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UW digital photo newbie needs help!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Randy Quimpo

New Member
Mar 13, 2002
Hi fellows!

I just got myself an Olympus C2020 and did some shooting in shallow water over the weekend, and I'm hoping some of the mentors out there (Cliff, that you? I read your old posts and I think you have the same camera) can give me some tips.

One problem I am have is the LCD viewfinder - it doesn't show much underwater! I have to estimate distances and guess at the framing since the LCD isn't too clear (I heard Nikonos users do this all the time).

The second is exactly how close to fish do I have to get to get those neato fish-face shots? I keep my Oly on wide angle (in this case, 35 mm), and sneak up on fish untill they're just over a foot from the lens (like the advice goes - get close, and closer still), but that's not enough to get a tightly framed fish shot. Should I work on getting closer still (I'm a foot from the fish - can I still improve on that?), or is zooming in a better idea? How close do macro shooters go, anyway?

FYI, for now, its available light for me (no external strobe) and no Inon lens (no cash).

Hope some of you guys can help me out.
what housing do you have?

i think the best advice you're going to get is to just get in the water and start shooting. that's the best thing about digital. wear them batteries out!

there's tons of factors to consider when seeking shots of fish nostrils. ;) i have the C3000 and i play quite a bit with the macro modes. also, if you're getting inside a foot from your subject, play with spot metering if your camera has it. i think it does.

good luck,

here's a shot from my last dip in the shallow blue:
Thanks for the encouragement! I use a C2020 with the PT-010 housing and no external stroble or add-on lens. A fellow in the wetpixel forum suggested that it is stray light entering the casing that is preventing me from seeing the LCD properly, and proposed a do-it-yourself foam-type "light shield" - I'm trying it out and hope it works!

My other problem is getting nice big fish shots (like the one you posted). I keep the lens as wide as possible (that's 35 mm), and work on sneaking up on the fish rather than zooming into them. Do you think I should use the zoom instead? I can get within two feet of a typical anemone fish, but I think that's the limit of how close I can go - of course I would like to hear from a freediver who can tell me that I could go much closer still.

One last thing - I find your fish shot to be very blue. Have you tried fixing this in Photoshop? I fiddled with it a little and brought some of the other colors out - maybe this is closer to what you saw underwater?

Again, thanks.


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actually, i'm colorblind ;)

it could have looked like this:

i've shared, now it's your turn. i have photoshop 6 and have tried playing around with color attributes but have limited success. i normally use pshop for web graphics and art, so my years behind this monitor have left me deficient in the color scheming. now that i'm into digital photography, it would be a great thing to learn.

please share.
a few things about getting close to your subject:
most pro's do their macro work with a 100mm buckled to their SLR in a huge honkin housing. beacoup bucks, too. they're about 2 feet from their subject. this helps keep things in perspective. like getting in close with a 35mm and how it will start to distort things.

personally, i'd recommend on playing with the zoom. depending on your subject size, try to get into that 12-14 inch range and snap away. i'm still a beginner so i'm not using a strobe. saving up for the ikelite ds-125. anyhow, using a flash scares off most of my targets. i'm working on getting up close to bigger and bigger subjects. had gotten within 3 feet of a 8# red grouper last trip. didn't have my gun, so i just patiently tried to get as close as possible. somehow he knew i was out to make him famous and not dinner. :D

i'd love to hear about your progress, randy. either keep me up here, or through my email: andrsn@2james.net

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