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04-15-2021, 05:49 AM   #1
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Real life experience of using flash with rodents etc?

Putting this in general rather than flash sub-forum as there may be other solutions / ideas

With lockdown have been doing a lot of woodland walks, where we live we are surrounded by all sorts of birds, beasts and bugs so its been a welcome distraction from the home office / computer

One challenge I have found is the best opportunities happen at dawn / dusk, but the light is rubbish. This week we have been seeing loads of field / harvest mice, voles etc from less than 2m away, but its always in the shade and the pics have only been "okay", mostly because of exposure limitations

Digging in the the research there seems to be evidence that flash doesn't harm mammals (I even remember reading folks like Heather Angel does use flash in the field). At lower powers animals/birds don't seem to notice flash at all. But I wonder what practical experience folks have, what other ideas might help

Obviously not planning on using high power flash in near dark conditions on night adapted vision mice / owls etc. Don't want pics to look like flash pics ether so its about subtly improving the lighting situation

I have a variety flashguns, my Metz AF52 is portable and does 1/25000 sec at lowest power. Also have some flashgun modifiers (eg Rogue, 20cm mini soft box head etc) and a variety of studio reflector kit. Don't think ring flash would be a good choice here, as much for its impact on the catch lights in the eyes? Not sure if LED panel would be a solution but I don't have one and my current continuous light kit is far from portable!


Last edited by LittleSkink; 04-15-2021 at 09:20 AM.
04-15-2021, 10:13 AM   #2
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My squirrel buddies didn't seem to mind. I did have a diffuser and was still golden hour. I stopped more because it is easier to find them in the day. The opossum I shot from 8 meters didn't act different either. I would think night animals rely less on their eyes than we do anyway.
You might look into animal eye cones and rods to get some real info.
04-15-2021, 07:54 PM   #3
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I have found using fill flash on wildlife at dawn or dusk doesn't bother them much all. In the middle of a dark night it does startle some animals.
04-15-2021, 08:28 PM   #4
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I used flash on my dogs, cats and fish in the past. Didn't seem to affect them much.

04-19-2021, 02:56 AM   #5
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thanks folks

an update, I am still on the fence with using flash on mammals/birds so have taken to using a studio reflector outdoors to bring in more light - gets some very odd looks from passers by
04-19-2021, 04:01 AM   #6
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I used to use flash all the time for wild life (especially birds) when Pentax still supported TTL.

When they dropped TTL and p-TTL didn’t support either legacy lenses or the use of teleconverters I stopped. I have been playing again with it, trying to work out the bugs in the controls to work under the foliage for birding.
04-19-2021, 05:52 AM   #7
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thanks Lowell - did you use a snoot or anything to concentrate the flash?

I always tend to manual control, even on flash, never did trust auto flash after my AF280
04-19-2021, 08:57 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LittleSkink Quote
thanks folks

an update, I am still on the fence with using flash on mammals/birds so have taken to using a studio reflector outdoors to bring in more light - gets some very odd looks from passers by
Just tell them you are focusing the Karmic energy of the Ley Lines.

04-19-2021, 10:10 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LittleSkink Quote
I always tend to manual control, even on flash, never did trust auto flash after my AF280
Ha! Ha! I have my AF280T for the purpose of using its auto flash. P-TTL will barf for many common shooting situations, but auto is pretty predictable.


Steve
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