I was going to reply to BSK's thread on flash extenders but didn't want to hijack it with the exact opposite MO. Those flash extenders enable you to do some pretty cool stuff. But I'm into photography and animals, so I want my camera to take a great photo, and I want to manipulate that animal to come in as close as I can get it to catch every bit of its personality on film.

Of course, our applications couldn't be more different. I have only white flash cameras because all black flash photos by definition, SUCK! (I'm just talking about for photography purposes, not for counting points.)

I have only cameras that have an option to lower the flash level. Even on its lowest setting, I still rig my cameras with an extra filter to soften the flash even more. The main object is to constrict the flash, not extend it.

That way, I can get close-ups that don't blow out the animal and its eyes. I keep the flash on for day shots to fill in the shadows.

Most of my target animals are smaller animals like bobcats, foxes, coyotes and hawks, so I try to lure the subject within two feet of the camera but might go out as far as five feet. Deer and turkeys are bigger, so I can reach out as far as eight feet and still get decent shots (although the best ones are still within three feet).

If I want to kill deer or count deer, well, that's a whole different story. ;\)

I only mention all this because I think folks miss out on a bunch when they limit themselves to crappy, blurry, black and white, distant photos.

This isn't that great a photo, but notice how the soft flash just slightly lights up the buck but doesn't blow him up with light. The background is still dark. Close-ups are what trip my trigger, my friend.

It is not the killing ...; it is the contest of skill and cunning. The true hunter counts his achievement in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport.

Dr. Saxton Pope