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Old 01-20-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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Default How do you take a good frog picture?

I see all those great close up pictures of the frogs. How are you taking the pictures that show them in the inside of the tank? They donít look like they got taken through the glass. Every time I try to take close ups they just turn out blurry. Any suggestions?

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nadine
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:03 PM
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You need to go into your camera and turn up the resolution as high as it will go. Then stay about 2' away from the frog you want a picture of and take the picture. In the screen the frog will look like a little spec, thats what you want. Now put that pic on your computer and crop it thru my pictures. Once it is cropped to the size you wanted everything should look like everyone elses. How many megapixels is your camera? Mine is a 6 megapixel and I had the same problem until I did this. Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:41 PM
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also if your camera has a macro setting (on mine its a little flower symbol) that will allow the camera to focus in much closer. Of course its hard to get them to cooperate :wink:
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:58 PM
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What kind of camera do you have?
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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thanks for the quick answers.


i got a Kodak Easy Share CX7430 4.0 Mega pix.

i will try the little flower smybol

thanks again

nadine
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:33 PM
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magnifying glass setting is also good-but it requires you to be closer to your frog.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:28 PM
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I avoid using a flash if at all possible. I think pics of frogs taken with a flash look washed out.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylsdale
I avoid using a flash if at all possible. I think pics of frogs taken with a flash look washed out.
100% agree here. I think the best pics are when the light is ambient or from the terrarium itself with no flash.

Kyle should chime in. He has really nice pics.
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:43 AM
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Thanks!

Use the macro setting on your camera and the flash. All of the pictures on my site were taken with flash. Also if the glass is clean you can take them through the glass as long as you are at the right angle. If not the flash will bounce back. Another thing to note is to see how close you camera can focus. Most of the point and shoots can do very close but some may not. If it can not focus back up a little and try again.

Hope that helps a little...
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:53 AM
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Kyle, how do you keep the flash from causing glare on the frogs themselves? Everytime i use my flash, i get glare off of the frogs' skin and eyes.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:02 AM
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Im not sure there is an exactly rule, mainly just a matter of taking a few pictures. Angles help a great deal as well. Now with that said some cameras may lack the ability to adjust the flash levels, and I can not speak to that. This could though cause problems at close range. Most of the mid to high level point and shoot cameras and the DSLRs can do this though. You may even want to check your manual for manual flash settings.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:03 AM
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Oh ya one other thing... editing... Many of the best pictures out there are extremely edited anymore. Pickup up photoshop elements and give it a try. Some day ill have to post a before and after sample... :-)
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:09 AM
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Thanks Kyle, a friend of mine is supposed to get me a copy of Photoshop, so i'll give that a try when i get it. I'm still figuring out the DSLR i got for christmas but i'll look to see if it has manual flash settings.
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:08 AM
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What DLSR? It should auto adjust... Try this on the DSLR:

Set it to manual, then set the shutter to 100 and aperture to 10 or so depending on the lens. All of this with the flash on.

These are rough settings but a good starting point.
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:27 AM
 
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thanks for all the great tips.

nadine
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:34 AM
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Couldn't disagree more with the flash, but that's just me.

I have a Cannon XTi, and a 100mm macro lens.





Those three are all through tank glass, no flash used. I don't edit my photos any more, so those are as close to the real colors as you can get unless you're sitting in front of the animal. If you're using a point n shoot, i'd try getting as close as you can while it will still focus, and cropping in. In my experience, flash with most animals just blurrs out eyes and such.

Just my two cents.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:27 AM
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Yes it is personal preference, but unless you have a DSLR no flash is almost impossible as the noise from the point and shoot sensors is unbearable at the higher ISOs.

I will say I have talked with a number of pro macro photographers, and they all use flash, and in most cases 2 flashes. Now I can not speak to fish photography as I have never really look into it.

So while flash can do some crazy things at times to the lighting, id argue so can the lack of light. Not to mention the lack of depth of field with low light, and with some of the macro lenses that can be the difference between getting the nose or the whole head. Just a matter of opinion...
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:50 PM
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I tried a few shots with those settings last night before the lights went out in the vent viv. Only one of them came out looking good, but that's on par with what i'm used to. I figure i get about one good shot for every 50 or so i take. I tried adjusting the settings a little from what you suggested as well, but the original settings seemed to work best.

Not the best composition but it was just an experiment:

Nice detail but i'm still getting glare off of the eyes no matter what i do. Also, the leg color looks washed out. They're more blue to the naked eye. Is this where Photoshop comes in?
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:26 PM
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You can deffinately enhance certain colors in photoshop. Here is the easiest way to do this, at least for me..

1) Once I have my picture up, I usually section off the piece I want with the Rectangular Marquee Tool(RMT). Otherwise, you change the color of the whole picture instead of a certain area that you want to mess with (legs):



2) Next, I go to Image>Adjustments>Replace Color, which lets you edit specific things in the picture (I.E. Fuziness, Hue, Saturation, Lightness) [You can do this with Levels, also, but it changes all the colors in the field (RGB, Green, Red, Blue), and that's not what you want for the frog legs] From here, I can select which area I want to adjust by pointing the eye dropper on the area highlighted in the picture that you used the RMT on. In this case, that will be the green in the picture.



From here, you can move the sliders until you get the effect you want, by changing the colors or the light/darkness. As you can see, I changed the green area to a purple, and made it lighter.




You can also use the magnetic lasso tool to outline a specific shape, though this is painstakingly difficult at times, and is frustrating until you get a hold of it. This does, however, allow you to get more defined spaces mixed. You can also add new areas by holding down Shift, and subtract areas you have highlighted by encircling them with Alt.



This is all done with Photoshop 7, so it may be different in different types of Photoshop. Feel free to PM me or catch me on AIM if you have any questions, i'm not sure if I explained this very well.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:50 PM
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Another simple task is to try messing with the gamma, and or the overall saturation. Also if your camera supports it try RAW which can offer a bit better control of the white balance and color space in a 16bit color space.

Just a note that many of these things take a good bit of practice and to be exact some monitor tuning, and or color workspace adjustments as well. This can go on for ever but its better to just start taking some pictures and then work with a mix of editing and then the picture taking itself to get what you want.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:46 PM
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I second Kyle there, it's all practice and messing with stuff. Just play around with your camera and your editing software, you'll get the hang of it eventually. I'll be damned if I ever take a class on any of it. :P
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:29 AM
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Thanks for the write up Andrew, i'll definitely try that when i get that copy of Photoshop. I'll hit you up if i have some questions later on.

Kyle, i do have a RAW setting so i'll look into that. I can tell i've still got a lot to learn about this type of photography.
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:19 AM
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Also check out: "The Photoshop CS Book For Digital Photographers" Im sure there is a newer version but this is a great general book.
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:25 PM
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Wet, highly reflective objects will always present glare problems when trying to photograph them.

In order to minimize glare as much as reasonably possible you need to employ a technique called "cross polarization". This is a technique that greatly reduces the glare from subjects through the use of polarized light. This is used in microscopy more commonly. Very basically you attach a polarized film over your light source(s) (normally electronic flash) and also a polarizing filter over your lens. Next you align the polarizing film on your flahs(es) and the polarizing filter on your lens to allow only certain orientation of light through. The results are pretty dramatic.

Check out this article as a starting point http://www.naturescapes.net/042004/wh0404.htm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGB
Nice detail but i'm still getting glare off of the eyes no matter what i do. Also, the leg color looks washed out. They're more blue to the naked eye. Is this where Photoshop comes in?
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:32 PM
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The color is different because the light source is different as well as the camera sees what it sees, with humans this is a little different. Your eye and brain combine to make some amazing adjustments, so things are not always as we think they are.

First the leg color. Part of this is because you are looking at the frog with the vivarium lighting. Once you take a photograph with a flash, the characteristics of the light change. The light temperature changes, the direction of light changes, the intensity of light changes... not the same light qualities that you view your frogs with. So, it willnot look the same.

But a lot of this goes back to your brain as well.

Another thing to consider is the color blue. Those of you who used film and tried to photograph a subject with blue in it, ever notice the difficulty film had with blue color? Fuji Velvia, other Fujichromes, Kodachrome, Ektachromes would all have different 'interpretations' of the color blue. There were lots of "why are photos of Virginia blue bells not blue?".

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Also, the leg color looks washed out. They're more blue to the naked eye. Is this where Photoshop comes in?
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:49 PM
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In my opinion, nothing replaces proper photographic technique, understanding lighting and knowledge of your equipment and subject. Learn to take good photographs and recognize what it takes to make a great photograph first, then learn to use photo editing software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745
Oh ya one other thing... editing... Many of the best pictures out there are extremely edited anymore. Pickup up photoshop elements and give it a try. Some day ill have to post a before and after sample... :-)
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Old 01-24-2007, 05:52 PM
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I didn't know they made polarizers for flashes..new thing here. Another thing I thought of, which is deffinately more low-key..is just using a simple tissue diffuser. One square of toilet paper should block enough light to stop the glare but also light up the subject more.
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:37 PM
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The polarizing film is not made specifically for flashes, but can be easily adapted for use with them.

Diffusing the light will not remove the glare typically seen on wet/shiny objects. It may knock down some of the harshness of the light (softer shadows), but the glare will still be there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewFromSoCal
I didn't know they made polarizers for flashes..new thing here. Another thing I thought of, which is deffinately more low-key..is just using a simple tissue diffuser. One square of toilet paper should block enough light to stop the glare but also light up the subject more.
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:39 PM
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Gotcha. I've yet to recieve any slimys, so i'm at a loss for all else. I typically don't shoot with flash anyway.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:45 AM
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Thanks Yuri, very interesting info!
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:32 AM
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Agreed, I was trying not to say that many photographs these days are over edited... :-) But in reality the legs are not that blue... put a flashlight on them or see them up next to the light. Yuris comments on lighting are dead on...

Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri
The polarizing film is not made specifically for flashes, but can be easily adapted for use with them.

Diffusing the light will not remove the glare typically seen on wet/shiny objects. It may knock down some of the harshness of the light (softer shadows), but the glare will still be there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewFromSoCal
I didn't know they made polarizers for flashes..new thing here. Another thing I thought of, which is deffinately more low-key..is just using a simple tissue diffuser. One square of toilet paper should block enough light to stop the glare but also light up the subject more.
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