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NewYorkHerper16
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Post by NewYorkHerper16 » December 20th, 2014, 5:04 am

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kit fox
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Re: What can i do to improve?

Post by kit fox » December 20th, 2014, 2:54 pm

I love the Owl Silhouette!

Both the snake, and the Owl have color balance issues (too blue) for my taste.

For me, the other two photos have too much of a "Spotlight Effect." I assume both were taking during the night, using a flashlight? Try diffusing the light, in order to capture more of the background in your images. Also if you are using a DSLR, consider "Dragging the shutter," before the flash goes off. This would allow some background light to fill your images.


Here is a Mojave Green I photographed when it was "pitch black" outside. I used a flashlight to focus my camera, then held the camera with my right hand, and held a flash in my left hand, all while laying on my stomach. Had I took this shot again, I would have diffused my flash, so the snake wouldn't have the harsh shadow on him.

ImageCrotalus Scutulatus by sgbofav, on Flickr

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NewYorkHerper16
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Re: What can i do to improve?

Post by NewYorkHerper16 » December 20th, 2014, 6:19 pm

Thanks for the reply!

Now that i look at it, i completely agree that they are too blue. The snake and the vole were both taken at night, and i shot each to purposely get a black background and then i used the vignette tool to further darken and add more of a dramatic look to it.

What would you suggest i do with the owl photo? Would it look better if i adjusted the temperature to make it less blue?

Here's a couple more photos that are different than the three from above because they werent at night. What do you think of these?
Image
American Toad in Habitat by Alex Roukis, on Flickr
Image
N. Ringneck Snake in Habitat #2 by Alex Roukis, on Flickr
Image
Eastern Redback Salamander in-habitat by Alex Roukis, on Flickr
Image
One's Real and One's Not by Alex Roukis, on Flickr

I'm not normally a fan of black and white, but i think it worked out ok in this last image because it makes the real snake look more like my drawing (which was in graphite pencil, so no color).

What do you think about this kind of editing, where you blue everything except the herp to make it more "3D"?
Image
Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) by Alex Roukis, on Flickr

Sorry for all the annoying questions lol.

frogfish
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Re: What can i do to improve?

Post by frogfish » December 22nd, 2014, 12:27 pm

I'm personally a big fan of your photos Alex. I'm a sucker for creative lighting and it's a breath a fresh air from all the "bleh" herp shots you see nowadays. Keep it up dude

Santosh

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kit fox
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Re: What can i do to improve?

Post by kit fox » January 9th, 2015, 8:33 pm

NewYorkHerper16 wrote:Thanks for the reply!

Now that i look at it, i completely agree that they are too blue. The snake and the vole were both taken at night, and i shot each to purposely get a black background and then i used the vignette tool to further darken and add more of a dramatic look to it.

What would you suggest i do with the owl photo? Would it look better if i adjusted the temperature to make it less blue?
I think making the moon more white, and less blue would look more realistic to me.
Here's a couple more photos that are different than the three from above because they werent at night. What do you think of these?
I like the composition of the toad photo!
The ringneck snake photo is tad overexposed.
For the Salamander picture, I would have moved the camera down and left, and so the log guided you towards it better. That is a personal style thing for me.
I like the B&W of the Hognose, and think your shot with the drawing is creative.
I really dig the Turtle shot.

As for the Blue background 3D thing, I've never tried it before, and probably wouldn't (personal preference for me).

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chrish
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Re: What can i do to improve?

Post by chrish » January 13th, 2015, 3:40 pm

Alex,

Clearly you have a good eye and are willing to experiment. The hognose on the drawing is a great photo. It made me look twice to figure out what was going on.

With your "herp-in-habitat" shots, I think you might need to change your mindset in composing the photos. When I look at those photos I think "he found a good spot where he liked the view of the habitat and stuck a herp in there". They aren't so much "herp in habitat" shots as a habitat shot with a herp in it, almost as an afterthought.

It is a really tough thing to reverse this concept and take a photo of the herp that includes the habitat rather than the other way around.

Here's a photo of what I mean. It is NOT a good photo or a great example by any means, but it conveys the concept. Rather than finding a scenic view of the rather featureless plains and putting the lizard in it, I composed the picture of the Pogona and then got lower and wider to include some habitat. It was "herp first".

Image

That said, I don't like the composition particularly (the lizard is too low in the frame and I'm not low enough), but it was pre-digital and I was shooting slides so I couldn't get any immediate feedback.

Think about that when you are trying to compose these shots and you will be happier.
And all the habitat doesn't need to be in focus. People will get the idea if some of it is in focus and the critter is.

Keep shooting. You are going to produce some great photos.

Chris

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