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Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
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Posted: 26 Apr 2007 Topic: ARG UK vinyl car stickers



Hmm. Don't know what the implications could be, but when we (musicians) used to have the 'Keep Music Live' stickers in our vehicles. They kept getting broken into, usually while the gig was in progress, by persons trying to steal the equipment - which was in use.......?

I came across a similar situation with friends who had RSPB or BTO stickers in their cars. And they were repeatedly broken into, in the belief that they held valuable optics etc.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Posted: 31 Mar 2006 Topic: Strange toad??



I spent a few days on Skomer Island, just off the Welsh coast, and found all the toads were this brick red colour. Could it be living by the sea? Or some certain minerals that get passed down the food chain?


Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Posted: 31 Mar 2006 Topic: Arty Stuff



Nice idea. The only bit that throws me is the lack of black line around the snout. I know this is supposed to appear like it is breaking out from the picture, might I suggest a slight shadow under the head>


Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Posted: 23 Aug 2005 Topic: Image post-processing



Hi all

I took the same pic and firstly used the shadow/highlight tool (CS only - this just makes using curves easier). Then a little saturation and overall brightening finally saved for web.

Deano

 




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Posted: 23 Aug 2005 Topic: Image post-processing



Hi all

Gemma, if you're shooting on digital under exposure is good. You have to have a good picture to start with. If you've blown out your highlights no amount of PS trickery will bring them back.  Personally I treat each image separately.

If anyone would like to find out more about wildlife photography, they could do worse than join the Lee Valley Nature Photographers. We have a countrywide membership and a Quarterly newsletter, which include tips on using Photoshop.

Deano.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 31 Aug 2005 Topic: Image post-processing



Vicar

Where did you find an adder that could levetate!  Seriously, I used to take exactly the same approach as you have, but realized that the images looked slightly unreal.  We know what an animal in its habitat should look like and don't always see the oddness of an image but, other people do.  If you have a digital image turned into a slide this effect is amplified.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 26 Dec 2005 Topic: Image post-processing



Well there isn't much happening at the mo'. So now might be a good time to proccess and catalog all your pictures for the year.  I know this is a forum for herp related subjects but if you want to see some real good picture checkout www.birdsasart.com  Arthur Morris is a brilliant photographer and I would like to be able to produce pictures of Reptiles as good as his birds. He is about to release "The art of bird photography 2" which will include a lot of stuff about digital photography. I'm sure this could be applied to herps. When I get a copy perhaps I'll do a review - purely from a photographic (not bird) point of view.


Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 26 Mar 2006 Topic: RAW or JPEG?



One reason for using RAW is that it gives you complete control over how your picture develops. A bit like using the old print film. You could take the developed negative into the darkroom and manipulate the image easily. Just shooting Jpeg is like using slide film, once the film itself was developed that was your image. With RAW a little over exposure won't hurt you can still pull back some detail and it is better to under expose because you can easily increase the exposure using Photoshop or RawShooter Essentials (which you can download for free) and you will get an increase in your shutter speed = sharper pictures. If you really over expose you will blow your highlights and lose all detail but, it isn't as bad as it used to be with film.

One more thing. Photographing Reptiles/Amphibians, we are usually using a brown/green background for a brown/green creature so everything is usually midtoned. Shooting in Jpeg mode shouldn't be a problem. If you do want to make adjustments save your file as a TIFF, work on it and save as a Jpeg when you have finished. If you keep saving a file as a Jpeg it will loss quality at every save, as the file is compressed. Where as TIFF is lossless, but a bigger file.

If youwant to prepare your images for the web here's how using Photoshop CS:

Open the master file.  Select Image/Mode/Convert to Profile. Adobe RGB (1998) should appear in the Source Space box. If sRGB does not appear in the Destination Space box, click on the arrow and select it from the drop-down list. Now click OK. Then click on Image/Image Size and change the resolution to 72(PC) / 96(MAC) pixels per inch, making sure that the Resample Image box is unchecked, and click OK. Next, click on File/Automate/Fit Image. Enter 650 in both the Width and Height boxes. Click OK. Then sharpen the image for web use - Filter/Sharpen/Unsharp Mask with the settings at  Amount:125%, Radius:0.2 pixels and Threshold:0 (for small JPEG files to be used electronically...). Some digital images might need two sharpening passes. Film images generally require three rounds of sharpening. Next, click on File/Save for Web. Make sure that JPEG is selected in the box below the word Settings. Click on the tiny right-pointing arrow above the word Optimized near the upper right corner of the Save for Web window and then click on Optimize to File Size. Enter the number 40 in the Desired File Size box, click OK, and then click Save. In the Save As Optimized box, make sure that you click through to the desired location and folder and make sure that "Images Only" appears in the Save As Type box. If HTML and Images appears in the Save as Type box, click on the arrow and select Images Only (*. jpeg) from the drop-down menu. Click Save. When you close the picture, a box will appear asking "Save changes ... before closing?"  Click No as you must leave your master file intact.

Have fun.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 26 Mar 2006 Topic: Lenses



In answer to John's question, I would say buy Canon. Off brand lenses don't have the correct chips in them. I have a Sigma 180 macro , which is optically wonderful but, as mentioned elsewhere, does hunt when trying to use auto focus. I thought the 180macro would be a good idea so that I didn't have to get so close, but I wish I had a 100 macro now. For a very good all round wildlife lens you can't beat the Canon 100-400mm L IS. Expensive I know but if you only have one lens buy this one and a 25mm extension tube. BTW the IS stand for Image Stabilising and it works. I can do most of my stuff hand held. This picture is insitu, how much closer do you want to go!  Although the depth of field didn't allow the left leg or base of the right leg to be in focus this was the lens I had with me at the time.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 27 Mar 2006 Topic: Lenses



Thanks for that Alan I stand corrected.  When I spoke to Sigma before I bought the 180 macro they assured me that as long as the camera wasn't showing "0.0" where the aperture setting shows, then everything would be fine. This was for my EOS 3 but despite the settings appearing okay, the auto focus would still hunt and it acts exactly the same on my 10D. When I spoke to Sigma they repeated as above about "0.0" and that it must be the camera(s).  I usually focus manually with macro and landscapes so the fact that my 18-24 Sigma (they was bought as a pair) acts the same isn't a real problem. My old Canon 300 f4 L works okay with digital and the EOS3 so why shouldn't a newer Sigma which should contain more up to date technology?


Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
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Posted: 27 Mar 2006 Topic: Reptile Digital photography



JohnC79 - how to make a bean bag.

1/ cut down a pair of old combat trousers to make a pair of short to wear when the weathers warm.

2/ Take cut off legs. Sew up one end. Fit a zip to the other.

3/ Fill with rice, gravel but, not sand. This has a habit of getting out and into your camera and kit.

4/ Put on said shorts. Pick up (filled) beanbag. Pick up camera.

5/ Go Herp Hunting.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
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Posted: 28 Mar 2006 Topic: Reptile Digital photography



Brett that eyeball is spot on. I would loved to have taken that picture. And I shall be trying this weekend. Inspirational stuff mate.

Deano




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
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Posted: 03 Apr 2006 Topic: Manchester



Hi All

I will be visiting family in Manchester this weekend or next and was wondering if someone could point me towards a decent site for adders/herps in general.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 03 Apr 2006 Topic: Lenses



Hi Darren

If you can only afford this lens it will be okay as a general wildlife lens. You may want to add an extension tube to get closer focusing, but you've got to get closer first. Or you can add a teleconverter to increase the magnification, although you will lose light. This will mean a slower shutter speed and your f-stop will change from f4 to f5.6 or f8. But I have taken pictures of common lizards with a 500mm lens and a 25mm extension tube. Because that was the only lens I had at the time. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have. It also gives you a different perspective on a subject.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 03 Apr 2006 Topic: Focus and Depth of Field



The Purple Gertie idea is a very good way of seeing what DoF will look like under controlled conditions. This is a simlified version of the Moose Peterson teddy bear test  http://www.moosepeterson.com/techtips/teddybear.html  used by many wildlife photographers to test exposure. I would suggest using rubber toy snakes and lizards (for the texture as much as anything). Remember "Practice makes slightly less awful".


Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 09 Apr 2006 Topic: RAW or JPEG?



Hi Gemma

Are you refering to the slight (and I mean very slight) halo along the edges?  This effect is usually caused when being over zealous with the "Shadow/Highlight" tool available in Photoshop CS + CS2. Or maybe your looking at the far side of the head, where the lack of DoF has caused it to blur. But I think it is a nice shot. Besides how did you manage to get that close to a grass snake!

I know this is a herp forum but can I recommend an excellent book for using Photoshop. "Photoshop for Nature Photographers" by Ellen Anon and Tim Grey is a workshop in a book. You don't have to wade through loads of stuff you don't need. Only that which relates to natural history subjects.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 09 Apr 2006 Topic: Focus and Depth of Field



Or stumbling over as you look for herps. This happened to my friend Cliff and he was using my 100-400mm L IS lens! Fortunately an inexpert commando roll saved the lens and made the rest of us laugh. But you can never be too careful.


Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 14 Apr 2006 Topic: RAW or JPEG?



I now have no need to festoon myself in grass snake plops.... I have my own grassy.  Well, only for a little while.

 Went out for a walk this morning (weather, gray and wet) and came across grass snake that must have been munched by a dog. Took it to the vet who told me to keep the wounds clean and all being well it should be okay to release back where I found it.

 A new thread I know but, any advice would be welcome. I've read all the books and seen them in the wild but never kept a reptile in captivity before. He (I think) has a smooth rock, a bit of branch and a dog bowl of water all sitting on old newspaper in a 2' aquarium. Have I missed anything?




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 17 Apr 2006 Topic: RAW or JPEG?



Hi Paul

Don't know if you've seen the post about the Lee Valley Nature Photographers that Gemma very kindly posted but, if you can get to the meeting at Waltham Abbey on Thursday evening come and say hello. Most members will know who I am.




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
Deano
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Joined: 23 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 133


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Posted: 17 Apr 2006 Topic: RAW or JPEG?



Gemma

Should we use this "looking after grassies" as a separate thread? 

 I could only find a 60watt spot bulb for heating purposes. And I do think that 86f is very high. I use to breed tropical marine fish and they were best at 78 - 80f.  I don't want to cook him. Or does the extra heat speed up the healing?  I took him out to clean his wounds this morning and he was very fiesty! I did put some screwed up newspaper in for him to hide under and it seems to work. Uho, the light has been on for about an hour now and I have just noticed him blowing bubbles from his nose. Is this normal? Or does this indicate some sort of cold type infection. Maybe another trip to the vets...........




Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.

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