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Thread: ANY ADVICE ON NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY?

  1. #1
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    Default ANY ADVICE ON NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY?

    I have a pair of Boobook owls nesting around the corner from me and would like to know if anyone has any tips on the best settings etc to get some good shots of them.
    I'm using a torch to help me get focus but it is proving to be hard work. I am using a 430 speedlite and better beamer as well.

    Thanks in advance, Paul Randall

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ANY ADVICE ON NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY?

    Alot will depend on the location and what you are trying to shoot. eg Birds in the nest hollow or just moving around in the general area.
    A red spotlight may help with the focus part. Best thing if possible is to set up in a hide with 2 flashes. If you know where the nest hollow is you can then setup in daylight and prefocus your camera so that you're not mucking around in the dark etc.
    In terms of lighting, the ideal is to have your flash as far away from the camera as possible to reduce red-eye. If you had 2 flashes you can set one as a slave as long as you have line of sight from the other flash. Use an Of camera shoe-cord and a bracket (or another tripod) to get the first flash away from the lens. Put the second flash on another tripod on the opposite side of the camera to flash #1.
    If you are limited to one flash the rules remain the same but note that the better beamer will mean that you have to get the angle spot on. Easily worked out with some pre-tests but the less number of flashes on the birds the better.
    Set the camera on manual and let the flash do the work. Depending on focal length and tripod etc you may get away with 1/60th but the faster the better of course. Aperture will depend on subject/flash distance. Higher the better for prefocus work.
    Hope that is of some help anyway mate. Have you got a shot from your efforts so far to give us an idea of what you are working with?
    PS - forgot to add that i would only be photographing around an owl hollow once the chicks are hatched etc. Disturbance prior to this can result in nest failure. Even then be as responsible as you can which I'm sure you will.
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS - Lord Howe Island - 29th November - 6th December 2017.

    Aus Life List IOC= 680 - Lord Howe Woodhen
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


  3. #3
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    Default Re: ANY ADVICE ON NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY?

    Hi David, thanks for the advice,

    The birds I am trying to get are a four month old Boobook and its parent who is still bringing it a bit of food.
    The young one is still living in the nest hole (sorry I should have been clearer about the nest situation)
    Thanks for your concern also, I would not try and flash photo an active owl nest.

    Cheers, Paul Randall

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