Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Lighting & Studio Techniques | Join Upload & Sell

  

Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)
  
 
pepperman
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


O.K. I have been asked by a local zoo to document an entire collection of Venomous Snakes (hundreds). I have been shooting them for a while using a Canon 1D MkIV and a 580EX II off camera and mainly a 180 macro however I think that the 70-200 f2.8 might focus faster and give me what I need. The zoo has asked me to design a station that we can bring these snakes into in order to photograph them. The table is a 6ft table and I need to be able to easily change the environment to simulate a natural setting. I attempt to shoot tight however we can't tell the animals where to pose so the entire scene needs to be functional. I am thinking about some simple backdrops and then using large trays for the "flooring" that would already have sand and rocks or natural greenery. I am not sure about lighting, I have a 580 EX and a 580EXII (that got dropped and broke the red lens this weekend but appears to still be functioning) and I also have a pair of Einstein 640's. I may also be replacing the 580Ex II (for trust reasons) but that would be with a 600rt.
Below are some shots that I did this weekend with the 580EX II and some quick creating for the scene. Because of our scene limitations we were limited to shoot similar species.
All and any thoughts, diagrams, input... or any help at all will be greatly appreciated!




  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    180mm    f/11.0    1/50s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    180mm    f/8.0    1/200s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    180mm    f/8.0    1/200s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    180mm    f/11.0    1/100s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    180mm    f/11.0    1/100s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 07, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Wobble
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


Build a rectangular box from plexiglass that will accommodate your drop in trays of natural surroundings. Fashion your backdrops like curtains so they can be hung on the outside of the box since you may need to remove one to get the pose you want with your subjects that will pose as they wish. Hanging the backdrop outside may create a glare/reflection though, so they may have to drop inside the walls. The Cyclorama at Zoo Atlanta features natural Civil War 3D scenes that blend seamlessly into the painting. May want to have extra dirt and rocks on hand to get that same effect as you change settings.


May 07, 2013 at 03:44 PM
pepperman
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


Wobble wrote:
Build a rectangular box from plexiglass that will accommodate your drop in trays of natural surroundings. Fashion your backdrops like curtains so they can be hung on the outside of the box since you may need to remove one to get the pose you want with your subjects that will pose as they wish. Hanging the backdrop outside may create a glare/reflection though, so they may have to drop inside the walls. The Cyclorama at Zoo Atlanta features natural Civil War 3D scenes that blend seamlessly into the painting. May want to have extra dirt and rocks on hand to
...Show more

Thanks Wobble, We are thinking that the front will be open from about 10 inches up, that 10inch bump being glass or plexi for a possible fast mover, and I am thinking that the sides might be hinged. The curtain idea is interesting also! Thanks!



May 07, 2013 at 04:02 PM
RustyBug
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


Forget about building a plexiglass enclosure for the critters ... build one for yourself.
With a shoot-through for your lens.

Here's a trick I learned from some Thailand snake handlers many years ago. They place the Cobra's and Asp's in a bag on the concrete floor while the kick boxing matches are taking place. I was trying to get a good position for a boxing match shot and literally stepped on this bag and "kicked it around" a bit to get my footing where I wanted it ... my foot literally standing on the bag with it full of snakes.

Image my surprise when they brought the bag up on the canvas and opened it to reveal about a dozen or so Cobra's and Asp's.

Well, after getting face to face with a Cobra and having kicked them around, I talked with the handlers about why in the world would they leave a bag of venomous snakes just lying around like that.

They told me that the concrete floor sucks the heat out of them so much that it slows them down, which gives the snake handler a much faster reaction time than that of the cold snakes who move pretty slowly compared to what they are actually capable of.

Now, of course ... you're dealing with something that your Zoo Professional is going to lead you on more so than some cyber-chat idea. But, that being said, I'd look to employ some "snakes don't like cold" strategy to keep them from moving too rapidly either for photgraphic purposes or as a barrier to retard them from moving toward you.

Again, your zoo professional will have more input to this, but I might ask about the possibility of heating rocks (oven warmed, buried element, heat lamp, etc.) that you want them to move toward and cooling (fridge, water jacket) those that you want them to stay away from (i.e. near the front, or ), etc. How elaborate you want to get with the hot / cold thing is variable ... but it might be something that you can also use to help control your posing zones.

Mostly brainstorming ... as I've not done it. But having literally felt the non-responsiveness of those "pre-chilled" snakes and seen their retarded movements during the show ... just something I thought I'd share. I figure a cold snake set near a warm rock ... he might just prefer to stay in that area for a bit.

GL ... HTH



May 07, 2013 at 06:42 PM
BenV
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


RustyBug wrote:
Forget about building a plexiglass enclosure for the critters ... build one for yourself.
With a shoot-through for your lens.

Here's a trick I learned from some Thailand snake handlers many years ago. They place the Cobra's and Asp's in a bag on the concrete floor while the kick boxing matches are taking place. I was trying to get a good position for a boxing match shot and literally stepped on this bag and "kicked it around" a bit to get my footing where I wanted it ... my foot literally standing on the bag with it full of snakes.

Image my
...Show more

That's actually a great idea. A warm section of rocks for them to WANT to go to vs. cold area's they instinctively stay away from



May 07, 2013 at 07:47 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



pepperman
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


Some great ideas!
I trust the handlers 100% so I don't feel like I need to be in an enclosure, I have been shooting without the protection of an enclosure, what I am looking for are lighting technique ideas and ideas for how to make moveable sets. Ideas for backdrops that wont distract that might work regardless of stage or ones that are easily changed.
The table will be 6ft wide x 2 1/2 ft deep, height is what ever I need... so that is what I have to work with.
These shots that I have been posting have been done without a pre-done set and therefore lighting is inconsistent so it takes longer to get the shot right. I think of these photo stores in the shopping malls (sears...) they have lights that are permanently mounted making lighting fairly easy , backdrops change and props change... the rest has very little change!




  Canon EOS 5D Mark II    100mm    f/11.0    1/40s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  






  Canon EOS-1D Mark IV    180mm    f/16.0    1/4s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  




May 07, 2013 at 08:29 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


Ideal lighting would be back rim light from 45 overhead and behind like 3PM sunlight to define the shape and separate from background. Then in front to fit scene to sensor key and fill to simulate the skylight outdoors which is a combination of dominant downward vector and less strong vectors from the sides. Do that by placing fill near the lens and key light directly above it.

I have not shot snakes but direct flash which creates specular refections off the scales will probably create a better impression of 3D in a 2D photo than a big diffuse source.



May 07, 2013 at 08:39 PM
rockant
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


While lighting is not my strong suit I highly recommend a cold room and a heat lamp to direct the subject where you want them. When you move the heat lamp they will follow and you can shield it when you take the shot.

Good Luck.



May 07, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Michael White
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · Need Help Creating A Photo Station (for animals)


I'm thinking one over heah light, one light on each side of the subject flagged as to not reflect in the lens also one fill light from the camera position. Balance each light for effect then take reading for all lights. My goal would to get as much highlights on the scales and reflection of the fill light in the eyes but not so bright that your unable to tell if the snakes pupils are round or slits like a cat. Easies way to tell a poisonous snake in the USA round pupils are non venomous where slit pupils are. Also try for several poses stretched out, sleeping coil, sticking coil etc


May 21, 2013 at 07:34 AM





FM Forums | Lighting & Studio Techniques | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password