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Photo Information
Copyright: Murali Santhanam (smurali) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 205 W: 14 N: 609] (3596)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-21
Categories: Birds
Camera: Pentax *ist DL, Sigma 50 -500mm f4/6.3 DG EX APO HSM
Exposure: f/6.7, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Bats - CHIROPTERA, Fauna of ORIENTAL (Indian) Region [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-12-12 8:38
Viewed: 3770
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Here is the picture of a Bat taken at Kodanad near Smitha and Anil's house. Smitha had informed us that there are lots of bats in a road underpass that is not in use. I wanted to get at least one picture of the bat. The problem in photographing bats is that you have to take the picture in near darkness. The bats are used to the darkness, neither me not my Pentax *istDL. After battling for 30 minutes I could take a few pictures of the bats with my Sigma 50-500 lens and AF360 Pentax flash. This is one of the better pictures.

Some of my learnings are:

a) Autofocus was near impossible even with the focus guide from my Pentax Flash.

b) You have to allow time for your eyes to get used to the low light and for the bats to get used to you. They come very close to you but they are not interested in harming you.

c) Observe and identify popular hanging spots for the bats. Just like dragon flies the bats return to the same hanging spot again and again.

d) Try focusing manually. I was more successful when I circled my thumb and fore finger around the eye cup to prevent light from lighting up the eye piece. I could see the bat better through the view finder this way. I am sure one can find custom eye cups that address this problem.

e) A good flash is a must. Try adjusting flash output till you get a good shot.

If there are other techniques to take a picture of the bats, I would like to be illuminated.

Thanks for seeing this picture.

Murali Santhanam

Arjun, gerbilratz, valy67, NinaM, vigneshg, rkailas has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To anilnediyara: Thankssmurali 1 12-13 06:51
To valy67: Strange facesmurali 1 12-13 06:47
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2007-12-12 9:59]

hi uncle,
wonderful picture...thanks for the notes...even I learnt a lot from this..great details in the picture.nicely shot,

wow...first bat I've seen on TN....Such a great action shot of this bat...and good notes TFS

Hello Murali !
I love bats but unfortunately I think there are too few on TN, that's why I an so happy to see a bat picture today. This one has really a strange face, but it is very interesting. You have captured some nice details and the pose of the bat is nice, he is looking directly at you. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2007-12-12 18:21]

Hi Murali, I read your note with a lot of interest. And the photo is striking with the bat seemingly telling you to go. I like the POV, the composition is very efficient too. For focusing in the dark you are quite good! Thank you!


Hi Murali,
Nice shot, the result is worth the effort. We all came out of the underpass within minutes and you were rewarded. You have given a detailed notes on how to shoot bats in the dark.

Hi Murali,

this is really an awesome shot, and an excellent guide on how to. I just looked at your photos and "WOW" bravo great work altogether. Respect!

Hi Murali

I like bats - this is a good picture of a species (dont know which one) of leaf-nosed bat. I like the colors very much. Leaf-nosed bats are typically insectivorous and have specialised, leaf-like structures around their nostrils that are used to detect prey.

TFS and Best

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