Aquatic photography, comments critique

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Bill19, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Bill19

    Bill19 TPF Noob!

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    Hi, bearing in mind i only have a 3.2 mp camera phone, what are your thoughts on these, took in my bedroom of my tank, i have my camera on macro, sports mode(i think it speeds up the shutter speed, but unfortunately makes the pics darker), and on white balance of 'fluorescent lighting' not very technical i know!
    Any way i can improve by editing (simple editing, as all i do it on now is photo bucket although i might download GIMP...), or any other tips.

    1. Probs one of the best shots i have got,
    [​IMG]

    2.
    [​IMG]

    3.
    [​IMG]

    4.
    [​IMG]

    thanks
     
  2. Suzumushi

    Suzumushi TPF Noob!

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    I just recently downloaded GIMP and it seems fantastic for free software. I think the first thing I would do with these shots is try to reduce the noise, as they look noisy to the point of distraction in my opinion. It's especially noticeable because there are large dark regions with no features.

    To do this, I would download GIMP and get the free Wavelet Denoise plugin (Wavelet denoise | GIMP Plugin Registry). This plugin allows you to reduce the noise in the luminosity and the red and green channels independently. Most of the image detail is in the luminosity, and much of the noise is usually in the red channel, so this lets you aggressively reduce noise in the red (and green) channels without noticeably degrading image detail. For the images above, it looks like luminosity noise is too severe to ignore completely, but you will probably want to be more conservative in reducing this.

    Applying an across-the-board noise reduction is pretty fast and easy. But if you want to be more thorough, you can use multiple layers and layer masks. For example, after opening the image in GIMP, you create two duplicate layers of the original image. In the top layer you can aggressively reduce even the luminosity channel until the dark featureless areas where the noise is most pronounced become acceptable. Then hide this layer and switch to the other duplicate layer, this time focusing on the detailed features of the fish, and reducing luminosity noise very carefully with a focus on preserving detail. The original background layer should in general not be edited, as this allows you to make further copies later if further editing calls for it. Just set it to hidden.

    Then create a layer mask for the heavily noise-reduced layer which initially causes it to be fully hidden (full transparency). You should only see the lightly noise-reduced image now. Right click on the masked layer to ensure that 'edit layer mask' is checked and then use the eraser tool with a fuzzy brush selected to erase the parts of the mask where you want the heavy duty noise reduction. In this way you can fully remove the distracting noise in the background without blurring the fish into oblivion. If you want you can continue in this way with even more layers and intermediate levels of noise reduction for things like the rocks behind the fish.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Bill19

    Bill19 TPF Noob!

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    I have downloaded GIMP and the plug in... but i cant find it? i have gone on to 'filters' then on 'enhance# but its not there???
     
  4. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    First of all congrats on trying the tank with a camera phone. To me, my tank is the hardest thing to photograph which is why I don't do it often.

    #1. Maybe try increasing the contrast between the Clownfish and the rock. It might make the fish show better.

    #2. The fish was in a bad place. I don't think you'll be able to show the difference between him and the glass.

    #3. A mandarin. Good showing of his colors.

    #4. My favorite angle of the mandarin. Maybe try cropping this a little to show more fish, less rock.
     
  5. Bill19

    Bill19 TPF Noob!

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    thanks, yeh i hate taking photo's through glass! lol not to go off topic but what sort of tank do you have? :D yeh the clown does seem to sink in to the back ground a bit, i will see what i can do, and i will crop the last one :D
     
  6. Bill19

    Bill19 TPF Noob!

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    After cropping:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    I like this much more. Beautiful colors on this one. Good capture.
     
  8. Bill19

    Bill19 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, i just wish i had a better camera, cant wait till november ( my birthday) I am a bit naff when it comes to editing, all i can do well is crop and colour pop, i have tried altering the contrast on photobucket, but it never seems to look right, and i have just bin on GIMP.... confusing... lol i think i need to look at some tutorials! lol
     
  9. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    If you can afford it, Elements 7 does a very good job of editing. But this does pose the question: New skimmer, Element 7, New skimmer, Elements 7?
     
  10. Bill19

    Bill19 TPF Noob!

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    lol, skimmer as in protein skimmer? or photo lingo? if you mean protein skimmer, i dont run one any way :D i have a refugium which does a good job :D
    I dont think i want to spend money on editing programs unless i turn prof, which wont happen for a while :D
     
  11. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    I meant as in protein skimmer. I run one, does seem to to a good job. I do have a space in my sump for a refugium but haven't got around to setting it up. I think it will be a next winter project. As far as editing programs, I don't think you need to be a pro to use one. I use Elements 7 which cost approx $100 Canadian, and really can help to improve on some things in your photos for your own enjoyment. Gimp, which is free will also do alot of editing. I just find Gimp harder to use.
     
  12. Suzumushi

    Suzumushi TPF Noob!

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    Gimp's layout is a bit confusing at first. There's some nice tutorials here GIMPguru.org: Image Editing Tutorials for Photographers

    I think the noise removal one basically shows how to manually do what the denoise plugin does through a simpler gui. To get the plugin to appear under filters/enhance you should make sure that you move it into the plugins folder. For me this was Program Files/Gimp-2.0/lib/gimp/2.0/plug-ins If it still doesn't show up, then I'm not sure what the problem is but there may be some support at the site where you download the plugin.
     

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