<< Previous Next >>

Flash poll 2

Flash poll 2
Photo Information
Copyright: Horia Bogdan (horia) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-05
Categories: Amphibians
Camera: Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Exposure: f/2.7, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Amphibians - Salamanders & Newts 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-12 4:20
Viewed: 3994
Points: 82
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
To flash or not to flash…that is the question ;)
(for us photographer, anyway)

This is actually a topic that Alexei (Alex99) debated on a series of macro photos not long ago. As a consequence of an interesting and successful (in means of learning) talk about the same subject from my previous post, I hereby come and ask you again…at least for the fun of it :)

What you see here is the flash version and you have the one without in the Workshop.

In my opinion, you can look at them from different points of view: if you want an aesthetic image, with the subject rather isolated from the BG, I think you’ll go with the flashed one; if, on the other hand, you want a more educational picture about the animal, you’ll probably go with the “original” one (in which the glands on the body are far better visible – both on the back and the sides).

As for our cute subject (some of you might already know it…it’s quite hard to mixe it up with almost any other) is the Fire salamander - Salamandra salamandra ssp. salamandra . I’ve said “salamandra” quite a few times, didn’t i? Well what can I do…they names the genus, species and this subspecies all like that :p

Anyway, I’m curious of your choice, so feel free to express you opinion :)

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon S2 IS
Focal Length: 36mm (35mm equiv.)
Shutter Speed: 1/60
Metering Mode: Pattern
Exposure Bias: 0
ISO: 100
F-Stop: f/2.7
Flash: Yes
Support: Handheld
TOD: about 3PM
Weather conditions: a bit cloudy but the location was in the middle of the forest, so very poor light


red45, ramthakur, Shoot_Score, RAP, nadine432, vanderschelden, scottevers7, star74, marhowie, JoseMiguel, Alex99, Argus, jmp, Juyona, pankajbajpai, dew77, glazzaro, Maite, SkyF, mikou, oscarromulus, s_a_s_h_a, Bufo, cedryk, cicindela has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ramthakur: about the salamandershoria 2 01-12 11:44
To uleko: hi Ullahoria 1 01-12 11:11
To scottevers7: hi Scotthoria 2 01-12 07:55
To Shoot_Score: the posehoria 2 01-12 07:35
To vanderschelden: hi Annickhoria 2 01-12 07:30
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

hello HORIA
la photo est une bonne réussite les couleurs nettes et le bg bon, dommage que l'on ne distingue pas bien la tête de cette charmante petite bete.
mais bon quand même
amitiès et merci

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9100] (31094)
  • [2007-01-12 5:12]

Hi Horia!

One of my favourites! Animal of fire, best pet for every Mediaeval alchemist :-) Beautifull, shinnig, black body with yellow spots. Great details, POV and DOF. I think this version is better than WS one. It has got more 'natural' colours. Very interesting post my friend!

Hello Horia,
This is my first encounter with this Fire Salamander and I am simply amazed. Wow, what a magnificent creature! Those yellow spots on the black skin jump out at me.
I am just admiring the flash version at the moment; will go to the workshop later. This is a fantastic capture and I like this version. How big are these creatures, normally?
Thanks for sharing the image of this lizard I have seen for the first time.

"You put your right foot in, you put..." [ kid's song in North America ; I can send all the words if you like... ]

The colours on this flashed one appear to be "deeper"... but I think that I prefer the "au naturel"... The version in the Workshop - which is without flash - seems more natural.

Hope this helps!

PS How did you get FROG and SALAMANDER to assume the "classic Horia" pose? ;)

Hello Horia,
What a strange little fellow, I think he is pretty nice with his orange dots like this. You had a very nice low POV and details are beautiful.

As it for flash, I just got a new one a few days ago so I didn't have time to experiment a lot. The way I will generally use it in nature's photography is when the sky is covered and when I don't want to go over ISO 400. I too novice with it to participate at a discussion on it.

As it for this picture, I prefer the flash version as it gives more punch on the dark skin of the animal.

I know though that flash cannot be use with all specie. For example, I try flash with squirrels and their eyes became like alien's ones even if I have the “red eye” reduction on... This is the same with other species too. It works pretty well with birds though but it is more difficult as they are more afraid of it and often flew away after the first shot. So, I'll continue experimenting and the winter season is a good time to do it here as the lightning if often very poor.

Nice one Horia and TFS,

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-01-12 6:09]

Difícil captura Horia por los reflejos que produce este anfibio que no permite mostrar la agudeza como la que realmente tiene la imagen.
Me gusta el punto de vista con buen foco sobre la totalidad del animal e intensos colores bien saturados (prefiero el original al workshop).
La necesidad del uso del flash atenta contra la definición de la imagen.
Buen trabajo, bien logrado.
Saludos... Ricardo

Difficult capture Horia for the reflections that produces this amphibian that doesn't allow to show the sharpness like that really has the image.
I like the point of view with good focus on the entirety of the animal and intense colors well saturated (I prefer the original to the workshop).
The necessity of the use of the flash assail against the definition of the image.
Good work, well achieved.
Greetings... Ricardo

bonjour horia
très jolie photo
pour ma part même si les couleurs sont plus vives sur ton original moi, je préfère le ws car ont voit nettement mieux les détails de ta petite bestiole
bien à toi

Hi Horia,
Very good composition; really outstanding indeed.
About the intrepretation of Shakespeare's work with the words " to flash or no to flash..." I do have another opinion:
I don't need a flash...and I don't want it. Except maybe for registration purposes in bad light conditions...and that's it! Of course the quality of the photograph depends a lot on the way you apply the flash tool and stuff.
You must see it like that; our light source is the sun. The sun! NOTHING ELSE! ONE SUN! 1! One cannot manipulate the sun though. And sometimes there's no sun at all for example at night or when the weather is cloudy and so forth...
And then you need help tools, "lower" quality help tools such as a flash for DSLR, a softbox for a technical camera, studio stuff...In other words you use all this stuff in times when you have "trouble" with the sun.
More specific for a flash for a DSLR or a compact or whatever...it works like that:electricity is generated and the amount is suddenly released and going through a nobel gas; noble gases rarely react with other elements; the electricity is forcing the gas to pull away the valence electron; the electron bounces back;
result a lot of energy in the form of light; specific for this light is that it is some kind of eruption; light not in control in amount and in color temperature!
Anyway I'm going to stop here 'cause this is getting long:-)

Hi Horia,
An excellent shot on this Fire Salamander. In this case the flash has washed out some of the fine detail. But, it also has given better color saturation. The unflashed version is a litte flatter tonally. This is where you you could fix it easily in photoshop if it had been shot in RAW. I think that you could have you cake and eat it too. If you have a detachable flash unit that has many adjustable settings. You can turn down the power of the flash, or the use exposure compensation automatically in Canon's ETTL mode. I use fill flash more and more, even in bright light. Looks great!

  • Great 
  • jojo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 8] (176)
  • [2007-01-12 7:29]

Bravo cette photo est trés belle
couleurs bien nettes
Pas trés sympa cette bestiole

Hi Horia,
Beautiful capture.
Very clear details and sharpness.
I like the colours a lot.
Well done

Well done Horia.
I like the POV and comp alot. Nice use of flash, great detail and colors. I think shooting on the forest floor in low light, fill flash was the ticket :)
Have a great weekend!

Hi Horia :)
Great POV! Excellent colors, composition and light. Well done!

Hello Horia,
This is a very interesting capture of this salamander!
I like a lot the POV and therefore all details you got in your shot.
The colors on the animal are so gorgeous...but here is an issue I found when shoting to black subjects, it always appear a bright spots of light reflected. In this case you managed it so well that it do not disturb in the appreciation of the amphibian.
And just for fun, the result of my vote on the question about the use of flash or not is.......
stay tunned...the result after the break... :-)
Congratulations for this great post and thanks for share it,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-01-12 9:25]
  • [2]

Hi Horia.
Is it possible to express as a scientist?

I usually when there is an opportunity, do a series of pictures of the same subject with various parameters.

Why (if to not consider probability of reception of qualitative pictures)?

Because eventually at the person the perception of these pictures continually varies. What yesterday seemed the best today could seem the worst. It depends both on mood, and on life experience, and in connection with alienation in due course of pictured scene from photographer.

(It is the widespread reception in a science and, especially, in an estimation of own works.)

Obvious conclusion: It is better to have some pictures of one object, than sole.

And you your own wisely has come to this conclusion.

The both pictures are very nice with clear and well saturated colours, excellent sharpness, amazing cropping and POV.
My best regards and TFS.

In a word, do not regret a film : ))

Hi horia,
I had been involved with that talk about flash. And this debate can go as long as u want. About this pic, first inpression was a bit on softer side and not that much sharper. but after understanding the conditions, its a great shot in low lights. In flash, yellow/orange spots looks very good bu the surrounding looks artificial. Without flash version is nearer to true colors, surrounding looks good. So its win-win situatio. Very well done.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5042 W: 260 N: 15594] (50624)
  • [2007-01-12 9:27]

Hello Horia,
This capture without the flash is better. The flash puts on too much bluish-coloured glare.
As it is, your shot of this salamander is sharp and with excellent DOF despite the low aperture.
Well done without the flash!
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3423 W: 173 N: 3309] (10940)
  • [2007-01-12 11:02]
  • [+]

Hello Horia,
When I compare these two shots it reads: Flash - yes, in both shots so I'm a bit confused, but sure the light is different.
The wet creates reflections which are hard to avoid. I prefer the warmer colours in the first one though and I like the colours and the composition very much.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-01-12 11:14]

Hi Horia,
I haven't seen a salamander in more than 35 years! A great capture from an excellent pov. Flash dilemma is not easy for me too. I like more the original, that is -as you said- more aesthetic.
TFS, José M.

bonjour horia
je prefere celle-ci,les couleurs sont bien plus vives.
une tres bonne macro vu la taille des salamandre.

Hi Horia, I like more the photo without flash in the ws, this one had more details, but the other is better for me, superb portrait of this strange creature, wonderful colors, very well done, have a nice week end, ciao Silvio

Sal Horia,
Simpatica salamandra,foarte faine culori.
eu prefer varianta fara blitz,culorile sunt mai naturale.

Very nice control of the flash here it is a difficult one to achieve due to the reflective surface of the skin. Well done and a good POV rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-01-12 18:38]

Extraño reptil, colores sorprendentes, buenos detalles y original captura... saludos Horia

hi horia,
nice shot,
well composed,
well saturated colours,
i liked the natural version,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2007-01-12 23:59]

Amazing color and detail Horia!
Excellent POV and DOF! Really sharp composition of this "fire salamander". I don't think I have ever seen one before.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3050 W: 3 N: 8714] (40570)
  • [2007-01-13 3:45]

Hi Horia,
Excellent shot of this fire salamander in between dead leaves. Excellent composition and it is true, this picture is artistically better with flash. But sometimes it is the inverse. Myelf, I avoid it mostly to take pictures.
Best regards

A. I like to see it with the flash myself..and its a great shot..he looks very simliar to a spotted salamander I found in my basement once in vermont! At that point I didn't think he was sooo cute but my son loved it! TFS the photo. Donna :o)

thanks for your comments on my photo "Sunset on Lake Superior" :o)

Actually I like both versions, I agree with you assessment, though both serve as an educational shot.


Hello Horia,
Interesting subject!
I think you capture the little guy well, details are fine and the clours likewise...
Image is nicely composed from a good point of view, and personally I prefer the flash version!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-01-14 5:53]

Hello Horia
I don't know, but I think that the version without flash has some strange greenish reflections. About the discusion... is the camera able to catch all details in color perception without the ideal light conditions? If it is not maybe the result is a poor image or an image with some vices? In the other hand, may an artificial light create artificial tones? I have a lot of doubts. I guess the eye that sees the living scene is the most apt to judge the result. To my unexperienced eye the image I like most is the one with flash, but both are great pictures.
Thank you very much for creating this interesting debate. You can learn a lot with it.
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-01-14 7:29]

Hello Horia,
Wonderful capture.POV,colors,contrast,sharpness,lighting and composition are excellent.Have a great weekend!

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-01-14 8:23]

Hello Horia,
lovely shot, the POV and the details are wonderful. The question now which I prefer, flash or no flash. I think it's this one here witht he flash. For the simple reason the colors a slightly fresher.

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-01-14 9:35]

Hi Horia.
Excellent capture.Great you managed DOF.Very good POV and beautiful composition.I like position very much.
Personally like splendid vivid colours orig.version, but without flash I think better are see details on body hereof salamander....that is the "big" question!!
Congratulate of this superb job and TFS.
Greetings Milos

great close up, TFS Ori

bonsoir Horia

Superbe cette salamandre, les couleurs et les détails sont magnifiques
Tes photos de macro sont exceptionnelles!


To be honest with you BOTH are EXCELLENT.
Both show a lot of details. The one without the flash makes the creature more muscular.
I saw a lot of them in Portugal when I lived there.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2007-01-19 8:32]

Hello William Bogdanspeare,
to flash or not to flash....not an easy question, my dear Watson.
In case of amphibians the cons are in my eyes that it creates many white dots. Also colours may not look natural any more. But then again, without flash we would often see nothing at all without flash.
In this case I would be slightly pro, since the leaf colours come out somewhat better. It's also the type of flash one uses. Build-in flashes mostly over expose. An external dou or triple flash give better solutions. Some friend of mine take pictures of flying bats using up to 9 external flashes!Also one should take RAW images and compensate the colour temperature for better results.

Anyway, besides your poll the pic is really nice. Maybe a slight lower pov would have given better eye contact.
Have a good weekend, Jacob

Hello Horia,

Salamanders are among my favourite amphibians. They are really cute!!! I like this composition with extended DOF and good details achieved in black and moist surface of the body.
Best greetings,

  • Great 
  • OzBY Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 183 W: 2 N: 351] (1355)
  • [2007-01-28 1:28]

Hello Horia,
Great picture of this salamandra.
In Israel, this salamandra can be found only in the north and it almost extinct.
Great position, color and sharpness.

Hello Horia!
Again I decided to visit your archive, and again I found something interesting :)
Amphibians are (next to reptiles) my favourite vertebrates, and here I can see one of the most beautiful European species :) Very niec composition, good contrast and DOF. I also like a nature BG. I usually met this species in moutain areas juxt near the streams and other water habitat. But I met it only a few times in my life and always without camera...
TFS and best regards,

Calibration Check