Category: Birds

Back from the Land of the Long White Cloud…

Waterfall-at-the-Gates-of-Haast-NZ-South-Island

I have been back a week now, and starting to get some of the stock organised from the New Zealand (South Island) Junket. I had a fantastic time, and managed to improve my skill set immensely as well as come back with some beautiful memories and shots. I’d really love to get back there soon, and possibly move there in the future. It seems to be one of the last paradises left.

I was somewhat disappointed from the wildlife point of view, but I guess that’s because I aimed to see so much that I didn’t allow myself the luxury of the time necessary to just sit and wait for the local fauna to begin to ignore me and get on with normal activities. Somehow I lost sight of that in the euphoria of making the trip happen. Still, I met some great people, managed to generate a bit of free publicity for my business internationally, hopefully it’s generating further interest when each of those I chatted to gets home themselves. Best of all I enjoyed a magnificent country with a population working quite hard to live in an environmentally sustainable manner, with an environmental, economic and social focus. Fantastic to see in action.

Overall, I’d say there was not much I could have done to improve this trip being my first overseas working photography trip. As I said, unintentionally I think I prioritised scenery and flora over wildlife, but then on reflection I’m not sure in this instance I could have done it any other way now. I would need to have that focus purely for the trip I think as so much of the wildlife is birds, which requires quite a bit of waiting at times.

One of the other glaring gaps in my planning for the trip was the lack of a 35mm Lens. I can see that because I wasn’t originally planning to be doing so much landscape when I was organising the trip originally. Certainly I was planning on seeing the landscape, but hadn’t consciously realised I’d be shooting that above everything else. Still lessons learned, and still plenty of stock. And certainly I could do with more landscape stock. Still on landscape, I was very happy with my filter work (see featured shot above). I believe I’ve improved that significantly on the trip, and also found that I can achieve similar results with my AF-S NIKKOR 14-24MM F/2.8G ED (1.7X) without a filter with a bit of patience. Great considering a special adapter is required to use filters on such a lens. And it gives me great results such as this one below.

Barrow Downs 2

 

Although both the images in this post required a tripod, I did do far more handheld over the course of the trip, and also felt that my ability to shoot handheld in difficult circumstances improved significantly as too did my ingenuity for when I didn’t have a tripod but needed some extra stability.


Trips being Planned…

I’ve been putting together some plans for the next few trips to do some shooting.

Mallacoota
Located on the far east “point” of Victoria, it’s about as far on road as you can go in this State. This seems like to be comprised of two components: a short 4 day trip to scout about and the second part a week long trip staying on a hired Houseboat with a friend. There are apparently plenty of jetties to tie up to at different points about the river & inlet.

Grampians
It doesn’t matter where in the Grampians you go, there’s nothing but awesome scenery to shoot, along with beautiful wildflowers and in particular Orchids.

Otways
Located in the south of Victoria, there is some absolutely amazing Forest & Wildlife to be seen. In particular I’m looking forward to walking out to Sabine Waterfall. It’s an hour’s walk from the road, but approximately 130 metres high, so should be a treat! Apparently there’s a Black Carnivorous Snail that’s rare, apparently endangered, but a real treat if you get to shoot one.

Werribee Gorge
Apparently this is a area abounding with great scenery & walks for all skill levels. Walks go from the easy right through to tough!


365 Day Plan…

I’ve decided that as of next week, starting Monday the 16th November, I’m going to initiate a 365 day plan. It will involve taking a stock art photo every day and putting it up on my Alamy site. The purpose obviously is to get that stock up on that site to start complementing my Shards of Arcadia site. If I follow this plan, that will mean I’ll have close to 400 stock photos up on Alamy within a year. Giving me a much better chance of generating income there.


Claws of Death…

Claws-of-Death

Chemoux is proving herself just as photogenic as Tigga. She’s also proving every bit the huntress just the same as her “Aunt”. Chemoux still lacks the patience of the “seasoned” hunter, but she’s no less deadly!


There’s Days You Do and Days You Don’t…

A day of returning to previously scoped sites and scoping and new sites. Some of Sunday, and some of Monday was spent following up previous leads, and generating new ones. Not sure I managed to catch a definitive shot on either day for the sites concerned, but getting back home and reflecting on the shots has generated some new ideas for some future shots in both these locations and potentially future locations, by virtue of any similarities. So a learning lesson. And as long as I walk away with that, I’ve walked away with something, and the shot will come later at a future instant!

I’ll need to go back to Dean for another couple of shots, now that I’ve been provided some interesting information about one of the tumbled down buildings there. I’d hoped to get some interesting wildlife shots from the Gong Gong reservoir, but clearly it’s too dry there for what I was looking for, and perhaps just a bit late in the day for the birds, and other retiring wildlife.


Spoiling Myself…

Well the new Nikon D810 arrived last week, but I’ve not had a chance to try it until yesterday. Not a particularly spectacular demonstration of it’s capabilities, as I was just getting used to the way it shoots.

These little fellows were curious, fast and exasperating to try and shoot handheld given the combined weight of the Tamron 150 – 600mm & the Nikon D810’s weight. Still I started to get used to the slightly relocated controls, the most difficult for me yesterday being the change of location for the ISO. It now sits upon the left control dial as a button on the top rather than the back of the camera. Additionally the exposure lock has and AF-on button quite close on the right, and I found myself seeking and hitting that rather than the exposure lock.

I was somewhat perturbed to find (not sure how I missed it in checking specifications pre-purchase) that the USB socket is ONLY a USB 3, there’s no Mini-USB 2 socket at all. This of course meant I was unable to use either my corded Remote Release, or it seems does it respond to my small wireless one. Fortunately I was relieved to find that my 3rd Party “Uber” Hahnel Giga T Pro II 2.4Ghz Wireless Timer Remote Control for Nikon has as one of the supplied cables the 10 pin cable that will connect to the appropriate socket and allows me to use it. It’s more likely to get the use anyway for future use. It was certainly a boon at $110 a while ago. Pricing the Nikon options proved rather frightening with the contenders $250 or $750. Say no more!

So for the rest of the week I’ll try to familiarise my self more with getting the hang of these relocated functions and hope that soon I won’t be noticing as much.


Our Feathered Friends…

I’ve decided that I need to include a page and gallery for our feather friends, so look out for a new page to be included soon. Just need to collect the feathered friends together and throw them up.