From the scrapheap #1

So close, but no cigar.

Welcome to my new series on this blog, where we take a look at the images I am not proud to show off. We will go through the image to point out the flaws, what I could have done different and see if there is anything I can do to save the image. So without further ado, let`s take a look at the first image in this series.

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 I captured this image near Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. On that particular dive, I had to use one of my backup camera rigs and only one external strobe. The backup camera was a Canon PowerShot G16, which has it`s limitation, to say the least.

The technical information for this image is as follows:
ISO 1000, f/3.5, 6.1mm, 1/500 Sec, full manual mode.
As we can already see, the settings used for this image is problematic, first of all, the tiny crop sensor in the G16 performs poor on ISO over about 500, and this image is noisier than a poorly executed thrash metal concert. There is no need for 1/500 sec shutter speed, for this image it could easily be lowered to 1/160, which would have allowed me to use ISO 200, resulting in a much less noisy image.

Soooo much noise, what was I thinking pushing the ISO to 1000 on a PowerShot G16???

Soooo much noise, what was I thinking pushing the ISO to 1000 on a PowerShot G16???

The F-stop of 3.5 is not low enough to get a creamy and blurred background and not high enough to get a pin sharp infinity focus, which does not really matter with a focal length of 6.1mm on a cropped sensor, which equals to 10mm. The composition in this image could be executed better with, let´s say a 24mm, 35mm or a 50mm focal length, or maybe the best option is a 15mm fisheye lens. A fisheye lens would have allowed me to get closer to the subject, get more of the scene in the shot and exaggerate the main subject.

Compositionally this image is mediocre at best. The most striking problem is the very distracting background with a lot of particles floating around. This flaw could be fixed in two ways, first, use a more appropriate focal length with a lower f-stop to blur out the background more, this would allow the main subject to stand out and, second, better strobe positions to darken the background. The main subject (the fishes head) is smack in the middle of the image making for an ok but very boring composition.

Other than that, we have some blown out highlights both on the fish and on some of the corals, this issue could be fixed in Lightroom if it wasn`t for the fact that the RAW files from the G16 camera have very little information, making the highlights not recoverable.

Unrecoverable blown out highlights :(

Unrecoverable blown out highlights :(