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Author Topic: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?  (Read 6685 times)

Apop

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Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« on: August 28, 2013, 01:29:27 PM »
Do you use flashes for wildlife photography? ,

Personally I am still not sure if I should purchase a flash, during the day it can be really handy, but at night I wonder if I disturb the animals?, even the ones who can 'handle' it.

What are your thoughts on the use of flash?

Btw, what is the max shutter speed you can use?, if the flash sync speed is 1/200th, does this mean you can only use up to 1/200th of a second shutter speed with flash?, or is that for when the flash is not attached to the camera but triggered wireless ?



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Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« on: August 28, 2013, 01:29:27 PM »

Jim Saunders

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 02:02:21 PM »
The max sync speed is the fastest speed you can use where the shutter is fully open; This is necessary because the flash emits only a single pulse of light and at faster shutter speeds the second shutter curtain starts to close before the first one is open.  High speed sync is a partial fix where the flash fires many short pulses over a longer period of time, but that reduces your reach with the flash considerably.

As for wildlife, I'd approach it with the expectation that you'll have one shot before you spook the creature.  I know some people use it just fine though, worst case is you get a walk outside.

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 02:24:55 PM »
Used wisely (lower power for fill) it can be very effective.  If you're using a longer lens, a Better Beamer is the way to go. 
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surapon

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 03:38:33 PM »
Used wisely (lower power for fill) it can be very effective.  If you're using a longer lens, a Better Beamer is the way to go.

+ 1   for Better Beamer.     The Second Photo = In the Dark shade with out Flash ---The 3 Rd. and  4 Th. photos = Flash with Better Beamer
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viggen61

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 04:11:55 PM »
I have used flash occasionally, with a Better Beamer and my 100-400. There is a good writeup here:

http://www.digitalbirdphotography.com/windows/4.3.html

The problems I find are that I tend to use it too late - by the time I think it's "dark" enough for flash, it's really too dark, so flash becomes the primary illumination - and "steel eye", the avian version of "red eye". I really need to get out and practice with it more.

But I can say I can't think of any bird or animal that has been spooked by the light of the flash that wouldn't have also spooked by the noise of the camera & lens. I've scared far more birds just with the noise...
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mackguyver

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 04:24:49 PM »
Two thoughts:

1. Responding to the title of your post - I'm not sure if wildlife care about nudity, but opening a trench coat up might frighten them away (or just frighten them)  ;)

2. the Better Beamer is great, but the Fresnel lens is like a huge magnifying glass and will burn holes in your gear in bright light.  Seriously.

surapon

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 04:56:51 PM »
Dear Friends.
As My Professional as Architect in NC., USA, And Photography just my pass time Hobby, Yes, I love to improve any equipment that I have. Including the" Better Beamer " too---When I use with my 600 mm + 2X  at the tree under the shade , and Try to shoot the Bird at 100 feet or more---The Better Beamer  with Flash not long range enough. I just add the  Aluminum tape ( for HVAC Duct Tape) to the Better Beamer Panels and Add two Rigid Plastic Panels on top and Bottom with the Aluminum Tape too---Yes, I add Velcro to the Plastic envelope to  the Front of Lens , When I do not use---As the Cover Lid. ( to not let this strong  flash light damage some one eyes or let the sun ray to burn the flash unit)---Yes, This Add On Reflector = add double light from flash pass thru the Lens. Yes , I can add more ( almost Double Distant ) distant of flash for my 600 X 2 = 1200 mm Lens.
Yes, It's works.
Enjoy
Surapon
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 12:39:59 PM by surapon »

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 04:56:51 PM »

wsheldon

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 06:03:52 PM »
I have used flash occasionally, with a Better Beamer and my 100-400. There is a good writeup here:

http://www.digitalbirdphotography.com/windows/4.3.html

The problems I find are that I tend to use it too late - by the time I think it's "dark" enough for flash, it's really too dark, so flash becomes the primary illumination - and "steel eye", the avian version of "red eye". I really need to get out and practice with it more.


Same experience here. Definitely a learning curve I'm still climbing with that set-up. Lately I've started out with -1 1/3 or -1 2/3 EV flash exposure compensation around dusk or when in deep shade to fill in shadows without blowing out the overall exposure, but I still don't feel I've mastered long-distance flash. And eye reflection angle is definitely the detail to watch - catch-light is important, but steel eye/red eye is worse than no catch-light IMO.
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sanj

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 01:06:12 AM »
Flash does NOT bother animals.

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 01:40:27 AM »
1. Responding to the title of your post - I'm not sure if wildlife care about nudity, but opening a trench coat up might frighten them away (or just frighten them)  ;)
Ha! Ha! Ha! You beat me to it :)

el bouv

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 02:32:00 AM »
Many animals do not mind the use of a flash, the big cats seems almost bothered by it, but NEVER EVER use a flash with an African elephant, they do not take to it kindly.

The Better Beamer is very good, but be careful with sunlight being focused on your Lenscoat, or even the flash body or camera body.

I have had smoke, and melting, from the Lenscoat and have melted 580 flash bodies with the sunlight being focused on them.

eml58

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 04:38:43 AM »
Flash does NOT bother animals.

I use Flash to fill the shadows frequently in my own wildlife Images, in particular when I'm on Safari Shoots in Africa, in early dawn, late afternoon it can be an Image saver.

You are not restricted to 1/200th, at least not with the 1Dx & I think the 5DMKIII, check your Manual re High Speed Sync.

I agree with Sanj, it's been my experience to date that Animals aren't concerned about the Flash, of course that's an assumption based on results to date, it must be said I've never actually had one come up and tell me to "turn the bloody flash off, or else".

The attached Image is very difficult to have lit well if you don't use some Fill Flash, low light at Dawn, inside the tree canopy, this was shot with the 1Dx & 600 EX-RT off Camera with the ST-E3-RT.

Be careful of "Green Eye" with Predators, not the Envy thing, if you don't get the Flash off camera sufficiently, you have the light reflecting back from the Animals inner eye, very hard to get rid of in Post, distance from the Lens is the Key.

I do have the better beamer but have never tried it, some results from People look impressive, I can see for Birding Photographers this could be a real asset.
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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 05:00:53 AM »
Nice pic eml58, very nice.

I've only fiddled with fill flash for birding pics this weekend and while I'm pleased with the results, a noticeable side affect was the reaction by the small birds I was photographing. I suspect it maybe the pre-flash kicking off on the 580EXII which gets their attention. Larger animals, perhaps used to human interaction (to a degree) may not be bothered by it. I'll continue to develop the technique for challenging lighting conditions, but I wouldn't use it all situations.

Regarding the sync speed, on my 5D3 I had it set to Av mode and the flash symbol for high speed sync would automatically appear over 1/200sec.
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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 05:00:53 AM »

weixing

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 05:08:30 AM »
Hi,
    When I start shooting birds a few years ago, I learn how to use flash for birding until I saw one collared kingfisher juvenile nearly fall down from the branch when my first flash goes off... I observe that the kingfisher startle every time my flash goes off. My conclusion is:
1) my flash photography skill was lousy and
2) flash did affect and frighten some birds in some way... may be more on juvenile birds.

    After that I never use flash on birds anymore.

    Have a nice day.

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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 07:20:50 AM »
But I can say I can't think of any bird or animal that has been spooked by the light of the flash that wouldn't have also spooked by the noise of the camera & lens. I've scared far more birds just with the noise...
Flash does NOT bother animals.
I have to disagree with you ... coz I have seen animals being spooked by flash light and run for cover, it happened with a Giraffe, Deer and a few birds (however it only happens when you are directly firing the flash while they are facing the camera ... side shots don't seem to trouble them) ... that being said I do use flash for wildlife, especially for birds.
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Re: Wildlife Photography , To flash or not?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 07:20:50 AM »