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Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens we’re going to photograph wild animals
with our laser trigger with MIOPS. Wild, ferocious animals. So stick with us, see what we got.
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So the wild crazy creatures we’re about to photograph… are hummingbirds. I’ve
been wanting to take pictures of hummingbirds for a long time. Don’t judge. So I set everything
up to be able to make it happen. The first thing I needed was hummingbirds. I put a hummingbird
feeder just outside the window here in my kitchen. We’re remodeling this kitchen so
I can kind of do whatever I want in here right now. Secondly, I realized that the birds were
all around this thing, and not where I wanted them. I wanted them in one place. So I taped
off the other two holes in the feeder so there was only one hole they would come to feed
at. And that made it perfect. They were right where I wanted them so I could photograph
Now let’s take a look at our camera setup. We’ve got a Mark III inside the house, with
a 90mm macro lens. It’s that Tamron 2.8 macro lens. Very sharp lens, great lens. So
we put that inside, leaned the camera in with the tripod, so it’s close to the window.
Now we put our laser outside on the lawn. It’s about ten feet away, and it’s having
to go through the glass, which is not a problem. And we aimed that right at the laser trigger.
The first time we did it we aimed it straight at the laser trigger. And the birds are coming
in underneath it. And we’re realizing, well we’ve got to get that laser so it’s going
to cross the path where the birds come in to feed. As we lowered the laser outside,
that path got lower and lower in to where that laser went straight through the spot
where the birds were coming in to feed and then they would fire our trigger every time.
So it’s important to get that laser in the right place.
So camera inside, laser outside, we’re ready to start shooting. But in the background I’ve
got these big white blurbs that I didn’t want. So we cut some branches off from a tree.
Brought them in on c-stands, kind of covered up one of the blurbs. Then we had a -- a production
vehicle back there. We put branches on top of that. And now we’ve got nice, soft foliage
colors all through the shot. And it looked very pretty. So it’s just a matter of dressing
that frame. Very easy to do.
So now let’s take a look at our light. Very simple lighting. We’re exposing for outside.
Because that’s my whole background, is just outside. But then the bird’s very dark.
So I brought a vector light inside- an LED. Brought that up really close to the window,
put it on the right power setting to give us a nice kind of balance on light so it opens
up the bird and makes it look nice up front. By exposing for the background then bringing
our vector light in, to kind of brighten up the bird, it gives us a nice balance and we’re
ready to shoot. But let’s talk about the camera settings. And that’s the next thing.
Camera settings. I set my ISO at 1250. I set it at 1250 because I really needed depth of
field for the bird, and secondly shutter speed, to try and stop the bird. I first started
at a 50th of a second at 7.1 because I thought well I need a lot of depth at field for that
bird, he’s moving around. Problem is he’s moving around so fast it was hard to get anything
that was very sharp. But I did actually, the image I used with this was one of those shot
at 50th of a second 7.1. But it really worked out better when I went to 500th of a second
at 4.5. Now I have not as much depth of field, but the shutter is going to stop the bird
a little better. These birds are moving so fast that the shutter’s not going to stop
them. But a 500th of a second shutter is gonna have a much better chance than a 50th of a
second. So now let’s look at the MIOPS though. The one thing we did with the MIOPS is that
when the bird crossed the laser we set the MIOPS to take seven frames. So the bird comes
in, trips the laser and it just goes click, click, click, click, click, click. It’s
not a motor drive, it’s not on motor drive mode. It’s just the camera’s shooting
as fast as it can. One, two, three, four. So you get the bird moving around. And they
kind of stay for a minute or two as they kind of hover in there. And so they just click,
click, click, click, click when they do those, uh, seven different shots.
So the nice thing about this setup is that I don’t have to stand here all day to try
to get these photographs. I’m gonna go back and work at my desk and every so often I’ll
hear the click, click, click of the shutter going off and I know I’m getting more birds.
So that’s the nice thing about this setup. So we’re going to let this sit today. See
the shots we get. I’ll check in every so often just to see what it looks like. But
in the end we’ll look through those, find the best one, take that in to Photoshop and
do some editing. It’s been awhile since I’ve calibrated my monitor. So before I
get started on these images I’m going to calibrate my monitor with my Datacolor Spyder5PRO.
That’ll give me confidence that the color is going to be correct and the images are
going to look right. Alright so I’ve picked my favorite image in Bridge and brought it
into Photoshop so it opened up here in Camera Raw. Several things that are going on here.
We don’t need this laser, obviously, got to get rid of that. And its kind of -- the
color’s a little pasty. SO we’re going to do a couple of things to it. First off
is, I’m going to start by pushing our blacks just a little bit. I’m gonna bring them
back, almost twenty, eh, about twenty-eight. That’s gonna give us a nicer look there.
Somewhere in there. The birds feels a little-- has a little more presence there. Looks really
nice. I’m now going to take my clarity, I’m gonna kick the clarity up just a little
bit. I’m going go up to about 14 to 15 is usually here I start out. Whereas the feathers
are gonna start to feel nice. And it’s gonna give us a nice sense of the, uh, the birds
feathers. That clarity really does a nice job for any kind of detail like that. And
our vibrance now--. Our background is really boring. I mean if we kick our vibrance up.
Get it up into thirty-four. You know, we now have a nice vibrant background with our bird.
It looks really nice. We’re losing a lot of his wings. We’re gonna have to do something
about that. We can kick our saturation up just a little bit. Maybe to like, 14, 15.
No, way too much. Bring it back into about 14 I think it’ll look really nice. So now
we’ve got a nice saturated image. I’m now gonna go up here. And I’m gonna take
the -- and I love doing this. I do it in a lot of my images. But I’m going to take
the gradation here and I’m gonna take gradation from the top and I’m just gonna gradate
that top. So we get a little darker at the top and it to a little lighter at the bottom.
And so I’ll play with that a little bit and just see where I like that. You know as
far make sure we’re leveling the top. There we go. I mean, we can take -- pull this thing
way down but it’s gonna get in front of our bird and start to darken his head. So
I’m gonna bring it back up and just let it start to darken then top. Now when I’m
in this layer I can look at that exposure and I can make that either bright or darker.
Depending on what I want to do with it. So I’ll find a spot where I feel like it’s
comfortable. It’s going to -- to work with what we have, uh, below. And now make it too,
stand out too much. It’s pretty bright right now. So I’m gonna bring it back just a little
bit here. And exposure comes down just a little bit. That just gives a nice little something
on the top. So we’re gonna go back to our image now. And I’m feeling like we’ve
got something going there. It’s no-- nice gradation there’s some things we’re gonna
want to do. I’m gonna open it in Photoshop, take care of those. First off in Photoshop
we would definitely go here to over, underneath the pa-- and use the patch tool. I’ll just
get rid of this whole mess right here with the Patch tool. Circle that. Gives me an outline.
As I move it over it’s gonna move it over and get rid of all that stuff. I’m gonna
decide what I want to have there. And deselect command-d. And it’s kind of got rid of that
corner. Everything’s so mottled anyway that it kind of, uh, it just blends in. It’s
pretty nice. I’m gonna leave that one ‘cause I think I’m okay with it. Uh, it’s not
too bad. But now our laser thing here. I can try the patch tool on the laser. Uh, it’s
gonna do some there. But it’s g-- also gonna leave a red kind of, uh, kind of glow around
it if I’m not careful. Let’s try that and just see what we get. If I go towards
the wing, I’m now gonna be using the wing area and I’m gonna want to line those lines
up as much as I can so that it feels comfortable in there. Let’s just see what that looks
like. It’s not terrible but I see a little bit of that red glow around it. I’m gonna
want to take and just go in and play with that a little bit here. So I’ll probably
go up underneath the clone stamp tool and I’m just gonna take and just lightly probably
about 30%. I’m gonna just go in and I’m gonna just give me a little bit--. Take some
of that red out with that tool. There’s a little bit of red in it but there’s a
little bit of red in here as well. The bird has some of that in his wings you can see
it kind of going through. So that looks very nice. Okay so the last thing I’m gonna do
with this image is I’m going to create a curves adjustment layer. So I’m going come
over here and create a curves adjustment. Gonne come up in my little box here. I’m
gonna pull this down a little bit. Make it a little darker. That’s nice. I’m now
gonna click and the curve’s layer, command-I we’ll go to black. So now I’m going to
start to paint black in. I’m just -- I’m going to take my opacity. If it’s at 100%
I would bring it down to about 60%. I don’t want to use too much. I’m just gonna slowly
paint in this wing. Just make it a little bit darker. And try to do nice smooth, all
the way out. Some of that in there. It just starts to define the wings just a little better.
Looks, uh, looks a lot nicer. So there’s our image of a hummingbird. Let’s take a
look at it full screen.
So this was fabulous. I learned a couple of things. Those settings, I didn’t need as
much depth of field as I thought I did. But I needed a faster shutter. This kind of reminds
me of a poem. And, well, you’ll know the artist. And you’ll recognize it. Because
you’ve probably all heard it several times. “A little birdie came tapping, tap, tap,
tapping at my windowsill. I coaxed him in with crumbs of bread. And then I smashed his
little head.” So on that note, keep those cameras rollin’, keep on clickin’.
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