My first attempt at shooting animals-I need some help

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by jvgig, May 30, 2008.

  1. jvgig

    jvgig TPF Noob!

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    These are from the Atlanta Zoo. I was having trouble to the the sunlight minimizing blown out highlights while trying to preserve the darker details of the animals.
    1. [​IMG]
    35mm f3.5 1-160sec iso400 EV0 (behind glass)
    2.[​IMG]
    36mm f3.5 1/250sec iso400 EV0 (behind glass)
    3. [​IMG]
    36mm f3.5 1/50sec iso50 EV0 (behind glass)
    4. [​IMG]
    27mm f3.5 1/100sec iso400 ev0 (in aquarium)
    5. [​IMG]
    36mm f3.5 1/200sec iso400 EV0
    6. [​IMG]
    36mm f3.5 1/320sec iso400 EV0
    7. [​IMG]
    36mm f3.5 1/3200 sec iso400 EV0
    8. [​IMG]
    36mm f3.5 1/1600sec iso400 EV0
    9. [​IMG]
    36mm f3.5 a/1250sec iso400 EV0
    10. [​IMG]
    36mm f3.5 1/2500sec iso400 EV0
    11. [​IMG]
    36mm cropped f3.5 1/1250sec iso400 EV0

    Always looking to improve, so any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Before I launch into a full crit could you tell me:
    1) what camera and lens you were using

    2) what mode you had the camera set to
     
  3. dslrchat

    dslrchat TPF Noob!

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    Yes I can see you had problems with the light, must have been mid day?

    I am just a noob but, maybe bracket some photos and then merge them to get the detail without being blown out?

    Maybe a ND filter?

    I dont see the exif settings so not swure what time it was.
     
  4. jvgig

    jvgig TPF Noob!

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    The camera was an Olympus C-8080 with its 7.1-35.6mm (4x focal length multiplier) f2.4-3.5. Its an advanced p&s. Each shot was done under manual settings with auto white balance (because the manual just takes too long). I will add settings for each pic to first post. The pictures ranged from about 10am to 1pm.

    Thanks
     
  5. jvgig

    jvgig TPF Noob!

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    Any suggestions for next time? Any thoughts on composition?
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm well I am not certain about the controls/features on a point and shoot so see what you can do with this adivice:

    1) if you have an apature priority mode switch to it and shoot with that - its the best mode to really be in most times - the only times not are really when you want to control the apature - either to force a longer or shorter exposure.

    2) ISO at 400 on a point and shoot and I can see noise creaping into the shots being a concern. If you take and use a tripod you can have good success with ISO 200 - especially when the animals are not moving around too much.

    3) take a tripod - that will help loads (a cheap one from wallmart/tescos). I say cheap as you don't have to have much weight for a light camera, and it makes it easier to carry around. Using a tripod allows you the following:
    a) added stability so you don't need to use very high shutter speeds to get shots.

    b) if you use the legs at the lowest setting it encourages you to get down low 0 which can make for interesting shots

    4) (not sure about this on a point and shoot) if you can set your exposure compensation to -1 when shooting during the day - that will help save shots from having overexposed whites and is good practise for all kinds of daytime shoots.

    After that I would say some general wildlife shooting advice;

    a) where you can get down low with shots - that means you get an angle that the human eye from standing does not usually get and makes the shot much more interesting

    b) When shooting aim for the eyes as much as you can = getting infocus eyes looking at the camera is a big advantage for wildlife and animals in general.

    c) Always allow for some room in the shot- especially in the direction that the subject is going - you appear not to be having a problem with this though, which is good.

    And general zoo photography:
    1) often its best to focus on only a few animals overa day - and to watch them for hours at a time. That can be very boring (big cat watching ---) but it means that you have the best chance of catching some interesting action!

    2) With all zoo animals, but big cats especially, the best time is when they have young as you can often garantee that they will be doing something interesting throught the day - plus there is the whole cute factor!

    3) Bars - a pain if ever there was one, but you seem to have been able to shoot without bars getting in the way. If you can't then experiment with getting rid of them at the time, but if you can't get rid of them then have them in the shot - blurred bars look worse than sharper bars.
    (getting really close to the bars with the subject moved off away from them is the best way, but often you can't get that close

    Good luck with future trips!
     
  7. jvgig

    jvgig TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the pointers.
     

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