Friday, October 2, 2009

To the Batcave!

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
Twenty million bats. I saw 20 MILLION bats! Wow, that's a big number. How long does it take 20 million bats to emerge from a cave? About 4 hours, I'm told. So in fact, I guess I didn't really see 20 million since I only witnessed about 45 minutes of the bat stream. But the numbers are high enough to impress. I was able to attend a private tour of the Bracken Bat Cave near Garden Ridge last night and attempt to capture the magnificent display of millions of bug-eating mammals waking from their slumber for their nocturnal hunt for food. Truthfully, I had no idea what I was doing, I'd never shot small, fast-moving objects in the dark of night before and I wasn't quite sure how to do it. My biggest problem was focus. Because of the low light, I had to use a wide aperture, which means my depth of field was small. Then I had to try to focus on an area of bats and hope that at least a few of them were sharp as I fired off my strobe into the sky. I took no fewer than 250 shots and managed to get a handful of reasonably focused bats. I hope to study up on it a bit more and return with more knowledge of capturing these illusive night predators.

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