Munching Macropod

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascadehush/518725342/A late lunch at Bunya Mountains NP, for both me and this Rednecked Wallaby.

The background could be better, and I could photoshop it a bit but I really couldn’t be bothered atm.

Click through to Flickr for some more shots from the trip.

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Portrait of a Roo

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascadehush/495965527/It was an overcast day in Fernvale, but it refused to rain. Good for me, bad for the drought.

Probably due to the milder weather, the wild kangaroos in the boardering bushland around Logans Inlet were rather active.

Shooting in the K10Ds exclusive TAv mode, I gave the camera full reign on the ISO. Did I mention it was overcast? Almost all the photos were taken at the maximum 1600 ISO.

Here’s the pick of the bunch. Proof that it’s practical, with practice, to shoot with a 750mm equivalent focal length handheld with image stabalisation on and a shutter speed of 1/750. The image is sharp, even though the noise relegates this image to snapshot status.

The other lesson from the day is to check exposure on the LCD. I’ve been trying to get away from the style of photography where one is forever looking back at photos in playback mode. But this day I went too far the other way, not checking things at all and as a result the images were slightly underexposed. The noise in this image would have been less bothersome if the exposure had been better.

Ultimatly it was simply not an ideal day for photography. Now I know the roos are there, I can try again another day.

Shooting Handheld with a 170-500mm Lens

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascadehush/482468889/The point of my trip to Toorbul was to see if it was viable to shoot handheld with such a long (and heavy lens). I got enough material to say that it is, but with birds as large as Pelicans, a 400mm lens would be plenty long enough and much more managable.

This shot was taken well after sunset, just as the birds were getting active and stirred up with interest in returning fishermen. They must get a snack of fish heads and guts when a catch get’s cleaned near the boat-ramp.

It could have been a great photo. I hadn’t really accounted for the fact that it was getting rather dark, so I hadn’t adjusted the camera enough. The problem was an under-exposed shot made worse by a high ISO. I think that the K10D isn’t so bad at 800 ISO so long as the exposure is good, but it’s terrible if you under-expose.

Perhaps shooting action shots of birds is not a suitible past-time for Winter, when the twighlight is so fleeting…

The main lesson for the day, though, is not in this shot, but the many potential shots that were lost when I shot some landscape shots but then forgot to open up the aparture. Landscape requires a narrow aparture, wildlife a wide aparture, and if one is going to try to switch between the two, one must be careful not to forget to make the correct adjustments.

Dual-Exposure Sunset

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascadehush/476964667/ I was struggling to figure out how to select the AE point, and constantly reviewing my bracketed exposures, when my camera decided that it would flag a memory card error. I rushed to put another card in, and missed the crucial point where the sun was siting on the horizon. Such is life. I had been waiting over an hour in cold conditions with no warm clothes, to capture that moment.

Well, this is the moment I got. This is a somewhat quick-and-dirty dual exposure in Photoshop Elements 3. The give-away is the tops of the trees, which as silhouetted above the horizon, but not below. I don’t mind the effect though, it is, perhaps, a little more honest than some kind of tricked-out HDR.

There was about 4 stops between the sky and the ground in the original shots.

Three’s Company

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascadehush/469750448/

I wasn’t sure if the overcast conditions would work in my favour or not.

It was mid afternoon and I was due to go and photograph a constructions site, but the appointment was cancelled. So I headed to a local reservoir on the off-chance, not sure if it would rain or if the light would be unusable.

With the sun behind these three, contre-jour as they say, the partially overcast sky allowed me to properly expose the shadow side facing the camera.

The almost square crop was forced on me by some other detail which needed to be eliminated from the shot. I think it works well though.

I took about a dozen shots of these 3 pelicans, this was the first of the lot and clearly the best.

Mother and Child

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascadehush/468300450/
There is something emotive about this I can’t really explain. It doesn’t really obey any normal rules of composition, but I find the expressions on their faces makes me feel contemplative and restful.

Notice how the joey’s fur is wet. Kangaroos don’t sweat, so they lick their fur like a cat to cool themselves down. Even though this shot was taken at 9am, it was quite warm and the Kangaroos were already resting; they are mostly active at dawn and dusk.

Click through to view the larger image size on Flickr. If you find the bottom of the frame a bit dark you may need to up the brightness a bit on your monitor.

I went to Caloundra and all I got was this lousy sunset…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascadehush/464641086/

Actually what I got was an education. I’ve only had the K10D for a couple of days, and I decided this time I’d just go out with the Sigma 18-200mm and a Hoya Polarizer.

I took a lot of pictures of seagulls, and some snaps of the local area. None of them turned out to be anything special. But it’s all good practice.

Lightroom does an excellent job of removing and CA that the Sigma produces, not that the CA is that bad. I’m really liking Lightroom. For a version 1.0 product it’s got most of the basis covered. What it desparately needs is applescript support and an iPhoto importer.

I took this shot walking back to the car. With the right clouds it could probably be a special shot. As it stands it’s really rather ordinary.

I didn’t enjoy the trip up there at all, fighting through Brisbane traffic to get to the Bruce Highway, which itself is a boring stretch of almost perfectly straight road through pine plantations.

So on the way back I cut accross to Kilcoy on the D’Aguila and took the back-road through to Fernvale, then Pine Mountain Rd back to the Warrigo… a much better trip. Maybe takes an hour longer, but I’ll take sweeping back-roads at 110 over traffic filled suburban nightmare any day.