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Outdoor Hummingbird/Butterfly "Studio"


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"Outdoor Hummingbird/Butterfly "Studio""

RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011
Mon 24-Dec-12 10:18 PM

I want to tackle some butterfly / hummingbird photography this spring and summer. We live in the woods, with very little open yard. However, there's a small clearing I want to use; my plan is to hang feeders, plant bright flowers, etc.

The problem is that this is largely shaded. So I think natural light photography is out of the question. Even during the strongest afternoon sun, my typical settings for this area would be something like ISO 100, F/2.8, 1/30 second.

So, I was planning on setting up off-camera flashes in key areas.

Since I doubt that I'll be able to get very close to especially the hummingbirds, I'll have to use a lens with some reach. I'm not even sure that my 70-200/2.8 will have enough reach. I'm wondering about a Bigma.

Thankfully, I left my SB-910 and SB-700 alone in my studio for a week, and when I checked, the herd had grown to include 2 SB-800s, and 2 SB-900s. That gives me 6 off-camera flashes with which to work.

Now, for the questions I know to ask:

Can I use CLS for this project with a 500mm lens? Or will I have to set everything manually? Can I even use the flashes with this much reach, or am I hopelessly wandering down a rabbit hole?

I don't know if CLS will even work given the distances and lighting involved, honestly. If I have to go with PocketWizards, so be it.

I don't have any softboxes, etc at this time. I was thinking of purchasing a some Fong diffusers and powersnoots. Will these be adequate for such a project, or should I consider some other tools?

In the spirit of being a newbie, what am I missing? How would you approach this project?

A general, generic topic Outdoor Hummingbird/Butterfly "Studio" [View all] , RLDubbya Silver Member, Mon 24-Dec-12 10:18 PM
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