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Old 19th June 2019
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How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

I am a light sleeper and last night at 2 am, I was disturbed by a noise outside of the bedroom. When I looked out, it was a Mongoose foraging through the flower beds. Very quietly, I opened the bedroom window and switched the camera on. Even though the flower beds are illuminated, the light wasnít enough for a clear photo. I set the camera to ďMĒ, pushed the ISO up to 3200, f4.1, but it wasnít enough as everything was still too dark. I didnít really want to use a flash and scare the Mongoose away.

Any suggestions please?
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

It's most unlikely that the flash will scare the Mongoose although it it's any significant away getting the flash to throw that far will be challenging.
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
It's most unlikely that the flash will scare the Mongoose although it it's any significant away getting the flash to throw that far will be challenging.
Thank you for helping. I did a test shot from the bedroom window with the flash on using a phone. In the photo to the right of the illuminated pool, the Mongoose hunts the bushes. Sometimes there are two Honey tailed Mongooses and it would be nice to be able to capture a shot of them. My apologies for the very poor quality of the photo and the noise.

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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

What lens do you have on and why f4.1?

Why not try a shot in the night with the biggest aperture with and without the flash.
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

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Originally Posted by blu-by-u View Post
What lens do you have on and why f4.1?

Why not try a shot in the night with the biggest aperture with and without the flash.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 II

I have two M.Zuiko lenses. The one above and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II Lens

The 14-150mm is the lens I had on the camera. Can you please advise on ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings? Do you have any Mongoose where you live? If so, your opinion about using a flash? Would the flash going off frighten the animal?

I donít want to scare the Mongooses away, as itís reassuring to see them. We get snakes up by the house and sometimes inside. Thank you
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

Not sure I'd want to point the flash directly at the Mongoose (at least not if the Mongoose could get at me - I hear they're vicious little buggers), so yes you would need something to bounce the flash off. Also.... depending on the size of the area a higher guide number (wouldn't fancy the chances of my FL-36).
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

Hi Phil. I have found that video is good for low lighting photography. But there has to be some light of course for focus etc. My other suggestion is to use a Trail camera. They put out an infra-red or UV (I think) light to light up the scene. They can work in still photo mode and /or video. They work well for my hedgehog stuff. Alas I only have video of him so cannot show you a piccie. Downside is that the photos and black and white, unless there is reasonable light around...….
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

It's been a while since I have done any flash photography. SO I could be wrong.

Some flash expert pls advice. on my assumption.

If the base iso setting is 200, the flash is at full power the distant from the subject is say 20 feet, If the ISO is set to 400, the flash can be reduced to 1/2 power if the subject remains at 20 feet.

If the reach is required, say 40 feet the ISO remains at 400 but the flash need to be increase back to full to achieve the correct exposure.

So if the distant is now 80 feet, can the ISO be assumed to be increased to 800?

I am only assuming that the Aperture and Shutter speed remains the same.
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

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Originally Posted by Internaut View Post
Not sure I'd want to point the flash directly at the Mongoose (at least not if the Mongoose could get at me - I hear they're vicious little buggers), so yes you would need something to bounce the flash off. Also.... depending on the size of the area a higher guide number (wouldn't fancy the chances of my FL-36).
Hi, thanks for thinking about my question. When the Mongoose stands on its hind feet, it is quite intimidating, so I am happy not to get too close even though they are cute to look at and what you have said about them being vicious is very helpful. I think there must be a family of them living not far away. I have not found where they go to during the day, but I have seen different ones come up to the house after dark between 1 - 5 a.m, they look well fed, not scrawny. I tend not to go outside of the house at night because of the predators, but I might have to make an effort in order to get the shot

Here is a view from the bedroom window looking down over the bushes and towards the forest. I have seen the Mongoose go to the salt water pool and drink from it.

The flash I have got is called an Olympus FL-LM2, it has never been used

Pool view from bedroom by philip Gate Keeper, on Flickr

view of Agapanthus beds from bedroom by philip Gate Keeper, on Flickr

view from bedroom towards the forest by philip Gate Keeper, on Flickr
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blu-by-u View Post
It's been a while since I have done any flash photography. SO I could be wrong.

Some flash expert pls advice. on my assumption.

If the base iso setting is 200, the flash is at full power the distant from the subject is say 20 feet, If the ISO is set to 400, the flash can be reduced to 1/2 power if the subject remains at 20 feet.

If the reach is required, say 40 feet the ISO remains at 400 but the flash need to be increase back to full to achieve the correct exposure.

So if the distant is now 80 feet, can the ISO be assumed to be increased to 800?

I am only assuming that the Aperture and Shutter speed remains the same.
Thanks for coming back and giving me the settings for shooting in the dark. I have never taken any photos in the dark using an Olympus camera with a flash. Your settings I will try with the flash. Thank you very much.
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

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Originally Posted by MJ224 View Post
Hi Phil. I have found that video is good for low lighting photography. But there has to be some light of course for focus etc. My other suggestion is to use a Trail camera. They put out an infra-red or UV (I think) light to light up the scene. They can work in still photo mode and /or video. They work well for my hedgehog stuff. Alas I only have video of him so cannot show you a piccie. Downside is that the photos and black and white, unless there is reasonable light around...Ö.
Hi Mark, thanks for the advice. I had not thought about using a video. I have a Sony Video which has a night shot facility where everything comes out in black n white because of the IR. I was hoping to use an Olympus brand, but what I have is fairly limited. I am flying to the UK in 2 weeks time for 3 - 4 months and could look out for a trail camera, is there one you can suggest? We have not seen any dangerous snakes up at the house for several months and I think its because the Mongooses are eating them or scaring the snakes away. You have lived in Africa and your insights are appreciated. Thank you very much.
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gate Keeper View Post
Hi, thanks for thinking about my question. When the Mongoose stands on its hind feet, it is quite intimidating, so I am happy not to get too close even though they are cute to look at and what you have said about them being vicious is very helpful.

The Mongoose isn't going to attack you unless you corner it and try to grab it. If it senses you're there it'll run away.


Photographing animals in the dark can be rather challenging. Even if you have a powerful enough flash you have the problem of how to focus the camera. Many years ago, before I located their sett, I used to photograph Badgers in the dark. The method I used was to put down a handful of peanuts then focus the camera on that spot whilst I still had light. It was then a matter of waiting, often for hours, for a Badger to come along and find the peanuts.



But without a decent flash that option probably won't work for you. What you could try is to set the camera up outside with a wide-angle lens set to manual focus and use hyperfocal focusing to set a really deep depth of field. Then trigger the camera from a distance using OI Share if/when the Mongoose moves into the in-focus area.
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

Could you run a mains cable from a plug in dimmer to a tungsten bulb near to where they will be? That way you could build up some illumination without startling them. Or maybe put a battery operated PIR light down there that will trigger when they are in the area. They will soon get used to it.
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

You could try a test shot of the approximate area you want to photograph. See the results. Another thing, try that IR focus assist if you are using the Oly's flash but turn off that strobe. Does that RED focus light still available on the newer flash?
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Re: How to snap a Mongoose at night without a flash?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gate Keeper View Post
Hi Mark, thanks for the advice. I had not thought about using a video. I have a Sony Video which has a night shot facility where everything comes out in black n white because of the IR. I was hoping to use an Olympus brand, but what I have is fairly limited. I am flying to the UK in 2 weeks time for 3 - 4 months and could look out for a trail camera, is there one you can suggest? We have not seen any dangerous snakes up at the house for several months and I think its because the Mongooses are eating them or scaring the snakes away. You have lived in Africa and your insights are appreciated. Thank you very much.
https://www.ukwildlifecameras.co.uk/...eras_C135.html

Phil, I bought a Browning Trail Camera (not a gun!!) off these people in the link above.

They have a super range of Trail cameras to suit your pocket and circumstances. I can recommend them...………



A photo taken off a video shows the quality...……..
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