This is a bit boring, but then habits can be that way……..I’m certainly not going to portray any of my less desirable ones!
My early morning habit – breakfast – single Wheetbix and All-bran in the same bowl, tea – English Breakfast in the same spotty mug, iPad to check emails, read news and see what is new on Zite, specs so I can read it all.
Aquilegia, Granny’s Bonnet, or Columbine – makes no difference to me, they remain one of my favourite plants and this garden is full of them. I love their elegant shapes and gorgeous colours.
These were all taken with the 5D and a 100mm macro lens. Click on any image to make a slideshow.
This week we are asked to feature horizons – the space where sky meets the earth. For me my favourites are sky over water, but all can be beautiful. These are from my archives, but I don’t think any have been posted before. They were taken in the surrounding countryside and in Tasmania last year.
A late afternoon walk in a nearby Botanic Gardens resulted in these heavily saturated images – deep rich greens and browns heightened by recent rains and overcast skies. It was truly beautiful. The heavens opened again as we were leaving.
There has been a lot of rain here, everything saturated this morning, but lots of spider trails lit with tiny water drops, like fairy lights!
This week’s challenge could be interpreted in several ways – I’m going the simple and literal way, but something a little different. As I began to prepare a meal, I was struck by the shapes and colours of some of my ingredients, and saw a simple, quick and easy opportunity for this week, without much thought.
I have the most marvellous app on my phone and iPad – Michael Morecombe and David Stewart Guide to Australian Birds – it is not free, but is a great source of information, plus each entry includes recordings of the bird songs for each species. It is a very useful tool to use when photographing birds – see the bird, play their song, and the bird in question comes in close to investigate who is in their territory. Obviously one takes care how one uses it, so as not to cause any distress, but I have used it a couple of times recently. There is a pair of Superb Fairy Wrens that visit my back garden daily, the male is only just beginning to get his grown up plumage, so his feathers look a little like a tatty patchwork of colour, while his missus is just a pale brownish colour. These are shots taken over the last few days using a 70-200mm lens.
This week we were challenged to show some individuality in the point from which we take a shot, and where we might focus – shooting up, down, having the subject partially obscured, an unusual aspect, indirectly or whatever takes your fancy. I often get down on the ground for macro shots, particularly when taking fungi, and love the back of flowers as shown in my Red! post a few days ago. Here are a selection of different points of view……some taken today, a few from the archives.
I have posted photos of Bird before, a male Currawong that over the last couple of years, has become fairly tame, and will perch on various spots around the house and wait for a feed. Often he will sit outside a window to make his presence felt. For the last few days he has brought Mrs Bird with him, but she is much less blatant in her approach, and generally more timid. Recently he has begun to call in addition to making himself visible, and is becoming more brave about coming close. I love having him around, and there seems to be some sort of competition developing between Bird and a couple of Ravens, who have obviously realised I’m a sucker and they are likely to get food too if they get close enough. This is Bird today, a bit damp but as handsome as usual.
One of the pair that live nearby, and visit daily…..
Bought a bunch of gorgeous Gerberas to celebrate the first day of Spring!
Macros – 5D Mk III, 100mm macro lens.
Despite the fact I live in the country, many miles from the sea, it is somewhere I love and of which I have many memories. One of my very earliest is as a child, on holiday in Ireland, walking on a beach with an ice cream cone, at the age of about 3-4 years old. In the 50′s the family lived at Virginia Beach in the US, a couple of minutes from an endless stretch of golden sand and blue Atlantic ocean. Later we lived near the rocky Cornish coast where wild weather was common. These days a visit to the sea side is fairly rare, usually on holidays only, and even then my preference would be for winter time, when the beaches would be deserted and one would be well wrapped against the cold, or to catch a sunrise or sunset at the golden hour.
This poem is one I learned at school many many years ago, but one I still remember by heart – to me these excerpts epitomize my feelings about the sea and shoreline.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
John Mansfield 1902
These images are from the archives, taken in the last year or so in Tasmania and the South Coast of Victoria.
This week’s challenge was to take photos to demonstrate the different depths of field one obtains using different apertures – ie shallow depth of field with a wide aperture or the reverse, greater depth of field with a smaller aperture. I actually showed this a few posts back - here – as it had been something covered at our local photo club. None the less, today I spent some time using my macro lens to shoot the same subject ( the fruiting bodies on a pot of moss ) with a range of apertures from f/32 to f/2.8, giving very different results in terms of background sharpness and detail. Personally for this type of photo I prefer a soft blurred background – the very sharp one has too much confusing detail!
Most folk refer to these big birds as crows, but it is in fact a Raven – Corvus coronoides. It is a passerine member of the Crow family - large, impressive and vicious looking with it’s bright eye and gleaming plumage. This one has begun to appear when I feed the smaller native birds, and bullies them out of the way. Ravens eat anything from plants and seed to other animals or carrion and it looks like this one has been doing just that from the dried blood around it’s beak. Much more cautious than the other garden birds who are used to me being around, I happened to be photographing my friendly Currawong when this one landed in the tree nearby to steal what it could.
These following shots were all taken at the Desert Springs Wildlife Park in Alice Springs where our group had several sessions learning about capturing birds in flight, macro and low light photography plus many other techniques. There was a walk through aviary, a free flight display with several bird species and a section with reptiles and small desert creatures. Our tutors were great – well informed, experienced professional photographers, friendly and patient. I would thoroughly recommend any of their workshops and hope to do another one in the future. For information about Trekabout Photography Workshops follow the link. As usual, click on any photo for a larger image and screenshow.
I had a couple of helicopter rides while in the Northern Territory, the longest one over King’s Canyon before landing and walking along the canyon bottom. Those fitter than I climbed to the top and walked along the edge, but I was quite happy to have one of the tutors to myself for several hours of tuition – after all I had already seen it from above! The rock formations, dry river bed and ghost gums growing out of nothing were quite spectacular.
My apologies, these photos have not loaded in a logical order!
At one of the recent meetings of our new Camera Club in my town, we spent an evening discussing the basics of photography – aperture, shutter speed, ISO and the like for the benefit of some beginning photographers. We were asked to take two images to illustrate focal depth resulting from different f.stops. These were mine – some tiny fungi that had grown on firewood in the woodshed. Taken using a 100mm macro lens, and the clever in-camera natural looking HDR mode of the 5D MkIII giving perfect exposure for the whole image in natural light.
A very sharp image from front to back – f/20
An image with very shallow depth of field – f/2.8
For those who might need a little visual reminder, this diagram shows the relationships discussed above.
Diagram found on Google, copyright of http://www.momentologyphotography.com/
I occasionally feed seed eating native birds during winter, and today took advantage of another dry day and a borrowed 300mm Sigma lens to capture some of these beautiful Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans) in my back yard. They are very common in this area, and although gorgeous to look at, they are also very destructive, eating new shoots on roses, buds on flowering fruit trees, and of course fruit during summer. This was a small group of about seven birds who took turns to feed while others waited in the nearby tree.
I can hardly believe it is nearly a month since I posted here – I guess that reflects the dreadful winter of endless days of cold and rain this area has been experiencing. Today however we had sunshine, so I ventured out to try and meet this week’s challenge. It was to find a likely scene or view, and decide whether landscape or portrait orientation made the best shot. Look here for the article from photographer Jeff Sinon who discusses how he makes his choice.
Here are a few images taken at the local park this morning.
Hard to choose? I think it depends on the effect you are seeking……..or the subject…….or……….???