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Thread: reptile photoshoot

  1. #1

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    Stanley de Graaf

    reptile photoshoot

    a few weeks ago i asked in another post how i could shoot my friends reptiles the best, two days ago i had the shoot and i realy like the results

    i thank everyone that answered my question for the help and tips.

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    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 1st January 2013 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Numbered shots for ease of reference

  2. #2
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    I think you did quite well, really nice images. I think if I had to nit pick...I would have liked a hair more light in the reflection images to bring the reflection out just a bit more. Really, a very nicely done set of images.
    Last edited by jeeperman; 1st January 2013 at 06:21 PM.

  3. #3
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Hi Stanley,
    I don't think I've had the chance to welcome you to CiC yet, so Welcome.

    These are a very nice set of pictures.
    I am looking to take some pictures of my sons bearded dragons I wondered if you had any tips to offer? I notice you have dark backgrounds in your pictures, do you find this the best to obtain detail, if so I will need to use a backing board, as our terrarium is a light-wood colour.

    Thanks for sharing, very nice.

  4. #4
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Stunning series. Very well done. I usually try to pick a favorite in a series, but I cannot pick in this series...they are all top notch.

  5. #5

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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    hey John,

    i do think that a dark background is the way to go for this kind of animals, i find that if you use white that it looks like your gonna sell them or something.

    but if you want to take the pictures while the animals are inside the terrarium (i didn't do that, i had them on a table with a 3 way lighting set-up) i don't think that you will need a dark background. because if their is enough background blur the light-wooded colour will be more natural than a black background.

    i would try them both the dark and light background, then you can deside yourself.

    as a tip i would recommend to take the pictures from a low angle

    hoped that i helped if you have more questions... just ask

  6. #6
    orlcam88's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    very nice images. The 2nd and 3rd are creeply (sic) good!

  7. #7
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Fantastic photos. My favorites are #5 and #10. Since you didn't ask for C&C, I am not sure if you are open to critique, but I'd like to offer my thoughts. In #5 I'd crop a tiny bit off the right side to make it feel more balanced. In #10 I'd clone out the branch that intersects the snake's head, and maybe burn the background orange at the right a little so it's less distracting. Other than that I think these are excellent photographs. If you don't appreciate my critique PM me and I will remove it right away. Thank you

  8. #8

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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    thank you, and i'm always open for c&c i will put it in my next posts so that everyone will know.
    c&c is a big thing for me because i am just 1 year really into photography and c&c let me think more about my next picture.

    thank you for your reply

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Hi Stanley,

    These are super technically, if I might make one general observation; in many the eye is dead centre, as it should be for focusing using the centre point, but compositionally I wondered whether some might benefit from having it nearer a third intersection? Ignore me if this was a deliberate choice by you.

    The only other thing to mention is the narrow DoF, I looked at the EXIF data on a few and they all seemed to be shot at f/8 (and iso 400), perhaps try f/16 - if you can get a stop more light from the lighting and raise iso to 800?

    What was the lighting?
    I had assumed flash, but the EXIF says not (on one shot, at least)

    Good consistent White Balance.

    Cheers,

  10. #10
    splashy's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Beautiful pictures.

  11. #11

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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    hey dave,

    the reason that the eye is in almost every picture dead center is indeed because of the focus point that i used, during the shoot i thought about that to but the animals were not standing stil so it was very hard to do. plus i really liked this look so i kept shooting like this because it was easier and it looked really nice.

    the reason that i used f8 through the entire shoot is because the lens that i used (nikkor 40mm 2.8 macro) is twice as sharp on f8 than any other f number and i really wanted that eye sharp, i choosed iso 400 because my camera can handle iso 800 but i wanted not so much noise because of the black background.

    the lighting that i used were three daylight lamps, i've tried it with flash but the animals didn't like that so i choose to use the lamps


  12. #12

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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Totally well done. Sharp and colourful.

  13. #13
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Hi Stanley,

    Quote Originally Posted by stanleydegraaf View Post
    The reason that the eye is in almost every picture dead center is indeed because of the focus point that i used, during the shoot i thought about that to but the animals were not standing stil so it was very hard to do. plus i really liked this look so i kept shooting like this because it was easier and it looked really nice.
    You could always crop to get a better composition in PP - I do, far more often than not, but it is your choice of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by stanleydegraaf View Post
    The reason that i used f8 through the entire shoot is because the lens that i used (nikkor 40mm 2.8 macro) is twice as sharp on f8 than any other f number and i really wanted that eye sharp, i choosed iso 400 because my camera can handle iso 800 but i wanted not so much noise because of the black background.
    I think, no; I know, you won't be able to tell the difference if the image is properly post processed (including output sharpening) and view the whole image on screen* - you might see a difference if you printed it 8 feet tall and stood right next to it.

    * you will be downsizing from the capture of say 4,300 x 2900 px to about 1500 x 1000 px - by the time you've done that - even a 50% difference on the lens mtf figure is going to be invisible. (unless the lens is really bad, that is) but of course, if you pixel peep (view at 100%) then yes you may see a difference, but that's not terribly relevant in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by stanleydegraaf View Post
    The lighting that i used were three daylight lamps, i've tried it with flash but the animals didn't like that so i choose to use the lamps
    I have to say I share you concern and don't like shooting animals or birds with flash myself, although many people do, including renowned wildlife photographers/conservationists, so maybe I worry unnecessarily about that.

    Cheers,

  14. #14
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Stanley,

    These turned out fantastic. Some beautiful pets there. I miss keeping all those kinds of critters.

    - Bill

  15. #15

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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Some beautiful pets there.
    my friend says thanks

  16. #16
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: reptile photoshoot

    Hi Stanley, based on your narrative, these images show that your shooting technique is improving remarkably well. You have captured the detail and colour precisely and as you continue to practice you'll find ways to selectively improve the DoF and play with the cropping and composition.

    Depending upon how long they are holding still, you might try to get a three image focus stack and play with the lighting setup to increase the DoF without using a bright flash. Perhaps brighter daylight lamps or a softened flash that doesn't disturb them could help?

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