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Bats


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5 replies to this topic

#1
Cjtamu

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A few photos of a 250,000+ bat colony in Huntsville, Texas. This is an incredible thing, and I've linked a short article below. I need some help. As you can see, the bats aren't in focus. I shot twice, once trying single point focus and once in 3D. The bats are so small and so fast that the building is what gets picked up, and the bats are never sharp. Even shooting into the sky they're not sharp, even teh few I shot with flash. Used a Nikkor 55-200 and auto ISO. Best fix I can think of is to go to Liveview and focus manually on the bats I want to shoot. I can get close so I'm going to try my 50mm 1.8D lens also. Any other tricks I can try? 

 

36229685524_f87d641fc3_b.jpgDSC_0009 by Chris Thayer, on Flickr

 

36229698964_06485dc77a_b.jpgDSC_0040 by Chris Thayer, on Flickr

 

36876186786_4e9482c86a_b.jpgDSC_0061 by Chris Thayer, on Flickr

 

36876191486_3735420c00_b.jpgDSC_0100 by Chris Thayer, on Flickr

 

36876195966_454fba7919_b.jpgDSC_0106 by Chris Thayer, on Flickr

 

http://houstonianonl...doned-building/



#2
Marcus Rowland

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I'd suggest using manual focus - set the camera to where you think they're going to be and just shoot away, with that many some will be in focus! It's got to be better than the camera hunting for them and failing to lock on.

 

I own an ultrasonic to audible sound converter, sold as a bat detector, I think I've heard one bat chirping maybe four or five times. I can't imagine what that many would sound like.



#3
Cjtamu

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Thanks for the info. That was about the best I could come up with too. We'll shoot some video next time also. It's incredible and yes, you can definitely hear them.

#4
mikew

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Nice visual experience,all the rules about capturing them in flight go out the window because of the time of day and low light levels.



#5
masterdrago

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Just ran into this bat story. I've watched bats at both Lake Conroe and the swimming pool at Indian Lodge west of Ft. Davis, Tx skimming the water as they either drank or ate insects. At the Indian Lodge it was clear that ants were falling from the edge of the pool into the swirling water. Somewhere I have a couple of Ecktachrome slides out of a 36 exp roll showing then frozen in flight by a flash. Like Marcus, I have an ultra sonic converter called a Batbox III from Stag Electronics that allows one to "hear" their echo location and targeting squeaks. We "watch" them in our backyard near Lake Conroe on a regular basis. I agree with him, that when you are in a swarm, the sound is solid real time.



#6
Nikon Shooter

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As you can see, the bats aren't in focus… Any other tricks I can try? 


The exercise is doomed. Exactly when you would need more light
to set a decent SS, your subject get active… at dusk, dooming it.

The more bats, the less light. So, very high ISO, smallest aperture,
and slow SS… did I say "the exercise is doomed"?

 

In a tower of a castle live some 200 +/- bats that are the pride of
the owner, an ecologist. After many attempts of his own and so-
me "amateurs" and then a few "pros", I was commissioned to take
good shots of his protégés… I knew what I was getting in and he
did suspect the tools and strategies to get them.

In short, I visited the place four times at dusk to see what route(s)
were preferred by the bats on their way out. Then I took 6 flashes
(1K W each) and towering stands (8m!), installed them in the after-
noon to leave a quiet area ready for the shoot.

I was on the second floor of an empty shed across the road with
the 200~400 ƒ4 and the D3X, on a gimbal head and prefocused.

The whole show lasted less than a minute or so and gave some
forty remotely triggered shots.