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Dilemma...what would you have done?

macroman 17 15.3k England
28 Apr 2004 6:41PM
Slightly OT, but still about wild life.

Clearing the rubbish from our garden pond today I discovered that we have four newts (they appear to be two breeding pairs).
Has anyone any experience in photographing newts.
I don't mean by catching them and putting them in a glass tank, but in their environment.

Any advice welcomed.

Should I buy a snorkel :o)
FrankThomas 18 2.8k United Kingdom
28 Apr 2004 7:01PM
try a macro lens - should give you a bit of room to work, either that or a long telephoto (300mm + at a guess.) So long as the newts aren't stressed by it, that's the important thing
Just Jas Plus
19 26.3k 1 England
29 Apr 2004 12:18AM
Macroman - just wait outside your local boozer with a wide angle lens mounted and wait for closing time.

Very good for newts (or similar) I hear! LOL

macroman 17 15.3k England
29 Apr 2004 9:45AM
Thanks Jas, I'll try it!


Stand by to be sued if I get set upon
macroman 17 15.3k England
29 Apr 2004 9:51AM

The problem with using macro is that you can,t predict where they are going to come to the surface for air.

I was wondering if anyone had tried to photograph newts or similar and what methods they employed.

I've seen several pix of newts but I suspect that many of them were in temporary aquariums, but I'm awkward and want to try a natural environment.
bailey73 17 357
29 Apr 2004 11:20AM
I rescued a mole from the side of the road last year - the temptation to takes pics of it instead was very great but cars were missing the poor little thing by inches.

So nature preserving me picked it up and carried it to a dark shaded area and placed it gently down - little sod headed back to the road, picked it up again and thought I would put it further away from the road, just as I went to put it down the little bugger scrabbled, turned, and bit me and also put some very nasty cuts on my hands thus causing discomfort for the rest of the day when holding the camera.

The temptation to punt the little fella like a rugby ball took over....but no, i couldnt do that instead I sat and watched it for a minute or two as he headed back towards the road.

Will moles ever learn - I did, never pick up moles without strong, tough gloves.

ron tate 16 272
29 Apr 2004 3:13PM
Are you sure he wasn`t going home for his tea and he lived on the other side of the road.Did you not think to put him on the other side. I bet he was saying to himself "Who is this idiot"
ukuwi 17 476 1 England
29 Apr 2004 3:23PM
I would have just stamped on it, and thrown it in the bin, then thought what a waste, I should have got a good shot first.

Not really you guys, oh the look on your faces, he he. I never take bird shots.
kelart 16 570
29 Apr 2004 5:18PM
refering to an original post:

i misunderstood it at first, because my english isn't great. i got it after few seconds when i finished reading the sentenceSmile
if i had A TIT in my room i wouldn't know what to do. to take photo or ...hmmm.. grab it and "rescue";-D if it was THE TIT i'd rescue it immediately. i don't know how some photographers/videomakers can separate themselves so much from the subject. do you remember that movie, "medium cool"?
keith selmes 17 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2004 12:29PM
Regarding newts. I used a 200mm/2.8 lens with 30mm extension tube. The pond is not very deep and has a shallow slope, so if the light is right it is possible to see and photograph the newts on the bottom. Difficult to get anything decent because the pond water is not very clear and there is debris on the surface.
They will sometimes float briefly on the surface, partly out of the water. Usually they pop out and dive almost instantly. The best hope was to see one floating toward the surface, and aim at where it was likely to come out.
There were newts there again (a piece of South Devon moorland) a few days ago, so if the sun shines again, I may try it again soon.
I believe the recommended method of viewing newts is by torchlight when they come onshore at night. Flash might be worth trying.
I shouldn't think they are very stress prone. They used to survive being taken to school in jamjars. However I have no idea what effect a camera flash has. Some animals are oblivious to it, but I understand it kills sea horses.
cambirder 17 7.2k England
30 Apr 2004 1:50PM
It is going to be very difficult to get a decent pic of newts in there natural habitate. I have Smooth Newts in my garden, which I am going to have a go at photographing , but I think I will need to temporary move a couple into a small tank to do this.

It is likely that macroman's newts are also Smooth Newts as these are the most likely to turn up in your garden. If they are Great Creasted Newts however, they are one of the most protected species in the British countryside. Legislation protects it against killing, injuring, sale, and also prohibits disturbance (including handling) and damage to both its terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Which also means you need a special licence to photograph them.

macroman 17 15.3k England
30 Apr 2004 6:27PM
Yes, they are smooth newts.
Just Jas Plus
19 26.3k 1 England
30 Apr 2004 11:44PM
Re Flash - I read somewhere that most animals are not troubled by flash as they are used to seeing lighting in thunderstorms.

I think that this probably only holds true for flash at a distance, not close up.

Powerful flash close up - I would worry about eye damage, particularly with nocturnal animals.

Interesting re sea horses. The light probably has a similar effect on them as vibration does to fish.

keith selmes 17 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
1 May 2004 12:30PM
The sea horse story was a local news item about the National Aquarium at Plymouth.
They said sea horses have to be replaced frequently because of camera flash. There probably is a lot of it. Hope I'm not starting an urban myth!

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