Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Red-Shouldered Hawk (redux)

A shot I took over a year ago, done with a better edit...

I recovered detail from the shadows. I also imported it using the embedded color profile this time, vs what I used to do which is convert it to the working color space of my pc. And of course some Unsharp Mask.

Here's the new version
Red-Shouldered Hawk (redux)

Here's the old version
Red-Shouldered Hawk - [1] 2

tags: nature, wildlife, red-shouldered hawk, RSH, bird, animal.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A bunch of recent flash photography I've done.

Eye Reflected!
Originally uploaded by Nikographer [Jon]
Lately I've been reading Strobist and thinking more about flash. A couple weeks ago I got my second SB-800, and have continued to experiment with off-camera flash.

The D70s I have will control a single channel and group (3A), and the D200 will use any channel, and groups A and B with different settings for each. Both cameras can trigger the flashes remotely via the on camera flash. It's a pretty cool technology, because it has to transmit ISO, shutter, F/stop and distance info. Also, from what I've read the remote flashes will prefire so fast you can't see it, and they will assess the amount of light hitting a subject (at the flash? at the camera?) and adjust output accordingly. I don't know if that's 100% accurate or not, but it works pretty well.

One case where I had trouble was when the flashes weren't in the line of sight of the camera. Sometimes the remote flash would fire, sometimes it wouldn't, If I were a pro, I'd consider getting the Pocket Wizards to control them flawlessly via RF (visible light).

Anyway, here are a bunch of recent shots I've taken with flash.

Eye Reflected!
Eye Reflected!

Veiled Chameleon
Veiled Chameleon @ US National Zoo

Veiled Chameleon @ US National Zoo

Green crested basilisk
Green crested basilisk

Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)
Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)

Meerkat Baby
Meerkat Baby @ National Zoo 6/16/2007

Wattled Crane (shot w/ Snooted Flash)
Wattled Crane (shot w/ Snooted Flash) @ US National Zoo (+baby pix)

Nikon CLS - Elephant Shrew @ National Zoo

The setup

Strobe on a rope - Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin
See: strobe-on-rope.html
Strobe on a rope - Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin @ US National Zoo.

Snooted-Flash - Red-Capped Crane
See also:lighting-101-cereal-box-snoots-and.html
Snooted-Flash - Red-Capped Crane @ US National Zoo

Flashed Meerkat
Flashed Meerkat

And the less than perfect shot I was trying for...

Having started to use flash regularly, so much more is possible. The ability to take low light photos is just part of it. Flash, and light in general, can become a very important part of a (good) photograph.

One thing I've been burned by more than once is that the SB-800's will throw their flash at below parallel with the lens when set at 90 degrees on the flash head and on camera. This is to provide flash better to close subject. However, when you have a good telephoto lens and you're trying to light something far away, the flash's light will fall too close. When using a better beamer and 300mm or 400mm on a far bird, you won't even HIT the subject.

I noticed that with the Snoot on flash, if you jam it all the way down the flash head, it will prop up the flash head and make it work at good distances. I plan to make some snoot like shims for my flashes to correct for this low angle problem.