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matt

Help with coral Photography??

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I am lost with with this Photography thing. I dug the girlfriends nikon d3100 out and thought I would give it a shot. How do you guys do it? Everything is so drowned out with blue. So what am I doing wrong?? Here is what her setup is.786aa42504c460aca151bdad8b0b5448.jpge2f5577b5cf783bd04648067a72c13de.jpgbb8d960c45b05fa6ba7838ead32769cc.jpga6cd26d64c2cae3c35b94620622dbeac.jpg

 

sent from a Samsung note 4

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here are some that I have taken. the last one is out of focus

DSC_0002.jpgDSC_0017.jpg

How do I lessen the blue?

DSC_0009.jpgDSC_0010.jpg

Edited by matt

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Mattv is right, u have to set up a custom white balance.  I took a pic of my sand bed and used that.  Still not the best pics, but it takes the blue out

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Mattv is right, u have to set up a custom white balance. I took a pic of my sand bed and used that. Still not the best pics, but it takes the blue out

how do you make a custom white balance? I've had the same problem and people told me the same thing but I had no idea how to fix it haha.

 

 

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You have to do some research on your particular camera, since they are all different.  Just find your instruction book or do a white balance search on the net

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Custom white balance is a setting on your camera. IIRC with Nikons you need to take a picture of something white in your tank or are (I use a tubberware lid) and fill the entire frame with the white. Focusing on the side of the white piece will help and then fill the whole frame with the piece and shoot. Then go into your camera menu and select custom white balance. Choose the photo and it will set that to your default white balance.

 

You can also fix it in post if you are shooting in raw by adjusting the kelvin temperature.

 

In some situations with some lighting a neutral density filter between the lights and the tank is needed for accurate color but IIRC you switched to T5 so that should not be an issue for you.

 

HTH

 

 

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Also you might already know this but one trick I find that helps me a lot with focusing is if you turn off all the pumps to the aquarium. Let the water be still. I find it makes it a lot easier for me even when I am using a tripod and a shutter release.

 

If your using software like Lightroom I have a few presets I have created that you can apply on import to help with the lost of he shots. Just let me know if ya wanna try them.

 

 

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I have not read through a lot of Adams thread (Battle Corals) but thought I'd share as what I have read I've found useful

Hope you get something from it

 

http://www.reef2reef.com/threads/exposing-the-truth-how-to-take-unreal-pics-with-your-dslr-or-you-are-exposed.213126/

 

Nice post reefjunkie, I like pre and post WB adjustment samples.  Now, you folks should not go wild bidding for crazy frags on the FB posts for their pics trap :-).  Especially you Beer503!!!

Edited by caolewis

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I got a nikon 3300 otw looking forward to getting better pics my phone just dont cut it. Used to have the D3300 so looking forward to getting it again always took good pics while hiking and taking fish pics.

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I got a nikon 3300 otw looking forward to getting better pics my phone just dont cut it. Used to have the D3300 so looking forward to getting it again always took good pics while hiking and taking fish pics.

Awesome man! If you ever wanna talk cameras or pictures hit me up. That is how I have paid the bills for the last 18 years now. I just got back from doing some travel pic's last night. I'll post a few in general once I get the 4,000+ photo's downloaded and sorted a bit. 

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Awesome man! If you ever wanna talk cameras or pictures hit me up. That is how I have paid the bills for the last 18 years now. I just got back from doing some travel pic's last night. I'll post a few in general once I get the 4,000+ photo's downloaded and sorted a bit. 

 

sweet you can give me some pointers :)

 

I plan to do a lot of hiking this year now that I'm back I hope I can get some good pics out there I would love some pointers :)

 

I like taking pics I just don't like being on the other end of them :)

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Sun "Beer503" Takes hands down some of the best photos I have seen on this board, you might want to shoot him a PM,I'm sure he could give you some great tips. As well I know he uses the Avast PortHole that allows for those crisp underwater shots. I would have mentioned you pledosophy as I know your a photographer but I can see you have already chimed in :)

Edited by Exodus

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Nanoreefer has been posting some incredible macro shots, and Rudy ("Golden Basket") has some mad skills, too.  I'm watching this thread pretty carefully...I don't have a good camera, but one might be in my future.   

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+1 on Kevin's pointers.

 

If you have more blue spectrum setting it is more helpful to use plastic gray card instead of white color object to read white balance.

Every area of the tank will have diff white balance setting.

Both Nikon and Canon has white balance setting storage that you can recall when you are taking picture specific to certain area of the tank.

I would start with widest aperture setting and ISO 400-800 to start taking picture, compensate over/under expose with +/- exposure adjustment knob.

When you have moving water you need speed of 125+. When you need to take picture above iso 800 picture will be grainy.

You can set camera either base on speed or aperture. If you set at speed mode, you set the speed and the camera will do auto aperture setting.

If you set aperture mode, you set aperture opening and camera will do auto speed adjustment.

You choose either or and may be even manual (you set both speed and aperture) and make a lot of practice shots, I mean lots of picture taking to get familiar

with your camera and tank lighting.

 

I shoot both in RAW and jpeg so I have more options to do correction.

I use Lightroom to filter out blue & Cheap Google Picasa to crop and do minor correction.

Lightroom is very fast and easy to eliminate blue hue. I usually upload pictures to Lightroom, select all, hit auto correction.

Then adjust over/under exposure that is all you need to do.

I use picassa to go back and look each picture and compare it against the RAW and do croping one picture at a time.

 

Practice...practice...practice...in not time you will master your camera and also master the lighting condition in your tank.

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I would start with widest aperture setting and ISO 400-800 to start taking picture, compensate over/under expose with +/- exposure adjustment knob.

When you have moving water you need speed of 125+. When you need to take picture above iso 800 picture will be grainy.

You can set camera either base on speed or aperture. If you set at speed mode, you set the speed and the camera will do auto aperture setting.

If you set aperture mode, you set aperture opening and camera will do auto speed adjustment.

 

 

 

 

I think every professional I know uses aperture or shutter priority when shooting depending on the situation. There is this idea/stigma that full manual is the pinnacle of photography, but it's just not really true anymore with the exposure compensation button so handy. If your camera can display a histogram (which is getting advanced/nerdy) you can do a lot with aperture mode and exposure compensation. Oddly enough I know a Wedding Photographer who charges 25K per wedding who claims the P (one step down from full auto) stands for Professional. 

 

For coral shots if you want to use AV mode you can change your metering setting to spot which might help out some as well. If your using a gray card like Rudy you can white balance off the card and then also set an exposure off the card for the shot as well if it is the right "shade" of gray. Setting off an exposure card used to be pretty standard in commercial photography until technology progressed a bit more. 

 

The ISO restrictions on the newer cameras are far less limiting. While 800 might be tops for some models I have no issues at all going up to 2000 on my camera, and the shot of mine ATI used was taken at 4000 IIRC. A guy at the studio showed me some shots from his new Sony shot at 8000 and on a 16x20 print there was no grain visible without modification in post. So good for us those restrictions are going away. (finally!) There are 

 

For the lens Matt is using the lowest aperture is good advice. You can also combine that with a longer focal length if you have room to get the background to drop out a bit more. But if you use a macro lens or even a macro filter I find an FStop of 9-13 to work the best for corals. The lower apertures with macro lens have to low of a depth of field for my tastes. I want to see at least an inch of the coral in focus. 

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I shoot both in RAW and jpeg so I have more options to do correction.

I use Lightroom to filter out blue & Cheap Google Picasa to crop and do minor correction.

Lightroom is very fast and easy to eliminate blue hue. I usually upload pictures to Lightroom, select all, hit auto correction.

Then adjust over/under exposure that is all you need to do.

I use picassa to go back and look each picture and compare it against the RAW and do croping one picture at a time.

 

 

 

This explains to me why your pictures look the way they do. 

 

Curious though if your already in Lightroom to filter color then why not crop in Lightroom and do the rest of the corrections and cropping on the original file in Lightroom? Lightroom has a better compression engine then Google's Picassa if I recall correctly, and you can export to the size you want for the web while retaining the integrity of the original file?

 

Also if your already in the develop module in Lightroom you can toggle back and forth between the original and the edited version by pressing the \ key on your keyboard. That might help you out a bit. The \ key can be configured to toggle between the two images for before and after or put them on the screen side by side or above and below, whatever your preference is there.

 

Another thing that may or may not help your process to be more efficient if is you set up a custom preset for your import. If you are always hitting select all and then pressing auto correct you can create and assign a preset to be applied to all of your photo's at once on import so you don't have to do that every time. If you find you are always having to manipulate/decrease the blue hue with the same setting you can add that correction to the preset as well. So when you import your photo's that will be applied to the file and save you some work. It is still lossless and does not permanently change the file, the same as if you were playing with the sliders, but it might make things a bit faster for you. 

 

The import presets can be selected, turned on, and turned off in the import dialogue box. I use several different presets depending on what/who I am shooting for but the ones that are most common for me add my metadata and copyright information (or my clients depending on the job), add my company name as a keyword (or the clients depending on the job), enable a profile lens distortion/color correction, remove chromatic aberration, and apply my sharpening trick. The batch import presets save me a ton of time. It might be worth looking into for you, just time wise. 

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This explains to me why your pictures look the way they do. 

 

Curious though if your already in Lightroom to filter color then why not crop in Lightroom and do the rest of the corrections and cropping on the original file in Lightroom? Lightroom has a better compression engine then Google's Picassa if I recall correctly, and you can export to the size you want for the web while retaining the integrity of the original file?

 

Also if your already in the develop module in Lightroom you can toggle back and forth between the original and the edited version by pressing the \ key on your keyboard. That might help you out a bit. The \ key can be configured to toggle between the two images for before and after or put them on the screen side by side or above and below, whatever your preference is there.

 

Another thing that may or may not help your process to be more efficient if is you set up a custom preset for your import. If you are always hitting select all and then pressing auto correct you can create and assign a preset to be applied to all of your photo's at once on import so you don't have to do that every time. If you find you are always having to manipulate/decrease the blue hue with the same setting you can add that correction to the preset as well. So when you import your photo's that will be applied to the file and save you some work. It is still lossless and does not permanently change the file, the same as if you were playing with the sliders, but it might make things a bit faster for you. 

 

The import presets can be selected, turned on, and turned off in the import dialogue box. I use several different presets depending on what/who I am shooting for but the ones that are most common for me add my metadata and copyright information (or my clients depending on the job), add my company name as a keyword (or the clients depending on the job), enable a profile lens distortion/color correction, remove chromatic aberration, and apply my sharpening trick. The batch import presets save me a ton of time. It might be worth looking into for you, just time wise. 

 

My picture looks the way the coral do or better in people's tank.

I can understand your background that making you judge my picture the way you do.

I like to quote Brian Archer "There are many ways to skin a cat"

 

Work habits. I have rhythm on how I do this that is unique to myself, others can do whatever they like and suit the purpose.

I only care the end result my corals look better in person otherwise I will not last over 29 years in business.

 

Yes, I can do all in Lightroom with its bell & whistle if I want to enter into contest photography. But picasa is as good as any post processing software for the purpose

of viewing on the internet or any electronic gadgets.

 

Yes, I have done presets. Again you and I now well that presets is only work if your subject is in the exact same lighting set up, position, and camera setting all the time.

Otherwise presets is generalization that will not apply to all pictures taken. I prefer to review and crop my picture one at a time, time consuming but the result is much suited

for my business. This is how we differ in the way we each experience our trade. You are more verse in potrait taking photography and occasional tank picture taking.

I took on average 100 coral pictures a day in various lighting and camera setting and cropping set. So go through one by one is the only option for me.

I am waiting for someday there is a post processing software that will be able to interprets each picture and apply the presets accurately for given situation.

My wish but human brain funcation difficult to duplicate into a software application.

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I have not read through a lot of Adams thread (Battle Corals) but thought I'd share as what I have read I've found useful

Hope you get something from it

 

http://www.reef2reef.com/threads/exposing-the-truth-how-to-take-unreal-pics-with-your-dslr-or-you-are-exposed.213126/

 

well summed up at the end of that article

 

 

 

but remember, the next time you see a pic that just looks so friggen good, that you can’t even believe it, don’t. Because the coral does not look like that.

 

That is why it is really, really nice to have great local coral vendors.  The true WYSIWYG is seeing it in person

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My picture looks the way the coral do or better in people's tank.

I can understand your background that making you judge my picture the way you do.

I like to quote Brian Archer "There are many ways to skin a cat"

 

Work habits. I have rhythm on how I do this that is unique to myself, others can do whatever they like and suit the purpose.

I only care the end result my corals look better in person otherwise I will not last over 29 years in business.

 

Yes, I can do all in Lightroom with its bell & whistle if I want to enter into contest photography. But picasa is as good as any post processing software for the purpose

of viewing on the internet or any electronic gadgets.

 

Yes, I have done presets. Again you and I now well that presets is only work if your subject is in the exact same lighting set up, position, and camera setting all the time.

Otherwise presets is generalization that will not apply to all pictures taken. I prefer to review and crop my picture one at a time, time consuming but the result is much suited

for my business. This is how we differ in the way we each experience our trade. You are more verse in potrait taking photography and occasional tank picture taking.

I took on average 100 coral pictures a day in various lighting and camera setting and cropping set. So go through one by one is the only option for me.

I am waiting for someday there is a post processing software that will be able to interprets each picture and apply the presets accurately for given situation.

My wish but human brain funcation difficult to duplicate into a software application.

Sorry you took it as I was judging your photo's Rudy, it wasn't intended to be a judgement at all of your photo's. 

 

If you are happy with the system you have in place that is great. The sharing of my experience was only meant to be helpful.

 

If you are photographing and processing 100 corals a day and a slight change in workflow can save you just 30 seconds an image, and get the same results, it might be worth it for you. It was for me. In my profession some days I have 5,000+ images at the end of a day to go through so really focusing on my production workflow is huge for me. With the advances in Lightroom and other technology over the last few years my post production time has been cut by 80-90%. 

 

I was just tryin to help ya out. ;) 

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I have not read through a lot of Adams thread (Battle Corals) but thought I'd share as what I have read I've found useful

Hope you get something from it

 

http://www.reef2reef.com/threads/exposing-the-truth-how-to-take-unreal-pics-with-your-dslr-or-you-are-exposed.213126/

 

 

Finally gave Adams advise a shot and ended up with these without post editing-That's gonna save some time

 

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TEST2_zpsgvymyouf.jpg
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Bumping up an old thread because we could all use help with reef photography lol.

Now I've get a question :) do any of you use tube extensions for taking pictures? I want to get nice macro shots but can't afford a macro lens right now. With that being said, I could buy a set of tube extensions for $40 online. From what I've read, they act like a macro lens. What do you guys think? And if it help, I'll be shooting with a Nikon D3400 :)

 

 

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