Vivid-Pix Blog

All Things Vivid-Pix!

Someday is today!

Someday is today!

Remember Tina?  She had a bad experience with a nationally known purveyor of printed pictures.  Then she tried again at Vivid-Pix-Prints to get her pictures printed.  Here is her reaction:

"I got my pictures back from vivid-pix today!  Some of them look insanely better, much sharper, clearer and brighter, it's hard to believe that they are even the same picture.  While others are still better, clearer and sharper it, was more subtle, but getting them through vivid-pix definitely makes a difference.  I'll be printing my SCUBA pics through you guys from now on! 

...
Continue reading
3847 Hits

Someday my prints will come (out right)

Someday my prints will come (out right)

"I've recently used the free trial software to enhance my SCUBA pics.  They look AMAZING on the computer, but when I sent some off to be printed, I was highly disappointed with the results.  The images look grainy or pixelated and the contrast looks terrible.  My camera is an HD quality camera.  I was wondering if you had any tips on how to get the pictures to look as amazing printed as they do on my screen.” - Tina

We at Vivid-Pix have heard this lament from time to time.  It’s really a shame to spend the time and money to go to exotic locations, take pictures of the wonderful things, make them look great with Picture-Fix, and then get lousy prints.  You deserve images that accurately represent what you saw, not what a misguided print service spits out.

Continue reading
4897 Hits

Deb Albright wins grand prize in Vivid-Pix photo contest

Deb Albright wins grand prize in Vivid-Pix photo contest

There’s a lot of hard jobs in the imaging software business, but few compare to the difficulty we had selecting the grand-prize winners for our photo contest. There were some amazing photos made better by the Vivid-Pix fix.

Continue reading
3401 Hits

Backscatter Matters

Backscatter Matters

You just got that great shot of the grouper that you’ve been hoping for.  Back topside and excited to see the result, you download the picture and display it full screen.  What a great shot!  Except, of course, for the all those bright spots you never saw until now.  Your strobe has reflected off the particles in the water and ruined everything.  Damned backscatter.

What to do?  If you’re a power user of image manipulation software like Photoshop, you can spend a lot of time working on the image to get it back to what you saw, but most of us aren’t likely to go that route.  Even if you have the means to do the job, the touchup is tedious at best, so usually, the grouper is banished to the dark depths of the hard drive, or (gasp!) deleted forever.

...
Continue reading
4154 Hits

Fill A Pleasing Percentage Of Your Frame

Fill A Pleasing Percentage Of Your Frame

One of the pitfalls for underwater photographers, especially newer shooters, is failing to have their subject fill a pleasing percentage of their photographic frame. All too often, the result is a fantastic subject that is too small in an image. In short, the best way to describe a picture like that is “an opportunity lost”.

Continue reading
4344 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. 

Continue reading
4166 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.

Continue reading
5529 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.

Continue reading
7763 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.

Continue reading
4282 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.

Continue reading
4992 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.

Continue reading
5670 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.

Continue reading
4562 Hits

A Vastly Under Appreciated Skill In Underwater Photography

A Vastly Under Appreciated Skill In Underwater Photography

Hi Vivid-Pixers!

The first two images discussed in this blog were created in oceans that are halfway around the world from each other. In addition to that, the images were created were significantly different camera systems. The shot of the rosy-lipped batfish resting on the sand was created with a macro lens at Costa Rica’s Cocos Island.

Continue reading
5125 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.

Continue reading
5417 Hits

Create Good Pre-Dive Habits To Help Make Great Photographs

Create Good Pre-Dive Habits To Help Make Great Photographs

Hi Vivid-Pixers,

In all of my previous blogs I have written about techniques involving things you want to consider or do during a dive. This blog is a bit different in that I will be discussing some things that you will want to do before your dives as you prepare and assemble your camera system.

Continue reading
6035 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.

Continue reading
4069 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.

Continue reading
5118 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?

Continue reading
4612 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.

Continue reading
4434 Hits

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.

Continue reading
4028 Hits