Animals, they’re all around us, from the wild ones that we often can and a great deal that we can’t see to the domestic variety on farms and in the home. The list is pretty endless so its only natural that they find a place in my portfolio. The zoo is a pretty obvious place to find the more exotic ones plus there are plenty of wildlife parks showing native animals in Australia. The distinct advantages of course are that I can get in a lot closer and don’t have to travel too far to find a great variety, my visits to these places often result in hundreds of images to choose from. There still remains the problem of course of achieving the right image, apart from the Meerkats they don’t pose for the camera so everything is about patience and timing and a reasonable zoom is essential, I find my 55-250 lens adequate for the job.
Meerkat, suricata suricata
African Lion, panthera leo senegalis
Then of course there are the crowds and the kids but who said anything about this being easy. I’ve attached three images to show that reasonable results can be obtained, the Meercat and Lion were from the local zoo and the otters from a wildlife park in England. So give it a go, its good practise and certainly a good day out.
Asian short clawed otter, Aonyx cinereus
More images of animals can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shops.
It’s a clear night and there’s a full moon just staring down at you. Ever tried to take a photo of the moon, you have a camera right so of course you have and what do you get, a white dot in a sea of black. It’s pretty tricky right, it’s very bright and the shot looked straight forward until I took it and looked at the result.
What was obvious was that for me to get a reasonable image in the frame I needed a telephoto lens and ideally a tripod. I tried a few shots with my 250mm telephoto resting on a beanbag, left the lens on AF and achieved big patches of white blur, not good. So moved to manual focus, and started bracketing shots and achieved some reasonable (though still small) images, great if I just wanted to add a moon to a landscape.
Then I managed to get hold of a small telescope (1200 mm) and with the camera attached for once managed to fill the frame and yes I had to use a tripod but the telescope spotting scope helped as the image was being viewed using the camera preview and without the spotter I would have found searching the blackness for that elusive bright patch really frustrating. Adding to this the fact that for all long lenses the slightest movement to the tripod this end caused big movement the other didn’t help.
The end result after a lot of shots was passable but it was great fun trying to work it out not forgetting of course that the moon is moving all the time so a few minutes after I put it in the frame it was out again. I’ve attached an image showing the result and an image of the cats that I thought would work using the moon as a silhouette.
I’m certain better images can be achieved so no doubt will try again soon.
More images can be found in this sites galleries as well as high definition versions available through my online shop.
There’s nothing quite like getting in close and personal, getting in close to subjects often improves the image, a lecturer once told our camera club that if you wanted the subject to fill the frame then don’t use a longer lens just step closer, useful advice when on most occasions you just happen to have the one lens with you, though maybe not so practical when there are obstacles in front.
I have a Canon EOS 550D and often used the 18-55 IS lens and changed to the EFS 55-250 IS when the subject was just out of reach, often though that meant carrying around the zoom just in case I needed it, more unnecessary weight unless I’m heading somewhere specific and I know that I’m going to make use of it. Most days though the camera is just with me in a shoulder bag with the one lens, an EFS 18-135 IS which makes it lighter and more convenient for general use, especially when I’m climbing up hillsides on these hot days. This is Ok considering that I mostly take landscapes and use the 18mm end of the lens but every so often I find subjects where climbing closer would definitely help.
I’ve attached two images both of the same subject, a humorous haystack found in South Australia. As can be seen taking one shot at 50mm and the other at 135mm creates two very different images (in this case I couldn’t have walked closer as the farmer had built a barbed wire fence across my path).
The original concept though of getting closer still holds true, when you can do. I’m open to comment.
High resolution versions of my photographs are available through my online shop, please enjoy.