RAUK - Archived Forum - Flash photography

This contains the Forum posts up until the end of March, 2011. Posts may be viewed but cannot be edited or replied to - nor can new posts be made. More recent posts can be seen on the new Forum at http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/

Forum Home

Flash photography:

Author Message
tim-f
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Apr 2008
No. of posts: 60


View other posts by tim-f
Posted: 22 Feb 2009

The excellent Common Lizard photos by "will" reminded of something I've been wondering about for a while.

I'm guessing by the catchlight in the lizard's eye, that he used flash - I could be wrong of course.

Does anyone have experience of how herps react to flashguns going off?  In particular Adders (cos they bite!).

Thanks,

Tim.

 


Davew
Senior Member
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
No. of posts: 99


View other posts by Davew
Posted: 22 Feb 2009
Hi - I've always used flash for herps and in my experience not one species has ever taken any notice whatsoever. I also photograph Butterflies and Dragonflies/Damselflies and they also tend to ignore it with the exception of 1 or 2 species of Butterfly.
will
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


View other posts by will
Posted: 23 Feb 2009

Hi Tim

No flash used on my lizard photos, just some glorious sunshine !  I have noticed sometimes with really bright sunshine you get a real 'sparkle' in the lizard / snake's eye

I try not to use flash myself partly because it may disturb the animals but also because my low-tech camera gives a flash which looks very un-natural ('studio-like')

Cheers

Will


Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


View other posts by Vicar
Posted: 23 Feb 2009
Hi Tim,

They're pretty much oblivious. You can take a few snaps using fill-in flash with no reaction, then snap a twig with your foot and a lizard will shoot off!

I have used flash to good effect in strong sunlight to minimise hard shadowing, but not for general use where you can get an artificial feel to the image.

This example was a wild in-situ shot of a sand lizard at Sefton using flash...but it looks like a studio job. I wouldn't use flash again in the same situation.



In the following shot, I didn't use flash, but if I had, I might have softened the hard shadowing and gotten a better picture?

Vicar39867.3514930556
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
tim-f
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Apr 2008
No. of posts: 60


View other posts by tim-f
Posted: 24 Feb 2009

Thanks for the replies guys.

Last season, on occasions I found lack of depth of field was a bit of a problem, so I'll give flash a try.  Hopefully lighting won't be too harsh - I may experiment with a white hankerchief to diffuse the flash output.

Steve - not sure why you think your Sand Lizard photo looks like a studio shot - except that it's technically very good (which isn't normally considered a bad thing  ).

On Sunday I didn't get very close to any Adders, as it seemed wrong to risk disturbing them so early in the season.  I'm assuming that they need to build themselves up at the start of the season.  Is that a reasonable concern?

Also one individual was right by a hole of its hibernaculum - again I thought it would unduly stress it if I disturbed it so close to "home".

Tim.

 

 


Peter
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Jan 2008
No. of posts: 260


View other posts by Peter
Posted: 24 Feb 2009

 

Interesting thread

 

[QUOTE=tim-f]Steve - not sure why you think your Sand Lizard photo looks like a studio shot - except that it's technically very good (which isn't normally considered a bad thing  ).[/QUOTE]

I know what Steve is referring to, although both images are excellent, the agilis pic does look as if the animal was filmed under vivarium conditions, despite the fact that it wasn`t.    In comparison, the muralis pic is unmistakably an outdoor shot.  A really natural feel about it due to the contrast with the shadow.  You can almost feel the sun on your back.





Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


View other posts by Vicar
Posted: 24 Feb 2009
[QUOTE=tim-f]Also one individual was right by a hole of its hibernaculum[/QUOTE]

Hi Tim,

As you've got an almost certain hibernaculum location, it might be worth letting the land manager know its location, if you haven't already.

Might also be worth pointing out how essential such sites are for adder, (sensitive management!).

Just a thought :P

Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
tim-f
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Apr 2008
No. of posts: 60


View other posts by tim-f
Posted: 25 Feb 2009

Hi Steve,

I'm pretty sure the landowner knows.  The site is part of the Mendip AONB, and there's a young chap called Robbie (who posts on this forum) who's been conducting a study of Adder movements in the area.  I'm pretty sure that it's in conjunction with the land owners.

It's a pretty special place - Adders, Grass Snakes, Common Lizards and Slow Worms all in the same area. 

Tim.

 


will
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


View other posts by will
Posted: 14 Mar 2009
Here's a photo I dug out from a year or two ago - again no flash used - the 'eye sparkle' provided courtesy of sunlight:

 
tim-f
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Apr 2008
No. of posts: 60


View other posts by tim-f
Posted: 21 Mar 2009

Nice photo Will.

Unusual composition with the surroundings clearly visible.  You must have been pretty close!

 


will
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


View other posts by will
Posted: 21 Mar 2009
Cheers Tim.  I'd say about a metre or so, using the zoom on my 'bridge' type digital camera - it's a bit out of focus as a result, but I was trying to get the sense of heathland behind it.
Deano
Senior Member
Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


View other posts by Deano
Posted: 22 Mar 2009
Nice angle Will. A different, but striking picture. I like it.
Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.

- Flash photography

Content here