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Underwater Photo Contest Entry

Taken by: Christopher Lynch

hermit crab
hermit crab by Christopher Lynch

forum thread for this image
Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012- (5/10/2012 9:24:00 AM)
Category: Wide Angle - Marine Life
location: Gulf of Venezuela Netherlands Antilles
message  Dear Christopher,
Thanks for your submission to the contest and welcome to UWP.
You have requested a review of your photo. Let me shortly explain how it works :
As we do have a limited space for each post here, please note that my review will be like 3-4 posts in total. If you want to answer me, please wait until my review has been completed; as photo critics, we do this job as volunteers; a "thank you" is always appreciated smile
My review is structured into chapters and I will list problem zones (if there are any) and I will suggest solutions on how to improve results.
Important : The "photo critic" feature here at UWP is not a putdown of uw photos. The objective is to see you here as a winner one day !
For the basics (in case of), an uw photography online course is available here at UWP and it's always a good idea to sign up for that one.

And here we go ! (Photo review starts with next post) :

Raoul Caprez
21010 point member
Raoul Caprez member image
message  Photo Critique :

First impression :
Interesting subject that requires another approach for a winner pic

Technical ( score from 1-6, best is 6 ) :
Exposure : 3, Colours: 4, Sharpness: 3, DOF ( depth of field ) : 3, Contrast : 3

Suggested Solution :
Technically, you’ve done a quite good job with your camera, but there's still space for improvement. For example, sharpness and exposure could be improve a bit. A higher shutter speed could help in that case. In general the focus point should be on the eyes.
Keep also in mind that less water you can have between the lens and the subject, better your picture quality can be…. In that case you could have been closer to the subject.
A work in postproduction (contrast, …) could have helped a bit for the impact of the picture.
Then, to have easily better results, it’s a question of composition and approach.

Raoul Caprez
21010 point member
Raoul Caprez member image
message  Composition :
Good … the subject is not entirely centred.
A disturbing element on the top right hand corner
A substrate under the crab which takes a big place in the frame

Suggested Solution :
In general, not to put your subject in the middle of the frame is a good idea (keep in mind the rule of third).
Then, to have a more impressive animal, a little more upward angle of shooting could be used to give another perspective to your picture. I suggest you also for this kind of animal to fill the frame with its face … for me, the “entrance” of the shell could be the top frame of the picture. Doing that next time, you will avoid to have a slight disturbing coral in the top right hand corner or to have too much space in the frame taken by the substrate.
In fact your picture shows perfectly the animal (perfect for identification), but another approach is necessary to have a winner picture.

Raoul Caprez
21010 point member
Raoul Caprez member image
message  Subject
This specie is an interesting subject for the photographer because of its red body colours and also because we can approach it easily … we usually have plenty of time to try different approaches and settings … all what we need :-).

Suggested Solution :
Next time you can try to have a real face to face with your subject; it is always nice to try.
Because it’s not a so impressive subject, it’s even more important to have a perfect or an unusual approach to have a picture which attracts immediately the eye of the spectator. It requires a special approach to emphasize it… filling the frame with the subject often gives a great impact to your picture.

Raoul Caprez
21010 point member
Raoul Caprez member image
message  Epilogue
Welcome again on UWP !
Remember to stay patient and tolerant with yourself in your career as a photographer.
Even if the learning curve that digital technology gives us is phenomenal, the underwater photography is a science that we all acquire after a long practice and having spent hours in the water.
For sure, with another composition and some adjustment in settings, you would have had better results. Keep on the good work : shoot, check, correct, shoot, check, correct, … it’s the way to always improve yourself. Doing that, don’t forget that the pleasure you have in your underwater adventures should remain your top priority .
I’m now looking forward to see your next post.
All the best and happy bubbles.

Raoul (UWP Photo Critic)

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

Raoul Caprez
21010 point member
Raoul Caprez member image
I agree w/getting closed ... here is the full frame ..I was restricted by the coral... As for the film spead I have started to set it instead of leaving at auto as this one was shot shot ...
Christopher Lynch
4398 point member
christopher  lynch member image
composition was alter from my prefered cropping in my slide show [enclosed ] which comes closer to the 1/3 rule ... I like context.... my back ground is in landsacpe / travel / architectural photography
Christopher Lynch
4398 point member
christopher  lynch member image
So I've cropped it further ... in the entry the eyes are at the third point & I limited my self to the master aspect ratio... enclosed is the face to face responce ....twisted out of level to fill the frame and not cut the shell or legs .... Ps this te 1st UW vacation I started shooting any thing smaller than a sparow ....hope this shows an evolution a a willingness to learn from specific direction
Christopher Lynch
4398 point member
christopher  lynch member image
message PS I learned something & thank you....chris
Christopher Lynch
4398 point member
christopher  lynch member image
message  Dear Christopher,
First I suggest you not to change a picture for which you asked a review because other people who read the critical comments won’t understand the content. Thanks for your understanding.
About the original situation : I can tell you now that it was impossible to have a winner pic with such conditions :).
Finally about the cropping : cropping is possible, but it never will be as good than being closer … in such situation you lose too much quality. Also, I suggest you to keep standard ratios (such as 2/3, 3/4 or 5/7) at the beginning. Breaking the rules is possible but for very special reasons, like abstract ones for example.
Well, I’m happy to see that you try your best.

Raoul Caprez
21010 point member
Raoul Caprez member image
reposted to original posting [ as close as possible]
Christopher Lynch
4398 point member
christopher  lynch member image