Friday, March 22, 2013

Vampire Diaries

Well, actually they are fruit bats, not vampires.

I had been on the way home from work one evening when I noticed these critters flying around a tree. Some of the branches were down as low as eye level.

I went home and came back a few days later at the same hour (around 8 pm) with a light tripod with a flash on top, and my 105 lens (this is my longest lens unfortunately...)

The bats weren't so far away and I popped a few hundred images until my flash ran out of batteries.


Getting the right focus was pretty hard, and I had to try and get the aperture as small as possible (5.6 to 11 in these images) while trying not to get too high ISO to go with it. Remember that when you close down the shutter and reduce ISO your flash is going to work much harder. Since I also needed to fire it fairly rapidly I didn't want to go higher than 1/4 power, which was not easy.

I managed to find good angles for getting the moon in, but since the magnification on this lens isn't great, and the depth of field wasn't very wide due to aperture considerations, this is the best I could do.

Another moon shot. Again, trouble focusing... getting them in flight was more about being lucky than having fast responses.

I tried to figure out where they like landing, and one of the times this guy came in to land twice at the same spot, so I was waiting for him. The focus I had set in advance to the leaves around him, which isn't perfect, but close enough.

When I felt I had gotten a few good ones I moved to the other side of the tree. This old abandoned house sets a great mood for the bats around. Can you figure out where my flash is?

And one more flying rodent for you

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