Our First Photo Contest - Close Up

Discussion in 'Aquatic related photos' started by Andre, Jan 31, 2007.

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  1. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    so you have R30 000 to spend on a camera?!?! damn i want you job!
     
  2. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    OK now i feel really inadequate, I use a simple sony P200 Cybershot.

    Hmm save money for better camera or buy more tanks, fish and plants?
     
  3. Discus
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    Discus Algae harvester

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    Just a couple of comments on some of the photos; they are generally helpful to fish photography. I'm not going to single any particular photos out, but you should be able to see these things which somewhat mar some of the photos.

    1) Make sure your glass and water are scrupulously clean - dirty glass is bad. Dirt in the water causes backscatter, which is not good. Give your glass a good clean (inside and out), and add another filter if you have to; it need only be in there just to "polish" your water - filter floss generally sorts these things out, quicksmart.

    2) Check for distracting elements in your photo. Eliminate them by re-framing, cropping, or, ideally repositioning the camera - or waiting for the subject to move.

    3) Make sure the eye of the fish is in very sharp focus. If there is one thing that must be in sharp focus in pretty much all animal photography, it's the eye.

    4) Learn about the "rule of thirds". And when to break it. :)

    5) Sometimes, you need to rotate the camera through 90 degrees. Tall subjects work better that way, almost always.

    Also, if you've got a "closeup" category, you can get awesome pictures of just small areas of things - interesting patterns on fish or plants etc.

    As for my actual votes, I'd have to say
    1) Benny - although, to me, the highlights in the photo are a little "blown". The watermarking is also irritating. Otherwise, and awesome photograph.
    2) Henk - Personally, I'd like a touch more DOF, but it's nice. You may like to try diffusing the light a bit too - it's very harsh, but it has left a fairly nice pattern of light and shade across the petals (I guess from your metal halides?).

    I personally prefer to see the full-frame image, rather than a cropping of the image - I think this should be stated in the entry.

    Nice efforts guys - looking forward to the next round!
     
  4. Steve
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    Steve Noob

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    Interesting, thanks James, I had never heard of the "rule of thirds" until now, so I looked it up, it seems to be similar in principle to the "golden ratio" which can be used when setting up a planted tank, which is kind of obvious, now that I am aware of both, as both should be as visually pleasing as possible.

    One explanation of the Golden ratio can be found at: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/foru ... ratio.html
     
  5. Discus
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    Discus Algae harvester

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    So, Rumour has it that my post above has pissed off a lot of people. It's not meant to. So apologies.

    I only offered it as *constructive* critique of the photos and what could perhaps be fairly easily rectified in some of them, and how to improve your photography in the future. It's not a dig at your photos. It's not a personal attack. It's actually mean to help you get better.

    I happen to take quite a lot of photos, and have been doing so for many years. Lacking an aquarium, I don't have easy access to aquarium specimens to photograph, and it's not a major photographic focus of mine anyway, although I do take a lot of photos of (recently dead) fish for my work (some of the time, I'm a practicing marine ichthyologist, as we document the fishes we collect for research purposes). I've read a lot about it. I've taken a lot of photos. Some people even accuse me of being quite a good (landscape/nature) photographer. I don't even have access to a digital camera - I do everything on 35mm slide, and I only get to a decent slide processor once or twice a year. And that scanning. Eish, it's a mission.

    I didn't really think it appropriate to go posting close up photos of dead fish in a forum about keeping plants and live fish, so if you're wondering, that's one reason I didn't post anything myself. Another is that I didn't feel it was appropriate to do so as a moderator - and I was asked behind the scenes to potentially judge this and future competitions - again a conflict of interest.

    So, if you don't like the critique, fine. I shall refrain from contributing in such threads in future. I personally find it's helped my own photography immensely to have harsh but honest critique of my own efforts from others. But it's your choice. Just ignore it if you don't like it. And no, I don't think I'm special or above any of you. Really, I don't.

    [​IMG]
    Ohh, look, dirt on the tank and in the water. Yes, I speak from experience.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  6. henk hugo
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    henk hugo Noob

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    hahahahaha - what about a photo of your dinosour?
     
  7. KimH
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    KimH Algae harvester

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    APSA used to be a great place to come to for advice, show off your pics and generally enjoying one's hobby with like minded people. These days there is so much 'behind the scenes' bitching and moaning and quite frankly I'm tired of it. There are very few women on this forum and in all honesty, one would swear that the majority of forum users ARE women with PMS!

    Discus - It is sad that ppl cannot take constructive critiscm and even worse when they cannot openly make their feelings known even when the person giving the constructive crisiscm openly admits that some of the things he mentions are his personal preference.

    Here is the pic I removed due to content... Discus -due to your experience I would appreciate an honest critique on this photo from you.
    That is of course if the post and/or picture are still on here tomorrow morning :)
     
  8. Steve
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    Steve Noob

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    And if I may add my 5c, firstly, I dont think James's critique was harsh, or directed personally, secondly, I have been visiting aquatic-photography.com for the last two months, and my ideas of what makes a good photo have changed radically in this time, some of my older photo's that I used to think were not bad, I now view as pathetic.

    On aquatic-photography.com, you are envited to post photographs to be critiqued, the whole idea being, if no-one tells you where you are going wrong,...how the hell are you supposed to improve?
    James's critique, compared to many of these was rather mild to say the least.
    Yes, I hear you say, but no-one envited him to critique them,....I dont honestly feel he even meant to critique them in the truest sense of the word, he was merely offering his opinion in the hope that this would assist people.
    He obviously made a mistake, from the rumoured response, I can only assume that people dont want to be helped to improve, they want to be lied to, and told that a mediocre photo is good, and that a good one is brilliant,......sorry, not me,...if I'm getting an honest critique from someone who has experience,...and even better, doesnt know me from a bar of soap, (no possible proclivities based on what I look like, what I wear, where I live, etc, etc ), I welcome it, it can only make me better at what I do,....but then again, I'm just odd.

    I am not standing up for James, I am sure he does not need anyone to do this for him, I am merely offering my opinion, and, as we all know "opinions are like *ssholes, everyone has one" so I hope you will indulge me mine.
     
  9. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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    Bit late for my entry....James offered constructive critique and this is what the forum needs, especially in competitions, he has offered his time and advise on how to improve our skills. Nothing wrong with this and nothing personal. This is how competitions are judged.

    There is no need for things to become an issue..... but enjoy the competition and learn for the next one.

    May the best photo win
     
  10. benny
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    benny Noob

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    Thanks James. I'll keep the comments in mind when I do take some plant macros again. The watermark was left in the picture as I didn't have a chance to get the original picture for submission. It was on my home computer.

    James, don't take it too personally, but a lot of times, folks who post up pictures in open forums are not really readly for critique. It happens everywhere. Perhaps the contest terms and condition should include the notice that entries will be critique by members. It's a contest right?

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the plug on www.aquatic-photography.com. I'm one of the moderating team there since 2003/4 and we do focus on sharing whatever we can on aquatic photography as a discipline.

    Cheers,

    p.s. Both compact digitial cameras as well as digital SLR cameras can take cracking aquatic photos, be it plants for fishes. Just ask hwchoy....
     
  11. Steve
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    Steve Noob

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    I agree, as Ken Rockwell says "the best camera is the one with the best photographer behind it", even though he uses some of the nicest equipment out there. (he also explains his statement and why he uses the best he can afford anyway)
    If you pop onto kenrockwell.com there are even links to very nice photographs taken with, of all things,... cellphone camera's
     
  12. Cameron
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    Cameron Green fingers

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    I have'nt wanted it to get to the stage where we ban members, but it seems this will need to start happening as there are just one or two members who are making things sour for the rest of us. I have been very busy lately and have let alot of things slip as far as the forum goes, I apologise.

    I've seen some of James' online photo albums and he is quite brilliant with a camera, and a hell of a nice guy too. I thought the piece he wrote was very informative and cannot understand why anyone would take offense to this. There is a good reason why James has agreed to moderate the photography section: he's damn good at it and knows what he's talking about.

    Nice shrimp, YUM :)
     
  13. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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    OMG...lol.....I didn't even see the shrimp :-[

    where can you get them
     
  14. Pedro
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    Pedro Algae harvester

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    Schoe ??? ! Sometimes the bitching and moaning here on APSA are even more complex than the "Days of our Mornings" soapie on 5Fm.   :moon:

    During my time here at APSA, there have been a few spats and tiffs between members which have been pretty petty and uncalled for, and KimH's quote "These days there is so much 'behind the scenes' bitching and moaning and quite frankly I'm tired of it.   There are very few women on this forum and in all honesty, one would swear that the majority of forum users ARE women with PMS!
    "
    is 100% spot on.

    I'm very surprised that some people have taken offence to the constructive criticism supplied by James. I for one am new to aquatic photography and have taken aboard James' comments with much interest and will actually put to practise some of his recommendations.

    I'm not sure who it was that took offence to James' constructive criticism - but while reading James' comments, I personally - having uploaded a pic for the comp - felt in no way that James was directing the comments to me and nor did I get an inkling that he was directing it to any other specific APSA member that took part in the photo competition.

    One cannot be over sensitive to the criticisms aired by our forum peers as it is a competition and the judges (whomever they may be) have the right to express both the positive and negative aspects of the subject matter, in this case the photo's uploaded.

    I am interested in aquatic photography and have invested in a better camera - not only for aquatic photography - but also for photography in general which is a shared interest that my wife and I have in common...

    ANY info, tips or tricks that other APSA members have which will benefit my aquatic photography (or aquatic plant and fish keeping for that matter) will be very welcome.

    If I upload a photo that is crap, I want to be told that it is crap and why it is crap, so that the next time I take a pic I can see where I have gone wrong. If I do not want to get back these comments or criticisms, then all I'll do is not post pics to the forum and keep making the same mistakes again and again.

    Anyway, whoever it was that felt incensed by the criticism - :nehnehneh don't enter any more photo competitions...

    This forum is about a group of people with a shared interest in regards to aquatic plants and fish. Lets keep the discussions inline with the subject and avoid really stupid and insignificant issues to make a big fuss and stink about.

    I think that the mods should perhaps look at banning :gun2: the people that keep making things sour... That way these stupid problems won't flare up on a regular basis!

    Anyway, moving swiftly on, when is the next photo comp?    
     
  15. KimH
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    KimH Algae harvester

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    Pedro, well said!

    C'mon guys lets get the next competition started, I'd really like to enter this one
     
  16. Pedro
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    Pedro Algae harvester

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    Thanks KimH - oh, and by the way, are you ready for the super dooper pics I'm gonna enter in the next comp?

    You might as well put that little shrimp :D on the barbie :nehnehneh as I'm gonna whip some ass next time round... :evil
     
  17. Peter
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    Peter Algae harvester

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    lol.... thats what you think, i still have to put in mine and we will see who gets a whooping
     
  18. KimH
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    KimH Algae harvester

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    Hehehehehe, now that's what I like to see... some healthy competition!!!

    Shrimp on the barbie indeed ;)

    So Pedro when will you be telling us what camera you bought ??
     
  19. Pedro
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    Pedro Algae harvester

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    Master Peter - bring it on! My photographic kung-fu is stronger than yours...
     
  20. Pedro
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    Pedro Algae harvester

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    Likewise KimH - there's nothing like a bit of competition to excite and motivate the troops...

    As for the cam I'm getting over the weekend its a Nikon D80 DSLR w/ tripod, etc... Next month am hoping to get a nice macro lense as well which should allow me to play much more with aquatic photography and other photography in general...

    Have been saving up for quite sometime for this beauty and went for a Nikon as my current SLR is also a Nikon and I've got a couple of nice lenses for it (18mm - 80mm AF and 75mm - 300mm AF) which can be used on the new DSLR.

    :yes I can't wait...
     
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