As I mentioned last post, it is as dry as a chip here at the moment, so for wildlife, water is pretty scarce! I have friends who are part of a wildlife rescue network here in the Whitsundays. As they have an interest in birds, often when I visit they have birds that they are attempting to nurse back to health before release back to the wild. Mostly they are successful but unfortunately there a times when they are not.
Around their home they have some birdbaths that the local avian population take full advantage of to cool down and have a drink during the early morning and late afternoon. After seeing a great image years ago of a Kestrel coming to roost in a tree taken with the aid of fill flash, I wanted to have a crack at a similar image with off camera flash. Not as easy as it looks , you need to have lightning fast reflexes to catch them as they land or take flight! Still, I managed to to capture a few nice images of two Australian Icon birds as well as a few shots with tail feathers exiting the frame!
The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is the raucous clown of the bush and was a pleasant surprise. He didn’t appreciate the flash going off and you could see him visibly start every time I tripped the shutter!
Both are wild birds and were not harmed in the making of this blog post!
Canon 5D II, 580 EX II off camera flash, Manual mode, triggered by Yongnuo RF-603 remote triggers
Over here in Queensland it is as dry as a chip! No decent rain for a few months and it looks like being a hot,dry summer. I am hoping for some wet season rain just to green things up and give the streams & waterfalls a much needed flush out! Sitting on the cusp between La Niná and El Ninó conditions means the chance of good flooding rains is not great.
This is an image I have had on file for quite a long time. I have always passed it mover for more “conventional’ looking stream images. although I have always liked the lighting in the image. Going through my archive the other day for some new calendar images, I looked at this and thought “Why not!”
After very little post processing,here is the result.
At the moment this spot has no water flowing down it, bring on the rain I say!
Work commitments have kept me away from anything photographic over the last couple of weeks which is getting frustrating as I have recently purchased a new Canon Tilt-shift lens AND a Canon 5DMk11 which have both been sitting idle! I am raring to get out and really put them to work!
In the meantime, this shot is from one of my early forays with the Tilt- Shift Lens down to Conway Beach. I was just testing the lens out to see how it worked, when I noticed this little scene.
As the tide recedes, Soldier Crabs start cleaning out their burrows by rolling sand into balls and moving them away from their holes. Lower down the beach there are millions upon millions of these burrows and sandballs! This little guy was obviously not one to move with the crowd. This seemed like a good test for the Tilt- Shift lens so I got the camera about 12-15 inches from the burrow, shifted the lens down for perspective and then applied about 6 degrees of tilt to bring the foreground and background into the same plane of focus.
Unfortunately he wouldn’t show his face but the juxtaposition of the the burrow & sandballs with the smooth sand looks kind of cool! At full size, the image is sharp from foreground to horizon. These are a very versatile lens!
For all of you out there who have been to the Kimberley and love it,this is a link to a news article on ABC Lateline that is worth looking at!
Went for a wander through the rainforest yesterday, also got a reminder about why it is called rainforest….. about as far away from the car as it was possible to be!
Love going on that particular walk because it is never the same, there is always something new to see. It also challenges me photographically. There are some magnificent Strangler Figs that I want to photograph, I walk around them,marvelling at their forms and complex shapes. But I walk on without taking a picture because any photo I take won’t capture their essence. One day, the pieces will fall into place and I will get an image that distills them within a rectangular frame.
One thing that always strikes me about rainforest is that it is a battleground and one of the biggest prizes is sunlight. Every plant needs sunlight for survival and growth.This image is my interpretation of the importance on sunlight to the rainforest, hope you like it!
Most afternoons on Orpheus Is.huge rainsqualls would pass between the island and the mainland and often there were some quite cool cloud formations with them.
I shot this image more because of the rain in the distance and when I first looked at it on screen it didn’t really excite me that much. While I was playing around with it, I began to see potential and I finally arrived at what you see here.
As I was looking at this image,phrases began to run through my head like ‘climate change’, ‘sea-level rise’ and ‘extreme weather’!
If Glaciers and Ice-caps continue to melt at the current rate, this could be a depressingly familiar sight to many island nations and coastal communities world-wide, as the sea slowly & insidiously creeps over their land.Unfortunately, now, the option of walking inland to the next higher caves doesn’t exist!
The evidence is there and the scientific community, who study these things continuously are pretty much in agreement that human activity is accelerating the changes faster than would normally happen.
Yet,,Governments and big Multi-Nationals continue to argue,dither and generally do sweet F.A.!!
A couple of worrying signs are that Conservative governments which have just recently been put into power in Victoria & Qld are dismantling and winding back climate change initiatives that were put in place by previous governments because “they cost too much”!
In the meantime it’s full steam ahead for the coal industry, they can’t dig it up and sell it overseas fast enough! Burning huge amounts of coal & other fossil fuels is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, isn’t it??
There is something definately wrong with this picture!
As mentioned in my last post, I didn’t have too many opportunites to pull out the camera gear while I was on Orpheus Is.
But there was a corner of the bay that I visited whenever I could. The mangrove plants there had an amazing root structure that I have seen nowhere else in my travels.
Mangroves are an amazing plant that rely on salt water for their very existence. Once established, they send roots down to ground level unlike most plants and these root systems can spread for many metres from the parent tree. It was the root systems on theses fledgling mangrove trees that attracted my attention
These root systems will support the plant through anything nature can throw at it as well as shelter all sorts of marine creatures during their juvenile years. They also shelter the coast line from severe wave action during cyclones.
Yet most people consider these very important plants as worthless mosquito-ridden swamps that are best removed for reclaiming land for canal estates etc!
No mangroves = no seafood + severe coastal erosion.
Pretty simple equation really isn’t it!