Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Flash on Safari  (Read 6815 times)
IanS
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« on: November 17, 2004, 02:47:39 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for the replys...

I guess what I'm struggling with is whether or not a flash is really going to make a big difference. If for say 80% of shots it won't then I'll quite happily live without it... If however those of you who've been reckon it's only 20% of shots that don't need a flash then I'd rather get one, although to be honest it'll pretty much have to be a 420 as a 550/580 is just too much for me right now.

I must admit that at the moment I'm really enjoying photographing local wildlife, and certainly for that perhaps I would have thought a flash would scare the animals and certainly would let them know you're there when otherwise you could shoot away happily without them seeing you... what are people's views on this?

Ian.
Logged
IanS
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2004, 05:18:46 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
You're spending how much on your trip to Africa, and can't afford to upgrade from a 420EX to a 550EX or 580EX??? Penny wise and pound foolish...

Hmmm..... good to see the diplomatic corps are alive and well... I wouldn't mind such quips if the original question were answered in any way...

I've learned so far that, the better beamer is a good buy for the money, and that the 550/580 is better than a 420...

As mentioned, the primary purpose of the trip is a honeymoon, and as such it's not a specific photographic safari, although the schedule implies that game drives will be early in the morning and then later in the afternoon. It's also in Kenya, so whilst I chose an example of monkeys purely to illustrate my question, I'm not expecting to see any... (sabercat04, thank you for your reply and your opinion!).

Now given that some of you must have gotten married, you'll appreciate that it is expensive time and that additional expense is a problem unless it's essential... So, back to the original question which really is...

In your experience of shooting in places such as Kenya (big game, open savannahs) is an external flash essential or merely useful to have for some shots? Then I might be interested in the gear...

Ian.
Logged
IanS
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2004, 06:19:04 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Boku,

Quote
Most of the point of the flash in a rainforest canopy is to boost the light falling on the subject relative to the background so that it stands out and the bits of background that are sunlit don't overpower the image.

If you use the flash to that extent, you won't be filling shadows, you will be eliminating them. But the subject will be lit in balance with the overall scene, which is the whole point.

It's getting late here in the UK (gone midnight) and I think I'm getting short tempered... Huh so this will be it for today...

As I said, this will be Kenya, no rain forest, and therefore I'm assuming mostly open plains and sunlight (hence my monkey pic... no tree cover, bright sunlight, shot at medium distance) and no monkeys!!

Am I worrying over nothing or is external flash really needed.......

Ian.
Logged
IanS
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2004, 10:54:56 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi Bill,
Quote
I'm listening to some Ladysmith Black Mambazo right now and feeling pretty envious of your pending trip.

We can't quite believe we'll be there ourselves yet. I don't suppose it will feel real until we arrive!

Quote
Your comments about the appropriateness of using a flash on wild animals got me to thinking. My wildlife photography is limited to Yellowstone National Park. I've only used a flash one time and never felt the need to use one otherwise. Most of the time, the animals are too far away for almost any flash and there are ethical considerations about having a mega flash go off in the animal's eyes. Still, I've seen others use full flash and the animals don't seem to pay any attention to it.

I'd take whatever flash you already have and use it for photos after your safari outtings, but don't worry about
 using it much while you are in the bush. It is not likely to be practical in most situations.

I think a lot seems to depend on how used to humans animals are. In some parks over here, they're quite happy to ignore people. However in areas where they're not forced into close proximity with us getting close is not easy. I've resorted to hiding and waiting, and I can't help but feel a flash would kind of give me away!! In this instance I'm happy to be patient and learn were the animals go and wait for nature to provide the right opportunnity.

In zoo's and suchlike again I prefer not to use flash as call me a little sentimental, but some of these animals have it hard enough without being blinded by flash guns left right and centre.

I guess safari will be different again, the animals are used to people in safari vehicles (out of them I'm sure is a different game entirely) and I don't have the time to be patient...

I suppose I was hoping for a more definitive collective opinion either way. Taking what I can from the replies it seems that during the day in open plains etc where lions, cheetahs and the like are, flash isn't essential. I'm not planning taking any picture whilst it's dark... ::

I'm sure once we've been and things get back to normal I'll be able to revisit external flash for me and perhaps decide to invest. Right now I'm not seeing any compelling reason.

So, thanks all, although feel free to add any more useful opinions!

Ian.
Logged
IanS
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2005, 11:10:59 AM »
ReplyReply

For those interested the Safari has been and gone, it was a wonderful experience. My attempts at capturing some of it photographically can be found here:

Kenyan Safari

Thanks once again for your help!

Ian.
Logged
IanS
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2005, 02:25:23 AM »
ReplyReply

Well I was pretty sure it was this one:

http://www.pbase.com/ian_stickland/image/39964748

But the EXIF info on pbase says no... however if I load the in camera JPEG into EVU, it says flash on. weird.

Ian.
Logged
IanS
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2004, 02:26:49 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi all,

I'm in the fortunate position of going on Safari in Kenya in Feb 2005 for honeymoon. I have a Canon 20D and 100-400L lens which I have been practising furiously with since mid September. (Go see my pbase pages for a smile!)

Anyway, whilst on a visit to a local Monkey Sanctuary at the weekend when for once in the UK in November it was bright sunlight, I noticed that I was getting shadows in the animals eyes which is less than pleasing... see below:



Now, on further research people have recommended a device called a better beamer (reviewed on this site) and I'm wondering, will I get the same problem in Kenya and if so, is an external flash essential to get decent pics? I don't have one at present and with impending nuptials, money isn't in great supply right now so, if one is essential would a 420EX suffice on the 20D?

Any advice on this and any thing else you think may be helpful would be most appreciated!!

Ian.
My pbase galleries
Logged
Bill_Kaiser
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


WWW
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2004, 12:37:36 PM »
ReplyReply

Just a thought, if your safari guide only goes out in the mid-afternoon, see if you can book a different guide that goes out early morning and evening. The flash will not be as much an issue, but still needed for some shots.

About the flash, I'd feel better if you had the 550 EX with more power, rather than the 420
Logged

Canon 300D
Canon 100-400 IS USM
Canon kit lens

Previous camera was an Olympus E10
Sabercat04
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 49


« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2004, 03:20:42 PM »
ReplyReply

If you want to shoot monkeys you probably will need a flash because they will be up in the trees where there is relatively little light. And if you go after leopards, that will be at night-time so you will need a flash.

I personally would stay away from flash in the daytime. In fact, for the monkey shots you showed, I kind of like the shadows.
Logged
Paul Sumi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1217


« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2004, 05:10:34 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Quote
although to be honest it'll pretty much have to be a 420 as a 550/580 is just too much for me right now
If you can't afford to buy a 550/580, you might consider renting one for the trip.
Logged

IanS
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 46


WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2004, 05:22:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
If you can't afford to buy a 550/580, you might consider renting one for the trip.

Thanks PaulS, I was beginning to think this might be the best idea.... assuming of course it's needed at all...

Ian.
Logged
Paul Sumi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1217


« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2004, 05:38:31 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
[Thanks PaulS, I was beginning to think this might be the best idea.... assuming of course it's needed at all...

Ian.
If you haven't already done so, there are a number of articles on LL dealing with safari/desert/jungle photography which may help with your decision:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/workshop...ri-primer.shtml

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/locations/big-game.shtml

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorial...al-desert.shtml

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/location...rica-2003.shtml

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/locations/nomads.shtml

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/locations/tanzania.shtml
Logged

boku
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1493



WWW
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2004, 06:05:58 PM »
ReplyReply

It's not only about getting rid of shadows on the subject.

Most of the point of the flash in a rainforest canopy is to boost the light falling on the subject relative to the background so that it stands out and the bits of background that are sunlit don't overpower the image.

If you use the flash to that extent, you won't be filling shadows, you will be eliminating them. But the subject will be lit in balance with the overall scene, which is the whole point.

Too bad you don't have the latest Luminous Landscape Video Journal DVD. All is explained.

Good luck with the honeymoon - this sounds like rather unique circumstances.
Logged

Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...
Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
boku
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1493



WWW
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2004, 06:57:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
As I said, this will be Kenya, no rain forest, and therefore I'm assuming mostly open plains and sunlight (hence my monkey pic... no tree cover, bright sunlight, shot at medium distance) and no monkeys!!

Am I worrying over nothing or is external flash really needed.......
Yes you are worrying over nothing. Go to sleep and chill out.
Logged

Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...
Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Bill_Kaiser
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


WWW
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2004, 02:02:29 AM »
ReplyReply

I'm listening to some Ladysmith Black Mambazo right now and feeling pretty envious of your pending trip.

Your comments about the appropriateness of using a flash on wild animals got me to thinking. My wildlife photography is limited to Yellowstone National Park. I've only used a flash one time and never felt the need to use one otherwise.  Most of the time, the animals are too far away for almost any flash and there are ethical considerations about having a mega flash go off in the animal's eyes. Still, I've seen others use full flash and the animals don't seem to pay any attention to it.

I'd take whatever flash you already have and use it for photos after your safari outtings, but don't worry about
 using it much while you are in the bush. It is not likely to be practical in most situations.  
Logged

Canon 300D
Canon 100-400 IS USM
Canon kit lens

Previous camera was an Olympus E10
Raoul
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 55


« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2004, 06:53:48 AM »
ReplyReply

Take a look at some 1860ish photos, from before emulsions became sensitive to blue light. Skies are white. Does it make those photos better or worse? Get on your pictures what you want to show. If the sky is an important element, expose accordingly. If not, stop worrying.  

P.S. Why is a boring blue sky better than a boring white one?
Logged
Sabercat04
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 49


« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2004, 02:11:14 PM »
ReplyReply

You might find of interest the December issue of Outdoor Photographer. An article by James Warwick titled telephotos for wildlife has an example of using flash to catch a leopard in low light conditions in the Masai Mara of southern Kenya. Other than that one photo there was no mention of using flash during the daytime. Check out the cheetah picture. It's very nice!
Logged
francois
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6730


« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2005, 12:08:20 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
For those interested the Safari has been and gone, it was a wonderful experience. My attempts at capturing some of it photographically can be found here:

Kenyan Safari
Wonderful photos! Congrats.
You didn't use much flash, did you?


Francois
Logged

Francois
francois
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6730


« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2005, 08:58:13 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Only one flash photo for which the pop up did the job... !! Can you spot it??!!

Ian.
I tried to select five photos where flash could have been used. But according to the EXIF info, I was wrong!

Francois
Logged

Francois
francois
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6730


« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2005, 05:01:31 AM »
ReplyReply

Well, it was not one of the five I selected....

I found your photos gorgeous. The fact that you didn't take 500kg of equipment makes me think I should plan a trip down there  :cool:

Francois
Logged

Francois
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad