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

  1. #11
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    I agree with the natural thing to, you could always try the black fabric it's cheap enough, they may not like the texture on their paws though.














  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith, post: 278772
    I wouldnt WANT to see a spot on perfectly lit Badger posing with sunglasses waving against a high key backdrop
    I want to see that!!!

    I think the photos that youve already taken are brilliant!



  3. #13
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    Well, I understand a bit more now of what you are trying to accomplish. I wonder how many of the shots in National Geographic and other nature periodicals are created? All this time I thought they were candid!

    Any shots of nocturnal animals that I recall are all dark, especially the background. Once in a while there will be the odd lemur with the overly lighted pose and that is sort of creepy.

    I think the shots you have here are wonderful. You can see each hair for goodness sake!






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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith, post: 278772
    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.
    Thanks Keith great advice as always.

    I know what you mean about the background - the thing is I really ideally would like them against a natural woodland background, not against something so obviously man made as the decking but so far I haven't progressed to that. Again maybe in the summer if I get a sort of hide in place and can get them before they get up on the deck.

    The idea of the white was to look at the creature in isolation as stark contrast to the background, to bring out its colours and contours in a way you can't against the dark. It was just an idea and it may fail horribly, it was just an idea to do something 'different'.

    No wasn't planning on the spotlight or the sunglasses, or the straw donkey and umbrella in the cocktail

    Really don't like the way a lot of the software compress' the pics if I'm honest , may have to find a better answer than flickr - I really don't like sharpening of images and to be honest I very rarely do it at all and I'm fairly certain I didn't use any at all on these, infact I didn't do much post processing on the images at all apart from a few levels and curves, most of the work was on removing the tons of peanuts by cloning. The reason I did this was the bright orange was rather distracting.

    OMG how anal have I become

    Think I really should have picked an easier animal like my cat to focus on

  5. #15
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    Now I have no idea if this is remotely do-able or just stupid, but could you have an area in your garden that is lighter through the use of sand? You could put something on the sand to lure the badger (those peanuts maybe?). That would be natural in one sense (although I doubt there are many badgers in the desert). It would give you a lighter background?

    Kitties are awfully pretty! :D






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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tink, post: 278790
    Well, I understand a bit more now of what you are trying to accomplish. I wonder how many of the shots in National Geographic and other nature periodicals are created? All this time I thought they were candid!!
    This is becoming a huge problem in these digital days.

    There's always been the modification of surroundings. Cutting off some brances or making an "area" for animals which is good for the photo. That's one thing and generally that's understood and accepted. This is what Skywatcher is talking about.. just making the environment the best it can be for a great shot.

    Nowadays not only do you have that, but you even have people digitally editing the photos to a really unacceptable (in my eyes) extent. Indeed only a year or so ago, the guy who won wildlife photographer of the year was stripped of the title after it was shown that he'd basically edited a few photos together. (It was of a fox jumping over a fence and ISTR it was shown that the fox was wearing the wrong fur for the season shown in the photo and he ended up admitting it).

    It's hard now to look at an amazing photo and then think hmmm, but is it real :/

    This is one of the reasons we're so lucky to have sir skywatcher around since we're seeing proper images that we can trust
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  7. #17
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    and the oscar for excessive flattery goes to.. ;)

    Yep I totally disagree with the digital manipulation of wildlife photographs UNLESS people are obviously being very open and honest about it ie they are using the photos for art rather than a representation of the animal in the wild.

    What you see a lot of is composite images, people spend ages ( and there is still a lot of skill involved) taking multiple images of a scene , and over the weeks a badger may walk by and a fox and some birds. What they then do is mush them all together to create a stunning image that has them all together.

    Another thing that is very very often used in 'wildlife photography' are captured and trained animals - a LOT of teh photographs you will see in wildlife magazines are of anuimals with perfect pelts agains stunning backdrops and these scenes are arranged in various locations around teh globe with a host of tamed animals. Again as long as you arent passing this off as a 'wild shot' I see no real problem with this. It was this reason that the photo lost the Wildlife photograph of the year award - it was a wolf jumping a gate - a really beautiful shot - chap made some story about how he'd tracked him for days and was amazed when he jumped and got the shot - problem was someone recognised the wolf as a tame wolf and actually it had taken him all of an afternoon of jumping him to get the shot.

    The whole idea of the white background thing for me wasn't in any way to cheat the viewer, it was just an idea to get some different kind of shots - the beasties I can assure you are as wild as they can be, and it has taken me 2 years to get to be as close as I am - I just really want to see how far I can push myself and push this, one day I want to capture something that is truely stunning and these animals are beautiful and so often overlooked as they are so rarely seen by anyone.

  8. #18
    Senior Member uscwest's Avatar
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    Absolutely brilliant photography Chris. I can't even imagine being that close to a badger.





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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher, post: 278802
    and the oscar for excessive flattery goes to.. ;)
    nah I'm mega impressed, I honestly am. They're wonderful shots which I'd be very proud to have taken

    The whole idea of the white background thing for me wasn't in any way to cheat the viewer, it was just an idea to get some different kind of shots - the beasties I can assure you are as wild as they can be, and it has taken me 2 years to get to be as close as I am - I just really want to see how far I can push myself and push this, one day I want to capture something that is truely stunning and these animals are beautiful and so often overlooked as they are so rarely seen by anyone.
    yeah.. I mean I think what you're getting already is stunning but I understand the desire to go further and further.

    I think the hide will be the key. Once you get that going and can get out there with them it'll be even better
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  10. #20
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    What about just collecting some twigs, leaves etc and putting them on the decking? I'm sure if you promise to clean up afterwards you won't get in too much trouble!














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