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.

My Top ten Images from 2021

May 04, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Time again for my top ten images for the previous year. 2021. An interesting year I'm sure we'll all agree. The part of Sydney I live in was classed as an area of concern so for a part of the year I was confined to a 5km limit of home and only allowed out of the house for food, medical or exercise (limited to one hour a day). So no photograph trips out during that lockdown. So made for an interesting year photography-wise, no trips away all year. Even with the restrictions I still managed to come up with some decent shots, I'll leave it to you to see if I improved from the previous year's top ten, link to last year's top ten down below. 

One thing that came out of the year is I started a major project with the Australian Botanic Gardens, The project will run for several years and probably for as long as I'm willing to participate in it. With this project, I get to work with some of the horticultural stuff in the gardens so a great learning for me on the various plants in the gardens, as a result, I've got a lot more flora shots for the year. So kicking off the year the first shot is a close-up of wattle, using the skills I've developed over the years with my fungi work I've transferred those skills to the flora work, so this one is using off-camera lighting. 


The next shot is a wildlife shot of Red-rump Parrots coming to drink in the morning, this shot has the female coming in to try and get to the log currently occupied by a male, the tail of the female is dragging in the water. This shot is with natural light, so not lit with a Speedlite, it was a bit overcast but a bit of light was coming through in the right spot at the right time. Some days luck does play a part, but also if I'm there often enough then I improve my odds of getting a decent shot with great light. I usually spend one day a week shooting in the gardens so that certainly helps.  

I managed to find some great Fungi to shoot this year and this was one. One of the bigger ones I've shot over the year and great colour on this one. As usual, these are shot in the Australian Botanic Gardens, the gardens are only open from 8:00 am till five and till seven in the three summer months so all are shot in normal daylight. Again happy with how the lighting came out on this one, two off-camera Speedlites used. I like the mood the lighting has created in this shot, Not every shot you manage to get it all the way you want, but this time, I'm happy with the results. 

This shot comes from a few years of walking the gardens at all times of the day and times of the year and knowing where to be and when to catch the light. This one is again all natural light, so around 3:30pm to 4:00pm in the winter months the suns lower and before it goes down over the hill the eastern side of the connections gardens gets this amazing light a few years ago I got some great Flannel Flowers this time a Kingia in flower with the amazing backlight. 

This next shot was a great find one day after recent rains, one of the bigger Mushrooms I'd find in the gardens. The colour of this one made it stand out and with two off-camera speedlites made it pop. The orange against the green foliage with the sharp focus on the mushroom cap texture against the brown soil makes the image have a sort of surreal feel to it. One of my better Mushroom shots todate. 

This is an Australian King Parrot feeding in the Australian Botanic Gardens, Again love the sharpness of this one that the Canon R5 gives. 

This one shows just what can be achieved when in lockdown and shooting in the backyard, Natural light. For this shot, it's all about the position of the camera relative to the subject to the back gound and where and how the light falls. The Subject the spotted dove was flying from the side fence to the ground. So the flight path is fairly predictable. The back of the yard is lined with decent sized bottle brush trees which cast a shadow on the back fence in the early morning, So the background is the back fence in shadow and the bird is flying through the sunlight. So natural light and position creates this shot. 

Pretty much every year I've managed to get a Waratah shot into my top ten and this year is no exception. This one like all but one of my shots are taken in the Australian Botanic Gardens the exception being the shot above in my backyard. This one taken with two off-camera speedlites. 

Loving the sharpness of the R5 with the 100-500mm. The colour between the white / cream bird and the green background is what makes this image for me.  The bird being a Long-billed Corella feeding on wattle seeds in the gardens. 

This ones the last one for the top ten, this ones right up there as one of my favourite mushroom shots so far, sometimes it all comes together the lighting and the post-processing. Most of the Fungi shots are taken with two speedlites, This one as well. The light on the left with a brown gel gives that warm light. Image is focus stacked as are most of them now. The processing gives the softening of the surroundings. 

So that's my top ten for 2021, the last few years I've started to create these single pages of the top ten images. So I've got these records each year as a single page so I can easily compare how far I've come. 

Whereas this is what Instagram likes think are my best images for the year. This is where I find it interesting as not one of the Instagram top nine images made my top ten. Not one of my fungi images made the top nine, whereas I had three in my personal top ten. 

 

Below are the links to the last few years top ten blog posts for those that are new here. 

The idea originally came from Martin Baily and his regular podcast which you can find the links from his site here,

 https://martinbaileyphotography.com/

Martin has been doing his top ten for my years than I have now, so always interesting to see how other people go about their work and what they come up with.

Stay safe out there everyone, have fun and happy shooting.

Thanks for dropping by my Blog this week.

 

Glenn.

 

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/my-top-ten-images-from-2020

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/my-top-ten-images-from-2019

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/1/my-top-ten-images-of-2018

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/my-top-ten-shots-of-2017

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/my-top-ten-shots-of-2016

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/2015-top-ten-shots---year-in-review

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/1/2014-top-ten-shots---year-in-review

 


My top ten images from 2020

January 01, 2022  •  4 Comments

Each year around this time I review my top ten shots from the previous year, this year was no exception. 2020 was certainly a different year for everyone, In Australia it started off with the Bushfires which were truly devastating for so many, so many lives lost, properties destroyed people’s lively hoods taken from them, the devastation of wildlife and habitat will take years to recover, from the bush fires came the floods. The country certainly coped it all, then came COVID, Australia was far lucky than most countries and still is, being an island continent, it was a lot easier to control the border crossings here, Still we had two waves so far, only one real lockdown in Sydney. February saw my photography workshops be put on hold for the year with talk in late December of restating them in 2021 before the northern beaches out brake took off. That seems to be well controlled so hopefully things may start to get back to some sort of new normal soon. I did manage to give talks to a few of the local Camera clubs via Zoom meetings, so somethings were able to keep going and so far, this year I’ve already got three talks lined up with the first one being in January for one of the local Camera clubs here in south west Sydney. A few other things are planned for the year, so we’ll see things pan out this year. 

 

The first image in my top ten of 2020 was taken in January before the lockdowns started and COVID got a foot hold in Australia. A Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), Take n with the Canon 5D mark 4 and the Sigma 150-600mm Sports lens at 600mm 1/320 sec F8 ISO 800. Like all the shots in this years top ten this shot was taken in the Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan. This was taken in January the Drought was about to brake but not yet so water was getting scarce in the Gardens and only a few of the large lakes had water, the Wattle and Banksia gardens dams had both dried up by then, so water birds were all coming to the main three lakes of the gardens. There was a small flock of about eight Straw-necked Ibis here with a couple Australian White Ibis. 

Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)

 

The second shot in my top ten is of one of the many fungi that I find in the gardens. This one shot with the Canon 60D I still you this old work horse for most of my fungi shots, This one two off camera speed lites used one with a brown gel which I've then white balanced corrected, this gives the blue tint in the shadows, you can go part way to that using slit toning in post processing but I find I get better results with gels and white balance corrections. As with nearly all my fun shots this one is focus stacked, which is why the ageing 60D works just as well on these. I've printed these up to A3 plus size and they stand up to close up inspection, my printer (Canon pro-1000) will print up to A2 but I've yet to print that size yet. 
 

 

This next one is still my favourite shot of the year taken in March so has stood the test of time for the year, and still is my favourite, even thou it’s a relatively simple shot, I call this one “Simplicity”. The side lighting really brings out the texture again shot with eh Canon 60D and 100mm F2,8L macro lens and focus stacked. Shot in the Australian Botanic Gardens. Two off camera speedlites used again.  All in manual both the exposure and speedlite setting always in manual. As usual taken in the gardens means taking in daylight, a lot of people think these are taken at night but most are taking in daylight if not full sun even.   

OK this one was also shot in March in the gardens, before the weather turns and these guys go into hibernation, this one a Yellow Faced Whipsnake was making its way around the main gardens where most of the people visit the gardens, most of my shots are taken in the natural bushland areas of the gardens but I do venture up into the other areas at times to see what’s about this time I got lucky with this one.  This time shot with the Canon 7dmkII and the Sigma 150-600 Sports lens at 600mm, so my usually birding set up will was, (More on that later). This means I wasn’t as close as it looks to this one. Settings were 1/1250 Sec F8 and ISO 1000. This one only the head and upper length of the snake was out of the leaves, I like the colour of the leaves against the snakes head and body. This is an area of the gardens families are often running around in be interesting if one of the younger members of a family ran across this one, this ones not so bad but there are often Brown snakes there as well, which are right up there in the more fatal snake bite categories.


This one shot in June, a small time of lock down in Sydney so I kept out of the gardens for a few months, then I got out and found these in flower in the gardens the Sturts Desert Pea, this time shot with the Canon 5Dmk4 and the 24-105mm f4 lens. 1/250 sec F11 ISO 320 two off camera speed lites and focus stacked, The amount of detail in this shot is incredible you can see each hair on the stems and flower buds, the depth of colours and the contrast between the red flowers and the green buds with the red soil in the background. This area of the garden has the red soil of the outback.  Between these, Waratahs and the Kangaroo paw all iconic Australian Flowers I can decide which is my favourite. I had a few Waratah flowers that only just missed out on this years top ten, but they made it into last years top ten and my favour shot of last years work. These are a ground cover plant, I've seen them in the wild over in Western Australia just over 30 years ago now, I didn't see them a couple of years ago when I was last over WA. 

This shot was taken in November and these were out a little early, these are called Christmas bells and usually come out mid December in time for Christmas. This one shot with the Canon 5Dmk4 and the Canon 24/105mm F4 at 70mm 1/2000 Sec F9 ISO 100 and one off camera speedlite. Happy with how the processing turned out on this one another one that has that painting like an old world masters feel to it. The last two years Waratahs shot has the same feel to them. 

This year Canon bought out a new toy and I was waiting to see what the new 1DX was going to be, when it came out I was really disappointed and it just didn't appeal to me for what it was and I'd already seen a few leaked specs of the R5 which to me seemed an amazing body if the rumours were true. When it finally came out all the rumours were true. I had mine on the third day of release, so was one of the first to get one in the country a big thank you to Macarthur Camera house my local camera store. Getting the early one meant I also got the free extra battery and the sext limited edition strap, which is much wider and more comfortable than the standard straps they come with. I also got the new 800mm f11 lens, this lens coped a fair bit of criticism when it came out mainly by people who had never shot with it or people that aren’t use to shooting with long glass, I was a little sceptical about the lens, but thought it was so light and compact when closed down I thought it would make a great travel long lens and the price was so good for a lens that’s that long. Having used the lens now for near on six months now, I must say I’m really impressed, the sharpness of the lens is great it’s so light, the Aperture is fixed f11 not a minimum but fixed f11 so you can have any aperture you like as long as its f11. That hasn’t been a problem on the R5 as the ISO can be used much higher, without an issue when I first mentioned it I got comments such as its great if you want to shoot in full sun but you’d never use it in any situation under cover of the canopy or an over cast day. Well all that has been since disproven. I’m really impressed with the image quality I get out of this lens every weekend. I’ve shot it in really low light, been able to hand hold an 800 mm lens at 1/50 sec with the inbuilt stabilisation in the body and lens. The body has allowed me to shoot at 10,000 ISO with little noise. I know a lot of people won’t like it and won’t give it a fair go, but that’s OK, I’m happy with it and I’m not into trying to sell them. I will at some stage get the 100-500 as it has the better weather sealing and the only issue I’ve really came across with eh 800f11 is the minimum focus distance is 6m so at times I’ve had to back up to get a shot in focus which is a nice change, I’ve got some great hand held shots of the moon with it and the only time I have put it on a tripod is when I shot Saturn, and Jupiter. Its amazing to realise you can actually see the rings of Saturn with a  camera and lens without the aid of a telescope.  

So this and all the remaining shots for the years top ten were all shot with the Canon R5 thou I still take out the other bodies will all but the 7DmkII which I haven’t picked up since. This ones with R5 and 800mm F11 1/400 sec ISO 2500. Hand held. When I used the 7dmkII and the sigma 150-600 sports it was always on a tripod and Gimbal head now days I’ve been shooting hand help and enjoying the extra freedom it’s given me. Especially the last month or so due to a slight incident with my foot which resulted in a few fractures in my right foot and as a result a moon boot is my new best friend for the last 8 weeks and last weekends check up and review of the latest X-rays were not looking promising for a fast recovery so another 4 weeks in the moon boot, so caring a lightweight body and lens and no tripod has certainly been appreciated. 

 

Another shot with the R5 this time using the 100mm f2,8 EF lens with the RF adaptor, as there's no glass in the adaptor and its just a spacer there's no loss of image quality, a question I get asked a lot about. This shot using my typical two light set up, this time the camera was on a tripod so I could hand hold the two lights either side of the Banksia flower head, this one was taken in daylight on a slight overcast day. 1/100 sec f9 ISO 200. Again that old world masters feel to it with the lighting and processing. 

The flowering gums flowers again lite with a speedlite  and using the R5 and 100mm F2,8 Macro. 1/40 sec f11 ISO 400 hand held as by now I was in my moon boot and not to keen on carrying to much gear all over the gardens especially all the stairs to get to these. 

The final shot that made my top ten was this shot of a willy Wagtail feeding its young in the nest. normally I wouldn't go near a nest for a shot but this one managed to build its nest fought beside the main board walk and beside a wooden seat where a lot of people stop for their lunch most not even aware that dirtily behind them if they turned around what this activity going on, with the 800mm lens I was actually a lot further back than the people continually walking past. Still its important to make sure you are not interfering with the birds normal behaviour when shooting birds or any wildlife for that matter. shooting in the botanic gardens there is a lot of paths and boardwalks which are fairly heavily used and occasionally you find something like this right beside the path. This shot with the R5 and 800mm f11 1/800 sec ISO 3200 this one was in one of those areas under the forest canopy where people said you’d never be able to use that lens it will be to dark, the back ground in this case wasn’t completely creamy like you can get with a F4 lens but then for the cost of a 600mm F4 I can buy 10 of these F11 lenses. Still it’s not to bad and I’ve certainly got shots where the back ground is pure cream. So I’m very happy with my new set up and loving the R5 with everything I’ve shot with it so far, Birding, Fungi, flowers, some event work. The only thing I would like it to have and maybe a fix in an upcoming firmware is for the focus bracketing to enable the use of speedlites, the Nikon mirror less bodies allow focus bracketing with speedlites the R5 and R6 does not, it has focus bracketing but not with speedlites due to issues with recycle time of the speedlite, Nikon has overcome this so I’m sure Canon can and hope to have it fixed in a firmware upgrade one day, other than that I have had no issues and loving the combination. 

 

This year for something different I also put together a collage of my top ten shot for the year which fit on an A4 page, having seen how this turned out I plan on going back over the last six years top tens and doing the same so I can easily see my progression over the years, I’ll add in the year to the page as well, These will then go into a display book and any time I question my journey thought photography I’ll be able to flick thought the pages and see where I was at a few years back.

Lastly the last image is my instagram top nine based on Instagram likes, interesting that none of the images in the two collections match up. Between instagram like and my personal choice of my work. There were a couple there than made my top twenty but when seen large they didn’t quite make the cut for one reason or other. I note that the Waratahs feature a good amount in the Instagram feed likes. Both my top ten and the Instgram top nine shots were all taken in my local Botanic gardens. I do occasionally shot elsewhere but its only ten minutes from home, 190 different Bird species and 414 hectares of land to explore.  It consists of natural bushlands, waterways, plus actual gardens and water features, so plenty for everyone to cover there Photography wants. There are 12km of roadways in the gardens so I don’t have to walk the whole garden thou it’s been known to happen. For the last few years I’ve ran the photography workshops for the gardens usually one a month but that came to a halt in February last year, hopefully in the coming months I’ll be able to start these back up again, Plus a few other projects coming up with the gardens which I’ll speak more of in a future blog post as things develop.

 

So that wraps up my 2020 top ten shots for the year and a little of the back story and settings behind the shots.  Feel free to follow me on instagram where I post a shot each weekday, less so on Facebook, but I'll try and be a bit more active there, as again I'll try and get these blog post s a bit more regular the original aim was for one a week, so I’ll see how I go this year, I’ll do a post showing the Canon 800mm f11 lens and just what I can get out of it. For those that are interested, plus the normal weekly walk thought of the shots for the week.

Below is the links to the last few years top ten blog posts for those that are new here. 

The idea original came from Martin Baily and his regular pod cast which you can find the links form his site here,

 https://martinbaileyphotography.com/

Martin has been doing his top ten for my years than I have now, so always interesting to see how other people go about there work and what they come up with.

Stay safe out there everyone, have fun and happy shooting.

Thanks for dropping by my Blog this week.

 

Glenn.

 

 

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/my-top-ten-images-from-2020

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/1/my-top-ten-images-of-2018

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/my-top-ten-shots-of-2017

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/my-top-ten-shots-of-2016

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/2015-top-ten-shots---year-in-review

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/1/2014-top-ten-shots---year-in-review


 


My top ten images from 2019

January 01, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Again, the years fly by, it’s time to review my images from last year and create my top ten list. This will be my fifth year of doing these now. I'm not sure if it actually got easier this year, or I've got better at reviewing images and cutting down to a final ten. Maybe this year's images weren't as difficult to select from, thou the final images to be removed were not an easy task to complete, it’s really painful to remove those last two images, but that's the point to having a final top ten. So in the last year I managed to put out exactly one blog post which was the previous years top ten, so that wasn't a great effort considering I was going to try and get back to the one post per week, So I'd have to rate that as a big fail. We'll see how this year goes. 

This year The Australian Botanic gardens, continued to run photography workshops so I had 7 workshops to run, plus I had a one on one workshop for someone. I also had three event photography shoots for the Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands, one shot from these events made my top ten. I also managed to do some event photography shoots for myself which is always good practice, while doing these I managed to shoot the same local group here 'Like Angles Trio'  https://www.instagram.com/wearelikeangels/ I've actually had shots of these from various events over the years but this year I managed to get their details made contact and shared the images I had with them. They just released their first single with all the money raised going towards drought relief and the devastating fires we are having here in Australia this summer. I was also Photography of the day on the photofocus website for a day in December. https://photofocus.com/inspiration/photographer-of-the-day-glenn-smith/
One of my shots was also critiqued on the Behind the shot podcast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMuiDhwBroo just after the 1-hour mark. 

The local council again ran their Nature photography competition this year and this year they didn't have any workshops running in conjunction with it, so I was free to enter this year and managed to win the Floral section. 

I was also asked to give a talk at the Illawarra Bird observers group down in Wollongong earlier in the year. Plus, I was asked to give a talk and a short workshop for Camera houses photography expo at Darling Harbour earlier in the year. Birding NSW asked by to assist with the judging of their annual photography competition, and the Australian Botanic Gardens are running a monthly photography competition which I'm also one of the judges for. So, every month I have to judge the images for this, so a bit of competition judging this year I think helped in cutting down my images for the year to the final ten. 

So, all up a pretty busy year photography wise, considering photography is my hobby and I still have a full-time job as well. 

I've already got three speaking events lined up for 2020, workshops running the second Sundays of most months with the Gardens and possible the photography Expo again at Darling Harbour, so another full year coming up, in between all that I need to get out and shoot some shots. Hoping to head back out to central Australia sometime toward the middle of the year.

Back to the top ten shots from last year this is and idea I got from Martin Bailey's photography podcasts https://martinbaileyphotography.com/podcasts/

Each year Martin goes through the process of selecting his top ten shots for the year, which is pretty much the way I do the same, It's never an easy process when you get down to the last twenty, but worth getting to the last ten, as you get to review your images critically, this is where you learn from your images just what makes a good image and a great image. If you go back and compare to the previous years you see if you have improved and if your photography is changing direction. Looking at my top ten this year six of my images have a fantasy feel in the post processing.  Three shots were Mushroom shots. Four shots were bird shots, which is interesting as my Instagram top nine as selected by number of likes was all bird shots for this year. Two shots were flower shots and one shot was from one of the event photo shoots I did through the year. On with the shots.

 

This shot was taken in normal daylight, Two off camera speedlites one with a brown gel. The image is made from several images’ focus stacked together to give the depth of field, a bit of post processing magic on the background gives the fantasy feel, the mushroom is based back in.  

This shot was taken at the Centennial Park Easter event where I was the official event photographer. As you'd have noted if you'd seen any of my work most of my shots are usually nature and wildlife not people so event photography is a little out of my comfort zone but it’s good to take on new challenges and helps to take your photography a little further then you would otherwise do. The lighting was natural for this shot, with the sun just cresting a rise and backlighting the Easter bunny, happy with how this shot turned out, as was the customer so that's always a good thing to have happy customers.

 

This shot as all, but the Easter bunny shot were taken in the one location the Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan, South West of Sydney. https://www.australianbotanicgarden.com.au The gardens are a little larger than most 416 Hectares in area, 12 km of roads, natural bushland, along with manicured gardens. The gardens have 189 known bird species visiting the gardens thought out the year, I've been shooting the different types now for several years and still 35 spices to find and shoot. This one's an Eastern Spinebill. 


Not too many Mushrooms about this year due to the continuing drought and now the extreme high temperatures and fires. The fire hazard warning has twice been raised to catastrophic here this last month which means the gardens were actually closed, the ground is so dry most of the grass has died, you walk on it and it turns to dust, so with the soil moisture content being so low very little in the way of fungi about. These ones were very woody and dry. Again, taking with two off-camera speedlites, Brown gel and white balanced back to turn the shadows that blue tint which works well with the brown mushrooms here. Again, focus stacked and post-processed on the background to give the fantasy feel about this shot. 

 

Another Fungi shot made my list, same process as above. These were on the same small log.

This shots my favourite for the year, I print all my shots on my Canon Pro 1000, and this one prints into an amazing image, When you hold the print in your hand you almost try and put you're had through the image. the image appears to be 3D with the two smaller flowers to the top left appearing to be deep in the paper. I've printed these with a full clear coat of the Chroma Optimizer not sure if that's helped or it's just the processing that I used. This is definitely the highlight of my year when this first came off the printer. Looking at it on the screen doesn't show the depth I can see in a print. I have several prints of this laying around now and as I walk past a table or cupboard with the image laying on top I always get stopped by the image and look into the image. 

 

Another bird shot from within the Australian Botanic Gardens, This one taken a bit early in the year a lot of these water lilies are now dry and shrivel up on the banks as the lakes and dams dry up. This shot has a definite Monet feel about it with the processing I've used. Seems this year processing as certainly made an impact on my top ten. 

The Sturts Desert Pea is once of my Favourite Australian Native flowers, these grow in the arid regions of Australia, I've seen them in the wid over in Outback western Australia but these were again taken in the Australian Botanic Gardens, this was taken in full sun. underexposed and lite with a single Speedlite. Post-processing again gives this shot the magical almost electric feel to this shot. 

 

One of the more common birds in the Sydney suburban area is the Noisy Miner. This shot works for me due to the colour of the Kangaroo Paws yellow matches the bird's beak and eye-ring. 

The final shot of the top ten was only taken Christmas eve so maybe one that shouldn't have made the cut as I've still got the memory of the moment and the shot clear in my mind, but I still like the shot, I used this and a series of two other for my Christmas post calling them the Christmas Carollers as they look like there were singing, in truth they were singing but singing out for a feed from the parent birds as they took turns shuttling in with feed for them for an hour, these were shot with a 150-600mm lens at 600mm so I was a fair bit away from the bird so an not to disturb them, the feeding keep going for an hour and I left while it was still going on so I was not effecting the birds natural behaviour, Also as these are in the Botanic Gardens with many visitors a day a lot of the wildlife are well used to people in the area. 

So looking back at these images six of the ten are processed to give a mystical feel to the images. So seems to be a direction I've been heading this year without meaning to. 

It's interesting to see how Instagram saw my top nine completed to my version of my top ten for 2019, one thing to note in Instagram I did some reposts of some of my old shots, So some of the best nine images were not taken in 2019 whereas my top ten were only selected from images taken this year, Only one of my top nine had the post-processing effects. The other thing to note the Instagram top nine were only bird shots. I'm happy with my top ten for this year. I can see where I've improved on previous years, thou not so much of a step-change this year. 

 

If you're interested in seeing some of my previous top ten shots the links are below. 

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2019/1/my-top-ten-images-of-2018

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/my-top-ten-shots-of-2017

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/my-top-ten-shots-of-2016

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/2015-top-ten-shots---year-in-review

https://glennsmithphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/1/2014-top-ten-shots---year-in-review

I recommend anyone that's series about improving their photography to go through this process each year, just working out which ones are better than other images of yours gets you thinking what works for you and what doesn't. It starts out easy but getting down to the final ten is always hard, with the experience this year of some photography judging, I think it made it a little easier to get to the final result, but the last twenty were not easy.  Give it a go and see how you go, then look back in the next year to see how you have improved, you'll be surprised how you've developed over that time.

 

Thanks for dropping by my blog, hopefully, a lot more regularly this year.

Have fun.

Glenn.    

 

 

 


Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan 15/2/2020

March 19, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This weeks blog post is a walk-through of the shots taken in the Australian Botanic Gardens, at Mount Annan Saturday the 15th February 2020. 

The gardens are really starting to green up now after the recent rains and ongoing showers every few days, huge difference between now and a couple of weeks back where everything was brown or dead and the grass crunched under your feet and often turned to dust. 

First up a Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax Sulcirostris) was cruising the lake. These have amazing green eyes.

Next while walking around the lake I came across this Scared Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus).

While shooting the Kingfisher I could hear from the other side of the lake the call of the Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta), Often called the scissor grinder, due to the noise they make. These often go into hover mode while looking for insects to feed on. This one wasn't so close so pretty heavily cropped in on these shots. 

 

 The usual Australiasian Grebes (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) were on the lake cruising around as well. 

An Australian Magpie (Craticus tibicen) posing for me at the plant bank Normally you image these to be black and white, but under the overcast sky, the light was right to start to show off some of the colours this bird has. 

The second shot here has some added post-processing, this starts to take some of the distraction from the background. 
A Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) sticking its head out of a hollow checking out the world. 

Something a little different a Yellow-faced whip snake (Demansia psammophis) This one was in the gardens at the car park on the way to the visitor's centre, so everyone was walking past this one. 

This one captured a Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala) purched on top of a banksia in flower. The banksia is full of nectar so food for the Miner who are honeyeaters. 

With all the rain about there were plenty of Fungi about in the gardens this weekend. The next series of shots are a series of Fungi shots, the finished shot a setup shot showing my set up and in some cases a shot straight out of an iPhone so you can see the actual lighting conditions and what a fully auto shot will gove rather than controlling the exposure and lighting. 


 



 


 

As you can see lighting makes a whole world of difference to a shot. You'll see that most times the lighting is almost 90 degrees to the lens axis, this brings out the textures and shots of the details in the gills, if I had the lights straight on you'd lose the textures. Think of shots you see of the moon, Full moons usually have no crater details where has new moons, or half-moons have all the crater details showing up near the shadow line because the Full moon is direct light whereas where the shadows start has the sunlight at near ninety degrees similar to what I'm doing here. So by having cross light, I'm bringing out the texture. 

Thanks for dropping by my blog this week. Have fun there. 

 

Glenn




 

 


Australian Botanical Gardens, Mount Annan 9/2/2020

February 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This weeks blog post is a walkthrough of the shots I took in the Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan. Was a bit wet out so good news for the gardens, and the whole east coast of Australia for that matter. The fires that have been burning for months are either out now or under control due to the rains, so good news. 

This first shot was pretty much what I was greeted with as I got out of the car and walked to the first lake. A young Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa). 

 

 

 

The next two shots are of a Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)  

Like most bird shots it’s better waiting for the bird to come to you so sitting and waiting patiently usually gives good results as is the case here, the bird came closer if I had moved closer the bird would have moved away or flew, so waiting is usually the way to go. A better shot comes up later. 

 

This next image is of a Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) not happy with this shot, not as sharp as I’d like, getting a few images like this of late, so got to work out why. The image was taken with the 5dmk4, but is very heavily cropped in. You can see al the waterdrops glistening in the background. 

 

 

Here's the other shot of the Black-fronted Dotterel. In this shot, you can see the raindrops hitting the lakes surface and all the water droplets on the back of the bird. It’s just a matter of waiting for the bird to come to you. Happy with this one.

 

 

Another bird in the rain shot, not an exciting shot, but shows the weather conditions and the birds still in the rain. An Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)

 

 

This one's again nothing special but showing the rain.

 

 

The Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra) were also out in the rain. These next two shots show the rain falling and collecting on the back of the Coot.

 

With the rain still falling but easing off I went up to the connections gardens and most of the birdlife was taking cover or sitting in the rain, so tried a few shots of flowers and plants in the rain. Surprisingly there were Waratahs out in full flower. These normal flower October to November and by this time of year well past flowing, so unusual to see them in flower this time of year. The flower heads collect the water drops. 

Likewise with the rain still falling these gum nuts are covered in raindrops. For that matter so was I. 

 

The last shot in the gardens for the day was this spider web with all the rain caught in the web. This shot was hand help using the Sigma 150-600mm at 600mm. I was getting too wet to set up the camera on the tripod and was heading to the car, not the best way to get a decent shot, but after all day out in the rain, I'd had enough for the day.  

 

The last shot for this week was taken as soon as I got home and sitting out on the railing undercover keeping out of the rain was this pair of somewhat soggy Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus).

So that wraps up this week's shots out of the Australian Botanic Gardens plus a bonus shot from home. 

Thanks for dropping by my blog this week. Back next week with more. 

Glenn.


 

 

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