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Old 18th March 2017
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Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

i attended a workshop shooting a number of captive bred small mammals, tree frogs and insects this week. The opportunity was for me to use properly set up studio flash. I have only previously used on camera or single off camera flash or my own continuous lighting which would be too hot for such subjects.

It was a good experience and allowed me to shoot Olympus and Canon side by side. I will only post a few of the Olympus shots here but others are on Flickr if interested. I won't put the tarantula on here but he was a lovely specimen. But I'm guessing that spiders (or the snake ) are not everyone's cup of tea.

I found the results very pleasing and the Olympus EM5 mk2 shots were lovely in terms of richness and balance. I was slightly concerned by the suggestions of 800 iso with f16 to 20, but we did lots of experimentation and I have about 500 shots to try and learn from.

I will put a few here and see what you feel.


Red-Eyed Tree Frog - Agalychnis callidryas
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Crested gecko - Correlophus ciliatus
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Ghost Praying Mantis - Phyllocrania paradoxa
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Amazon milk frog - Trachycephalus resinifictrix
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr

At the moment I haven't uploaded any of the Harvest Mice with Oly, but they were the cutest subjects if you want to see what the 70D made of them.

The workshop is a good one. I have a flash with bats in flight workshop soon with the same people.

hope you like them
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Old 18th March 2017
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

Peter,

You really made the most of the opportunity. It really helps to have studio conditions and excellent backgrounds.

As for ISO 800 and f16, I use the combination most of the time, sometimes dropping to ISO 400. The difference is in the noise level.

Harold
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Old 18th March 2017
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

Really great shots, and thank you for not posting the tarantula!
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

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Originally Posted by Harold Gough View Post
Peter,

You really made the most of the opportunity. It really helps to have studio conditions and excellent backgrounds.

As for ISO 800 and f16, I use the combination most of the time, sometimes dropping to ISO 400. The difference is in the noise level.

Harold
Harold it is in the noise area that I worry. I think digital noise can be quite obtrusive. I know it is always a balance, but I learned to get the exposure as good as possible which helps a lot. I worry less about diffraction softening.

the difference in working in brighter situations is dramatic.
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Old 19th March 2017
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

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Harold it is in the noise area that I worry. I think digital noise can be quite obtrusive.
It certainly is. Remove it. It isn't rocket science.

Harold
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

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It certainly is. Remove it. It isn't rocket science.

Harold
Harold. I can remove noise but as you well know it has an impact on other parameters (detail, micro contrast and colour) potentially so I prefer to get the image as good as possible at the point of taking. So on a lot of the shots I was happier to be at a lower F stop and ISO. Peter
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

Excellent work. Lets see the harvest mice.
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

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Excellent work. Lets see the harvest mice.
Well once I have an Oly one I'll post that. This was not. But you asked. More on Flickr


Harvest appeal - can you resist me?
by Peter Willmott, on Flickr
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

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Well once I have an Oly one I'll post that. This was not. But you asked. More on Flickr
What was it looking at?

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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

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What was it looking at?

Haroldf
I think I got too close. It had been stuffing itself with grains, it ate four, and he was about to put it away and I dived in for a last shot. I have some lovely shots of it eating.

These are probably all of use for a painting that I have planned. I photographed a Harvest Mouse nest in the wild on Thursday (last years and empty) so that and some of the shots of their more interesting movement will make good background to the painting.

The photos are OK but I feel the need for greater reality in the details and behaviour.
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Old 18th March 2017
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

A great series of images Peter, I love the way you've isolated the subjects and the use of unobtrusive backgrounds.

It looks like you made the most of the workshop, an opportunity I'd take up without a second thought.

Thanks for sharing your images.

Dave
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

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A great series of images Peter, I love the way you've isolated the subjects and the use of unobtrusive backgrounds.

It looks like you made the most of the workshop, an opportunity I'd take up without a second thought.

Thanks for sharing your images.

Dave
Hi Dave

I cannot take any credit for the set-ups as these were built and lit for us. I do like this chap he has 30 years or more experience, takes excellent pictures himself and gives exactly the right amount and depth of advice. But like all staged shots they have a formula and perhaps cliched side (eg all branches have lichen, water spray etc etc ...and in this case the blackberries are plastic the sloes are blueberries etc etc).

I can ignore all of that because for me he is providing the thing I want most which is the animals in a way that you can get hundreds of shots with variations. I wouldn't want to work that way often as you do end up with the look of a careful set-up picture and it is hard to break out. But it is great for getting you to see the potential in settings and improving the technique which is harder when taking shots in the wild.

thanks for looking and commenting

Peter
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

Super, bring on the spider shots!
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Old 19th March 2017
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

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Super, bring on the spider shots!
Why not? You can start a new thread and warn in the title.

Harold
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Old 19th March 2017
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Re: Small mammals, tree frogs and insect workshop

I would be very interested in understanding the difference in performance of the EOS 70D and the EM-5, as I'm seriously considering the EM-1ii or jumping ship to DSLR, so would love some realistic non-biased opinion.

I'd also be interested where the workshop was.
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