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08-26-2011, 06:33 AM   #1
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Night time photography

Here's something I probably wouldn't have tried with the K-10. OK, I probably would have tried given the same situations.

So I found an unusual bee in the garden. It was a medium-size male bumblebee tucked in for a night's sleep in the Swamp Milkweed. It was getting toward dusk, and in the shady part of the garden so I popped open the on-camera flash. Picture taken with FA-100 macro, trying to get a decent angle.



I emailed one of the entomologists at U of I with whom I've conversed occasionally because this little guy is unusual, being so brown. She wanted better images of its head, which would give a positive ID. I went back out at night while the dogs took care of their business. With my bike helmet light alone, I got this - ISO 12,800:



Popped the on-camera flash, also ISO 12800 interestingly.


So I harassed a poor little sleeping Bombus Ruffocintus (most likely). That makes the 10th bumblebee species I've spotted in the yard.
Here, for the second year, is the rare Bombus Affinis (taken during daylight, fill flash):



I'm buying a ring LED light to help focus at night, and will mount the 360 flash. You can expect images of the very cool moths and spiders I see in the yard at night. Bats - well, I don't think I'll be able to get good shots of those fast-moving guys against the twilight sky...

08-26-2011, 09:28 AM   #2
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Very cool- although this would probably fit better in the post your photos forum!
08-26-2011, 09:53 AM   #3
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I can't figure out how to do that - perhaps it requires a moderator to move a thread?
08-26-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Bats - well, I don't think I'll be able to get good shots of those fast-moving guys against the twilight sky...
Don't be so sure:



Granted, it's not against the night sky, but I think the same technique would apply:
1) Use a wide-angle lens (this was my FA*24) and pre-focus it (a hyper focal aperture and focus distance combination would be a reasonable starting point). I can't focus on these little guys with my naked eye, so I can't reasonably expect a camera to do better. So, why bother trying? Up your odds by zone or hyperfocal focusing.
2) Use a flash (bounced, as here, or direct). Expect most, if not all of the exposure to come from the flash - 1/180 sec shutter speed is a good idea to maximize the range of the flash. This shot was taken at F3.2, 1/80s and ISO 400 (my usual "indoor" combination). Next time, I'll try F5.6, ISO 200 and 1/180. The background will be darker, but the bat should be sharper and just as bright.
3) Get close - this photo was helped greatly by the fact that the bat was flying laps around my garage looking for a way out of my garage.
4) Blast away, until the bat(s) get annoyed by the bright flashes of light and fly away.

08-31-2011, 07:38 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I can't figure out how to do that - perhaps it requires a moderator to move a thread?
I just bought the Pentax Ring Flash to use with the K5----and the FA 100. They make a very good combination. It lets you work around
the DOF/Focus issues by taking everything at F32. <grin>
09-02-2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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Yeah, a real ring flash is something I don't quite have the budget for - yet...
The type with illuminating LEDs and flash in the same unit look extremely useful.

Nice bat shot, btw. That's a great opportunity!
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