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 Post subject: Gorillas
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:22 pm 
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I'm going to be trekking to see mountain gorillas in Uganda in a couple of months. I'm looking for pointers on the best way to approach this subject. Chances are the light won't be great and you aren't allowed to use flash so it will probably be quite challenging.

I don't really know what I'm doing so I'll take any advice no matter how basic.

I'll be using a 450D with the Canon 55-250mm lens. I'll make sure that I clear my memory card at the start of the day so I'll have plenty of space for shooting in RAW. I use a canon SX500 point and shoot for wide angle shots.

Thanks in advance for any responses.


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 Post subject: Re: Gorillas
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:07 am 
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A forest under sunlight can be challenging - especially if you have a definite subject. You may struggle a little with the narrow aperture on your lens when zoomed in, so you'll have to be careful to choose the best ISO for a trade-off between IQ and sharpness.

Since your subjects are dark, and likely to be situated in shade, it may be an idea to dial in a slightly longer exposure compensation to try to avoid your subjects being just shadows.

Also, it may be worthwhile using exposure bracketing. I'm unfamiliar with you camera's ideal exposure, but on my G3, it would be +1/3 EV. This means I would start on +2/3 EV and have it set to bracket at +1 2/3 and -1/3 for every shot. Make sure you have enough card space and take more than 1 shot (and bracketed) to ensure you haven't missed focus. This should ensure that you have a correctly exposed and sharp image from each POV.

Back home (or each evening) you can delete the under/over exposed shots and process the best ones - which should probably represent less than 10% of all your shots.

I'm not sure how loud the shutter is on your 450D, but that could influence the number of shots you take.

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 Post subject: Re: Gorillas
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Thanks for the advice.

Looks like I need to read the manual again :)


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 Post subject: Re: Gorillas
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:56 pm 
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I wouldn't head into gorilla territory with anything less than a 500mm, but I suppose I am not that adventurous... Kimchi gave you some good advice on exposure settings, those will come in very useful.

- Bjorn

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 Post subject: Re: Gorillas
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:38 pm 
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I would agree with the above... again as was mentioned if you do use bracketing make sure you have enough memory. I just finished a grizzly trip and sure enough several people were struggling with memory to the point of where I gave away 2 of my cards to help someone else. Another person on the trip used bracketing when they first arrived and quickly realised just how much space it would require and after day one stopped bracketing. If you can bring a small data storage device or small laptop to dump your images on to as backup primarily but also just in case you run out of memory that is a good idea as well. You will be in a wet climate so ensure you have something to protect your camera in case of rain. Nights will be damp so again make sure you have your gear protected. A second camera is always a good idea when on an outing like this as you never know what can happen. I lost a body on the trip I just finished and I have been on excursions were I have seen 4 cameras fail for different people on the outing. Pack smart... if the outfitter of the trip did not give you a suggested gear list I would ask for one. Don't be afraid to up your ISO as high as needed for low light and remember to use spot metering if extreme lighting conditions demand. After you have thought of everything to protect your camera make sure you are geared properly as well. Nothing more miserable than not being dressed or prepared for the weather. Rain gear is a priority as even if it doesn't rain morning due will make life miserable if you become wet. Rain gear made of gortex is some of the best available and with it you will stay dry and comfortable. It is also extremely light. Pay extremely close attention to your guide and what they are asking of the group. I would hate to be the one who runes an encounter for the group because I wasn't paying attention. If you use bug spray to keep insects away and it contains deet make sure to not touch lens or filter glass or your display as you can damage these surfaces. Hope this helps and sorry for the long paragraph but Im on the road replying from my phone.

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 Post subject: Re: Gorillas
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:30 pm 
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Couple of photos here. I think there's a bit of camera shake on the second. I took a been bag with me then left it in my bag when we got to the gorillas :roll:

Image

Image

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a clear shot of the silverback as there were too many trees in the way.

Both shots were jpegs that I touched up in Photoshop Elements. I don't really know what I'm doing with it so I'm going to let my dad loose on the RAW files when I get home. I'll post some more pictures then.

Wolfsong wrote:
Pay extremely close attention to your guide and what they are asking of the group. I would hate to be the one who runes an encounter for the group because I wasn't paying attention.


A girl in my group knew someone that had to leave the gorillas well before their hour was up. An idiot decided to stoke one of the infants which lead to the silverback going nuts. Thankfully everyone in my group was respectful towards the gorillas and other groups members.


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