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page 2 Raymond Barlow

Written By onci on Friday, July 23, 2010 | 4:48 AM

Flash?? Yes or No? by Raymond Barlow

How about never?

Looking back after 5 years of birds and wildlife photography I can remember only one time where I tried to flash for light. Costa Rica Humming birds, and I will never forget how frustrated i was with the images. Keeping in mind, I had no practice, and no training, so really we could not have expected much.

I have seen images where photographers used flash, wondering if they may have looked better without any flash. A flash seems like a band aid to poor light. Naturally, we always cannot find the optimal light, and the right situation for a clean shot of our subjects.

So picking the right time, right place, right subject, right background / environment becomes even more challenging! Realistically, it takes years of hard study, and practice to master these sort of opportunities, and this is the fun of nature photography.

Each day presents a new and interesting situation. Experience and a drive to succeed, or do your best with take you to a higher level. The concept "I will fix it in photo shop" is nothing but bunk. These are only my suggestions and opinions, but I feel photographers can always improve their skills, and that goes for everyone holding a camera.

As a workshop host, one of the most difficult things to deal with is a closed mind. people are sometimes un-willing to learn, or accept different techniques... the funniest line I hear... " I have been doing this for xx years" and nobody is going to tell me! (pathetic)

I am learning all the time, every time I go into the field with a guest, it is a fantastic experience. I learn the most from the best listeners. People who seem to be the finest at this sport are the ones who are open, and with good ears. Every species, time frame, set of colours, weather conditions present a new photographic equation. Knowing where to go, and what time, in a particular light is the key to ridding ones dependency of the band aid flash.

Set new goals, and try harder!! For sure this is not for everyone so the most important advice is to find a way to have fun!

Added footnote:
One last comment, my opinions here are nothing more than that, several of my friends use flash for bird photography and they get fantastic results. Fabiola Forns proves this in her article previous to this one. We all have our own vision of nature photography,
mine is different than most.
NIOM is providing different viewpoints so photographer can make their own decisions, and take the opportunity to learn from others.

Have a look at my new book!!

click here

Raymond Barlow

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