Welcome to my blog, in the coming weeks I'll be adding to my blog here telling a little bit about myself and my photography, Once you get to know a little bit about myself I'll start to get into more details of how I get some of my shots and the set ups involved. Welcome to my site and I hope you enjoy my journey through photography. My main photography is bird life, Mushrooms and landscapes, a lot of my photography is taken in the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan, a great place for photography.
Welcome back to my weekly blog. This week like the last few I'll start off with a quick wrap up of where in the world my Blog was viewed this week.
Coming in at Number one this week is Norway with the most visits, followed by the USA then Australia. Next up on equal footing is the United Kingdom and Italy, the rest are all with one view each been Spain, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, Slovenia, Ukraine and South Africa. So, 12 different countries this week.
Back to the weekly Blog, this week’s blog will be a walk-through of the shots taken last weekend in the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan.
I started off around the Plank Bank in the Gardens and right opposite the plant bank is a small dam. This shot, complete with reflection is of a young Dusky Moorhen (Gallinuka tenebrsa) on the branch leaning into the dam.
Bird shot wise this week wasn't so good wiht most deciding this week to hid behind a leave, stick or grass so a lot of the shot this week were like the one below with a leaf in the wasps well as the other greenery. This ones of a Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys) But this shot like so many this week not a clean shot.
This ones of an Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) This one was breaking off the bark of the bank looking for the insects that had followed out under the bark. You can see the spray of dust int eh shot to the left as it works at the bark looking for a quick feed.
The Superb Fairy-wrens were about as usual around the stolen generation memorial. This time I got a clean shot but a little two far away, It really wasn't a goo bird shot weekend this week.
From there I walked along the water supply canal and then to the other side of it once it goes underground. There is an open woodland area on the other side of the canal and walking around the large gum tree shown below I could hear a noise of someone gnawing away at the wood. So walking around the tree, and being careful not to get under the limbs of this one, as the next shot shows quite a few of the large branches have already given way on this one.
I found this Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) working on enlarging the hollow, Its partner was on the next branch up watching on to make sure it was all going to plan.
From there I started to head back to the car, but thought I might try my hand at a shot of the plank back. This shot is actually two shots merged together in HDR (High Dynamic range) format as the variation in brightness for the open concrete in the sun to the shadows was to much for the camera so its two shots one exposed for ht concrete in the sun the other for the shadows under the building. This was hand held for the two shots, then merged together in light room wither HDR tool, as a quick job it came out OK, have to come back and give this another go later on with the tripod next time. but as a quick go it came out OK.
From there I Drove up to the Wollemi walk area, which is now partially closed off for some works. This is one of the areas in the gardens were these is nearly always mushrooms to be found and this week I was in luck, only the two and one of these was no longer in the ground, but this was the shot of the week for me. Happy with how this one turned out. Lit with two off camera speedlites, one wiht a brown gel to give the warm light to the shot. focus stacked for 12images this time to give the sharpness to the mushrooms.
This last shot for the day is of a young Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) working its way through the Kangaroo paws. Again this one was pretty good at making shot it was always partially covered by the Kangaroo paws and after about half an hour this was the best I managed.
So not a great week for bird shots this week, but happy with the mushroom shot for the week. We'll see how we go next week.
So thats it for this weeks blog.
Thanks for dropping by my blog this week.
Welcome back to my weekly blog, this week’s post is a walk thought of the shots taken last Saturday in the heat in the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan.
But first a look at where the Blog was looked at last week. A tie for first place this week the Australia and the USA, them the UK, then came Japan and Canada, and then India, Serbia, France and German. So nine countries this week.
Bit warm out this way last weekend with 40 Deg temperatures. So not too much happening this week. But I still managed to get a few shots I'm happy with.
With the Temperatures so high out there this weekend a lot of the birds were just sitting panting trying to keep as cool as they could so the first three shots are birds doing just that. You can see they have their wings lifted off their bodies to try and keep cool as well.
First up a Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus).
Next up a Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) this one was down low and almost on the ground trying to keep put of the heat.
Next a Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) again trying to keep itself cool.
This next series of shots took a while to get as the bird was in to minds on leaving the safety of the high tree or not. It eventually left and flew off further into the gardens. But it took a good 20 minutes or so of waiting before I got this series of shots. An Australian White Ibis (Threkiornis moluccan) as it left its branch.
I then went back to the car and drove off to the next part of the gardens. But not before noticing what the temperature gauge in the car said the outside temperature was. Though as I started to drive off it dropped down to about 40 so think the 45 was a little high, but still quite warm out there. As evident from the behaviour of the birds in the gardens this week.
I drove down to the Banksia gardens to see if I could spot the Frogmouths again, but no luck this week, but it was a little cooler there. So I drove back to the connections gardens, as I was walking up towards the visitors centre there I spotted this Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) Circling overhead it wasn’t long before an Australian Raven was trying to chase it off, I got a few shots of this but none were of a decent quality so a couple of missed shots there, But this one stayed circling for about half an hour, so here’s a few shots of various over passes, this one was fling nice and low over the gardens and nice and slow as well so some decent shots of this one. Checking up my bird listing for the gardens this one’s a new bird for me in the gardens, and also a new bird for their listing as well as its not on the official listing from the gardens of the know bird species to have visited the gardens.
So that's it for this weeks walk in the heat in the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan. HOpe you enjoyed this weeks shots, I'll be back next week with more.
Thanks for dropping by my blog.
This week’s blog post is a walkthrough of the shots taken last weekend in the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan.
Before we get into the shots for the week, a look at where my blog was been viewed over the last two weeks shows Australia is on top this time, with the USA second, then the United Kingdom and Brazil, with a five way tie for fifth place with Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand with another four countries with one viewer each being Colombia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Poland, So a goods catering of countries the last few weeks. Thanks of reading.
Not so many shots this week to go thought, compared to the last few weeks.
First up a Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) there was a small group of these in their normal location around the stolen generation memorial area in the woodland. If you wait long enough they start to come back to the area. So just a matter of waiting and not moving around and they come back looking for the insects there hunting.
The wrens were a bit skittish and I soon found out why. Again I meet one of the people from my first work shop in the gardens and they pointed out that they had seen a lace monitor (Varanus varius) in the nearby gum tree. This one was going up and down the various branches looking to see what it could find.
This next shot I've had a play with Topaz again in the background so you can see the textured effect of what looks like a canvas that the image is printed on.
Walking around the gardens I heard a few Common Myna's Call out and there was a large lace monitor being hurried on by them. They have a nest in the nearby tree so don’t appreciate one of these on the prowl.
This week with a few slightly cooler days and a good day of rain before the weekend I found a few more mushrooms this week, these ones were growing on a stick and not in the ground so made an interesting subject for the week. So the next series of shots are of the same three mushrooms. with different angles and lighting positions.
These next two shots are taken with my phone showing the actual lighting conditions and setups I used to get the above shots. As you can see from the actual lighting conditions you can really create a different feel to the above shots with the speedlites.
So thats it for this weeks shots, finally found a few mushrooms to shoot again the last few weeks, not sure I'll be so lucking the coming weekend with several days over the 40 deg C. mark this way. not the best conditions for mushrooms, but we'll see whats about.
Thanks for dropping by my Blog, I'll be back next week with more.
This week’s blog post is a look back at the shots taken in the Australian Botanical Gardens over the last few weeks over Christmas. I didn't get to go out with the cameras as much as I would have liked to over the break as back on the bathroom renovation works again, tiling the second Bathroom floor, so only got out twice during the time off.
First up I started a walk from the plant bank along the board walk, in the small ponds at the start of the woodland area is some bulrushes and I noticed some movement in there. So looking closely I found this red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) in the water swimming around after a while it came out and into the grass around the pond.
A few Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) were about in the area but not to much else of not for the day around the stole Generation memorial area
A few Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) were about in the area but not too much else of not for the day around the stole Generation memorial area. I did meet a couple on their last day in Australia from Scotland (Philip and Sheila) who said they had seen some Tawny Frogmouths in the Banksia Garden, Not having got a shot of one of these yet in the gardens I decided that was my next stop. So after not finding anything else here I drove down to the Banksia Garden area. I got a good description of where to look so went straight there. First think I found was a few Australian King Parrots (Alisterus Scapularis) abut so I managed to get this shot of a female from a distance.
Then exactly where I was told the Frogmouths were I found them, three of them. You can certainly see how they camouflage themselves to look like tree branches. I managed the first show with the eyes open, but the rest are partially closed. Still happy with these shots.
On the last day of my holidays I went back into the gardens to see what I could find after a few cooler days and some light rain I was hoping for some mushrooms this time round. Been a while now since I had found any in the gardens. First up another new bird to cross of my list a Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) high up in the canopy, I’d spotted it last time but didn’t get a good shot, this week a little better but still not the best quality, I’ll have to keep an eye out for these in the coming visits to see if I can get a better shot. Hopefully they will come a little lower to the ground.
This shot captured it in full song.
This next shots taken in the dam opposite the plant bank and is of a young Dusty Moorhen on the hunt for reeds at the bottom of the dam.
While walking along beside the cannel there I spotted this young Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis), I didn't see what the host bird to this one was after waiting a while, would have made for a good shot if its still being looked after. Another thing to look out for next trip.
The woodland areas and most of the gardens are full of these next ones the Willie Wagtails (Rhipdura leucophrys) Theres not to many places in the Gardens you don't find these filtering about. collection insects as they go.
A small family of Variegated Fairy-wrens (Malurus lamberti) are often found around the area where the stolen generation memorial is located in the woodlands.
This ones not the cleanest shot but shows the broad shoulder patches across the the back as it flys up to the next branch, been better getting a cleaner shot with out the sticks in the way, maybe next time round.
In amongst the Variegated wrens are a few Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) Missing the brown patch of the Variegated wrens, thou still quite colourful and just as timid.
After all the hot weather of late a few cooler days and some rain as well seemed to have bought out a few mushrooms, well two anyway. So I made the most of these two doing three setups with different lighting and angles to get these three shots of these ones.
So thats it for this weeks blog a round up of the shots for the last two weeks with only two days of shooting, but still some good shots this time round, good to get back into the mushroom shots again after so long with out.
Thanks for dropping by my blog this week, I'll be back next week with the usual blog post. Till then take care. Back again next week.
As I've done for the last few years, following on from Martin Bailey’s Podcast each year when he creates his top ten shots of the year, again I've done the same. This task each year doesn't get any easier and I can see the improvement in my work over the years reviewing the previous imaged compared to this year’s work.
This year I went on my first photography workshop / photo tour with Steve Parish in Central Australia, it was a great experience and some amazing landscapes out there. The only Landscape shot in my top ten came from this tour, there was so many images for the tour I would have liked to include but only ten images so only one for that trip may my top ten for the year. Again, this year Mushrooms and Bird shots made up the bulk of my shots this year and mainly in the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan. Which is only a few minutes’ drive from my place. In fact, only the Central Australian Landscape shot was the only one not taken in the Gardens.
This year along with Google plus which is still doing great with my mushroom collection now having 83000 plus followers, Where I post a mushroom shot each week. I've also started to post in Instagram now, something I kept clear of for some time, but it’s now starting to gain some traction. The Gardens have found my work on Instagram and have asked me to run a workshop in November which we've now done, my first workshop that I've run. Seemed to go OK from what I can tell and everyone said they learnt something from it. So, happy with that there should be more this year, So all up a good year for me Photography wise.
So on with the top ten shot, this first shot was the shot from the Steve Parish workshop photography tour in Central Australia. This shot is taken for a Helicopter, my first time up in one, the doors were removed to enable a cleaner shot and certainly happy with what I got out for that. I've had printed two of the shots from this flight at 1 metre long. This one is my current favourite, the other one has the most amazing geological shape but I like this image better.
Again a lot of the shots this year was of mushrooms in the Australian Botanical gardens and this shows the spores falling, little golden dots under the cap you can see them on the left side more easily then you can pick them up on the right once you know what your looking for. I used two off camera speedlites and the second light was behind to give back light which lit up the spores.
The next shot was a lucky shot, well planned but lucky, I was shooting a mushroom on the ground but had set the bird camera (Canon 7DmkII with Sigma 150-600 Sports Len) to focus on this dead tree stump hoping something may come along as it’s a favourite perch for a lot of birdlife, so as I was taking a focus stack of a mushroom this Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) landed on the stump which was only about 4 metres away, so I slowly got up to take this shot, I managed about six shots this being the better of the six. Happy with all the detail in this shot. Really liking the 7dMkII and Sigma 150 to 600 Sports lens combination.
Again this year I got into Focus stacking of the mushroom shots with two off camera speedlites. Still using the Canon 60D for these shots, as the articulating screen is great for lining up the shots with the camera on the ground, saves me getting so low. I like the light and shade in this image as well as all the detail.
This image of the Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana) as it sat and watched me frame up the shot is again one of my favourites with the leaves framing up the shot and the little piece of moss growing on the branch lower down offsetting the bird. The sun behind the bird adding the rim lighting on the right and eliminating the greenery behind, normally you want the brightest part of the image to be the main subject but in this case I think it works well with the bird being a little darker than the background.
This year has been quite dry towards the end of the year so not much in the way of mushrooms about but as I spend most of my time in the botanical gardens hard not to take plant shots as well. This ones of a Red Waratah the New South Wales State flower. This one was taken in full daylight but again using the speedlite to light the flower and underexpose the image to loose the background. These flowers are always eye catching and to see them in the bush late October these bright red flower heads is really something.
This next shot was again something special with a pair of young Welcome swallows (Hirundo neoxena) being feed by the parent. The Parent bird made regular trips over the lake collecting insects then fly back without landing to feed the young. The one on the left looks to be saying “Hey, what about me” as it watches the other bird being fed this time around, it was feed not long after.
This next image of an Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) again taken in the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan, shows the catch it just made, these little ones are usually sitting on a branch or side of the tree studying the ground looking for something to feed on, this time a poor lizard was the victim, it flew away with its catch to feed its young. The gardens are alive with these pretty much year round.
This next image or a pair of Long-Billed Corsellas (Cacatua tenuirostris) was picked up by the ABC News facebook page as its image of the day and ran as the ABCs banner image for the day on the new facebook page. The ABC got the image from Instagram after I tagged them. This one if you look around the edges you can see the results of the post processing I did to create the effect of a painting, from the comments on the ABCs facebook page it led to some confusion from some not noting if it was a painting of a photo, one thinking it was a photo of a painting. This was something I picked up from the workshop earlier in the year. The Image was taken again in the Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan.
The last image in this year’s top ten shots was taken just after my first workshop in the Gardens. The gardens asked if I would be interested in running a bird photography workshop with them in the gardens, after seeing my shots posted on Instagram, so we gave it a go, after the workshop I went back in to the gardens, with a few from the class. Walking around in the gardens we came across this Lace Monitor (Varanus varius) as it went about its business looking for bird nests in hollows. You can see the large claws these have to climb trees with, this one was looking around exploring then after the photoshoot casually climbed back down and went in search else where.
So that rounded out this year’s top ten shots, this year I took 32466 images but these soon add up when you start to use focus stacking where one mushroom shot is made up of 20 odd shots stacked together then three or four different lighting set ups and you’re at 100 images from the one mushroom. Similarly, birds in flight shots soon add up. First step in getting to the top ten was a short list of 98 images this year, then cutting it down to ten, the first few were pretty easy to remove but after that by the time you get down to the last 25 shots each shot you remove you feel guilty for taking that shot out, shots that missed out were my first ever milky way shot taken in Central Australia another aerial shot, several mushroom shots and birds in flight shots, all of which have been covered in the various blog posts throughout the year if you’re interested. But happy with this year’s quality of shots and I’ve already booked on for another photo tour in a month or so’s time again with Steve Parish in Tasmania this time in Mid Feb. Looking forward to that.
A couple of reference links.
Martin Baileys website where you'll find links to his podcasts
Steve Parish's website where you'll find links to what Steve is up to and his work.
Thanks for dropping by my blog this week, I’ll be back next week with the regular walk through shots from the last week or so. Have a great new year everyone.