Year Two (57) – Reptiles again…

An evening an Old Bakery taking photos of reptiles on various set ups – there were three set ups – two with studio lights and one with flash – the one with flash was my set up and involved a light box and one flash … I had brought along various props and Richard provide the animals.

I had collected a rusty piece of metal from the beach and some leaves to make one backdrop – it worked really well as great camouflage and complemented the colour of the lizard.

100mm lens - F11, 1/160 sec
100mm lens – F11, 1/160 sec

It was hard to get the velvety background white enough with a moving creature – a lot easier with still life! The result was the lizard was not lit enough, and I really could have done with introducing a fill light.  The 100mm lens worked … but it lacks the flexibilty of a zoom … adding to the composition challenge!

100mm lens, F10, 1/1/60sec
100mm lens, F10, 1/1/60sec

My hand! The camera was in manual, the flash luckily on TTL and as the lizard rand forward I caught him and he rested for a moment or two .. I love it – it has meaning for me! I really need to grow my nails – but I know they are mine!

This though highlights how important the depth of field is, and how bringing the object closer to the camera really impacts on the depth you record, and also how quickly light can drop off – you can hardly see the white box behind!

Selfie - 24-70mm lens, F11, 1/125sec
Selfie – 24-70mm lens, F11, 1/125sec

A change of background – my garden feeder (recognise it) but this time with tree frogs, for me – it looks too fake … the metal flower bounced the highlights and the white velvet under the glass did not work well as a back drop – it lacks texture and a story… why would they be there?

24-70mm lens, ISO200, F10, 1/160sec at 63mm
24-70mm lens, ISO200, F10, 1/160sec at 63mm

Getting closer helps with the texture – but still I don’t think the image makes sense.

24-70mm lens, ISO200, F10, 1/160sec at 63mm
24-70mm lens, ISO200, F10, 1/160sec at 63mm

I went to see what other set ups were happening and with the flash in a round light on my camera I managed to capture this one with the studio lights also adding something to the image. The aperature is not small enough to capture all the detail of his tail – but I was pleased with the shot as I got both eyes staring at me!

24-70mm lens, ISO200, F10, 1/160sec at 70mm with studio lights
24-70mm lens, ISO200, F10, 1/160sec at 70mm with studio lights

Back in my set up and I changed the props – this one I love – I took a set of these, you can see both sides of the frogs feet clearly… he is sat in a champagne glass although my aim was to over expose the glass so it looks like he is kinda just resting on nothing.

I had my 28-300mm lens out of my bag now and I am much happier using it – I think the quality of the glass is much better that the 100mm prime lens.

Tree Frog
28-300mm lens, F10, 1/160sec – ISO200 at 300mm

Same background and lighting – this time a stone, lots of texture and again it almost matches the lizard. I don’t take many shots, as I know I have one that I like – with the tongue out …  he is such a tiny thing … but not as cute as the frog!

28-300mm lens, F6.3, 1/160sec - ISO200 at 300mm
28-300mm lens, F6.3, 1/160sec – ISO200 at 300mm

The Chameleon was not looking his best, but by changing to a black back drop, moving him forward of the light – I was able to back light him and the twig and I like the shape and angles of the shot.

28-300mm lens, F11, 1/125sec - ISO125 at 200mm - back lit with flash
28-300mm lens, F11, 1/125sec – ISO125 at 200mm – back lit with flash

Finally I visited Tim’s set up, he had spend a while creating a tub with coloured walls, adding pebbles, water and real rain from a watering can…  he used various objects to sit the frog on, I captured the phone box and to me it just looked rather depressing, so I am planing on ending one of the images more … I’ll share that soon!

ISO125, F8, 1/125sec 28-300mm lens, at 220mm
ISO125, F8, 1/125sec 28-300mm lens, at 220mm
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2 thoughts on “Year Two (57) – Reptiles again…

    1. Create your own – the Old Bakery is just a group of photographers, one kindly books the hall, we then plan the theme – bring along some props, add our own lighting and share equipment – sharing skills with each other … everyone who attends chips into the costs and we save the extra to get models in from time to time….

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