hard to take shots - a friends python (3 pics)

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by John_05, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    i was looking after a friends ball python while he was out of town for a couple of days. he asked me if i could get a couple pictures of it for him before he left, so i said "no problem". snakes generally dont move around alot, so i didnt think it would be too difficult. was i ever wrong. :lmao:

    as you can see, his snake is still very young.....and very curious. every time i tried to take a shot of it, he would move. i tried taking shots of it just sitting (do snakes really "sit"?) on my table, but it seems like every time i set him down, he came right towards me. it was like a baby wanting to be held. finally i decided the best way to do it would be to hold it on my hand and snap a few shots. i have decided to stay away from the auto settings on my camera for all of my shots, but working with only one hand with a camera that needs 2 wasnt going to be easy so i reluctantly set it on auto and snapped a couple of shots. after seeing the preview in the LCD i realized i wasnt going to be happy at all with the pics, so i set it back to manual. i really wanted to keep the snake in focus and leave the rest out of focus and in auto everything seems to be focused more then i wanted. i picked the snake up and tried a few shots with the focus on auto and the rest of the settings manual, but i still didnt like the shots. i tried to get my wife to give me a hand so i could focus the camera while she held the exposure button (cant do that myself with 1 hand), but she wanted nothing to do with the snake. what i wound up doing is holding the snake in my hand (and trying to balance it on top of my hand as well) while i tried to focus on something else that was approximately the same distance away and then trying to get the snake in focus. after about 30 minutes of focusing and re-aiming the camera towards the snake, i ended up getting a couple shots that were ok, but still not quite what i wanted. they were still better then anything i got in auto and my friend really likes them, but i was hoping to have more of the snake in focus. everyone else says these shots are ok, but i am my own worst critic so i thought i would post them here to get some more objective opinions, and maybe some advice on how i could make them better. i can reshoot the pics just about any time so if anyone has any tips to help me achieve the shots i wanted (more of the snake in focus while leaving the foreground and background out of focus, and tips for better lighting so i dont need the flash), i would appreciate it!

    #1
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    #2 this was everyones 2nd favorite shot. they all say it looks like he is smiling for the camera. i would like it better myself if his head and body was more in focus though.
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    #3 this one is the one everyone else likes the most, and of the shots i got its probably my favorite too, except i would have liked to have had more of the snake in the picture, and his body more in focus. my wife even liked this shot.
    [​IMG]

    i do know that point-and-shoot type digitals do have some limitations, so am i asking too much from the camera, or do i just need better set up? (better lighting, both hands for focusing etc etc....) thanks for looking, and for any advice/critique anyone can give me!

    i should also add that these are straight out of the camera. i did no editing to them at all, just resized them. if anyone feels like trying any edits, feel free to. if the originals would be easier to edit (2592x1944 and approx 2.5MB) then let me know how to send them or where i can have pics that size hosted and i can do that too. im not asking anyone to edit these, im just saying if anyone feels like doing it, thats ok and i dont mind sending the originals. thanks again!
     
  2. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    Nice shots :)
    And i know how it feels to shoot one of those. I got a ball python myself (not very old neither, about 6 months i guess) and it can be hell to take pics from her.
    Think the best thing to do is take some distance and crop it later on. When you got some distance, the flash wont wash out the colors and you can crop it anyway you like it.
    And just focus and snap the shot as soon as possible. Since they move alot (all though they only move their head in the beginning because they are smelling the enviroment) If you wait to long between focussing and taking the pic, the focus wont be any good anymore.
    Hope this helped :)
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've got one too, about three years old or so.

    They are harder to photograph than one might think. Especially when you are trying to hold them...or put them out in the open.

    It might help if you put him down with something to hide in so he doesn't feel the need to seek cover.

    I'll 2nd the suggestion to back up and crop. When you are that close, the DOF is very narrow and it's hard to get the focus just right. Also, the flash is quite bright when you're that close.
     
  4. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the comments/advice!

    i looked through the other shots i took, and found a couple more that came out ok, but didnt have the DOF i wanted. in a few days im going to see about setting up a branch and some better lighting to see if i can get some better pics.

    #1
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    #2
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    these are also straight from the camera, with no editing. my monitor decided to die, so i dont really dare attempt to edit them right now. i have a bad habit of saving over the originals (bad memory and NO attention span :lmao: ) and until i can see them better, id rather not chance it. like the first 2, if anyone thinks an edit would make these look better, feel free to do so. thanks for looking!
     

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