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Taxidermy Photography

Discussion in 'Wildlife Artwork and Crafts' started by RyanWarner, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. RyanWarner

    RyanWarner New Member

    madarchery: I fully appreciate your feedback, even if you're not a photographer it's still vital information for me to process. I think sometimes the best prospective is an outsiders, so please don't view these posts as me being rude, just kinda talking things out you know?

    ok back to what I was saying about dominant and submissive prospectives. A dominant prospective is when the subject is elevated above the cameras level point, basically anytime that you are looking up at something it becomes dominant. A submissive prospective is when your subject is bellow the cameras level point. I think I made a critical mistake when photographing these mounts because I chose to shoot mostly in the dominant, which is generally how you should photograph portraits. I think shifting to a submissive prospective will help because that is usually the angle from which deer are photographed. Essentially the point that I am driving at is, in order to achieve ideal results I need to duplicate the point of view, lens type, camera settings and lighting conditions that you would normally see in photographs of deer.

    As for the photoshopping photographs provided by clients, I don't think that it's possible. I'm a graphic designer/print press operator for a sign shop, I deal with clients all day that try to provide us with the necessary resources to fill their orders, and lets just say it's usually more headache then what I'd like to deal with. Clients often think you can take poo and turn it into gold, which is never the case. You can do some amazing things with photoshop, but turning poo into gold is not one of them, unless you have limitless time and resources. Photoshop is much more efficient when you are using it to refine gold, in my opinion.

    Bottom line, next time I'm out I need to shoot from a submissive prospective, fill the frame with the mount, make sure the mount is interacting with the environment, shoot from the mounts good side...and...oh yeah, have fun! The latter will be the easiest.
  2. I like the idea and admit I have often wished I could do the same but I am not that close to anyone with full-body mounts here in NM.

  3. madarchery

    madarchery callmaker

    I did not take you as rude, I just wanted to let you know my limitations so you can take my advice for what its worth ;D

    Small world. I am also a press operator. I work for a small 4 color commercial printer, we deal with just about every type of project. So I understand your concerns and limits. I am just trying to figure out ways you could take this beyond the geographical limitations. While its never going to be 100% like others have stated the eyes go to the rack. I figured a couple backgrounds that could offer the flexibility needed to drop in a photo. But this is all just me talking out loud as well.
  4. gavinm95

    gavinm95 70 Pound Black Eastern Coyote

    Hey Ryan, what do you think of the Canon Rebel T3i as a starter camera? I will probably use it more for video (it's one of the best DSLRs for video, besides the 5D mark II and the Nikon D7000), but I'm also looking at getting into wildlife photography. And what lens would you reccomend for wildlife photography?
  5. RyanWarner

    RyanWarner New Member

    Good deal! I run two large format digital printers here, one solvent and one UV.

    I agree that if I could break the geographical boundaries I could make this endeavor more profitable. I think if I sharpened my photoshop skills and explained the limitations of the what the customer provided, I might be able to make it worth my time. But, I'm really leery of going that route, I agree it's an option I should keep in mind.

    gavinm95: I personally have no experience with the T3i's but from what I've read they are nice. I use an older Canon 30D which I find is perfect for my needs, I'd recommend going to a best buy or similar store so that you can handle the camera. As for what lens is best for wildlife photography? that get's a little more tricky. How much do you want to spend on a lens? is $600 good or are you cool with dropping $6,000. I'm going to assume that $6,000 is way out of your price range, but if it isn't buy the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM. If your budget is more in the $1,500 range buy the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM. If you're in the $600 range buy the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens.

    However, if you are like me and you bulk at those prices, you'll have to get creative. I got a really nice Pentax 70-210mm f/4 for $30 off of craigslist, I then bought an EOS adapter off of ebay for $15. So for a really reasonable $45 I have a very useful robust and quality lens. Yeah it's a manual focus only lens and yes it's as old as I am, but it's a great lens.

    Which ever way you decide to go your first concern should be the maximum aperture size, the smaller the number the larger the aperture opens. I don't know how much you know about photography but the aperture controls the amount of light that passes through the lens, the larger the opening that more light reaches the sensor. For wildlife photography it is critical to have a large aperture lens, because you are typically working in the twilight hours. Photographers often refer to large aperture lens as a "fast lens" Now you also have to consider the fact that you can't just walk up to your subject, unless they are use to human contact. So you will need a telephoto lens, something with some reach. The advantage of using a T3i is it's a crop sensor, so any lens you attache to it (unless it's designed for a crop sensor) will gain focal length by 1.6x, so a 210mm lens become a 336mm lens, 300mm becomes 480mm and so on. The problem with telephoto zoom lenses is the cheap ones, under $600, work great in the middle of their zoom range, but quality falls off the further out you zoom. If you don't mind giving up the zoom ability you can go with a prime lens, or fixed focal length. This type of lens is the best, in my opinion, because it's always going to provide quality results. The next lens I want to but if a 300mm f/4, of some kind.

    In short, if you want a good lens spend a lot of money, if you can't spend a lot of money, educate yourself and buy the best lens that fits your budget and your needs.
  6. bowhuntr

    bowhuntr Member

    ryan just food for thought....think of your own question that you ask of us...would a photo of our mount in its natural habitat help us perfect our skills?...now apply that to your own skill...why don't you try taking some photos of deer in the wild and disect them to see how you can improve the way you are staging your photos....just a thought