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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:02 pm 
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papop wrote:
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:


hiya Papop,

I use my flash with the power stepped way down at night, this way the spots are actually far brighter.(I often feel the very bright spots are actually not such a great idea :? ) Also you can see if the flash makes the animals uncomfortable, they blink and turn away. I never have this experience, sometimes they blink but they never turn away. In fact on the last trip the opposite was the problem, they became too interested :lol:

On the other hand I will not use fill flash during the day for your mentioned reasons. My pets hate the camera flash, so I can only imagine wild creatures feel the same, DQ and the rest, no offense intended, this is a personal preference :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:12 pm 
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wondercloak wrote:
........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.
.....


ok, and another view :wink: I have taken about 4 stunning shots, closeups, of lion during the last two night drives. The detail is awesome, and imho, not possible to achieve during the day. Also, there is no clutter to distarct from the portrait. A friend has painted these pics, one of which sold for R3500 a short while ago. The rest will go into a gallery for sale this week. Like I say, different strokes... :D


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:40 pm 
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Ja, but Jay...like I say...very few! If you are someone that has the control, knowledge, understanding of a camera & accessories to produce such shots then great, and Madach, also, truly great shots from someone who knows what they are doing, but how many people take pictures on a night drive in the knp for example...and how many come out so well that you could justify, as you have with producing fine prints & artwork, maybe some slight discomfort for the subject.

We're lucky here that we have people who know what they're doing, but for the true amateur...my original point was, if in doubt about your equipment & how your actions are going to affect the subject, then it may be best to think twice!

And Madach. Again, awesome shots. Your final image of the lions illustrates my point about flash filters even though you haven't used a flash..you've got those 'natural' colours as the majority of spotlights emit a more natural & warm yellow tone as opposed to the harsh white/neutral light of most flash bulbs...hence the yellow celophane over the end of my flash!

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:43 pm 
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A truly awesome lion pic Madach :clap:

Can you give some details about this pic? (focal distance, aperture, shutter speed?)

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:11 pm 
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Salva wrote:
A truly awesome lion pic Madach :clap:

Can you give some details about this pic? (focal distance, aperture, shutter speed?)


The details for this shot are:

Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter speed: 1/60 sec
Focal length: 300mm

I guess I was about 6 meters away from the lions. I'd asked the tracker to keep the spotlight steady on the kudu kill. This way I got some nice side lighting on the lions.

Here's another one from that same sighting where I used a little bit of flash to bring out some detail. The warm colours of the spotlight are not spoiled by the flash because the flash power was turned way down.
Image

M


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:42 pm 
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I'll echo what others have said re. flash bothering the subjects.

In the daytime, they hardly even notice it (especially if you are using a flash extender) - too short a duration and hardly any impact on the animal.

In the nighttime, you can make a stronger argument that this bothers animals - however, in my experience, this has rarely been so. I've taken night shots of tigers (who are absolutely not reticent about charging people/elephants/jeeps if even slightly irritated), I've taken flash shots of lions while 15m away from them on foot, and of a lot of other animals. In no case has the animal shown any signs of distress whatsoever.

To me, shining a big honking floodlight onto a leopard for 20 minutes at a time is probably more disruptive/harmful than a flash of short duration.

Cheers,
Vandit - coming back in Sep/Oct

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Location: Provence - France but my heart is in the bush...
Here is my point of view, even if, yes many shots are better using the flash.
Imagine - We are in the evening. It's dark, Suddenly you see a lion trying to catch an impala, and you are so excited by this spot that you begin to shot, and shot using your flash.
We have 3 possible ends:
1/ The flash blinds the lion and he looses his prey. You took lion chance for feeding.
2/ The flash blinds the impala and the lion catches him. You took the impala chance for escaping.
3/ You think you don't make any trouble with your flash.

You have 1 chance on 3 for not disturbing them, according that on No° 3 you don't disturb, but in that case you'll never know.

Many people are shooting like that without respecting animals.

Sorry if I'm a little too excessive.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:17 am 
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I understand your point of view. As I said, it even appears to make logical sense. Note: "appears." That can be deceiving.

What you are hearing here - from people with a lot of experience with wildlife and shooting wildlife - is that in reality, animals are *NOT* so bothered by the flash. I am not a field biologist, but I do know a wee bit about animal behavior, and can tell when an animal is stressed or bothered. And every time I've used a flash at night, it has had ZERO impact on the animal's behavior.

To use an analogy - a lot of people who havent been to Africa might imagine that getting a large vehicle close to animals would spook them. As virtually everyone here can attest, that is not so (provided you exercise some basic care and approach the animal slowly).

A lot of other people seem to believe that animals in zoos pine for freedom. Again, research has shown that animals kept in properly designed zoos do have a longer, healthier life than in the wild - and certainly more than might be expected of a stressed animal.

To think that a flash at 15-20m would have any impact on an animal makes no sense - especially when you consider that shining a big bleeding spotlight on a cat for 20 min probably has a bigger impact, and yet, informed agencies like SAN Parks allow it.

Just because something appears to make sense doesnt always make it true. Beyond that, please feel free to believe whatever you will - but it might behoove you to make your belief an informed one.

Vandit

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:46 pm 
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madach wrote:
The details for this shot are:

Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter speed: 1/60 sec
Focal length: 300mm

I guess I was about 6 meters away from the lions. I'd asked the tracker to keep the spotlight steady on the kudu kill. This way I got some nice side lighting on the lions.

Here's another one from that same sighting where I used a little bit of flash to bring out some detail. The warm colours of the spotlight are not spoiled by the flash because the flash power was turned way down.
Image

M


OK Thank you Madach

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 Post subject: Re: How many here use a flash for wildlife work?
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:08 am 
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clearly, using a flash can enhance some pictures that would otherwise be too dark, or overexposed (against a bright background)

don;t be shy, get the shot. Using a flash is as noble as not using one. Are they perfect? No, but sometimes you can be happy with the results

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:34 am 
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Normally I don't use flash. But I do have a DSLR and can change things easily. I tripod is very handy


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:40 am 
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After this experience I would recommend anyone to get a flash. Missed some great nightdrive shots as the EOS 350D's flash is just not strong enough and missed taking photo's of both our leopard sightings because the camera could not focus in on the leopard in the dark.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:29 am 
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Wild@Heart wrote:
After this experience I would recommend anyone to get a flash. Missed some great nightdrive shots as the EOS 350D's flash is just not strong enough and missed taking photo's of both our leopard sightings because the camera could not focus in on the leopard in the dark.

:(

Maybe a stupid question, but couldn't you use manual focus instead of auto-focus? A lot of people get so used to auto-focus that they tend to forget that you can also focus manually.

An external flash would have probably helped, but it depends how far away the leopards were. Low light focussing generally speaking only works well with lenses that have a large aperture (f/2.8 or less). Most camera's have a whole array of auto-focus sensors and some of those sensors will only work on f/2.8 lenses. In your case for low light focussing an f/2.8 lens would probably have worked even better than a flash.

M.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:56 am 
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madach wrote:


Maybe a stupid question, but couldn't you use manual focus instead of auto-focus? A lot of people get so used to auto-focus that they tend to forget that you can also focus manually.



A very valid point DQ
auto-focus seldom works well in low light.
Called "Hunting"

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:01 am 
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bert wrote:
madach wrote:


Maybe a stupid question, but couldn't you use manual focus instead of auto-focus? A lot of people get so used to auto-focus that they tend to forget that you can also focus manually.



A very valid point DQ

:shock: :sniper: DQ

:cry: I'm not DQ I'm M.


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