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Light and your Camera

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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bazzlewazzle
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Unread post by bazzlewazzle » Tue May 13, 2008 8:28 pm

For the price of all those CFcards you could have bought a very nice Vosonic or NextoDI, with a 200 Gb disk.

:? A what's that you so DQ? Portable hard disk?

I'm thinking I'll get the SO to bring her laptop along as I could spend a small fortune on cards and still run out considering it is 12 nights. :dance: (don't mean to brag :lol: )

This does however bring me onto some operational issues as a result of my practicing so far. Basically what Quality to shoot in, I've never done any post pic editing so I don't know what is possible with either Jpg or RAW but I gather you can't do as much after the fact with Jpg? I have Photoshop and obviously the software that comes with the 40D. I opened them both for the first time about half an hour ago.

Is it worth me shooting in RAW and should I be using Photoshop or Canon's digital photo pro?

The other question I have resulted from this evenings 'playing' in the garden. As the light starts to fade (or as it is still rising) what settings do you have the camera on? bearing in mind that I have the 70-200mm f2.8 on with the 2x converter.

I was mostly shooting in Av at f5.6 and originally had the iso at 400 but as the light got worse I switched the iso to auto and the cam set it at 800+. If I get some decent pics at KNP I would love to print something big enough to frame and put on the wall so I am concerned about noise.

sorry for the essay... :redface:
"It's a terrible thing,... in life to wait until you're ready.... no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There's only now & you may as well do it now. ..., now is as good a time as any." Hugh Laurie

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Hibiscus
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Location: 25º17'N 51º30'E

ISO settings

Unread post by Hibiscus » Wed May 14, 2008 12:49 pm

don't use auto-ISO settings.

Always use the highest quality (ISO 200 in most cameras) When the light is getting too low and you notice that the shutter speed becomes too slow to get sharp pictures, set a higher ISO setting manually. (just check the shutter speed and use the lowest ISO setting that's still possible). My camera (Nikon) still makes decent pictures - without too much noise - with ISO 800. But honestly I never printed them in a large size.

I suggest you just try! It depends a lot on the camera, so make test pictures with different ISO settings, print them if you want and see how high you can go without loosing too much quality!

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Peter Betts
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Photographic Light

Unread post by Peter Betts » Sat May 17, 2008 10:59 pm

I dont know about you fellow photographic enthusiasts but I find that on a cloudless sunny day the light is off pretty quickly and soon becomes harsh particularly in Summer. I find that by 09h00 unless you are lucky to get the subject and the sun luckily in the right place it is basically time to put the camera away with all those unsightly deep shadows. I took this lioness last week in some of the best light Addo has ever delivered on its light palette. The sun was well up @ 07h30 but it was behind a hill so didn't shine on the subject but the ambient light was sublime
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2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors

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UKbadger
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light

Unread post by UKbadger » Sun May 18, 2008 12:20 am

Peter you are certainly a master of this sort of shot, I’ve seen a good few of them from you now. This photo tells you absolutely what a Lioness looks like, in fact what every hair on a Lion looks like!!! :clap:

The calmness of the lighting seems reflected in the apparent calmness of the Lion, though the ears may be hinting at something “going on” we can’t see in the picture.

However brilliant this photo is and it is excellent, this kind of light can only show the bush and it’s inhabitants as they are in this kind of mood.

Surely as photographers we would want to try and capture images showing all the great variety of moods and at different times of day and wheather. Expressing some of these may well require images that contain large areas of detailless shadow and the animals may be in silhouette only. Expressing effectively the violent light and heat of midday may even be more of a challenge than the soft morning light of your Lion shot.

How I wish I had been with you that morning though!!
:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Peter Betts
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Unread post by Peter Betts » Sun May 18, 2008 7:19 am

For sure Badger...99.9% of my shots are taken in the "bad light" and I just have to make do and yes if I go to a place like KTP I am out most of the day and have seen some amazing stuff at say midday and do you think my camera is packed away...no ways and as you say it is nice to capture what you see...that is why we take Wild Life isn't it...to show the situation as it is...harsh conditions and all. However those "harsh" pics just dont jump out at you though and are just pics of Giraffe at a thorn tree and lots of work to do with Shadows and highlights in photoshop later. This pic just popped untouched from the little thumbnails after downloading the card on the computer and its the conditions I cherish taking pics if and when it happens....but you have a 100% chance of it happenning at the beginning and at the end of the day if at all:D
2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors

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saraf
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Unread post by saraf » Sun May 18, 2008 12:16 pm

Well I'm no more than a casual photographer but for me there is nothing better in the world than the deep green of a tree's leaves outlined against a deep blue sky and I love trying to capture that on camera. The vibrancy and sense of life it portrays is very uplifting. Perhaps it's because I live in a country where we don't see the sun very often.

Nature has provided us with some stunning colours and contrasts and a photographer who can capture that will always be able to inspire me.

Just because the harsh midday sun is "bad" doesn't mean we should put our cameras away. OK the shot we get might not well be perfect, but the world we live in isn't perfect either. As photographers we have to capture the world we live in, not the world we want to.
Want to say Thank You or Well Done to a fellow 'mite? Why not nominate them for a Kudu?

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UKbadger
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Unread post by UKbadger » Sun May 18, 2008 8:38 pm

Hi saraf,

you sure are right about the lack of light in the UK being a problem for wildlife photography. The early morning here, which is about the only time you are likely to see our native wild mammals, has such low light levels that for most of the time it’s no sun no photo! For most of us the been bag on the car window is a rarity indeed, more likely it’s the tummy in the dewy grass or heather, trying to find a way of getting the lens to bare on the subject without it seeing us first, or our needing a trip to the osteopath after!! :?

Mind you, I’m not so sure that I’d like to try that out with Peter’s Lion though. :shock:

The simply unbelievable light levels in the Kruger are one of the many, many amazing things that keep us remortgageing our souls to get there.

So, Peter, please forgive us poor light starved Brits. It’s just a bit hard for us to take anyone complaining about too much light!!!

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Peter Betts
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Unread post by Peter Betts » Sun May 18, 2008 9:07 pm

No Problem Badger..yes it is tough for the Brits but I was once in the UK in April for 2 weeks...balmy weather the whole time ...beautiful sunlit country lanes and life....but I was also there over Christmas once...GLOOMY sun was down in the middle of the afternoon so you have my sympathies and maybe I should be thankful for all the sun and just put some more sun screen on :D
2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors

Benn Kempster
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Unread post by Benn Kempster » Fri May 30, 2008 1:53 pm

Hi all,

You're absolutely right, of course. What's worse than having that perfect "pose" only for the image to be rendered almost useless by some big black patches?

So, what are your tips for a budding amateur like myself?

I understand that fill-in flash is the way to go to overcome this, but I find using a "bolt-on" flash unit to be extremely cumbersome. Is this the only way to go or can the cameras' built-in flash do the job over the distances we commonly come up against with wildlife?

Are there any golden rules for judging how to control the fill in flash?

I use a Canon EOS 400d with a Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS telephoto lens and a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro telephoto lens and shoot in RAW.
All the best,

Benn

KNP - 10 nights 05/2007
Addo - 10 nights 12-21/10/2008

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DuQues
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Unread post by DuQues » Fri May 30, 2008 2:09 pm

The built-in one will mostly not reach far enough, and anyway, your lens will partially be in the way.
Dial in 1 or two stops underexposure for fill-in flash and they should come out fine.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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NightOwl
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Unread post by NightOwl » Fri May 30, 2008 2:58 pm

Bolt on flash can be cumbersome, but for the focal lengths you are talking about, you actually need the better beamer added to the bolt on flash. It makes it even more cumbersome, but really spreads the light to the exact place where it's needed.

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Peter Betts
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Unread post by Peter Betts » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:19 am

I took this shot on Friday without Flash and to me it came out better than had I used Flash...have a Better Beamer but have not used it YET...I find the SB 800 has the reach and the Canon 580 is 50% better than that so for normal game viewing distances from a car the latest flashes will deliver on their own IMO. I agree if it was a cloudless sunny day with horrible midday shadows (when this was taken) then use a small bit of fill flash ...otherwise use the lovely light the Creator gave us....paint with light :)
Image
2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors

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UKbadger
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Unread post by UKbadger » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:40 pm

Can’t help feeling that photos using fill-in flash too often look like photos with fill-in flash, OK for weddings.

If you take a photo of a kudu in the midday sun, then presumably that, is what you want a picture of, If this is not what you want, try another time of day/weather!

This is what flash in wildlife photography is really for, nocturnal animals!

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I know this would be better with two flashguns, but sadly, I can’t afford a second one at the moment!
:cry:

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G@mespotter
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Light and your Camera

Unread post by G@mespotter » Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:29 am

Hi all :D

I'm experimenting with my 'new' Panasonic ZF18, and I have the following questions:

1. What can one do to limit overexposure when taking a pic of a sunny spot out of a shaded area (eg. taken from inside the house, of dog playing on the grass in the sun.

2. Is this time of the year one of the worst with respect to light in SA? - no clouds, very sunny etc?

3. Should I put the EV setting on -1/3 or -2/3 when taking pictures in direct sunlight?

4. What about UV filters etc? Are there any good recommended ones out there?

5. Should I use the flash (forced) or let the camera choose it?

I know its not the best camera on the globe :wink: but I still want to take a little-better-than-average pictures! Maybe you guys can help me, but please try to keep the jargon as simple as possible! Your help will be appreciated :D
Last edited by G@mespotter on Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
Tlopi 11 July Tambotie 12 July, Olifants Backpack trail 13-16 July, Letaba 16 July, Balule 17 July, and Sable Hide 18 July and Lower Sabie 19-20 July Can't wait actually :)

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DuQues
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Re: Combatting excessive light / overexposure

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:34 am

Not having played with that cam I can not really help here, I don't know what you can or cannot set.
Metering the brightest area and locking exposure on that will certainly help...

As for UV filters... The best ones are the ones not on your camera! To protect your lens use the lenshood, that's what it is for. (And instead of creating glare it will keep glare out.)
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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