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Underwater Photo Contest Entry

Taken by: Charles Bernier

Sea horse
Sea horse by Charles Bernier

forum thread for this image
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012- (2/23/2012 8:05:00 PM)
Category: Macro - not swimming
location: Sea Of Cortés /Gulf of California Mexico
Book a Dive Trip to Mexico
message this message is important Dear Charles,

Thank for your latest submission to the UWP contest smile

You've requested a critique of your photo.

As you already know the prcedure, let's start immediately.

Photo Critique

First impression

crazy colors

Technical ( score from 1-6, best is 6 )

Exposure : 3, Colours: 2, Sharpness: 2, DOF ( depth of field ) : 3, Contrast : 3

Suggestions :

First to say that it is an achievement itself to catch a seahorse in this position in a this attractive habitate!

Let's have a look at technical aspects: There are two major things to improve, color and sharpness.

The color thing we already discussed: external flashes to illuminate the entire scenery and don't oversaturate while postprocessing.

8056 point member
Henry member image
message Sharpness: to get a crisp sharp picture, you need a fast shutterspeed (how much you chose?), a calm hand, and external flashes which freezes the scenery really well. Your camera has got several possibilities to chose the focus point. With macro shootin chose the one point focus (called Spot AF) method. The point should be on the eye(s) of the subject.

Concerning exposure, which is not that bad, you should take care of overexposed areas (white burned, no structures).

Composition :

natural habitate smile
shooting angle frown
frame format frown

Suggestions :

I like the deep camara position. Additionaly you can try to shoot more frontal and go closer.

The frame format should match the subjects format. you chose a nearly square format. by the way a very unusual one. Try to stick to the common ratios like 3:2, 4:3, 5:4, 16:9, 1:1.

8056 point member
Henry member image
message  Subject :

Seahorses are common loved smile Therefore you find thousand of seahorse pictures around.

Suggestions :

To succeed with a seahorse picture it must be very special, dramatic or filled with emotion or humorous or, or...

Take your time with a subject and try different shooting angles, go closer, play with the background, play with the Depth of field. Observe it's behaviour and wait for the best moment to shoot.

Have a look, what others uploaded in this contest. You can search for "seahorse" in the search field (left upper corner) and learn from your peers.

Epilogue :

Underwaterphotography is fun! You can get very fast your "Wow" comments from your friends. To succeed in a contest is something different and the way here is tough.

8056 point member
Henry member image
message You know about the need of external flashes and I recommended you the underwaterphotography courses here at UWP. Many photographers here have made their way by attending those courses.

And you can do it, too!

All the best,


--------Photo Critique completed--------

8056 point member
Henry member image
message Thank you very much for your time.

Charles Bernier
299 point member
member image