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 Post subject: cougar by juniper bush
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:47 pm 
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When assessing potential camera trap sites, I face a constant struggle: do I work toward an overall environmental image with the animal as only a part of the scene or do I narrow my focus with the animal sharing the frame with one other feature to make for a clean composition? There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Balancing lighting between the flashes and ambient is critical in the wider images. In the tighter sets, a photographer can treat the scene like a portrait studio: the trick is to not light the background, thus isolating the subjects. In this case, I chose the latter. I used this set a few years ago with some success, getting grizzly and black bears as well as a cougar. Looking back, I think the most interesting part of those images was this thick juniper bush. I went back this autumn and set up to bring the bush into the forefront. I wanted the subject to walk close to the bush so I sprayed that rosebud with Obsession for Men. I framed the shot knowing that I would crop from the left: I didn’t want the subject at the true one-third mark of the frame because I feared it would be distorted by the wide angle lens. It sat for two months without a hit until this female cougar walked through and then back again. I have the camera set on multiple frame mode and the Trailmaster set to take four images per hit. That results in a burst of about a dozen images. Most of the images have all three SB 28s firing as they should but not all the lighting is the same and I really like the portrait-style lighting on the darker image. Just before the snow fell, I discovered a wonderful stump along a game trail. Its pattern of moss and huge fungal warts could help make an interesting image… next summer. These images were made with a Nikon d3200 and kit lens, shot on manual f11 at 1/80 and 100 ISO. The main light was high to the left of the camera and the fill to the far right. A back light was placed high in a tree directly behind the cat. The SB-28s were linked by my trustworthy TRLcam flashbox.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Location: Center of Pa.
Stunning pictures

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:04 pm 
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Location: Central Saskatchewan, Canada
Pretty impressive..


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:21 pm 
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Wonderful photos. The second is my favorite, but they're all superb.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:55 pm 
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Bingo, you nailed that puppy!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:09 pm 
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Royal
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Location: Helmville, Montana
Very nice images. Each lion image has its own unique quality. Your detailed description of your thought process behind setting up the shot intrigues me. Each camtrapper/artist has their own style and I(we) can borrow ideas that resonate for me(us). Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Galapagos
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Fourth shot is very interesting...arc of the tail leads to well lit face.
Don't think I've seen a "going away" shot this interesting before.

I'm curious about how the Trailmaster is set up: transmitter to left and receiver on right side in the bush?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Location: Central and Western New York
All great pictures!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:49 pm 
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Great work! Thanks for sharing the process!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:06 pm 
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An excellent lesson, and all of the photos are special. Encore?


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