July 31st, 2011

common dolphins week #7

Common dolphins charging bait ball, Wild Coast, South Africa

Nikon D300 + Nikkor 12-24mm, Sea&Sea compact dome port, strobes Sea&Sea YS-250 x 2

this image is 5% cropped from top and right, very minor contrast adjustment in Lightroom

Nikon D300 + Nikkor 12-24mm, Pro One dome port, strobes Sea&Sea YS-250 x 2

this image is not cropped, minor contrast adjustment in Lightroom

Location on Google Maps

Wikipedia reference

I'm concluding common dolphin week with this post on taking pictures in different visibility conditions. Top image was taken in perfect 20+ meters visibility and blue water. Second - in murky, 6m viz green water. As you can see both pictures don't look too bad. Moreover, for both there is very little editing done, and no cleanup of scatter of any kind applied. Over several years of doing u/w photography I learned that way you position strobes and adjust light power defines amount of dust and scatter which will show up in resulting image. It is possible indeed to take clean pictures in almost every condition - just learn your equipment well and examine test shots carefully for amount of scatter before taking on your shooting target. But what I find really interesting - sometimes scatter is good thing - and for me it is real mastery of underwater photography to learn how to use it to make images look more alive and mysterious. I will post more thoughts on this later.

There is one thing which beats dolphin encounters for me - it is shark encounters ! Next week theme will be "shark species". I'm going to post different shark specie photo from my collection every day, with some random thoughts provoked by looking at images taken in past. Dolphins theme is certainly not finished yet, we just say temporary good bye to them to make way for more diversity in my blogging stream ! ;)

In the case if you will be missing common dolphins or just will want to see whole collection I have - it's always possible to use this tag link to access it - enjoy !