By SnapSquad - May 05, 2018

I recently went on an exciting trail in Borneo, a night trail! If not for our experienced guide, I probably wouldn’t have noticed that branches around me were so busy with life: quite a number of stick insects for a start, with even a winged one with elegant hues of pink and black!, a few tree frogs, a bamboo snake (armless) making its way balancing from twig to twig and even a beautiful green snail climbing up a trunk (our guide said it is quite common). 

Not so many of us can or even want to make it to the tropical jungle of Borneo, so why not revisit your garden or your nearest park at night and see what your camera lens can catch? Only last night I happened to sight a frog carrying her little one on her back, and guess what? I didn’t have my camera with me!

So here are a few tips to take pictures of amazing frogs:


Again you don’t need a tropical jungle to find interesting frogs. Those little mostly nocturnal creatures love wet places, drains, ponds, rivers of course, so look for such a place and listen for the sound of music. All you’ll have to do is follow the direction of the colony singing or the single frog’s calling, never forgetting to progress in slow motion if you want to catch sight of any of your subjects and not scare everyone away.


A 100mm macro lens will do the job (as with bugs, snakes, lizards….)

You will need your flash light and if you worry that you may stress or even hurt frogs with it, you may have to resort to being a bit creative; and beside, if you simply shoot a close up of your nocturnal subject with the flash on the hot-shoe, the lens will block part of the light and you will get unattractive results.

Some experienced photographers, like Neil Jernigan, fit their flash light with a soft diffuser box they equip (here comes creativity!) with a pocket flash light which frog seem not to mind at all. This type of equipment will eliminate harsh light on the frog.

In order to direct your flash light onto the frog with one hand and hold your camera with the other (unless you have an assistant) you could purchase a not too expensive wireless transmitter that fits on top of the camera. 

Since your surroundings may not allow you to use a tripod, you will have to remember to keep a steady hand. Shaking will affect your picture negatively


As always with photography and with live creatures, both practise and patience are key words. Still, here are a couple of examples for frogs photographed at night:

Shutter 120/s     aperture F6.3      ISO 200
Shutter 1/100     aperture F/6.3      ISO 400

A large aperture and a higher ISO will make the camera more sensitive to light, hence reducing the need of a strong flash light.

Author: Annie R. Teo

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