Hopefully back to my normal blog posts again this year, starting off with a walk thought of some of the shots from last Saturday in the Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan, Southwest of Sydney.
The day wasn’t as smoky as it has been the last few days, the temperature was also cooler than the high thirties it’s been the few days before. So I thought I’d head out and see what I could see. With Canon Getting ready to announce their new flagship Camera body the Canon 1Dx MK III (since announced) I thought I’d swap camera bodies to see how I go with a full-frame body of the Canon 5dmk4 and the Sigma 150-600mm Sports lens, compared to what I normally shot for birding shots. The Canon 7dmkII. The frame rate is a lot slower so that meant I had to get the timing better than I’d normally have to do with the 7dmkII and its 10 frames a second burst rate. I was in the gardens from 8:20 am till just after 5:30 pm so a full day of shooting. All good fun.
On with some of the shots from the day.
The first shot here one of the Flowering Gum trees in the gardens I was only carrying my birding set up at this time so taken with a 150-600mm lens, I'd normally shoot a shot like this with my 100mm Macro or the 24-105mm, the 600mm certainly gives the creamy background to this shot due to the ratio of subject to camera and background to subject.
At the same place, I was shooting the flower above I notices this old stump, this was all shot with natural light, but I can see the potential for this with lighting so I'll revisit this one in the future with lights and maybe the odd gel, and see what I can do with this one. The texture in this little one with a bit of side lighting should come out interesting, Stay tunes in the coming weeks and we'll see if it works or not.
This ones a Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) I couldn't get in front of it and it didn't want to turn around so not a great shot on this one, the background is way to busy and not a clean shot of the front. I'll often take a few steps one way or another to try and clean up the background, but this one didn't stay long enough.
The next two shots are of a pair of Red-rumped Parrots as they came down to drink at the lake. The first shot I caught the water still running out of the beak, the second the male on the log was coming down to drink and was making an interesting reflection, could have been better if the water was smoother.
The last few weeks a pair of Black swans (Cygnus atratus) have made there home in the lake so I've a few shots of these over the last few weeks, still trying to get a better reflection shot of these. So I'll have to keep trying for this shot.
Next up still at the lake a small family of Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) are always around the lake this was a portrait of one of them that was happy to pose for me, again no the best of backgrounds so need to keep trying for this shot as well.
While I was shooting the swallows, a Wallaroo and Joey came along around the edge of the lake so I had a few shots of these, the Joey then decided it had had enough and to my surprise jumped into the pouch, it looked way too big to fit in there. This shot was taken as it had just jumped in and stuck its head out so one ear was caught on the pouch. After about three minutes of staring at me and not enough time for me to get the camera on the tripod they jumped off, so this was a handheld shot. The next shot shows they didn't go far.
Next up one of the more common birds in the Area a Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala) these are not afraid of people so you can get quite close to these, or they close to you. So plenty of detail in this shot.
While walking along the woodland walk in the gardens, one of the areas of natural bushland there are plenty of examples of Hollows in older trees being put to good use. These two shots show a pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita). The first one in the hollow the second on standing guard in a nearby tree watching over. The second shot has a decent clean background, though a few patches that are too bright. so almost there.
A shot of one the current flower beds, not overly happy with this shot, the ideas OK but not well pulled off in this shot so one to revisit and try again. MAy need a bit of focus stacking to get a decent depth of field on this shot maybe a bit lower as well to try and get some texture into the shot showing the undulations of the flower heads. So another shot that I need to work on.
A walk around the connections gardens soon had me with this little Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) These are always great posers, and sit in trees or the sides of trees studying the ground before diving down for a quick meal. So these you can pretty much pick your spot with good backgrounds then wait (And wait) for the bird to land on the right balance. But the results are like this so worth the weight, I waited for about 3/4 of an hour just to get this shot.
A little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleuos) in low flight over the lake, these usually do a few laps getting higher or lower depending on taking off or landing.
Next up and another hour spent sitting on the mudflats to get these shots of the Straw-necked Ibus (Threskiornis spinicollis) A family was taking up residence in the lake and its surrounds.
A pair of Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) have made their home in the small dam up against Narellan rd and Saturday, with little wind about in that corner of the gardens on Saturday started to get some reflections happening there. Thou not still enough for mirror reflections.
I did manage to catch this one in flight as they changed sides of the lake.
So that wraps up this week's shots out of the Australian Botanic Gardens. I was happy with the results of the day so all good, happy with the image quality of the 5Dmk4 with the sigma 150-600, caught a few birds in flight so the focusing and frame rate wasn't too much of an issue compared with the 7D. The close-ups were certainly better quality with the higher megapixel count on the 5d.
With the new year starting now the first of my workshops in the gardens is now open for books via the garden's website, link here
This one is aimed at beginners so someone that's just got a new camera or wants to learn about the effects of aperture, and depth of field, shutter speed how to freeze or blur motion etc then this would be a good start, March there will be an intermediate workshop, this year I'll also be running a mushroom photography workshop in Autumn and of cause, the usual bird photography workshops will be running, so keep an eye out for upcoming workshops I've also added a workshop tab on this site now so you can follow along there for upcoming event as well.
Thanks for dropping by my blog hope to have it back to a regular blog post again this year.