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How many here use a flash for wildlife work?

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vkalia
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How many here use a flash for wildlife work?

Unread postby vkalia » Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:57 am

Just curious as to how many people use flash for wildlife work.

My flash started misbehaving on my last trip, forcing me to shoot entirely without the blessed thing. Looking back at my photos, I can see quite a few cases where the flash would have helped a lot. Just bought a replacement (a 580EX) and all is right in the world again :)

It reinforced something that I had known but never actively processed before - a flash and a flash extender are really useful tools for wildlife. For African-stye wildlife photography, I'd rate them the second most useful accessory, right behind beanbags.

Whatcha think?

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DuQues
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Unread postby DuQues » Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:16 am

The 580EX is on my shopping list, but somewhat on the bottom.
I use (fill in) flash a lot, and often have people looking at me oddly when I do that with the sun burning down mercilessly.
They just don't understand that with the flash you bring out the detail...
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Unread postby Scruff » Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:31 am

I have been taking photos for ages in the park and have never used a flash before. It sounds too good not to have thought about it before. I sometimes use a flash when photographing birds at Marievale, so can't think why not in the park
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richardharris
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Unread postby richardharris » Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:52 pm

Frequently during the early hours - some good shots got that way. Only rarely during the day - nice shots of a heuglin robin at Parfuri hiding in the gloom of some bushes.

A few shots on night drives, though that is a bit controversial!

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Unread postby bucky » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:51 am

A powerfull flash really makes snaps taken in the middle of the
day worthwile , reducing shadows and bringing out detail .

Only thing is you really need to buy something pretty expensive to be worthwile , and in the harsh mid day sun ,
the range is limited .

Beware of using a flash in the early morning , and later evening
where there is still enough light to take an unflashed photo ,as
it may well ruin a otherwise good photo .

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Unread postby craigsa » Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:44 pm

I use fill but find it to be the hardest part of photography, to get the exposure settings right, suppose takes getting used to.
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bucky
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Unread postby bucky » Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:19 am

Yes I find it very hard also , and it takes a while to set up camera and flash for a shot , so for wildlife even harder as the good things dont tend to hang about , do they :?

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Unread postby arks » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:46 pm

I've never used a flash anywhere, only available light. Not learning how to use a flash may be a deficiency, but I'm really resistant to learning â€â€
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richardharris
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Unread postby richardharris » Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:52 pm

Built in flash is unlikely to be powerful enough for wildlife photography. A powerful unit is usually needed.

I personally do not use fill-in flash, but do use flashwhen its the only option!

Richard

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:55 pm

Image
Image
Image

All three pics were taken with the external flash on 1/2 power. Hubby took the same pics with built in flash, an no flash, they were no good, totally under-exposed. All were taken in Kruger.

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Unread postby papop » Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:29 am

Hello,
It’s my first time on this forum. Difficult with my poor English to understand all photo technical terms!
I have taken thousands wildlife photos and I never used any flash with animals.
Just by respect for them. I know how it is unpleasant for us to be flashed, so I imagine it is the same for these poor animals. Have you never seen a bus full of tourist shooting a poor lion all together with their flash …I hate that. :twisted:
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wondercloak
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Unread postby wondercloak » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:58 pm

Hi papop, welcome & thanks for your views.

This is a sticky issue, but I personally believe that fill-flash during the day produces pictures that, in regular contrasting African conditions, you would not be able to achieve otherwise. Yes, blasting animals at night or in low light with powerful flashes is dangerous for the photographer & subject (not to mention immoral in many people's views) and how many truly great shots (that are publishable & arguably 'worthwhile') do people out there achieve on night drives etc? In my view, very very very few! So, maybe think before you take your next one on a night drive.

The other thing is that yes flash is unpleasant on the eyes, but if you either ensure that you don't take photo's of subjects looking right at your on-camera flash, or, like I have done, buy off-camera equipment so that you can mount your flash away from the camera & it lessens the effect as it is not directly into the eyes (therefore also reducing any red-eye or similar eye-shine effect), then I believe you are getting the best of both worlds!?

Another thought..adding filters to your flash is an interesting technique for those who haven't thought about it. I know that you can buy filters but I just bought some yellow, coloured plastic/celophane & stuck it over the front of the flash & it gives a great warming effect to pictures when used.
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DuQues
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Unread postby DuQues » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:11 pm

An example of what flash does:
Image
On the left: No flash
Middle: Flash (Set at 2/3 stop underexposure)
Right: Flash and a bit of sunlight.

Make your choice....
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papop
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Unread postby papop » Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:46 pm

Thanks to you 2 for these explanations. I must admit that on the example the result is better with the flash.
I’ll try that during my next stay in SA in March, but only by day!
I am going to learn how to post a shot on the forum... [/img]
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madach
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Unread postby madach » Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:53 pm

I occasionally use flash in the daytime as a fill-flash. I try to avoid using flash at night, I prefer to use the spotlight to illuminate subjects. Some shots are only possible with flash though. Here's are two examples of pictures I took last December:

ImageImage

And here's a shot I made at the waterhole in Okakujo (Etosha). I used a flash-extender on this shot, without it this shot would not have been possible because the rhino's were beyond the range of even a powerful flash.

Image

In my opinion in general you should try to avoid using flash. In some situations you don't have an option though.

Here's a picture I took by using only a spotlight, you'll notice that the colours look much more natural compared to a picture where flash has been used:
Image


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