Amazon pics part 2

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Moebius
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Amazon pics part 2

Post by Moebius »

Hope this post won't get too long, as I will try to give a brief synopsis of my trip to Peru this past July/August, as well as 3 more pics from the trip. As I stated in part 1 yesterday, I am only about 15-20% done processing my pics, but that still gives me plenty to share.

A buddy and myself stayed at a primitive 'lodge' (no electricity, pumped river water for showering/sink) about 4 hours boat ride south of Iquitos that supplied nice bungalows and food (but please, I can't eat another variation of cooked plantain for a while) for 11 days. A native guide was assigned to each group of people and we dictated what we wanted to do. This was their dry season down there, so the Amazon tributaries had receded to a lower level.

1) Hikes to photograph insects
2) Visit native villages...one of the highlights of the trip
3) Visiting a native shaman ....also fascinating
4) Search for the elusive hoatzin bird
5) Search/photograph for poison dart frogs (I have some pics, but not processed yet)
6) Peacock bass fishing
7) Piranha fishing
8) Canoing at night on a tributary and spotlighting the shore (this was fun...for some reason small fish in the river jumped into the boat when they saw the light. We had over a dozen fish, many of them recognizable tropicals....angelfish, pencilfish, barbs) jump into the boat.
9) Search for the pink dolphin
10) Climb a zipline up into the tree canopy
11) Search for various monkeys
12) I am sure I am forgetting some.

Wonderful trip, even though I was feverish the last few days.

In regards to the humidity down there, it was not a problem. First of all, it was the dry season, so not as bad as in the summer (remember, it was winter down there, even though the temp is about the same). Secondly, we brought loads of silica gel which we put in camera cases with the cameras. Thirdly, we had no air conditioning at any time, which can wreak havoc with the condensation. I never experience any visible condensation.

I want to express my thanks to some of the forum veterans who helped me plan this trip, expecially rlittlefield and Tom. I have only been into photomacrography for a year and a half, and there are many things I would do differently in taking these pics (number one is experimenting more with wider apertures). Overall, not too many 'strange' looking critters, just variations of what we have here in the states. The largest variety I saw were of leafhoppers...will try to include some in todays post:

All these hoppers were about the same size you would find up here (0.5-1 cm)

Image

Image

Image

These are not necessarily my best pics of each subject since I am only partially done...I am not sorting them out beforehand, just processing one 4 GB memory card at a time.

If the interest continues, I will try to post 3 more images each day or so.

Ken Nelson
Canon 30D
Sigma 150mm
Last edited by Moebius on Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Ken, these hoppers look just about perfect -- no aperture problems here. I'm glad to hear that your trip worked out well. The heat/humidity issue had me nervous too. And yes, interest does continue -- more pictures, please!

--Rik

Moebius
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Post by Moebius »

Rik,

When I say "aperture problems", you won't see them on the pics I posted. You would see them if you saw my unposted images of images that are too dark to post. Light was poor the vast majority of the time and my unfamiliarity with flash techniques caused some of them to be too dark. I primarily used f11 down there (realized f16 was too dark), but I wish I would have opened up the aperture even more, or even played around more with higher ISO's.

I would say the majority of my pics were taken with f11, 1/160s shutter, and ISO 160-200. My flash, even though I played with exposure compensation and such, sometimes did not bring enough light. All were used with a monopod.

If I were to do it over again, I would have tried some f5.6 and f8 shots as well. The majority of my pics turned out, but some irreplaceble ones are too dark to show.

On another note, I have used a tripod very little, either down in Peru or up here. This past summer I counted two days that had wind less than 5mph. What good is a tripod if the flowers don't stand still? Confused....

Ken

gzustak
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Post by gzustak »

These are great. Color saturation is outstanding. I am looking forward to seeing more. Ken, could you explain the equipment set up you were using. Was most of your macro work done with the Canon 30D and 150mm Sigma ?? What about lighting ? Ring flash ? Flash on-board ? Flash off camera ? reflectors/natural light ?

I hope to get a 30D this Christmas along with the Canon 100mm macro. If I can get image quality anything like what you have here I will be more than happy.

George

Moebius
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Post by Moebius »

George,

These were all taken with a Canon 30D/Sigma 150mm combo.

Lighting was accomplished with an on-board Sigma 500 with a lumiquest softbox. Before the trip I tried using a flash bracket but I hated adjusting it depending on where the zoom factor/subject distance was. I can't say I recommend the Sigma flash, though, as I and as I have researched, others have noted that everything seems underexposed. Perhaps it is just my inexperience, though. My buddy I went down with had the exact same setup, except he used a Canon 580. Settings the same, but his turned out brighter (though sometimes too bright...I like a pic slightly underexposed).

I feel like my lighting is where I am unhappiest. Come spring I will get either the MR-14 or the MT-24...I am hoping Canon will come out with a wireless version by then.

Ken Nelson

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Beautiful images of the hoppers there Ken, especially the second one. Looks as though it had been exposed to quite a bit of "nail polish" :lol: very colorful and sharp indeed. Absolutely wanting to see more from your trip. By the way you did not come down with "Montazumas Revenge" did you? :shock: :lol:

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

Endless variety!

Interesting about your humidity experience, I'm glad the anticipation was worse than the actual experience. I think you'll like the MT-24 when/if you get it. Very convenient to use.
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin

crocoite
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Post by crocoite »

Hi Ken

Excellent shots, koung eep them coming...

4) Search for the elusive hoatzin bird

Isn't that the one whose young have teeth, or is it claws on their wings? Something like that anyway...

Moebius
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Post by Moebius »

Ken,

No, no Montezuma's revenge of any kind (thank goodness), though I was feverish the last few days. Didn't stop me, but slept quite a bit. Fortunately, the fever broke right before we took our 4 hour boat ride back to Iquitos to catch the plane home.

Ken Nelson

crocoite
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Post by crocoite »

crocoite wrote: Excellent shots, koung eep them coming...
Y'know I have no idea what I was on last night! I think the above was caused by my cursor jumping (new mouse, some problems) and me not noticing.

:roll:

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Wonderful hopper pics Ken....They sure look more colorful from the tropics...More...YES
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

Moebius
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Post by Moebius »

Crocoite asked:

"4) Search for the elusive hoatzin bird

Isn't that the one whose young have teeth, or is it claws on their wings? Something like that anyway..."

Not sure about the bird, except it is crested. I would describe it as the bird where you hike in very swampy conditions, get your feet and legs soaking wet from walking into 2 feet high water puddles invisible due to a layer of leaves, need to use a machete due to the severe brush, all while carrying a camera rig that you are afraid will get wet as you try not to trip and fall. After several hours of this, you catch a glimpse of a silhouette of one 50 yards away....that is the hoatzin bird I remember

Ken

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