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Thread: need help shooting reptiles, frogs etc

  1. #1

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    Stanley de Graaf

    need help shooting reptiles, frogs etc

    hi,

    a friend of my asked me if i would take pictures of his pets, only he doesn't have a dog or a cat.. no he has snakes frogs and gecko's.

    i don't want to come there without any idea of what i am gonna do, so i want to ask you for some tips and tricks. lighting and equipment aren't a problem, i only need to know how i can photograph his animals; what lighting techniques should i use.

    i am gonna photograph his animals in a studio that i make in his house, it will have a black background and the animals will probably sitting on a branch or some leafs or so.

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Paul Melkus

    Re: need help shooting reptiles, frogs etc

    Welcome to CiC,
    First thing is what equipment are you using, by what your saying we are looking at maybe some macro shots. Tell us about the gear you have and I'm sure we can help.

  3. #3

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    Stanley de Graaf

    Re: need help shooting reptiles, frogs etc

    thats what i thought to,

    i have:
    a nikon d3100 with:
    - standard nikkor 18-55
    - 55-200 telezoom lens
    - 40mm macro lens with macro flash
    i have also a normal flash with a wireless system and a whole studio system with fixed lights and softboxes

    thats what i thought i will be needing

  4. #4
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Paul Melkus

    Re: need help shooting reptiles, frogs etc

    Take a look at this guide, I feel it could do more good than what I can try to explain
    http://www.diyphotography.net/the-co...ro-photography

  5. #5

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    Remco

    Re: need help shooting reptiles, frogs etc

    The main problem might be the minimal focusing distance of your lenses.
    Not knowing how tame the animals are, the 40mm might put you too close to them for comfort (theirs, and yours). If you want to take a portrait of a gecko, your target is about 2 cm long, so you'll be working at 1/1 scale. A 40mm lens would put you at less than 8 cm from the gecko. For the same kind of shot with a 200mm, you would be at ~40 cm of your subject. But does your 55-200 focus close enough to get the shots you want? Perhaps test on a drawing or mock-up.

    Then, I suppose with 'fixed lights' you mean continuous lighting? That might give off too much heat for comfort, esp. with the frogs, but the pets' owner should be able to tell you that.

  6. #6

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    Stanley de Graaf

    Re: need help shooting reptiles, frogs etc

    Quote Originally Posted by revi View Post
    The main problem might be the minimal focusing distance of your lenses.
    Not knowing how tame the animals are, the 40mm might put you too close to them for comfort (theirs, and yours). If you want to take a portrait of a gecko, your target is about 2 cm long, so you'll be working at 1/1 scale. A 40mm lens would put you at less than 8 cm from the gecko. For the same kind of shot with a 200mm, you would be at ~40 cm of your subject. But does your 55-200 focus close enough to get the shots you want? Perhaps test on a drawing or mock-up.

    Then, I suppose with 'fixed lights' you mean continuous lighting? That might give off too much heat for comfort, esp. with the frogs, but the pets' owner should be able to tell you that.
    yes i meant continuous lights (sorry for that) the heat thats coming from those lamps is minimal almost none so thats not a problem, the animals are very tame, you can hold them (even poke them) so the only thing is the focusing distance, i'm gonna try your idea of testing that on a drawing

    thanks for the reply

  7. #7

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    Urban Domeij

    Re: need help shooting reptiles, frogs etc

    A closeup lens for the telezoom might do the trick if you want to take portraits from a reasonable distance.

    A +2 lens gives a maximum focus distance of 50 cm from the lens and minimum a bit closer. AF can fine-adjust and you may adjust size by zooming. It is very convenient, and provided you don't use a lens of too many diopters, optical errors are small.

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