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Thread: Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think

  1. #1

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    Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think

    Last week I was on holiday at the beach and there were plenty crabs around to take pictures of, I found out that if I just sat there and waited long enough they would be quite comfortable to come out of their holes. I had my 300mm lens with me and managed to get nice and close, but somehow I struggled to get their eyes to really stand out, any advice? Here are some I thought turned out pretty O.K.

    Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think
    _MG_0669.Edit by Tobias Weber, on Flickr

    Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think
    _MG_0652.Edit by Tobias Weber, on Flickr

    Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think
    _MG_0636.Edit by Tobias Weber, on Flickr

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think

    Have you tried fill flash?

  3. #3

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    Re: Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think

    I did not, It was a particularly windy day at the beach and I wanted to expose as little of my gear to the elements as possible

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    Re: Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think

    I would say there isn't a lot wrong with those shots, Tobias.

    Maybe I would use a Curves Adjustment Layer and edit the mask to selectively apply the effect. And much the same for some selective sharpening applied to the crab and not the background.

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    Re: Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think

    Quote Originally Posted by TobyMac View Post
    I did not, It was a particularly windy day at the beach and I wanted to expose as little of my gear to the elements as possible
    Plastic bags may not be good for the environment, but great for photography.
    Graham

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    Query on water reflections

    Does someone have advice or thoughts on how to shoot a water reflection or to crop such a photo? It seems that the rule of halves would trump the rule of thirds.

    Also, I have learned that an f-stop of say f 2.4 does not cut it. The reflection in the water is blurry. The f-stop needs to be, say, f 22. Intuitively, it makes sense, but I do not understand why.

    Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Query on water reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoubt View Post
    Does someone have advice or thoughts on how to shoot a water reflection or to crop such a photo? It seems that the rule of halves would trump the rule of thirds.

    Also, I have learned that an f-stop of say f 2.4 does not cut it. The reflection in the water is blurry. The f-stop needs to be, say, f 22. Intuitively, it makes sense, but I do not understand why.

    Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think
    Hi Keith,

    If you're after the subject and the reflection, as here, then yes, there's really no alternative to the rule of halves

    Those are somewhat aperturistic extremes
    The light from any given point is travelling one side of a triangle when it comes direct to the camera while the reflected light rays have travelled two sides of the triangle; down to the water and back up to the camera. The difference in distance is significant, but isn't that large, f2.4 wasn't going to get the scene all in focus anyway I suspect, whether it needs f/22 depends on lots of things, primarily angle of view/focal length.
    In the example shown we also seem some sky not in the original, the light for that may be travelling a bit further still, requiring still more DoF.

    You could sit down, draw diagrams, work out the distances, use a DoF calculator - or perhaps better still, practice a few more examples and develop a feel or instinct for it based on real life experience

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 6th November 2011 at 10:42 PM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think

    Quote Originally Posted by TobyMac View Post
    Last week I was on holiday at the beach and there were plenty crabs around to take pictures of, I found out that if I just sat there and waited long enough they would be quite comfortable to come out of their holes. I had my 300mm lens with me and managed to get nice and close, but somehow I struggled to get their eyes to really stand out, any advice? Here are some I thought turned out pretty O.K.

    Crabs at the beach, not as easy as one might think
    _MG_0669.Edit by Tobias Weber, on Flickr
    Hi Tobias,

    Good for you having the patience to wait.

    I suspect there could be two reasons;
    a) the crab was quite small in the viewfinder and even a single focus point probably covered the whole crab, and the camera almost certainly locks onto the nearest point to be sharpest; the legs and/or claw. I couldn't see the EXIF data and might suggest a narrower aperture for more DoF, except ....
    b) the specular on the eye looks blurred/elongated by movement, so maybe the problem was too slow a shutter speed? I don't know how 'crab vision' works, but if those eyes on stalks move about/jiggle to give a 3D view of the world, maybe that's the cause - again, a clue might be in the EXIF, but I couldn't see it, even at Flickr.

    Sorry for going on about the EXIF

    Hope that helps,

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    Re: Query on water reflections

    Dave,

    Ah... so this is it. Thanks much. I had this feeling that the depth of field was like infinity in the water reflection. And if the sky is being reflected, I guess it is infinity.

    And yes the rule of halves seems to rule.

    Best,

    Keith

    PS. I am not sure if I am posting this question in the right place.

  10. #10

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    Re: Query on water reflections

    Heres the EXIF for the shots, they were all the same

    Exposure 0.001 sec (1/1600)
    Aperture f/11.0
    Focal Length 300 mm
    ISO Speed 400

    The pictures you see are all uncropped but because it was quite windy I struggled to get the focus exactly where I wanted it to be but they were not moving so I thought with a deeper DOF I could get the focus right.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Query on water reflections

    Tobias...

    Living in the Southwest United States, I am often exposed to blowing sand and dust. I carry an OPTECH Rain Sleeve for each of my camera/lens combinations. Using a protective filter and a Rain Sleeve secured by a couple of rubber bands will protect my gear from blowing particles quite well.

    The Rain Sleeves are inexpensive and very light weight. Mine fit quite well in the back packet of my photo vest and I don't really know that they are there - UNTIL I NEED THEM...

  12. #12
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Query on water reflections

    Quote Originally Posted by TobyMac View Post
    Heres the EXIF for the shots, they were all the same

    Exposure 0.001 sec (1/1600)
    Aperture f/11.0
    Focal Length 300 mm
    ISO Speed 400

    The pictures you see are all uncropped but because it was quite windy I struggled to get the focus exactly where I wanted it to be but they were not moving so I thought with a deeper DOF I could get the focus right.
    I wouldn't take issue with any of your choices, would have done similar myself, who'd have thought still blurred at that DoF and shutter speed!

  13. #13

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    Re: Query on water reflections

    Yup that's why I was so surprised when I saw the pictures on my computer, I think that it might have something to do with how they eye of the crab actually works though, maybe it bends light in some funky way or so.

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