Expose For The Highlights

Hi Vivid-Pixers,

In many respects digital photography has a lot in common with analog photography, meaning the use of film. For example both digital and film cameras use f/stops, shutter speed and ISO to govern exposure. Another commonality is that at depth the use of strobe light is required to “paint in” colors back into foreground elements. If not for the use of strobe light those colors would be lost from the selective filtration of white light from the sun that occurs as sunlight passes through the water column.

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7181 Hits

The Four Exposure Scenarios

The Four Exposure Scenarios

One of the taller hurdles for most underwater photographers to overcome is consistently acquiring proper exposures. One reason that so many of us struggle with exposures is that traditionally speaking we tend to talk about images in terms of the lens being used – a macro vs. a wide-angle lens- as opposed to the exposure scenario.

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6417 Hits

Exposure Insights

Exposure Insights

It makes perfect sense that underwater photographers want to create images with colorful subjects surrounded by inviting blue water. After all, that is the way the tropical ocean so often looks to our eyes when we dive, and the reason that many of us pay the big bucks to travel to destinations that are not in our own backyards.

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7426 Hits

Getting Eye-Popping Color Out Of Colorful Subjects

Getting Eye-Popping Color Out Of Colorful Subjects

There is no doubt that vivid colors command our attention.

Color alone won’t make a photograph exceptional. But vivid colors will draw the eyes of viewers and create interest even in ordinary subjects. And that is a message that should not be overlooked.

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6691 Hits

Silhouettes Are Easy If You Follow A Few Guidelines

Silhouettes Are Easy If You Follow A Few Guidelines

Silhouettes can be very powerful images. And compared to many other types of underwater photographs, they are relatively easy to create. However, to create a winning silhouette you will want to pay heed to a handful of basic principles. It’s those principles that I am going to share in this piece.

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10625 Hits

What To Do When The Moment Is Now

What To Do When The Moment Is Now

In an earlier blog I shared some thoughts about photographing fish. In that discussion I mentioned a number of categories that I use to help me get started creating pictures when I encounter a fish. I also stated that when I do not see a fish doing something such as courting, nesting, cleaning or anything else that I might classify as “behaviorally interesting”, I usually try to create an esthetically pleasing shot of that fish. And I might try to show the fish within the context of its environment. If you haven’t checked out that blog, you might want to take a look at what I had to say.

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5902 Hits

An Introduction To Photographing Fish

An Introduction To Photographing Fish

If you are like many underwater photographers I know, one factor that made you want to grab a camera system and try your hand at underwater photography was the allure of photographing fish. Occurring in what seems like endless shapes, colors, sizes, and patterns, there is no doubt that fish are wonderful subjects.

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7173 Hits

Find Some Separation

Find Some Separation

Can you remember the first time you saw a shark, manta ray, dolphin, turtle, spotted eagle ray, or any other animal you might think of as Mr. Big? Maybe you have not enjoyed an experience like that yet. But keep diving for a while, and you will. 

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6008 Hits

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