March 15th Class
Some of the challenges we will face with doing photography inside the Jungle is the humidity. To tackle this issue we are providing everyone with large storage bags to put their gear in. We will keep our gear in the bags for several minutes after we enter the jungle to let the temp of our gear rise and acclimate to the humidity. This will hopefully prevent our lenses and view finders from fogging up.
The next challenge is that the lighting inside the jungle is poor even on the best day. So we will utilize a few different techniques to overcome poor light. The easiest is to utilize a tripod. This works well but may require your subject to be very still. So capturing motion becomes very difficult. So this leaves us with the option of raising the camera's ISO. Most photographers try to keep their ISO as low as possible to cut down on the noise in the image. Often times photographers will only raise it enough to get minimal detail which will result in an under exposed image with the photographer intending to raise the exposure in post. This is going to leave you with a lot of noise that will be tough to deal with, especially in the shadows of the image. So the technique I utilize is called Expose to the Right. This will provide you with an image that will have some easier to deal with noise, and sufficient detail in the shadows. It is much easier to lower the exposure on an image than it is to brighten it. Remember, if you do end up having to lower the exposure in post, that you may need to lower the saturation a little bit to compensate. Colors will saturate more when the exposure becomes darker. There are a few areas in the jungle where there are interesting subjects behind glass.
Another technique to deal with the lighting is something I will be messing around with today, and that is to use a powerful flash/strobe. The flash that is built into the camera is often not a very good flash as the bulb is very small and its high enough off camera. This flash is also not very powerful. I will be utilizing a Flashpoint Evolv 200 in a 7 inch reflector dish covered with a diffusion sock to soften the light as much as possible. If you chose to attempt to use off camera flash in the future, please take into consideration the subject and be responsible with it. Using a flash on an owl at night is viewed as highly unethical to the American Birding Association and the National Audubon Society.
We will get the lens close as we can to the glass while still being able to focus on the subject and check the frame for unwanted reflections. Water spots are easy to remove in post using the spot removal tool in Light room, or the various other tools in Photoshop
This image was taken at the Safari park at ISO 10,000 using the ETTR technique
This image was taken inside the jungle with the lens braced on the railing.