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Archive 2012 · Which Flash - For Birds?
  
 
Sjjindra
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Which Flash - For Birds?


Les
I am probably somewhere in the middle of that learning curve. A 3 hour trip used to result in a out 1,000 photos, now I'm down to 300 to 500. I do find that more and more often (especially when the light is not so good) that I will put the camera away and quietly drift with the wind, taking in sights, sounds, and smells. Those are usually the times I'll spot the more timid critters (raccoons, deer, smaller birds, etc.).
Thanks



Nov 10, 2012 at 01:44 PM
John_T
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Which Flash - For Birds?


I got a Better Beamer a while back and tried it out briefly. What I found was that birds or other animals didn't seem to react much, but then I noticed it was rather that they were stunned and blinded for a bit, and it took a bit for them to recover their sight and orient themselves. I notice the same thing with foxes, badgers, deer, etc. in the car headlights. They don't react or run away, but then are more likely to run into the path of a car than run away. While we need to drive at night with the incumbent risks to man and beast, we don't have expose our furry and feathered friends to unnecessary and unnatural disturbance.

I also noticed the unnatural light in my photos and didn't like it, and came to see it in others images and began to see it as cheating. When the door is open to enter the world of nature we can be warily welcome, but when we force our way in with a crowbar, we are criminals.







  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens    200mm    f/2.8    1/800s    320 ISO    +0.3 EV  




Nov 10, 2012 at 02:34 PM
rprouty
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Which Flash - For Birds?


Against flash and the unnatural look.


Nov 10, 2012 at 02:43 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Which Flash - For Birds?


+1 Just say NO to flash. It ain't a freakin' studio out there


Nov 10, 2012 at 02:56 PM
PetKal
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Which Flash - For Birds?


John_T wrote:
When the door is open to enter the world of nature we can be warily welcome, but when we force our way in with a crowbar, we are criminals.



An apt metaphor, John.



Nov 10, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Sjjindra
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Which Flash - For Birds?


Y'all did pick up that I am now in the no-flash for critters camp. Now about baiting...


Nov 10, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Psychic1
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Which Flash - For Birds?


Sjjindra wrote:
Y'all did pick up that I am now in the no-flash for critters camp. Now about baiting...


Bait and flash



Nov 10, 2012 at 09:33 PM
PetKal
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Which Flash - For Birds?


Sjjindra wrote:
Y'all did pick up that I am now in the no-flash for critters camp. Now about baiting...


Well, I do not use living creatures such as mice, voles, squirrels, pijuns and such to attract raptors, owls in particular. I do not lament the fact that I am deprived of such photo "opportunities" as a result. However, more often than not, past discussions of this subject haven't had happy endings. Therefore, I shall say no more.

Although I must add that I do not like to socialize with photographers who use live bait, or flush birds on purpose in order to get in-flight shots, or make an exceedingly close approach to a bird's nest, etc.


Edited on Nov 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM · View previous versions



Nov 10, 2012 at 10:10 PM
johnip
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Which Flash - For Birds?


uz2work wrote:
While I agree with the thought expressed in the sentence quoted above, a bit of semantic clarification should, I think, be added. There is a significant difference between a "birder" and a "bird photographer". Neither group, in general, has high regard for the other, and those in either group often are offended to be considered a part of the other group.

"Birders" are the people who often are seen with binoculars and spotting spotting scopes. If they take pictures, those pictures are often taken with point-and-shoot cameras and with minimal regard for technical merit. Their pleasure comes from seeing the
...Show more

I just wanted to say that I fall into the category of person that I'll call a Birding Photographer. There are a few of us. I go on walks with the local Audubon Society and tote around my binoculars AND my $10,000 setup! It is true that many birders that do take pictures take them with "super-zoom" p&s cameras, but I have converted at least two guys in our group to DSLRs. There have been many times where I was able to get a photo of a bird that flew off before we could ID it and save the day so to speak. They just love that haha. I really get a kick out of photographing and identifying all the birds I see.

I found out real quick that using a flash as your main light is an exercise in futility. I tried my flash out in the backyard to get a feel for the thing and found out what others said here: the photos don't look good, and it does affect the birds. I never had any fly away, but they would flinch or jump when the flash went off. After that I put the flash aside and thought things out. I've since used my flash on a number of occasions with much better results. Using it at a fairly low power for soft fill light works great, and the birds don't notice it as far as I can tell.

For the record, I'll side with the birders any day over the guy who will do anything for The Shot, and I'm sure the majority of the bird and wildlife photographers would do the same.



Nov 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM
garydavidjones
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Which Flash - For Birds?


I find the Canon 600 flash helps with
darker birds &other critters when
Using the 5D3 or the 7D.



Nov 10, 2012 at 10:14 PM
 

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uz2work
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Which Flash - For Birds?


PetKal wrote:
Well, I do not use living creatures such as mice, voles, squirrels, pijuns and such to attract raptors, owls in particular. I do not lament the fact that I am deprived of such photo "opportunities" as a result. However, more often than not, past discussions of this subject haven't had happy endings. Therefore, I shall say no more.

Although I must add that I do not like to socialize with photographers who use live bait, or flush birds on purpose in order to get in-flight shots, or make an exceedingly close approach to a bird's nest, etc.
...Show more

I agree 100%. I could list a handful of reasons why baiting can harm a bird and reduce its chances of survival, but I, too, know that, whenever the subject comes up, the exchanges between those who bait and those who have ethical issues with baiting can get ugly very quickly.

There are certain types of pictures for which, as soon as I see them, I know that there is a 99.9% chance that they were taken with the aid of baiting. We each have to make our own decisions about ethics. For me, if the only way that I am able to get, for example, a picture of an owl capturing its prey is by baiting, I, too, am happy to go on without having been able to get that kind of picture. While people have the right to do things if they are not violating any laws, others have the right to make judgments about the ethics of what they are doing.

Les



Nov 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM
PetKal
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Which Flash - For Birds?


@Les....fully in agreement.


Nov 10, 2012 at 10:53 PM
jmckayak
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Which Flash - For Birds?


I feed birds in my backyard. I take pictures of the birds that come to my feeder. Is this 'baiting'? I don't think so.
When birding, I will make noises to attract the birds (pishing) and will also do that for photography. I only use taped bird calls when doing a bird census and my camera is to get a 'record shot', not a 'pretty picture'. Haven't used flash on birds, just on insects. Flash makes a big difference in macro work.

I was never comfortable using my 100-400 in a kayak. The push-pull zoom can get water on the barrel, then you zoom out and water gets in mechanism. The 300f4 w/1.4TC works much better, no zoom but it has IS and it is less likely to suck in moisture. The hood is integral and can retract easily. I'm always at 400mm anyway, why carry a zoom?



Nov 11, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Sjjindra
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Which Flash - For Birds?


I don't see using live bait, especially mammals, but at times have scattered some popcorn and or birdseed in my backyard to draw a few local birds and at times a squirrel or two for some closer shots.

Some have hummingbird and other feeders and take advantage of photo opportunities these provide. I have also thrown up a few Cheetos to stir up some seagulls for a few chaos shots.

So I guess I am not totally opposed to some mild feeding while photographing, if done responsibly, but would have a different view of more hardcore techniques.

Thanks
Steve




Nov 11, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Sjjindra
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Which Flash - For Birds?


jmckayak

I have a very stable kayak (Hobie Outback) and stay on local bayous which are usually pretty calm waters and so far have never had an incident, after about a year and a half use. I put my gear in a splash proof box if rain or wind stir up or when launching or docking. Definitely, in any serious waves or whitewater the 100-400 would not be the best pick.

Is the 300 F4 considered weather sealed. In finally getting the 100-400 I have followed the example of Gary Seloff, an experience local kayak nature hobbiest. I do like the ability to go wider when called for.

Thanks
Steven



Nov 11, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Kisutch
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Which Flash - For Birds?


Climate change, loss of wetlands, etc. threaten birds, but better beamers are low on the list. If you got the dough, 600 ex should be good with the extra zoom. I've used my 550ex zoomed all the way with luck. Don't bother with off camera from a kayak--need to get way off camera to have an effect with telephoto lenses. I use a remote shutter and tripod with flash since the max flash synch is 1/250s, on camera you might get some help from High speed synch, but I don't know cause I shoot off camera with non ttl triggers. Ill tell you what's unethical--shooting tweetie with unflattering light


Nov 11, 2012 at 06:28 AM
BluesWest
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Which Flash - For Birds?


I am on that wagon as well.......never use flash on living creatures, not only because I feel I do not have the right to disturb them in such manner for the sake of my hobby, I also in most instances do not like the look of flash lit pictures.

+1 on this comment and all of the others against using flash when photographing birds. In fact, I'm both delighted and surprised that so many people here have spoken out against using flash, as I commonly meet bird photographers in the field who think nothing of flashing a bird, even at close range. They insist there's nothing wrong with it -- and that it doesn't harm the bird in any way -- but I maintain that it is extremely disruptive to the bird's behavior, especially if the bird is feeding or hunting (they do use their eyes for those activities!).

John



Nov 11, 2012 at 06:08 PM
dennisgibson
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Which Flash - For Birds?


Any chance you can post a pic of the Plano box mounted to the kayak?


Nov 11, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Which Flash - For Birds?


I really only use a flash at the zoo, but in the wild it is very rare indeed. Once or twice I have used it for shots of very dark birds like ravens to bring out the amazing colour and sheen. My better beamer lies gathering dust some where in my spare room.


Nov 11, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Kisutch
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Which Flash - For Birds?


If you know how to use artificial light, it doesn't have to look like your pop-up flash and create an unnatural look. Just like how using a 600/f4 doesn't have to result in super boring pictures of wading birds, even if it usually does




Nov 12, 2012 at 12:38 AM
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