Wednesday, March 10, 2010

At the zoo #2 - BYOL*

Box turtle

*Bring your own light. Cause they sure don't have enough light at most indoor zoo exhibits without having to crank your ISO to some unreasonable level.

Of course, anybody who has tried to make a flash picture of animals in glass houses knows that you get a nice bright flash of white reflected right in the middle of your picture when you try that. Two things you can do to fix that -- 1) move the camera so as to shoot through the glass at an angle or 2) use an off camera flash and move it at an angle to the glass while you shoot from straight on, or whatever angle you need to in order to get the shot you want.

Option #1 limits your field of view, so I chose #2.

Mr. Turtle was lit with a flash unit hand held by my wife to the left of the camera. A wireless trigger (which can be had for as little as $60) synched flash to shutter. The result is a flash photo that doesn't look so much like a flash photo. Same with Mr. Red Poison Dart Frog below.

Red poison dart frog

Another so-dark-you-can-barely-see-these-guys exhibit. Again, flash held at an angle to the glass (about 45 degrees) at low power to give the camera a fighting chance at a picture.

Still had the ISO cranked up in order to catch some ambient light in the background so as not to be totally flash lit, but nowhere near as high as I would have without the flash.

A couple more flashy zoo pics to come.

Pictures from the Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison, Wisconsin. Photographs © 2010 James Jordan.


Wanda said...

I love the Zoo. Thanks for taking me! That little redhead is beautiful....behind the glass of course.

I need orange said...

Agreeing totally with the frustration of dirty/scratched/reflective plexiglas and fencing...........

I always wonder how disruptive/annoying flash is for the animals, and generally don't use it for that reason.