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Thread: Advice re Badger photography project - Now with sample photos...

  1. #1
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    I would like some advice about where to go now with my plan to take photos of my resident badgers.

    I will post some more pics top this thread later on when I upload the last 2 nights efforts

    At the moment I am having to take shots through my double glazing with a flashgun off camera to avoid reflections in the glass.

    I appreciate this is far from ideal but they are such timid animals that any noise spooks them and they run away. It has taken me 2 years of feeding and slowly indroducing lighting to them to be tolerant of the flashgun.

    I am hoping with the summer months ( big LOL at the moment) I will be able to get outside in a makeshift hide with them to avoid the glass

    I have 3 problems that I need help with really

    1. Is lighting - they tolerate the flash now but obviously being nocturnal beasties you cannot take photos of them during lovely golden twilight, I would appreaciate advice of how best to light them other than the flashgun - gels? I don't know - The step is covered in soalr garden lamps but these provide little in the way of decent lighting

    2. Background - I would love a better background than our decking covered in peanuts - One Idea I had was to get some lastolite http://www.warehouseexpress.com/stud...kgrounds/b3100 and pput this on and over the decking to provide either a completely black or , more likely a completely white backdrop and floor to take a shot on - do you think this would work? is the paper thick enough not to tear? I kinda like the idea of a shot against a totally white background - are there issues with doing this and lighting?

    3. Getting them to look up - I'll have to work this out myself most of the time they graze with nose buried in the floor - have seen people dangling peanut butter sandwiches on wires to get them to look up and stand up - so may give this a go.

    Any thoughts appreciated :D

    badgerbadgersnaaaaaake

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    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    Re: Advice re Badger photography project

    I have no idea about any of that (there's a real surprise) I just want to see the photos! :D Looking forward to them, Doc.






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    Re: Advice re Badger photography project

    Hmmm... not sure about the backdrop or the lighting but how about setting the camera up outside on a tripod. Camouflage it a bit and then use something like this to fire it from in the house. That would avoid shooting through the glass and also get you a bit closer to the action.

    Tom (... just thinking...)

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    Re: Advice re Badger photography project

    Thanks Tom - thats a thought but there would be no way of framing the shot quite right unless I was looking through the lens at the time I think - and getting close to the action isn't an issue - last night I was 2 inches from one of their noses :D

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    Senior Member Esmeralda's Avatar
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    Re: Advice re Badger photography project

    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher, post: 278715
    I would like some advice about where to go now with my plan to take photos of my resident badgers

    Have you thought of beavers? There must be all kinds out there?




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    Re: Advice re Badger photography project

    Any other ideas anyone

    Anyway while we wait here are some from this week , two in the dry and 2 in the soaking rain that seems to never end during this period of 'drought'

    Pretty happy considering they are through double glazing and shot in pitch darkness but I still want better and I need to get around the double glazing issue

    Spent a long time on the last 3 cloning out peanuts, its a shame as I really like the first one as its side lit but try as I might I just can't get the peanuts gone - anyone who is better at PS give me a hand or offer any suggestions?




    side lit badger by Sidleydoc, on Flickr



    Soaking wet stripes by Sidleydoc, on Flickr


    Wet and Wild by Sidleydoc, on Flickr


    Midnight Caller by Sidleydoc, on Flickr

    the large files look pretty good on flickr - if you click on them and go for 'original' they show a lot of detail which you would never normally see on a badger in the wild

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    sorry not really been reading stuff properly today, just read this. The first thing that springs to mind - don't spend a fortune getting black lastolite, get some black material that's easy to wash and iron -doesn't crease too much. You can then up the black in the processing- can't remember what you call it and it gets rid of any creases, dust etc. I use it for back drops for portraits and it works really well.


    or you need to build a hide in your garden LOL or convince Lisa that a lens size hole in the patio doors is a good idea LOL














  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by britchick, post: 278756
    sorry not really been reading stuff properly today, just read this. The first thing that springs to mind - don't spend a fortune getting black lastolite, get some black material that's easy to wash and iron -doesn't crease too much. You can then up the black in the processing- can't remember what you call it and it gets rid of any creases, dust etc. I use it for back drops for portraits and it works really well.


    or you need to build a hide in your garden LOL or convince Lisa that a lens size hole in the patio doors is a good idea LOL
    Awesome idea, :D never thought of cutting a hole in the glass.

    Good idea about the cloth, may go to Dunelm mill and see what they have cheap.

    What about white lastolite? Really like the idea of a white background to liven up the image a little, although the beasts are bound to make it dirty!

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    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    I wish I could be of use but honestly, the photos you've already got are so far beyond any wildlife photos I've got that it would be silly for me to suggest anything

    One thing I guess I sorta FEEL about it though is, I wouldn't personally go too far down the road of making things artificial even if the intention is to make it look natural.

    I guess an uncluttered natural colour background isnt the end of the world but if they're nocturnal then I think added light should be kept to a minimum and their natural environment is good to see. I mean, I wouldnt WANT to see a spot on perfectly lit Badger posing with sunglasses waving against a high key backdrop (not that I think for a moment that's what you were aiming for either).

    If you did go down the white background route, you'd have the same exposure issues as with snow. Your cam would try and take the white to grey and so you'd have to dial in a bit of compensation to cope. Not the end of the world. I'm not really feeling it for a white background but I could be convinced by some great shots :D

    The few shots here ALMOST look a tad oversharpened to my eyes but it could just be the software scaling them downsize.

    All in all, I LOVE these environmental shots I really really do and think you're doing a brilliant job on them.
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    If I understood Keith right, then I tend to see it how he does. I think it's okay for it to be naturally unpretty. As you appropriately named one of your photos, they are wet and wild. Nature is sometimes dirty, but never flawed. And I have seen your previous animal photos, and well, they are absolutely stunning. Go for the gritty natural approach.

    (I hope I didn't put words in Keith's mouth)

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