A few viper pics. C&C please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by chris drake, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. chris drake

    chris drake TPF Noob!

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    I had an oppurtunity to photograph one of my favorite snakes, the golden eyelash viper yesterday. These types of photos are what i'm really interested in getting good at so please let me know any ways I can improve. These pics were taken with a sigma 105mm and the onboard flash only. thanks, Chris

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  2. FattyMcJ

    FattyMcJ TPF Noob!

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    Damn, I was hoping for the Dodge version...
     
  3. chris drake

    chris drake TPF Noob!

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    sorry. I think these are even more of a rush. :)
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't use the on board flash. If you want to light, learn about using one off camera.

    What's your exif and were these shot as JPEG or RAW? What post processing, if any did you do? Were the snakes in a terrarium? What camera did you use?

    Here's one I shot

    Click for larger versions
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    This was at the National Zoo in DC. The biggest contributing factor to the quality of this photo is the lens. That and it had liberal USM applied in post to sharpen it up. The lighting was just ambient from the cage, so I had to bump the ISO way up there to get a suitable shutter speed.

    If you can, try shooting in ambient light if you don't have a lighting setup you can use and try stopping down your lens to something like f/5.6 to get a sharper photo to start out with.
     
  5. chris drake

    chris drake TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm using a canon rebel xsi. I have a speedlite 430 ex II but the batteries were low so i used the onboard. The pics were shot in jpeg and I haven't done any processing. Pics are as shot. The snake was posed on a branch by me. It was not in a terrarium. It was an inpromptu shoot and was done at a friends reptile shop. Just had regular ceiling flourscent lighting above. I suppose pics would have been better if I was better prepared. I'm still learning. :)
     
  6. chris drake

    chris drake TPF Noob!

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    one i forgot to post

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    Chris
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm actually happy its the reptile kind.... regular run of the mill car photos don't do anything for me even if they are the expensive kind. If the car itself is a work of art (restoration, rat rod, etc.) yeh...

    I like the 2nd one best although I'd like to see the body start at the top left hand part of the frame and lead the eye to the bottom right of the frame. Show more of the body.. One nice curve of the body ending with a very strong presence (head). 1st one is ok except the black space towards the bottom. The last one has too much space towards the top. The front lighting from the onboard flash flattens what would have been a very nice curvature of the body.

    Post what the camera settings were at the time you took the photos. They are a little too soft for my tastes. Where you shooting at the max aperture?
     
  8. chris drake

    chris drake TPF Noob!

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    I was shooting f18, iso 200 and 1/50 sec. I'm trying to shoot in manual only and I'm trying to learn how to use all the settings properly. exif was 0221
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  9. chris drake

    chris drake TPF Noob!

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    Something more like these? ISO 200, F13, 1/30

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  10. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You could get away with a much wider aperture. f/5.6 or f/9. That and a higher ISO would allow you not to have to use the pop up flash. The two things killing these photos are the softness and the hard shadows from the on axis flash.

    Batteries for the 430 and a diffuser or bouncing it off a wall or ceiling would make the light a nice large, soft, light source and would really help out on the harshness.

    With the 105mm lens, I'm thinking you're pretty close. The pop up flash isn't very powerful and will have a very noticable light fall off. All of the photos except the first have the snake's head almost blown out from over exposure and the rest of the frame either exposedly properly or headed towards being under exposed. Bouncing the 430 would cure this as it would put your light source at range (unless your wall is 2' away from the snake) and you'd get less light fall off.
     

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