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Shooting on sunset / nightdrives

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anne catherine
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Re: Taking photos on night drive

Unread post by anne catherine » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:20 am

I would take also the 7D with the 70-200 at night , its what i do now , having the same combo .

First with the 7D you have the touch Q , i find it very useful at night to change the settings and with the 7D you can bump the ISO a little more .
When the animals are far at night i don't find the pictures to be good .I have also a 400mmf:5.6 but don't use it at night.
I still try to work in AV at f/4 at night , 1600 à 3200 ISO ..My son with the 40D and 300mmF:4 prefers to work in manual and has often nicer results .I will try manual next time .
You are often at 1/15,1/30 or 1/60 so you must don't move at all .
Depending on the situation if the camera refuse to focus , i would put the lens on manual focus and select exposure with spot metering ( leopard or lion in herbs not so far )...
Not always easy , i am still trying to improve also though i prefer day photography :)

Please let us know what you found the best when you come back ,Massimo :thumbs_up:

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vinkie
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Large or small lens during Game drive?

Unread post by vinkie » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:05 pm

Hallo everybody,

When we are at Kruger in July we want to do some game drives.
I have two lenses 18-105mm and 70-300mm.
Which lens should I use during the game drive? :hmz:

I think the 18-105mm will be just fine but maybe somebody has an other idea.


Thanks for your help :)

Gert-Jan
Last edited by vinkie on Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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saraf
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Re: Large or small lens during Game drive?

Unread post by saraf » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:04 pm

Depends how heavy your lens is and if there is anywhere to rest the lens on.

This was taken with my 70-200 with 1.4 extender

Image

However I took other photos on that drive, one of which was a night heron, which were too blurred to be of any use. If the sighting is on your side of the vehicle then you've got a good chance of nailing a shot with a longer lens. The other side of the vehicle then it's touch and go.
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Re: Large or small lens during Game drive?

Unread post by DuQues » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:30 am

The longest!

Unless you want to make landscape photos only, and pass on the opportunity to make photos of serval, pangolin, suni and so on.
With nightdrives don't forget your external flash. You'll need it!
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Re: Large or small lens during Game drive?

Unread post by Switchback » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:56 am

I have a funny (good) feeling you are shooting with Nikon equipment...?

Anyways, I would have my 70 - 300mm on my camera body. Push the ISO up if you are worried about camera shake caused by people moving / shifting around on the vehicle. Push it up easliy to ISO 800.

Keep your 18 - 105mm close by for in-case you come across a magnificent landscape scene. I do take special care when swopping lenses, but yes, I do swop lenses out on game drives when needed.
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Re: Large or small lens during Game drive?

Unread post by john n poppy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:39 am

I used my 70-300, but that was on a sunset drive, definitly up your ISO but more importantly...................sit oposite the van steps...that way you have the chance of photographing from both sides and using the step barrier as a perch for your camera :wink:

hope you have a great trip...not long now!

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Re: Large or small lens during Game drive?

Unread post by vinkie » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:34 am

@DuQues: I heard that you don't really need to use a external flashlight during the Game Drive because of the spotlights used by the truck.
Maybe I should take it with us during the game Drive.

@Saraf: very nice picture, do you use the extender often, I’m considering to buy an extender myself.
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Re: Large or small lens during Game drive?

Unread post by DuQues » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:11 pm

vinkie wrote:@DuQues: I heard that you don't really need to use a external flashlight during the Game Drive because of the spotlights used by the truck.
Maybe I should take it with us during the game Drive.

You really should. The spotlights are nice, but are fairly thin, instead of a wide bundle. So you end up with photos showing a bright patch next to the animal. (Never shine straight at the animals!)
The spotlights will usually help your camera to focus though.

You might even consider to bring a Better Beamer along to really throw light around.
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Plz plz help me!

Unread post by leo21 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:36 am

Hi there! Going down to the Kruger in December and i was just wondering i have a real prob with my photos (stil very new with a camera) what settings do i use to take photos at dusk dawn and night drives when only a flash light is there for our use. My photos come out blurred or the flash takes for ever and itjust makes a clicking sound and doenst take photos. I have a canon 550 i think.
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Re: Plz plz help me!

Unread post by bert » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:57 am

cranck the ISO for starters
400

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Re: Plz plz help me!

Unread post by EOS_User » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:00 pm

Following-up on Yusef's comment...

To give you best advice with the limited input, advise your camera model; is it the 550D?

Will you be using the onboard pop-up flash, or an external Speedlight flash, and if so, what model?

For your dusk & dawn shots; do you want images of the sunrise/sunset, or images of animals/objects at dusk/dawn?

Lee

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Re: Plz plz help me!

Unread post by leo21 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:51 pm

Hi there! I check I have a canon 500D with the pop up flash. Its a bit of both. I'm using the auto setting but it doesn't work for the low or no light situation. Its mostly those early lions or those hyenas at the fence at night. My photos blur or I just get animal eyes in my photos. Same with sunrise an sunset it just doesn't work. What it does is the flash kinda of makes a lighting sound it does this bout six times it then says busy on the display screens. It then takes the photos but it blurs terribly.
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Re: Plz plz help me!

Unread post by Drew Cairncross » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:28 pm

Leo, in all honesty, you have asked a question which every single wildlife photographer has battled with when starting out. To answer it correctly will take pages and pages, but I will try and help you as best I can. The very first thing you need, before considering any camera settings, is a good support for your camera. In wildlife photography, from a vehicle, there simply isn't a better solution than a beanbag. Without sounding condescending, do you know what a beanbag is? The reason I ask, is that it is the single most significant factor which made those soft, low light photos become sharper for me.

Then finally, what lens do you have attached to your 500D? It has been mentioned above that you must push ISO up, which is correct, and with a 500D, you really don't want to go much above 400, however when on auto mode, you have less control over the camera settings itself which is not ideal. Av and Tv modes will help you a lot, but you need to understand what these are, and trust me, it is not difficult, I am just trying to get a feel for your knowledge. Exposure compensation might seem like a confusing term, but when understanding how a camera absorbs light, it really isn't that difficult.

Finally, and again, without sounding condescending, I am sure you have seen a photo file many times and it is seen in windows explorer as .jpg .... If I mention the file format RAW, is that a familiar file format for you?

If you answer the few questions above, I will do the best I can to help you, but please be aware, I am an enthusiastic hobbyist and by no means a professional.

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Re: Plz plz help me!

Unread post by Drew Cairncross » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:07 pm

Ok Leo, let me see what I can do to help...

First off, your lens has a great range of reach, and the zoom is very versatile, so no problem there.

Av setting will set the "aperture value" hence the acronym "AV' on the dial. In laymen's terms, what this means, is the amount of light that the camera receives via the lens. This is known as an "f-stop" in it's most simplest form, if you turn the dial to Av, you then have control over the Aperture value, as well as ISO and exposure compensation. When on "Av" setting, and you turn the other control dial near the shutter button, you are controlling the cameras ability to absorb light. You will see the number change from 4.5 at it's lowest (I think, as this is based on your lens) to right up to 22.0. There is a direct correlation to this setting, and the speed at which your camera exposes (opens the shutter up, and takes a picture) At a figure of 4.5, your shutter will be open for a vastly shorter period than at 16.0 or 22.0 for example. So if you want a faster picture, delivering a sharper image, you want to go as close to 4.5 as you can.... I hope you are still with me... Also, the Av setting will allow you to control your "depth of field" This means that the same subject, at the same distance, with different Av setting will produce a remarkably different result, especially if you are very close to your subject. With a low Av value, such as 4.5, your foreground and background will be blurred, and you will have a faster shutter speed. With f16.0 for example, your depth of field will be deeper, and a lot more of your foreground and background will be in focus, but due to the increased shutter time, you will need that beanbag, as the camera takes a lot longer to open the shutter (this relates to your dawn and dusk question earlier), read and interpret the signal, before closing the shutter, and ultimately producing a photo. This time lapse is simply not possible when you hold your camera by hand, and needs a solid, completely immobile support.

There was mention made of ISO. If you are at f8.0 while in Av mode, and your ISO setting (this is a metering or scale of light) is at 100 you will see a certain number through your viewfinder which will be 1/xxx the "xxx" is the speed of the shutter. So let's say for example, because the numbers all depend on the available light, that you are seeing 1/60 while shooting on Av at f8.0 and having an ISO setting of 100. You are controlling the depth of field via your Av setting set at f8.0 and have an ISO setting of 100, but you are only achieving a shutter speed of 1/60 (this is desperately slow) You have two options to increase the shutter speed and get a sharper image. One is to change the Av value to a lower figure, such a 5.6, or increase the ISO setting to 400. Both will increase the shutter speed, but they will yield very different results. I do not want to bombard you with a whole bunch of jargon, so I suggest you find the time now, to play with the Av setting, as well as ISO. Take pictures, download them, view them and understand them as far as the changes in ISO and aperture go, and then I will give you a bit more info.

In a nutshell, and something to be aware of while you are playing. Higher ISO number means shutter speed which means a sharper photo. The lower the Av value, the faster the shutter speed will be, but the shallower the depth of field, so if you wish to take a landscape type shot, you would opt for a setting along the lines of f16.0 to f22.0 but you will HAVE to use a beanbag, as the shutter speed will be dismal. At f4.5, in dual and dawn light, the shutter speed may not be much different to f16.0 in midday light. This is because f16 is a pin hole of an aperture, but in midday, the light is bright, so the camera absorbs a lot of that and transfers it through the lens to the body. In afternoon dusk light, you will need that aperture wide open (f4.5) to absorb the same amount of light to generate the same shutter speed....

Are you lost, or has the above made sense? The best way to learn is to fiddle, but understand while fiddling. If you are still completely lost, send me a PM and I will be happy to call you.

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Re: Plz plz help me!

Unread post by EOS_User » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:15 am

leo21; As Drew has demonstrated, there's a great deal more to answering your questions than time & space really allows on here...

There is a fundamental starting point in photography, which is 'understanding exposure' and the relationship between the three elements that combine to generate a balanced exposure; Aperture, Shutter-speed & ISO setting.

There is a very good book by Bryan Peterson called 'Understanding Exposure' You can find it on Amazon easily. here is the link to the Amazon USA page for that book...

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-3rd-Edition-Photographs/dp/0817439390/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351847292&sr=8-1&keywords=bryan+peterson+understanding+exposure



I highly recommend that you get the book, and have a good read of it. It will help you immensely in understanding how the camera works for different settings and light conditions.

The other thing you need to be aware of is that the on-board flash has a very limited range; it is not powerful enough to light up a subject more than about 10-12 meters at ISO100, more at higher ISO settings; but if you want a good light-up you need to be quite close... Your user-manual will tell you what the ranges are.

Hope that helps;

Lee
Last edited by saraf on Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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