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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:49 pm 
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I've put this here because people interested in exhibition poultry are usually the ones worrying about this.

I have a photo box here but it's not great. I would like to get a better one.

Things that matter ...

* Has to be big enough for waterfowl as well as tall game

* Has to be portable

* Has to be able to accommodate off-camera lighting near it

* It would be nice to avoid those vertical lines where the back joins the sides - I know that could be too hard

* Flooring needs to be secure feeling for fowls - what's best? I've seen them go weird on fake turf, slip around on wood so what's most successful?

* Best colour? Most seem to be blue. White's no good.

Opinions?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:30 pm 
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perhaps a washable rubber mat like the ones for outside, with texture not smooth.

thinking about the curved back; flat metal would bend and be able to go inside a squared box to make a curve but it would have to be painted. timber would too though.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:46 pm 
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I have one will try to get a photo in next day or so.Mine is three sides that open out put it on table and use fake grass .Folds down and has its own bag.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Does it have to be a box? More flexibility in a photo booth can be had if sides are not fixed or at least are adjustable. I've seen someone recently work by just putting a bird on the floor between the banks of pens. The birds were sure-footed but except for recording larger birds, the photographer needed to get down very low to get good eye level pics. I have yet to see the results but some should be in a newsletter soon. Entertainment for the audience was provided at any rate. :laughing

A well-lit dedicated (& escape -proof) section of the pavillion or shed for the taking of pics would be ideal. In the interests of recording history, dare I suggest that a permanent photo booth area should be incorporated into plans for any upgrades of venues, along with new pens & other refurbishments. :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:37 pm 
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I have found it all trial and error and tried just about everything, and never 100% happy. Everything from carpet, bed sheets, rock, wood etc. Dr Harry Cooper was using a photo box he built himself at Canberra in 2008, it had a clear perspex on the front and seemed to work okay with bright panel of LED lights. At the end of the day the most important thing is that SOMEONE took photos :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:27 pm 
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What about a tabletop setup as used in commercial product photography? It's a table with a back on it and a sheet of white perspex laid over the table and swooping up to the top of the back (gives a seamless background with no horizon line). If you 'improved' the design by putting translucent material on the sides ( I use white spinnaker cloth from a sailmaker) that would both prevent the bird from escaping from the sides and also allow side lighting (you shoot through the cloth) to accent the bird. You could also light from the top with a light on a boom arm.

This would provide 3 dimensional lighting with no horizon lines. The setup could be lit with either professional monobloc strobes or with remote flashguns controlled by the camera or third party slave cells.

The table could also have the centre cut out so that the subject could be lit from below. The white (or coloured) perspex is clamped onto the table with small and inexpensive wood clamps (G clamps).

The table could be constructed so that it is able to be stripped down and transported and could be set up ready to go in 20 minutes or so.

I have 45 years as a professional photographer so if you want specifics, I can assist in advising.

Linz :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:08 pm 
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I'll send you a pic of Rupert Stephenson's setup (this gallery thing hates me) via email

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:44 pm 
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Thanks for the ideas Linz. Things to think about. I like the idea of lighting through translucent material. That would be interesting.

I've never seen poultry shots lit from below. Might be good but could also be interesting to get the fowl to stay in the right place. :laughing

On the topic of fabric, we came up with an idea of having a foldable metal frame on which a fabric backdrop gets velcroed. Don't know if it would work but would be easy to carry around.

Image

Thanks for the photo Danny. The box is very similar to what I've used in the past, although in better nic. The trouble with this style is the weight and transporting it. His graduated backdrop is nice. I wonder what sort of material it is made from. It looks like it must be firm for the bird not to be wrinkling it or ripping it. Couldn't be paper or the first goose poop to hit the deck would ruin it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:24 pm 
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The sides are mostly there to reflect light, they play no active role and I've seen pics of him using the background without any side and a couple of lights direct diagonally.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:25 pm 
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The image of the Goose could handle some 'back lighting' to accent the profile of the bird. A translucent sided setup would allow for a mix of hard/soft light to define the feathers and the outline. It has a seamless paper background which doesn't provide a horizon line. It's excellent but they get dirty. With the perspex, you can wipe it clean and with a hollow frame setup, a backlight with coloured gells could change the look of the background in a few moment.

I might make one.

Linz :)

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[/i]
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:35 pm 
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Linz wrote:
The image of the Goose could handle some 'back lighting' to accent the profile of the bird. A translucent sided setup would allow for a mix of hard/soft light to define the feathers and the outline. It has a seamless paper background which doesn't provide a horizon line. It's excellent but they get dirty. With the perspex, you can wipe it clean and with a hollow frame setup, a backlight with coloured gells could change the look of the background in a few moment.

I might make one.

Linz :)

I'm pretty sure Rupert has a handle on things being the official photographer for all UK Federation shows. The picture is just of the box, not the lighting or anything else.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:50 pm 
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The difficulty in photography for the newbie seems to be that there are so many different ways to get the job done.

If you get that happening Linz, I would love to see some photos.

I am currently playing with an Elinchrom twin chrome umbrella kit. It's just the basic kit and has two umbrellas. One is reflective and the other is the one the light shines through. I'm sure there must be a special word for that but you know what I mean. I am going to put a chicken under them and see what it can do with the light. I'll try that tomorrow. In the meantime I'm messing around with a plastic plant dummy. :laughing

My OH has (on request) made me up a very light foldable aluminium frame. It has hinges which over-extend in case I want to put a bigger fowl in it. It all pulls apart into just rods to go into a bag. Then I'm putting fabric over it and holding it in place with velcro. Still working on that. It's not tensioned correctly. Need a bit more velcro which I'll get tomorrow. As you will see in a moment, I still have all the junk on my kitchen table. (A few complaints coming in from the family about this room. ;-) )

This is the general idea. I know it's a little nuts.

Image

A few first goes at it. You have to imagine that's a chicken or a duck.

Both strobes set on 3.1. My camera on F9 with a shutter speed of 40.

Image

Image

Image


Then if I only use one light and increase the setting to 4, I can get a sideways shadow which I quite like. If that was a fowl I'd probably want the light on the side the chicken was facing. Can't remember how other people do that.

Image


I feel like the colours need to be a bit richer and I'm not sure how to achieve that.

I also don't understand how to increase my depth of field so I don't get parts of the fowl out of focus. Is that about distance from which I shoot? Actually, I know it's more complicated than that. I need to find some instructions for dummies.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:30 am 
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Cathy, I'll try to address each of your points as I go along.

The light on the left will be the most specular (good) for using as your 'main' light. The fact that you're shooting through the 'brolly' give two types of light, specular from the shooting through and diffused as the flash spreads to the outside of the brolly. This would give good feather texture and sheen on the feathers. The bird should face this light.

The light on the right is being bounced into the brolly and as such is spread evenly across the surface of the brolly making it large and by definition, softer. This light should be set on at least one power setting less to give you a 3-1 lighting ratio. For black or dark birds, expose for the power of the right light. For light birds, expose for the left light.

To get greater 'depth of field' turn both lights up at least one full setting and expose accordingly. Your f9 setting would then be more like f11 or higher which would give you greater depth of focus to allow for movement of the fowl.

Both lights are too high. You'll struggle to get good eye colour with the main light and fill light that high. Lower them about 14" in the old money. This will also make the flash strength higher (as they're now closer to the subject). make your exposure tests after lowering.

Lastly, your shutter speed is far too low. Try 125th second to prevent subject movement in the images. You may well be able to go to 160th second depending on themake and model of camera. Again, tests will tell you.

Hope this helps,

Linz :)

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[i]A lot of Andalusians. Anconas in Standard and Bantam PB Black Leghorns in Standard
and Bantam, Derbyshire Redcaps, Light Sussex Bantams.
[/i]
____ __ _______ _ _ _ ______ _ ________ _ _ _ _____


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:06 am 
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Awesome! Will try those things this morning.

One problem that is going to arise for photographing birds is the space. Someone needs to be in close to pose the bird. That person is going to cast a shadow. Unfortunately birds don't behave like plastic plants.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:10 am 
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Linz wrote:
The light on the right is being bounced into the brolly and as such is spread evenly across the surface of the brolly making it large and by definition, softer. This light should be set on at least one power setting less to give you a 3-1 lighting ratio.

Lights lowered 14", white one on 3.0, black one on 2.0. Both lights approx 1.3m away from subject on 45 degrees. Need the room in there. Shutter speed 125.

I can now see the difference in light ratio reflected in the shadows.

image

Next go, white one on 4.0, black one on 3.0. Same distance. Shutter speed on 160.

image

To be honest, I don't like those any better so more problem solving required here.

Quote:
For black or dark birds, expose for the power of the right light. For light birds, expose for the left light.

How do I do this? Do I need a light meter?

edit: Aha! I can control these lights as much with distance as I can with the setting. I will bring the white one closer and pull the black one further back to give access but lift it's setting.

I am interested in depth of field because I get photos with the head in focus but the tail out. So have pushed the white light closer, pulled the black back. Highest settings possible on lights with those ratios given. My camera on f11, sp 160, positioned about 1.5m back from subject. Then plonked some quails in the box.

This is what I get:

Image

Image


In this one they are spread about 30cm from front to back.

Image

This one shows about 60cm from front to back. You can see it going out of focus in the front there so I'm on the limit.

Image

Is 60cm a good depth for a fowl shot? If I focus on the bird's head, I guess it depends where the rest of it is positioned and how big it is.

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