What's your "photography" set up?

I find it hard to get what I see in real life to show properly in pictures.

Do you have a specific camera or a certain set of lights that help make colours stand out?

Do you have a rig to get consistent images?

Does anyone know of certain morphs that show better under different Kelvin ratings, such as 2,000K (warm light) and 9000K (white/cool) light?

8 Likes

Mine is very basic

Foldable plastic table from Rubermaid

Small backdrop stand

Small PVC background roll (I have a few)

2 LED light

Nikon D3200

Speedlight

Newer Speedlight

Result

And I try not to make my animals look average just so customers always think that the animal looks better in person.

11 Likes

Thank you Deb :grin:. It looks simple but I bet it took you a lot of trial and error to get it how you like it.
Yours are actually some of the pictures I look at and think “wow, at least a hour went into getting that picture so perfect”.

3 Likes

Not really the hardest part when it comes to snakes is for them to stay still, the rest once you have a setup and know your way around a camera is pretty easy.

5 Likes

One way I try to get them to stay in the shot instead of wandering off: One person stands by the snake holding a hide or some other box over the animal, then lifts the box while a second person takes the photo, before the animal has a chance to move away.

5 Likes

@welshmorphology I wanna see what you’re working with cuz your pics are AMAZING

3 Likes

My set up is a cheap light box from Amazon. It provides a good bit of light…the snakes look good, but the background is always a little blue/gray. So I use Gimp to whiten the background only. I also use my cellphone. These are the results:

8 Likes

I have 4 cameras all nikon. The lens I use the most is 105mm f/1.4E ED lens. I use R1C1 or nikon speed light. Old black T shirt (used the same one for 11 years). A strip of LED lights. All on the draining board in my kitchen. Nothing fancy. I can’t do technolofy,and I can’t do editing like photoshop. My main tool in my arsenal is practice.I practice daily

17 Likes

I use my iPhone 8 Plus and a black blanket or I have black sheet just for picture.

2 Likes

Obligatory full mundane full moon pics. Last month PINK Moon and tonights flower moon in BnW pnk|690x387

Design moons|690x387

1 Like

6 Likes

My DSLR setup is over 15 years old (Nikon D50). The lens is a Nikon 60mm F2.8 macro lens. For lighting I use a Nikon SB800 flash (also super old). I also use a “white balance” card, which is a neutral grey card that I take a photo of to calibrate all the photos of that set for ideal white balance.

Most of the success of my photos is due to the soft nature of bounce flash. Having a ceiling with the correct angles and distance from the subject is important. Also, calibrating white balance with the card makes a big difference. I shoot in RAW. The adjustments I do in post processing are white balance calibration, resizing, cropping, exposure compensation (amount of light), and sometimes sharpening. It sounds like a lot but it takes very little time once you get used to the workflow. It’s important that whatever you do in post processing serves to make the photo more accurate to reality. If you start playing with contrast etc it can skew things so I leave that alone. I almost always shoot on grey backgrounds as well, sort of my “signature” so to speak. It used to be grey a grey boaphile plastic rack, now it’s an ARS top insert.

One of the biggest boa breeders in the USA (Jeff Ronne) was impressed enough with my photos that he provided an all expenses paid trip (plane ticket, car rental, hotel) to photograph his babies from that year. I think that was 2008.

Since I got into ball pythons in 2018/2019 I’m a little rusty but I think my photos still come out pretty good for as old as the equipment is that I’m working with. Upgrade time soon!

You can see in this shot with my daughter the way the bounce flash can create big shadows when the angles aren’t perfect and the ceiling is too high. It still comes out well. With direct flash shots you get harsh light, inaccurate greasy face, etc. I’m all about that bounce flash.

Quick “in the cage” shot

Another upside to using bounce flash is the fact that your snake isn’t sitting in very bright constant light. Conversely a downside is that there is a fairly bright sudden flash that can be alarming. I’ve never found it to bother any snake but I do try to limit flashes with mutations that reduce eye pigment (albinos, etc).

4 Likes

I just had to Google what ‘bounce flash’ was but I’m glad I did. I feel like the contrast of shadows is what makes my pictures look dark and bland.

Thank you for the tips :blush:

2 Likes

This is a very useful thread. Thank you all for your knowledge on photography and how you capture your animals.
I’m most likely the worst when it comes to this and this has really given me a good idea on how to improve, very cool!

1 Like

Was tinkering around with my setup, and this is what I used.
photo_setup_2020-09-17_1
photo_setup_2020-09-17_2
photo_setup_2020-09-17_3
photo_setup_2020-09-17_4

Then I found a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of white XPVC (1/16 inch thick) at Home Depot and cut a piece of 1/2 inch plywood and the XPVC for a base on a card table (the plywood is 40 inches front to back and 48 inches left to right):
photo_setup_2020-09-18

I choose to use constant lighting with photography LEDs in case I ever wanted to shoot videos of the snakes.

I used this setup and my Samsung S8 to shoot these:
2018_f_En_Pied_1_2020-09-18 2020_C07_f_sEn_sMys_2020-09-18 SB_Bananas_2020-09-18 SB_YB_comp_2020-09-18_2

Only edititing done on the pictures was adding a watermark with Logolicous. It was intersting that I need the white cloth or XPVC for the S8’s auto white balance to work well. The original cart was painted white, then a few coats of polyurethane were put over the white giving it the yellow look. That yellow look really pushed the white balance too warm. The white XPV is really nice, and pretty flexible. I might pick up a second piece and trim it to be both the bottom and back of future pictures.

I plan on testing out the setup with my Canon 70D soon. But for now, I hope to be able to take more pictures with my S8 as I am cleaning.

Chris

4 Likes