Monday, December 04, 2017

Print of the Week

Chromodoris marislae (nudibranch)

This is from our recent diving around Loreto, Baja, Mexico. It's one of the nudibranchs (sea slugs) that I photographed. (see Slugs and Worms). My underwater shots are seldom sharp enough to make large prints but this one isn't bad.

I often do more editing of photos prior to printing. This time I ended up rotating it to look more normal. Here's the previous version in the correct orientation i.e. it was on a wall.

Chromodoris marislae (nudibranch)

It was fairly deep and in the back of a recess in the wall, so there wasn't much light. I have an underwater flash (aka strobe) but I am terrible at using it. People get great results with flashes, so I know the problem is me. Part of the problem is that I don't go diving that much, so I don't have a chance to gain the necessary skills. This trip I pretty much gave up and quit trying to use it.

The flash is on a flexible arm so you can move it around, but that means you're never quite sure if it's pointing correctly. Plus I can never seem to get the exposure correct. A flash doesn't help with focusing in the dark so it also has a focusing light. Towards the end of the trip I found I had more success using just the focusing light (and not the flash), which is what I did for this photo. At least with a light you can see where you're aiming, and the camera can get the automatic exposure right. So for my next trip I'm looking for a constant light (like an underwater flashlight). They're not as powerful as flashes, but fine for closeups, which is what I mostly take.

Part of what made me choose one of my underwater photos is that I've been revisiting a set of underwater photography books by Richard Salas. He has so many amazing photographs that are so much better than mine. Definitely inspiration to keep working at it.

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