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Thread: wildlife flash photography

  1. #1
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    wildlife flash photography



    I;ll start by saying that I don't have a flash yet,but can anyone tell me if you can use a canon 580ex ll for wildlife photography attached to a canon 40d + canon 100-400?


    is this how the great wildlife shots are made? using a flash?





    thank you

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill W's Avatar
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    Adrian, I've used that exact setup and a better beamer to stop hummingbirds' wings and other situations....but, IMHO,the lighting istoo artificial; unnatural.


    Again, from my perspective; a great wildlife shot is done in natural light, but I'm sure there will be more than a few members that will disagree w/me.


    So remember, there's more than 1 way to skin a cat....hope this expression doesn't break the PC barrier in today's world. []


    BTW...I've just upgraded my 40D to a 7D and it hasimproved the 100-400's ability in low light captures.


    Regards


    Bill



  3. #3
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    Quote Originally Posted by adrian mandea
    is this how the great wildlife shots are made? using a flash?

    I'd have to say no to that. IMO, wildlife shots should use natural light. A flash has a use in wildlife photography, but that use is pretty much limited to creating catchlights in the subject's eyes (usually with flash exposure compensation dialing the flash power down).


    The 100-400mm is a good wildlife lens (I just ordered mine!), but not 'great'. Great would be something like the 400mm f/2.8L IS - far out of most people's budget, but the extra 2 stops of light makes a big difference if the lighting is low.


    --John

  4. #4
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    the 40d + 100-400 will cover you fine.


    However, don't use flash too liberally. Some photographers (cough cough Arthur Morris) use flash all the time and it improves their images considerably and makes for more innovative shots and methods of shooting. Check out his bulletin archives and you'll see what I mean.


    However, many photographers leave the flash on the camera for wildlife and ruin their shots, thinking they'll use artificial lighting if ambient lighting isn't good. Unless you really know what you're doing, just go natural light. It's easier and obviously cheaper too. A few members of this forum come to mind and I can tell you that you have to know exposure well to do this. If you do (I don't know?), then knock yourself out, get a flash and a better beamer and start shooting. But I've seen so many amateur photographers like myself ruin tons of wildlife shots by leaving a flash on the camera. Their photos just look ugly.


    I myself don't use flash, I just am not at the point where it would help me. Arthur Morris is kind of the epitome of using flash for wildlife images and not making them look bad. check him out.


    my 2¢


    brendan

  5. #5
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist
    IMO, wildlife shots should use natural light. A flash has a use in wildlife photography, but that use is pretty much limited to creating catchlights in the subject's eyes (usually with flash exposure compensation dialing the flash power down).

    Well, flash is used for much much more than that []


    And I get catchlights in all my bird pictures w/o flash. I actually don't know why [*-)]


    brendan

  6. #6
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    You can use a flash for wildlife photography, but it can be difficult to use.But Ihave used it successfully.


    Here is an example.


    [img]/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.28.86/0196-_2300_-reduced.JPG[/img]


    John.

  7. #7
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    I've always thought of lighting wildlife the same as lighting a person the only difference is animalsaren'talways where you want them. So I suppose I'd set up a feeder (or a hunk of meat for a bear) and light around it with a bunch of umbrellas (:

  8. #8
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    thank you all for taking the time to answer my question, the fact is that I really don't like the 100-400 (there's one thread regarding my dissapointment with this lens) and I was thinking about photographing let's say big birds like eagles.the closest I could get to one was 50m or so, will the flash still give me some light at that distance or is useless? (the 580exll)


    what about macro using this flash? with the 100mm f2,8 lens (not the IS version)





    thank you

  9. #9
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Glass


    You can use a flash for wildlife photography, but it can be difficult to use.But Ihave used it successfully.


    Here is an example.


    [img]/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.28.86/0196-_2300_-reduced.JPG[/img]


    John.
    <div style="CLEAR: both"]</div>

    Really, really nice John!!

    Denise

  10. #10
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    Re: wildlife flash photography



    I haven't done it with a 40D &amp; 100-400 but I've used the 580EX with a 5D MkII and a 24-105F4. The light was falling fast and the only thing I could think of was use a flash. [img]/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.22.66/IMG_5F00_2831cr.jpg[/img]





    [img]/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.22.66/IMG_5F00_2853cmr.jpg[/img]

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