October 25th, 2011

manta rays week #2

Black manta, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia

Nikon D300 + Nikkor 10.5mm + Pro One Dome Port + Sea&Sea YS-250 x 2 strobes

this image is 3% cropped from left, right and top, minor scatter cleanup in Photoshop

Location on Google Maps

Wikipedia reference

Here is black stealth "B-2" black manta from Raja Ampat for you - in new beautiful 1150px resolution. I spent about 15 minutes with this guy after my group surfaced - I was allowed to swim together for some period of time - rare thing for mantas whom are usually very shy animals.

Google+ photo community is on LSD ! "HDR" photography, which I thought stopped being fashionable around 2007 is back and it's big this time ! I say "HDR" as opposed to HDR because this is that people call Photomatix-inspired tone mapping effects, which if abused produce colorful incoherent photo-puke. Well, at least this is what I see.

Can you tell me what you see - https://plus.google.com/105237212888595777019/posts/3QedNNGfhNE or http://spcandler.zenfolio.com/p906044139/h1176d4b1#h1176d4b1 ? If you are in the mood for discussion - what do you think, why so many people like this ? Is it simplicity of using software to convert bad photos in the colorful mess or something else ? I'm really puzzled. I don't think Photomatix tone mapping is powerful enough to overthrow centuries long studies on color harmonies and other foundations of that makes things beautiful. It's strange how many people resist their own brain physiology by admiring something which normally should cause headaches. Ok, let's discuss ! :-)

Also if you know any great examples of tone-mapping being used in normal, non-abusive way - I will appreciate if you could post link in comments. Thank you !