BIF- Bat in Flight

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions
kittykat23uk
kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
BIF- Bat in Flight
9

I was on Safari once again and the lodge we stayed at put out banana to attract the bush babies and these guys, Peter's Epaulated Fruit Bat. It gave my E-620, 50-200 and FL50R a good work out. I had many misses, any advice for shooting wildlife in the dark with this combo would be appreciated. The biggest problems I have are, the lens hunting lots and when I do lock on, sometimes when I press the shutter it seems to default to a long exposure, despite the flash being fully charged? I variously tried Aperture mode, and Auto, and also prefocusing on a beam at rughly the same distance that the bats were flying around. I also tried Manual focus and S-AF + MF but I think in the end, S-AF and a lot of luck got me this shot. It is a bit sharper than it looks on here.

All the best

Jo

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dharma108 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,740
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Yeah--that is a very cool shot of an extremely difficult subject. Surprised you don't have more responses. You can see the sharpness very well when you go to the larger size.

Thanks for posting this on. Dharma

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19andrew47
19andrew47 Forum Pro • Posts: 33,699
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

I simply can not imagine trying to shot bats in the dark!  Amazing you got anything!

Andrew

kittykat23uk
OP kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Thanks both! The Bush Babies were difficult enough, but these bats were a real challenge!

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 16,337
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Zounds, this is a first-time seeing for me, around these parts. Tough subject and well done! Having tired hummingbirds and the like, I simply can't imaging doing that in the pitch dark.

Cheers,

Rick

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Danielvr Veteran Member • Posts: 4,941
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight
2

I had many misses, any advice for shooting wildlife in the dark with this combo would be appreciated. The biggest problems I have are, the lens hunting lots and when I do lock on, sometimes when I press the shutter it seems to default to a long exposure, despite the flash being fully charged?

Do everything manually; put the camera on a tripod pointing upwards, use a fairly wide focal length (eg 40-80mm depending on where the bats fly - they shouldn't become too small but the angle should be wide enough to actually catch them), choose a small aperture for lots of focus depth and use ISO 200 to avoid noise. Set focus manually to the approximate distance of the bats. Set the flash to manual as well and set its power to what you expect will be needed for the combination of ISO, aperture and distance. Make a couple of test shots until you get the exposure right. Then setup a comfy stretcher near the cam, lie down and shoot whenever you see a bat fly over. With some luck, quite a few will be sharp and correctly exposed. If it's really dark and the sky is clear and there are no branches in sight, you can even keep the shutter open for a minute or so, and just fire the flash whenever a bat swoops along -- that way you will get multiple bats in each image. I've done something like this a couple of years ago with some success, but I had to improvise and use the internal flash of my E-510. When you're prepared and have a powerful flash that recharges quickly, it should work quite well.

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Bobby J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,878
Re:Pretty darn good I'd say. Not sure

what I'd think to do in such a situation.  You did very well to get this I think.

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BJM

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Geo Wharton Senior Member • Posts: 1,389
Re: Holy BIF Batman!

Nice job, that has to be a tough shot to get!

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Braxton7
Braxton7 Contributing Member • Posts: 882
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Looks good to me but that thing is kind of creepy  LOL. Yikes!

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ashgupta61 Regular Member • Posts: 126
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Very well done. Thanks for the tips

-Ash

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kittykat23uk
OP kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Thanks for the tips!

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kittykat23uk
OP kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

I like bats, when we were all eating around the boma, they put banana all along the fence around us so every now and then you'd hear this little scuffle and see a bat disappearing off with his meal. Not good if you have a phobia though! I think one lady guest was somewhat perturbed by them, but I loved it!!

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CollBaxter
CollBaxter Forum Pro • Posts: 12,724
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Wow that is really fantastic.

I once saw an article with a setup with triggers to shoot bats. You have proved you don't need it.

How many frames did you use.

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kittykat23uk
OP kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Thanks all!

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kittykat23uk
OP kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Wow that is really fantastic.

I once saw an article with a setup with triggers to shoot bats. You have proved you don't need it.

How many frames did you use.

Thanks Col, I spent a couple of evenings trying to get the shot! Lots of frames!
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Rich Z
Rich Z Veteran Member • Posts: 9,973
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Wonderful shot, Jo. I can't imagine how many shots it would have taken me to get a good one under those circumstances. You didn't give up, and look what you got! Very nice, indeed! Rich

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kittykat23uk
OP kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

Thank you Rich Z.

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Braxton7
Braxton7 Contributing Member • Posts: 882
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

I'm still laughing about that picture. Looks like a fox terrier with wings coming for my neck:). I can find most creatures kind of cuddly but that one not so much. Still now I'm a bit intrigued. There are some caves around here with large bat populations.

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 15,867
Re: BIF- Bat in Flight

that is extraordinarily good

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