Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:01 pm Post subject: Re: Understanding photography and photographing fish
Didnt want to start a new thread for this, so posting here. Question to you Hayath, and all the aquarium photographers out there. How ethical is Post processing in Aquarium photography. Sharpening the image seems ok. But would enhancing the colors or modifying the colors or increasing the contrast to such levels, that the fish doesnt look like it really does in reality. Would these be unethical?
Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:23 pm Post subject: Re: Understanding photography and photographing fish
i would like to put it this way,
not everything in a pic is due to post processing, its like getting a beautiful planted tank using ADA goods, first u need to get all the info about plants, work towards the best scape possible, get the right plants, know what goes where and all the hard work you put in it, only then if u use them altogether properly u get those brilliant scapes what people boast at the end of the day.
similarly for a pic to look just brilliant u need to work towards getting a great pic and then use post processing to get the amazing finished work of art what most people are proud of.
post process is also an art in itself, as it ain't like only a few have got the means needed to post process, the software is available for everyone to use, but u need the experience and the knowledge to do just the right things to get a beautiful pic at the end.
and just like photography, every one has his/her own style of taking pics, with the numerous settings or the lighting used etc, etc, each person has a very different style of post processing to get the results what they like.
the other thing that purists forget when they say that post processing is not the real thing, the pics we take are also not the real thing, the pics are just a rendition of things we see through the lens of a camera.
Joined: Jun 13, 2005 Posts: 1907 Location: Bangalore
Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:20 pm Post subject: Re: Understanding photography and photographing fish
As Jib rightly said, PP as with any other "modification" it will become very apparent and almost stick out like a sore thumb if it does go overboard, and is very easy to make out.
You can find tons of over-saturated, contrast enhanced bad photos for examples.
PP cannot make a bad shot OK, nor can it bring out of focus areas back into focus.
PP should be used to "show" the shot you envisaged, we as photographers go to great lengths w.r.t lenses, filters, etc to make a shot look as close as to what we saw. Classic examples would be reducing the flash on the burnt out sections, pulling up the levels on some underexposed areas.
"Digital" manipulation of pixels as in changing skies, adding clouds is a definite no-no for me (that's plain cheating)
Would end it with a note of "It all depends", as is the case with anything creative
Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:31 pm Post subject: Re: Understanding photography and photographing fish
A little insight on PP here:
First it depends on how the picture is shot i.e. jpeg mode or RAW. jpegs are universal picture files directly viewed as pictures on any computer. RAW files need to be converted to viewable picture formats. Here's the difference: jpegs are highly compressed files and so a lot of details are left out. RAW captures all the details but tones them down to the basics.
Not all cameras shoot in RAW mode. This is the purview of higher end cameras (SLRs or Compacts). RAW is what most demanding photographers would like to shoot in but these files NEED TO BE PROCESSED and saved as jpegs or tiffs to be viewable pictures. Obviously the details are enhanced as the photographer likes after RAW processing. Cameras that record RAW can simultaneously save a jpeg file as well. To cut a long story short RAW = more details & larger file & better picture & mandatory PP. JPEGs = less details, smaller files, lower latitude in the pictures, may not need PP.
To explain latitude: a picture has usually ranges between its darkest and brightest regions. if the whites are too white or the blacks are too dark and no detail is seen in these areas the picture does not really hold our attention. RAW files capture more detail in the darks and whites of the image. Especially if they are within the focused zone these pictures look "better".
Further about PP: in the days of the film camera (not too far gone by) the negative was "developed". This was then printed to give us the final print. The amount of handling and the degrees of variance in handling these 2 procedures can only be known by those who have any experience in the dark rooms of yesterday but believe me A LOT HAPPENED behind those doors and with the red zero watt bulb turned on. (Consider toning with sepia, or other colours among other PP done in the film days). This is a whole new topic and thread on its own. In fact if you take the same negative to different photo labs or the same negative to the same lab at different times you will almost always find the prints look different!!!
I agree with Hyath and Headbanger when they say that PP ought to be used to bring back the original image to its optimum. How much to PP depends on what the photographer wants to show. Obviously if the colours are not true then those more familiar with the true colours will know; but that is what the photographer wanted to show. Then comes the intent of the picture: is it to document or record or scientifically demonstrate the object or just to hang up a persons wall? Obviously the former needs true coloration while the latter can be played with for various mood creation. If on the other hand you want to enter a competition then follow the rules of the competition... you may BE DISQUALIFIED if the judges determine that you have "cloned" or modified the image beyond reason; sometimes even at all (and believe me again there are ways to find out). End of the day; its not like we start of with a white page and make our image from scratch. To quote many gurus of photoshop, "you need a great image TO START WITH to get great results"; "a mediocre shot will give similar results".
Lets go back to the film days: photographers among you might know that films were available with various saturation levels. Films like "fuji velvia" gave highly saturated images that we often see on screen savers, calendars, posters today and these are stunning pictures. So saturation on its own done in reason does not really change our perspective of the picture or image. Our brain has a way of seeing it true even though it is slightly more vivid than absolute normal.
Getting back to digital PP: I often use adobe photoshop for my PP and these are the things I commonly use for the process - levels, curves, saturation, saturation, sharpness, cropping and sizing for enlargements. I dont add or subtract parts of the image unless it is not relevant to the primary object (eg. electric wires in a scenery - the bain of photographers everywhere, or light reflecting of unavoidable specs in the water during fish shots). Such distracting elements can be "cloned" out of the image. Also I usually shoot in RAW so I need to PP.
Which means (if i have to do the best possible job) I have to get my monitor and printer colour calibrated as well. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) is a BIG myth and just does NOT HAPPEN.
In parting: congrats to Hyath for this really brief and informative approach to photography of aquarium fish. all the point necessary for people handling compacts to SLRs have been covered with very good detail.
Since I am that kinda guy who only studies on the last days of exams....
A little query... Only Planted Tank Photography
We all have a lighting assembly which defines the depth and coverage of the planted aquarium.The lights are at different scales, low, medium, high.
Lets for example take a medium lighted Tank around 36 inches wide and 22 inches tall, The lights are say pll 36w x 4, and aT5HO, with a surface gap of 6 inches.
Then what should be the camera settings of sony cyber shot 10.8 MP
your guidance will be appreciated
Can't really pre-determine the light intensity/spread with just the wattage. Could you please perform the following steps?
1. Switch camera to "Program/P" mode
2. Choose ISO as 100 or 200
3. Choose metering mode as Spot
4. Compose the shot of the tank and half press the shutter
5. Note down the values that are shown
Would be something like 1/60, f5.6
6. Take the actual shot
7. Review image
8. If it's too dark you will need to bump up exposure, if the greens are too washed out you will need to underexpose
Report the values back with an assisting image, we can take it from there
Joined: Jun 11, 2008 Posts: 3506 Location: Mumbai, Bharat (AKA...INDIA)
Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:14 pm Post subject: Re: Understanding photography and photographing fish
Ok thanks for the effort.
Today I will take a picture by completely switching off the home lights and keeping only the tank lights on, another thing, I will also take a snap shot of the camera screen to observe the graph also .thanks a million
Joined: Jun 11, 2008 Posts: 3506 Location: Mumbai, Bharat (AKA...INDIA)
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:45 am Post subject: Re: Understanding photography and photographing fish
I have got these readings
Most of the applications are predefined
1. Aspect ratio 16:9
2. Iso numerics are 3200 to 2500- High Intensity- 3200 to 2500 and 2,6,8 auto adjustment according to light
4. White balance is auto, then there are settings to as per lights
There are lots of predefined settings according to feature position in light- will post pix from office later
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