Author Topic: Flying bird pictures..underwing lighting  (Read 5465 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Clive

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11976
  • Gender: Male
    • My galleries
Flying bird pictures..underwing lighting
« on: October 19, 2008, 09:45:09 PM »
Under wing lighting considerations

Generally it is a good idea to shoot flying birds when there is sunshine since the light allows fast shutter speeds. This often results in harsh shadows on the bellies and under wings. Using a fast lens and bright overcast can reduce the under body darkening, but not all of us have fast telephoto lenses.

This picture is potentially decent, but the shadows are not acceptable and no amount of on-board DRO or levels changes (to the dark sections) will save this shot. Just too dark.



There are ways around this.

The undersides of birds that are coming in to land on water will sometimes be lighted by light reflected off the water. The top image below shows an untouched image as shot (except resized) and you can see the lighting under the wing is not too bad--the shadows being eliminated by the light coming up from the water.



The images below are also untouched. How is that possible? The answer is reflection from snow and white sand. Around here February and March (lots of geese are back) can be a great time for flight shots if there is snow on the ground .. it is a marvelous mirror.


White beach sand is also good. This is a frigatebird flying a few meters over a white sand beach. There is decent under body detail and there are no manips of light levels.


Late in the day (or early morning) bird shots are possible if they can be captured with their wings up in the air and well exposed to light. You can take a LOT of pictures to get one or two that are "right." You can get wings and bellies well lighted in mid day ... Sometimes. If you are lucky, birds will flare away and as they turn the entire underside can be exposed to sunlight. This works best in spring and fall when the sun is lower on the horizon.



Questions? I prepared this quite fast....probably will edit later. ;)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2008, 01:31:19 AM by Clive »
Galleries
============================================
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts. Albert Einstein

Offline fother

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 7846
  • Gender: Male
  • Michael
    • MichaelFoth
    • au.linkedin.com/in/fother
    • fother
    • MichaelFoth
    • my index site
Re: Flying bird pictures..underwing lighting
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 09:49:44 PM »

that's great Clive - I hadn't thought of that.
Now I gotta find some snow... ;)

Offline Clive

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11976
  • Gender: Male
    • My galleries
Re: Flying bird pictures..underwing lighting
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 10:11:39 PM »
:P :D .. I added a "white beach sand" example too. :P

Works too.

Thanks for pointing out the "lack of snow" in some places. ;)
Galleries
============================================
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts. Albert Einstein

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Flying bird pictures..underwing lighting
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2008, 03:25:10 AM »
Thanks Clive- really useful!
Stef.
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline winjeel

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 5413
  • Gender: Male
  • Gelight
    • japanesephotos
    • JapanesePhotos
    • JapanesePhotos.Asia
Re: Flying bird pictures..underwing lighting
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 08:31:44 AM »
Lovely stuff, and great idea.
JapanesePhotos.Asia; Some basic photographic how to's.
Sony the200, Minolta 28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 70-300mm Gregarious, 100mm 2.8 macro.

Offline Clive

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11976
  • Gender: Male
    • My galleries
Re: Flying bird pictures..underwing lighting
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2008, 12:43:16 PM »
Thanks.

The images in the slide show posted here fairly well show the results of paying attention to lighting and wings.

http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,7294.0.html

Cheers!

Clive
Galleries
============================================
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts. Albert Einstein