Posts tagged “Animals

A Red Squirrel (Two Photographs)

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When fall is underway the squirrels and chipmunks become more friendly in search of food. They are also more likely to tolerate being stared at and photographed. I like the lighting in these photos, the only thing I changed was the color of the wood which was too green for my liking. The backlighting did not hurt.

Turtles and Some Exploration in Post-Processing (Three Photographs)

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The first photograph was enhanced in Skylums’ Luminar. The second is a result of my normal processing in Lightroom and Photoshop and the third is the photo out-of-camera. There are subtle differences and they can be seen most clearly in the water below the log.  For the first two photos I used a noise reduction program and tonality enhancer. The last shot only appears for comparison purposes and either of the first two shots work for me.  Luminar’s A.I filter was used in the first (not sure what it does exactly but I think it’s a mix of highlights, clarity and saturation)and Luminar’s Top and Bottom Exposure filter (my all-time favourite) enabled me to modify the background. Both of these effects could be achieved in Lightroom, but I think with a bit more fiddling. There are other filters I like in Luminar. How far you want to go in processing is a matter of taste and there is a world of software to explore not all of it costly.

Red Squirrel And Pine Cone Plus More on Macro (Three Photographs)

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This squirrel having a great time with a pine cone was shot at 3200 ISO, I was gentle on the noise reduction not to soften the photos further, but at that ISO you gamble on both noise and softness.

Macro: Combating the Diminishing Light

There are three ways to fix the fact that up close we often have less light than we need to photograph subjects.We can up our ISO, and as discussed above this can lead to noise and a soft result. We could reflect light onto the subject with a reflector of some sort, but unless you have an assistant or a stand this could be cumbersome. Or we can use artificial light (Flash). Most cameras limit the shutter speed at which flash will synch with the shutter to about 1/250th of a second. However, a very low-level of light from a flashgun will freeze motion. Here is how this can be done. Assuming a flash on your camera and that the flash and camera work in manual mode, set the flash to 1/8th power or less, your shutter speed to the maximum synch speed it will allow for flash, probably 1/250th of a second. Now your only variable is aperture. Assuming we want a large depth of field use F 14, if it’s too much or too little light adjust the flash power up or down (or adjust the F stop but beware of diffraction over F16). These are my settings with a Nikon SB-900. I have not used ring flashes, but I have used dedicated macro flash gear and I find that gear expensive and cumbersome. You will find a considerable material on do-it-yourself reflectors on-line. There is only one small gotcha in the scenario suggested above and that is the nature of the light created (next post).

A Squirrel and Some Words on Ethics (Two Photographs)

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I took this photo (same photo in B&W and color) on a brief walk and did not really recognize what I had taken until I got home. As usual I took several photos and looking at them I realized the young squirrel never moved, never blinked and probably held its breath all the time I was shooting. I remember taking the shots very quickly and moving on not wanting to disturb the squirrel but looking at the photos I realized this young squirrel was clearly frightened. Hard as you try you still have impacts on the wildlife, maybe not as much as those who feed ducks white bread, but still it bears thinking about how to minimize our interactions so as not to create other problems.


Leopard Frog (Two Photographs)

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The water in the pond was very clear, and just below the frog’s eye you can see reflection on the water line. Also, if you look in the eye you will see a reflection of the photographer. I could have avoided the reflection had I noticed it. However nothing beats eye contact and adjusting my angle for the reflection would have lost that element.

Turtle (Two Photographs)

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I am continuing to work on my black and white techniques and showing my color starting point. Turtles generally pose one significant challenge for photographers, their shells are highly reflective of light and you can get a specular highlight, meaning a spot with no color or detail. Finding a turtle in the right light or angling oneself to avoid a specular highlight can be some work but it can be worth it.

Tough Little Guys (Two Photographs)

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I often see small red squirrels like this, chase grey squirrels twice their size for some distance. I figure it’s a food fight or a territorial issue. When young, these squirrels are fearless. They get more wary as they age and they are great runners and jumpers. I was lucky to come across this one more occupied with his meal than with my camera and I.