Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read More.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk
Thread started 17 Oct 2011 (Monday) 06:59
Prev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

Bird photography - flash. Is it worthwhile?

 
zamami
Senior Member
Joined May 2011
Oct 17, 2011 06:59 |  #1

Hi all

Was out the other day experimenting with my flash as it was pretty overcast. I was taking photos of birds about 20 feet away and experimenting with the power of my manual flash ( from low right up until max )The flash didn't seem to make any difference at all. Is that usually the case or will I only notice it if I add a flash extender? I don't know if using the flash is a benefit or not? Any thoughts please!


Richard Cook
7D / 300 F4L / Canon 1.4 Extender
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/49985242@N08/external link

LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)
Stevie ­ 202
Member
Stevie 202's Avatar
54 posts
Joined Jul 2010
Ottawa ON
Oct 17, 2011 07:27 |  #2

Flash light drops off quickly so it's pretty much useless at those distances.

I will use a better beamer flash extender on those accasions when the birds are under the foliage in the shadows and it definately does help.

The only downsides are the bulk of the thing and that you will get a 'steel eye' effect.
It's a trade-off between that and not getting the shot.

Cheers


Canon 50d, Canon 350d, Sigma 18-50 F2.8 Macro EX DC, Canon 300mm F4L IS, Canon 70-200mm F4L IS, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, 2 Canon 430 EX Speedlites. Buncha other junk.

LOG IN TO REPLY
CDMOOSE
Cream of the Crop
CDMOOSE's Avatar
Joined May 2009
Rainy Lake, N. MN
Oct 17, 2011 12:19 |  #3

I just finished culling my bird photos from the last two years and I can say that I had way more keepers since I started using a flash and Better Beamer when required. And I find that steel eye is not as big a problem as I thought. It does happen occasionally, though not always, but is easily dealt with when it does.
Al


Al
Canon 7D II, 5D III, 7D, 500mm/f4L II, 1.4X TC III, 24-70mm/f2.8L, 70-200/f4L IS

LOG IN TO REPLY
Muteki
Member
198 posts
Joined Jul 2009
Oct 17, 2011 13:37 |  #4

Flash definitely helps to fill in the shadowy areas.

Here are some photos of flash + BB:

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6105/6239272815_44ec8bf72f_b.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6055/6236491709_d3a94cd903_b.jpg


Then there's some problems with using flash such as red-eyes as seen in the show below:
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6178/6196917259_28efd6ffc2_b.jpg

I've put an order of a fairly inexpensive flash bracket for my side-mount Gimbal to try out in the next little while. Also light is getting less and less in my area, and it will be a great opportunity to test out some bird photography with flash.

Raymond

Gears|external linkFlickr | external link5∞pxexternal link| external linkFacebookexternal link

LOG IN TO REPLY
Evan
Goldmember
Evan's Avatar
1,326 posts
Joined Jun 2009
Oregon
Nov 04, 2011 20:48 |  #5

I personally have never liked the look of a flash on birds. There have been a few cases where a flash was used on a bird and it looked natural (I really liked it), but most the time to me the catch-light and the birds feathers just doesn't look the same as natural lighting.

The only time I use flash on birds is when photographing owls at dusk; and I still cringe when I have too.


--
flickrexternal link

LOG IN TO REPLY
Kevin ­ Hall
Member
113 posts
Joined Feb 2009
Nov 05, 2011 07:12 |  #6

Just about all flash for bird photography is done where the flash is coming from the same direction as the camera. This can produce some nice results, such as the image in this thread demonstrate, but it doesn't reach it's lighting potential.

Using the flash from a different position than the camera can give the bird more definition, produce sharper results, add drama, and can even have the effect of being softer light if you position the flash closer to the bird. Remember that with smaller light sources like a speedlight, the farther away from the subject you are - the harder the effect will be.

Some examples:

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


On the woodpecker I even bounced the flash off an umbrella from a short distance to the Downy.

Beware: Starving photographer, birders will be eaten!
kmhwildlife.comexternal link

LOG IN TO REPLY
piXelatedEmpire
Member
piXelatedEmpire's Avatar
133 posts
Joined Apr 2011
Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Nov 10, 2011 21:11 |  #7

I pretty much always use Flash these days when shooting birds, it really helps bring the colours out and eliminate most shadows. You may need to look at a Better Beamer as well, depending on how far away your subject is.

Canon 7D, 100-400L, 580 EX II

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm7.static.fl​ickr.com ...242021_3464cd3e8f_b​_d.jpg (external link)
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

piXelatedEmpire.comexternal link | Bird & Wildlife Photography
flickrexternal link
Facebookexternal link
Canon 7D | EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM | EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM | EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM | EF Extender 1.4x III | 580 EX II

LOG IN TO REPLY
noodle_snacks
Senior Member
258 posts
Joined Jul 2008
Nov 19, 2011 05:17 |  #8

piXelatedEmpire wrote in post #13383848external link
I pretty much always use Flash these days when shooting birds, it really helps bring the colours out and eliminate most shadows. You may need to look at a Better Beamer as well, depending on how far away your subject is.

I'm going to go ahead and say that there is too much flash your Orange-bellied Parrot photo. The complete lack of shadow makes it look flat and the weird iridescence effect present, is misrepresenting the plumage colour of this bird. I'd suggest dialling down the flash exposure compensation and using a bit more natural light.




LOG IN TO REPLY
piXelatedEmpire
Member
piXelatedEmpire's Avatar
133 posts
Joined Apr 2011
Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Nov 21, 2011 19:47 |  #9

noodle_snacks wrote in post #13421457external link
there is too much flash your Orange-bellied Parrot photo. The complete lack of shadow makes it look flat and the weird iridescence effect present, is misrepresenting the plumage colour of this bird. I'd suggest dialling down the flash exposure compensation and using a bit more natural light.

Oh I agree with you, but unfortunately there really wasn't much natural light to begin with. This was shot at 1/40th, so I had to crank the flash, which caused the side effects you mentioned.


piXelatedEmpire.comexternal link | Bird & Wildlife Photography
flickrexternal link
Facebookexternal link
Canon 7D | EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM | EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM | EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM | EF Extender 1.4x III | 580 EX II

LOG IN TO REPLY
Bananapie
Senior Member
Bananapie's Avatar
522 posts
Joined Jun 2011
Seattle, Biloxi, Waco
Dec 09, 2011 01:44 |  #10

I know I'm late to the party, but Kevin, awesome shots man...




LOG IN TO REPLY
Kevin ­ Hall
Member
113 posts
Joined Feb 2009
Dec 09, 2011 05:44 |  #11

Thank you, glad you liked them.

In my view, as long as you are setting up for a shot you have everything to gain by using studio lighting techniques with off camera flashes. Why not?

Here's another example using a 43" umbrella close to the finch and from my left......

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE

Beware: Starving photographer, birders will be eaten!
kmhwildlife.comexternal link

LOG IN TO REPLY
macroshooter1970
Cream of the Crop
macroshooter1970's Avatar
7,491 posts
Joined Jan 2007
Arizona
Dec 09, 2011 05:54 |  #12

Flash can help at times, I personally tried it once but wasn't for me.




LOG IN TO REPLY
macroshooter1970
Cream of the Crop
macroshooter1970's Avatar
7,491 posts
Joined Jan 2007
Arizona
Dec 09, 2011 05:54 |  #13

Kevin Hall wrote in post #13517524 (external link)
Thank you, glad you liked them.

In my view, as long as you are setting up for a shot you have everything to gain by using studio lighting techniques with off camera flashes. Why not?

Here's another example using a 43" umbrella close to the finch and from my left......

NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
| Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE

Nice shot.




LOG IN TO REPLY
Garry ­ Gibson
Goldmember
Joined May 2007
Vero Beach FL
Dec 18, 2011 10:30 |  #14

The Better Beamer is at times indispensable. When shadows kill what could
be a great photo the BB is perfect. Though it is somewhat difficult to perfect,
I have seen folks use them for birds in flight to lighten the underside of the bird.
For less than $40 it's well worth the expense.


5D SR- 7D Mark II
Some assorted glass
Learning everyday... well.. maybe every other day.

LOG IN TO REPLY
N.V.M.
Goldmember
N.V.M.'s Avatar
1,990 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Joined Sep 2010
North Vancouver,Canada
Dec 30, 2011 11:59 as a reply to Garry Gibson's post |  #15

hey guys, does anybody here not get critisized for using flash on birds?

do you have rules, for instance, not on nocturnals(owls, etc)?

i'm getting grief from the purists yet i do not seem to be able to find the facts about it.




LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as registered member)

6,438 views & 0 likes for this thread
Bird photography - flash. Is it worthwhile?
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk


Not a member yet? Click here to register to the forums.
Registered members get all the features: search, following threads, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, settings, view hosted photos, own reviews and more...


AAA

Send feedback to staff    •   Jump to forum...    •   Rules    •   Index    •   New posts    •   RTAT    •   'Best of'    •   Gallery    •   Gear    •   Reviews    •   Polls

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS 1.4version 1.4
made in Finland
by Pekka Saarinen
for photography-on-the.net
Spent 0.00181 for 4 database queries.
PAGE COMPLETED IN 0.03s
Latest registered member is Henkaaa
930 guests, 574 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 6106, that happened on Jun 09, 2016