Archive for July, 2011

A selection of recent images.

July 26th, 2011

My capacity to capture better images of wildlife has just improved one hundred-fold. With the recent additions of my super telephoto lens and the 1D MkIIn body, this combo has opened up opportunities never before realized. The fact that I can stay further back from birds and other animals means I can instill trust, confidence and natural behaviors in them so that I can press the shutter time and time again and capture those precious moments in time that all wildlife photographers live and breathe for. It’s a humbling experience to be close, but not too close, to a falcon as it perches on a post, in a tree or tries hard to fight gale winds as it flies from perch to perch. These are privileges many people don’t know, nor perhaps care about. Yet to a number of folks with an unmatched passion for the wildlife of our Earth, these moments bring solitude, peace and satisfaction. Enjoy these few humble images. Where I can remember, I will add the settings in the captions.

Black Swan cygnet. 1DmkIIn, 500/4L + 1.4x, hand held

Australian Kestrel from car. 1DMkIIn, 500/4L + 1.4x, hand held

Brown Falcon in gale force wind. 1DMkIIn, 500/4L + 1.4x, hand held

Hunting Australian Kestrel. 1DMkIIn, 500/4L + 2x, hand held

Chestnut Teals at last light. 1DMkIIn, 500/4 + 2x, tripod

Nature Photography

New camera and published in the SMH

July 7th, 2011

Last Monday, on the 4th of July, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a small piece about a project run by Birds Australia that is focused on identifying where the approximately 23 pairs of Powerful Owls nest. I was pleased to provide the paper FOC an image from my files. See the article here:

Now to the new camera. Well, it’s not quite new, but in fact, once I opened the box in which it arrived I was blown away. Literally. Just over a week ago I was searching through E-bay Australia’s used DSLR listings for Canon cameras, when this one caught my eye. It was a Canon 1D MkIIn, a professional body from 2005 that was raising the bar very high for its build quality as well as functional ability and mighty prowess.
The guy selling it claimed the camera had definitely less than 3,000 shutter actuations, which for a body that’s tested to 200,000 cycles of the shutter, is just plain nothing. Zero, zilch, nada. So it was barely warmed up. I took a glance and sighed not knowing whether I would be in a position to purchase it, but after some discussions with my wonderful wife, she suggested I go buy it if it is perfect for my needs. Does a duck like water? I pressed the Buy Now option pretty fast, for a camera of its calibre and low use at a price of $1,400 was a bargain not to be passed up. In fact, I knocked a 7D on its head for the reason that the 1D series was overall a slightly more desirable option for me than a 7D, which, while it is an awesome camera, is still not quite in the 1D league.
So I received this beast on Monday, July 4. It is absolutely perfect. Not a scratch, not even the silver pain. The camera only took 1,600 frames, which is peanuts. Needless to say I am over the moon. I can’t wait to try it out this coming weekend. All I can say is that having been a Canon user for the past ten years, the controls are a breeze to manage, while the menu system is slightly more complex to handle, is not at all difficult and best of all the camera is like a brick. It’s big, heavy, sturdy and made to put up with real conditions. The 8.5 frames per second will be handy sometimes and the high ISO performance, as well as autofocus capability leaves most other Canon bodies way behind in the game, even though it’s old. So what if it’s a Digic II and not Digic IV processor? People could create wonderful images with all manners of older DSLRs as well as film cameras, so I firmly believe one does not always have to have the latest and greatest in technology. A nice lens is far more important than a camera. This camera is an absolute master piece. I will never go back to any other line in the range. I believe from the first impression of this beast that I shall be happy with the 1D series for the rest of my life.

Nature Photography