Caudata.org: Newts and Salamanders Portal

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!
Did you know that registered users see fewer ads? Register today!

Let's talk amphibian photography

sde

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
1,891
Reaction score
39
Location
Seattle area Washington
Hi all,

I just wanted to bring up this subject as I really love photographing my herping finds! And I want to see what you guys are doing as well. I also want to find out what kinds of composition and tricks/methods you guys like to use. Also, feel free to share some of you're best photos!

So for composition I try and keep the head centered, and am kind of a nerd when it comes to getting REALLY close, I love they eye shots :D Sometimes I take a step back ( if I can get out of the trance of close ups ) and when I do this I usually curl their tail around one side, and try to get them in a 'interesting' position. I try to let them to the 'interesting' position part themselves so I don't have to move them but occasionally I have to 'help' them out. I also try to get their full body when I am farther back. I also try and put them on moss and moss spores for added color, and try to pay attention to the background colors. Occasionally I will put them on rocks if they are a colorful species.
For pictures that are really close up, I try to focus on the eye. Some species make much better eye shots than others. Rana aurora, for instance, has a very detailed and colorful eye, whereas Ambystoma gracile is a more plain brown.
With blander subjects ( like Ambystoma gracile ) I try to incorporate a more colorful background, like green trees, fall colored leaves, mosses, or colorful plants. Sometimes if I am on a bare hill or cleared area I will try to show the sky, or a bit of a view in the background.
I also try to take photos from interesting angles, for instances I love taking photos of herps from below, so that you have an interesting angle and so you get the sky and trees in the background.
I also try to give the animals as much character as I can, and shooting from in front of the subject ( head on ) I think does this quite well. Each individual has a different look from the front, so it gives uniqueness as well.
Taking a lot of photos helps to get better photos as well, simply because the animal is usually moving so it allows you to get lots of angles and poses.
Typically I don't use the flash unless I have to because I don't want to stress the animal too much.
I constantly am changing the aperture depending on the scene, sometimes I want the background to show, sometimes I just want it to be focusing on the subject.

So folks, that's my techniques and methods, feel free to share yours!

Here are some of my favorite shots. ( By the way, sorry the post is so long ).
 

Attachments

  • P1150974.jpg
    P1150974.jpg
    90.3 KB · Views: 732
  • P1140231.jpg
    P1140231.jpg
    71.4 KB · Views: 601
  • Ensitina.jpg
    Ensitina.jpg
    89.4 KB · Views: 735
  • P1130882.jpg
    P1130882.jpg
    129 KB · Views: 614
  • P1140160.jpg
    P1140160.jpg
    88.8 KB · Views: 592
  • P1140721.jpg
    P1140721.jpg
    92.7 KB · Views: 717
  • P1150201.jpg
    P1150201.jpg
    88.9 KB · Views: 603
  • P1150593.jpg
    P1150593.jpg
    96.4 KB · Views: 619

garfield188

New member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Nice photos!, but try not to always have the head of the salamander in the middle of the photo.
 

auntiejude

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
3,685
Reaction score
56
Location
England
I often find it easier to take a wider shot and then crop it afterwards. It's sometimes easier to work that way than wait for your subject to strike the right pose right in front of the camera. It helps that I'm married to a professional digital photo expert though..... ;)

Wildlife photgraphy is an art few can master, but you're certainly doing a great job Seth!
 

sde

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
1,891
Reaction score
39
Location
Seattle area Washington
Nice photos!, but try not to always have the head of the salamander in the middle of the photo.

OK I will try to take photos from different angles, it'll be good to mix things up.

I often find it easier to take a wider shot and then crop it afterwards. It's sometimes easier to work that way than wait for your subject to strike the right pose right in front of the camera. It helps that I'm married to a professional digital photo expert though..... ;)

Wildlife photgraphy is an art few can master, but you're certainly doing a great job Seth!

I would take it from farther back but my camera isn't that nice, if I did that I would lose some focus. I will give that a go anyway and see how it goes, maybe it will turn out great! Thanks for the tips!

Great tips, i am lucky if i can get the salamanders in focus!:p

I can still occasionally have that problem....if I forget to turn my camera on to macro....:rolleyes:

Thanks for the compliments guys :happy: -Seth
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • PvH:
    Hi
    +1
    Unlike
  • PvH:
    I've advertised my CB alpine newts for sale UK but no offers so far. I'm looking for a carer/enthusiast so I put a price to deter people who might not be serious about the responsibilities of the undertaking but how do I find a genuine enthusiast who will take over care? I'm not looking for money, just a good home for the newts.
    +2
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    Hey guys, its way too hot where I live right now. Temperatures 40 degree celcius outside, making it like 30 degrees inside. Ive got ice packs on my yellow spotted salamanders hidey rock, he acts like he hates it though. Am I keeping him too cold? I think my temp gauge might be messed up, or at least in the wrong spot. I put the tank temp gauge in the top left corner of his large tank, where it says its 80 degrees fahrenheit, which I am aware is too hot, which is what makes me put the ice packs on his rock at the bottom of the cage, but the bottom of his cage feels a lot cooler tha 80 degrees. Should I move my temp gauge down to the bottom corner where he hangs out the most? Should I get a soil temperature probe so I can tell what temperature the soil that hes laying on is?
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    Because his soil is certainly not 80 degrees fahrenheit, and I dont want to freeze the poor bugger with ice packs if he really doesnt need them. Hes been doing fine, but Im just so stressed because I cant get ANy information on how to handle this little guy. Theyre illegal to keep without a permit, but this one would not have survived without my intervention. So I cant call and ask anyone for help. If theres a betetr site than this one, I sure havent found it. But I never get any replies here. We are all just asking questions and getting none answered basically. Its really frustrating as I just want to help this little dude be happy and healthy. All I can get him to eat is potato bugs as well. I cant find anything else that he will eat. Is that even okay? :/ hes been eating strictly those since may first.
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    Does ANYONE know of a site more active than this where I can get my questions answered? My little bud needs help and Im just not getting it here.
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    Alright well I bought a bunch of stuff for his tank and hope it helps. Im getting extremelty frustrated that bI cant get an answer. Guess buddies just gonna have to die or some shit. like wtf why cant I get any help.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Captive Bread:
    I'm afraid this is the largest and most active community for this kind of information, probably on the entire internet. That said, we are still small overall. We can't help you all of the time. We do offer you support and have answered your questions in the past so I feel it's very impolite to lose patience with us.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Captive Bread:
    Second of all, was you who said you wild caught your salamander? And had Authorities threaten to retrieve it from you?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Captive Bread:
    Third of all, assuming thats the case, no one seems to want to face the reality that these animals come from climates and microenvironments where they need to be kept cool. If you can't hack, then release it where you pulled it from.
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    he was dying outside. SO SORRY i was nice enough to save him. can i even release him in wetaher thats 40 degree celcius? will he not just die outside because he cant dig through the hard ground?
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    The ONLY reason I spent 500 dollars on this thing was to keep him alive. thats IT. He was completely dry with cracked skin and couldnt walk and I nursed him back to health. Now I should just throw him outside on the hard baked ground where I found him? in my driveway? Really dude?
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    I am losing patienc ebecause I care. Because I cant get any answers in any length of time that will actually benefit him. He'll only eat potato bugs, I just want him to have good rest of his life. Thats IT. So dont act like I went out an dillegally trapped some poor salamander out of the wild for fun cuz I wanted one.
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    I am very sure he was just trying to pass by, because he certainly cant dig ANYWHERE in the soil ANYWHERE near where I live. So I cannot just release him in 40 degree celcius on the super hard baked ground where theres no shelter and no food and now ater to be seen for miles. I dont see how that wioll help him at all.
    +1
    Unlike
  • John:
    @FragileCorpse, Watch your language please.
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    What did I say sorry? What word?
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    Sorry youre going to have to explain to me john becaue Ive reread what I wrote here and Im not seeing it,
    +1
    Unlike
  • FragileCorpse:
    Ill certainly apologize for using it, but to not use it I need to know what it is is all.
    +1
    Unlike
  • ShawnJPN:
    Hello all
    +1
    Unlike
  • ShawnJPN:
    What's the night shift looking like
    +1
    Unlike
  • Captive Bread:
    Lots of contemplating life for me. What about you?
    +1
    Unlike
  • ShawnJPN:
    Same thoughts reduced to bytes on a website
    +1
    Unlike
    ShawnJPN: Same thoughts reduced to bytes on a website +1
    Top