Photographing Snakes

Please try include your camera settings with your photos where possible.

Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby corn snake » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:04 pm

Thanks
I will try getting better angles. I also took some photos of a brown house snake, but I had the same problem.
I also think my aperture was to large, at F5.6 every time she moved, my focus was thrown off.

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Leonard
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby Sfourie » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:06 pm

I don't think your wide aperture is responsible for motion blur if that is what you are referring to. Keep your aperture at 5.6 - 8. The wider the aperture the quicker light enters thus allowing for faster shutter speeds and sharper images. What you could also try to do to get sharper images is select an ISO of about 200. This will give you speeds of 1/2000 in good light. Always use a tripod and invest in a remote fire system (They are cheap R180 - R250). Try to get your hands on the Landscape Photography Magazine, it helped me when I got started earlier in the year.
A Shangaan legend states that any man resting or sleeping in the shade of a baobab will become eccentric and forever be enslaved by Africa and its wilderness, guess it's too late for me.
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby MrG » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:57 am

MrG - RAW photographs capture much more detail than JPEG, I think it’s something like 6 bits of extra color. You do not have to be a pro to use RAW, its just simply the best.


Fourie in your EXPERT opinion please explain this technically or is it just something that you heard or read somewhere. I'll even challenge you in a practical session where I'll be taking jpeg images and you raw. We can show our images straight from the camera and then we can see what image look the best. The raw vs jpeg debate is as old as the Canon vs Nikon debate. I said the photographer must use what he thinks is best for him/her.

I don't think your wide aperture is responsible for motion blur if that is what you are referring to. Keep your aperture at 5.6 - 8. The wider the aperture the quicker light enters thus allowing for faster shutter speeds and sharper images. What you could also try to do to get sharper images is select an ISO of about 200. This will give you speeds of 1/2000 in good light. Always use a tripod and invest in a remote fire system (They are cheap R180 - R250). Try to get your hands on the Landscape Photography Magazine, it helped me when I got started earlier in the year.


Aperture determines the DOF. E.g. F2.8 will give you a shallow DOF and F8 will be larger DOF. In picture 3 of Corn snakes pictures it show nicely because the head is sharp and the body is OOF. Using a tripot to photograph moving snakes will definately be a challenge and with a remote fire system even more. :) Landscape photography and nature/close-up photography is totally two different fields. You would even consider using different lenses and equipment for the two. Higher Iso is an option to get a faster Ss and will give you more noise in the photo, but this can easilly be corrected with a noise reduction program. Iso's of 800 are common in bad light. Dont forget that a good flash for photographing reptiles are more of a must than a tripot.

Corn snake are you using any post production programs?
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby MrG » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:17 am

Corn snake, i hope you dont mind but I have done some post proccessing on your photo 3 and this is what it could look like.
Just done a crop, levels, some blurring and sharpen in photoshop. Your original photo 3 is still very good anyway.

Before
Image
After
Image
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby Smeegle » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:17 am

Sfourie wrote:You do not have to be a pro to use RAW, its just simply the best.


Just my experience...

I shot in RAW for a while but I could honestly not see the difference and because it became such a pain to have to wait forever for the files to download and then have to convert them, I felt it wasn't worth the effort and now I only shoot in JPEG.

The fact that a lot of world class photographers such as Karl Grobl only shoot in Jpeg helped me get over it.
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby corn snake » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:53 pm

Hi MrG

Thanks for the advise, the edited photo looks great.
I didn't use any post production programs, all I did was crop the photos a little.

What program do you recommend for removing noise MrG?

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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby MrG » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:14 am

I would recommend you download Neat Image. It is one of the best and easy to use. Some would also suggest Noise Ninja but having used both I find Neat Image the best so far. You can download for free.

http://neat-image.en.softonic.com/
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby Sfourie » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:10 am

Fourie in your EXPERT opinion

In case you have not noticed, the purpose of online forums such as these is to share ideas, knowledge and personal experiences. It is not to compete and establish who is the most knowledgeable on whatever subject is at hand or whose pictures are the best. Everyone wants to enjoy the privilege of sharing what they think to the best of their knowledge is correct without having sarcastic remarks such as these thrown into their face.

My comment on your post was in no way meant to cause any offensive and I apologize if it did. I was merely stating what to the best of my knowledge is correct.

please explain this technically

RAW is a 16 bit file format that holds 12 - 14 bits of color data. JPEG is a 8 bit file that holds much less color and tonal information. RAW is especially handy in an photograph where there are shadowed areas as well as lighter areas, it will definitely capture more detail in the shadows than a JPEG image would. RAW adds more detail to a photograph. It is not so much notable on a camera LCD screen but much more in prints especially large prints. No doubt you can still take a great photo in JPEG and as Smeegle said there are some professionals that use JPEG.

I'll even challenge you in a practical session where I'll be taking jpeg images and you raw.

I simply do not have the time for a competition to prove or disprove a point. I am writing tests on an almost daily basis.

I said the photographer must use what he thinks is best for him/her.

I agree.

Aperture determines the DOF. E.g. F2.8 will give you a shallow DOF and F8 will be larger DOF.

Aperture size is not only a reference to DOF. A large or narrow aperture not only adds to this but also ensures light enters the sensor quicker or slower. This could speed up shutter speed and aid in getting sharper shots and avoiding unwanted motion blur especially in hand held shots.

Using a tripot to photograph moving snakes will definately be a challenge and with a remote fire system even more.

I have utilised these on several occasions without any problems. I have a small tripod that stands about 30 cm tall and it is great for low angle shots.

Landscape photography and nature/close-up photography is totally two different fields. You would even consider using different lenses and equipment for the two.

The magazine has very good articles on the different components, techniques and commonly used phrases of photography such as different aperture sizes, how motion blur occurs etc. aided by picture examples. Having an understanding of components such as these can greatly aid nature photography and enhance your skills and knowledge with your SLR. I regularly use the same lens for both landscape and close up photography in fact I prefer to use my Canon EFS 15 – 85 f3.5 lens for reptile, amphibian and landscape photography since the lens elements is closer to the sensor than in other lenses and provide superior cropping and sharper images.

Regards

Stefan
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby MrG » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:57 am

Stefan, no hard feelings. :D :lol:

I merely reacted on your comments and your technical advice (we call it the google way).

Show us some photos. I am sure we can all learn from each other.
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby Snakecharmer » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:22 pm

My fiance HATES snakes!!! (Fear because of lack of knowledge, if you ask me! But I am working on her...) She is also a very accomplished photographer. I asked her to perhaps post some advice. Her advice: Put your camera in a safe place and kill the snake. Man, how will I ever get her to share my love for these beautiful creatures???
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby MrG » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:32 pm

Lol, photography? reptiles? All things we enjoy. Also good to have A healthy dabate about them.
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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby jesica » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:21 pm

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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby jesica » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:27 pm

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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby jesica » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:35 pm

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Re: Photographing Snakes

Postby jesica » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:37 pm

Image
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