Better beamer – better wildlife photos?

What’s a Better Beamer? It’s not a hot-rodded BMW. It’s essentially a plastic fresnel lens that’s placed in front of your flash to concentrate the light beam using age-old lighthouse technology and physics.

Anna’s Hummingbird

A Fresnel lens projects the light beam farther then your flash can accomplish on its own. It does this by bending parallel light beams that would otherwise diffuse towards a concentrated point.

Many wildlife photographers find this type of flash setup useful for illuminating wildlife under forested cover and less-than-ideal lighting conditions. It also provides a nice catchlight in the eye, which helps bring subjects to life.

This photo was captured with the Sony A9, 100-400 GM lens, flash, and a Better Beamer.

Crater lake landscapes

Earlier this year we made it up to Crater Lake in Oregon – and I just got around to processing this photo from the trip. It was a clear day with nice reflections. This photo was shot with the Sony A9 and the 24-105 G OSS lens. I’ve been renting and testing out different mirrorless camera setups, and the Sony offers impressive autofocus performance and good image quality – even though it’s not particularly known to be a “landscape camera”. The truth is, most mid-level to professional cameras are capable of excellent results, and it mainly comes down to personal preference.