Natural Bridge | Springbrook

I visited Natural Bridge at Springbrook in the Gold Coast Hinterland while on family holiday on the Gold Coast. I woke up early and made it to the trail just before sunrise, it was a chilly and I was glad I wore thermal pants under my hiking pants, a fleece under my jacket, and beanie and mittens.  

The cave was spectacular, cold and loud, and I spotted about a dozen glow worms overhead.  It was serene and surreal, sitting by myself for an hour inside the cave watching the sun rise and only getting a tiny bit of light filtering in to where I was sitting.  The water running through the hole in the cave roof was gushing quite a lot and was sending a fair bit of spray throughout the cave. 

I set up my tripod with the nodal ninja attached and mounted my new camera and 24-70 lens, I checked my exposures for outside, inside and the cave roof before working out the rotations.  I decided on doing twelve shots angled at 10 degrees up and rotating every 15 degrees to capture a full 180 degrees, taking 3 different exposures at each point.  I then repeated the process with the camera facing 10 degrees downwards resulting in 72 images to be stitched.

I have found that Photoshop cannot handle the larger multi-row / multi-exposure images so I choose to stitch these panoramas using Kolor Autopano Pro and then get to work on the image editing using both Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC.

Nikon D610 | Tamron 24-70 F2.8 @ 24mm | Various exposures | F8 | ISO 200 | 72 images using Nodal Ninja NN5 | Edited in Kolor Autopano Pro, Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC

Centenary Lakes | Club Outing

It must be a rare weekend for photography, this morning I headed out to Centenary Lakes in Caboolture with a few members of the Caboolture Photography Club for an unofficial early morning outing.

There was a lot more chit chat than snap snap but it is always good to catch up.  In amongst the chatter I did manage to capture some images of the local birds; a Corella, Dusky Moorhen and some feral duck. 

Nikon D7100 | Sigma 70-200 F2.8 + 1.4x TC | various exposures at F8

First Video: The Bird Bath

I have taken an interest in digital video recently and this is my first attempt at a short film. Shot with Nikon D7100, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, Rode Videomic Go, Manfrotto MVH500AH video head and processed in Adobe Premiere Elements.

These are a few of the bird species that frequent the bird bath; Rainbow Lorikeets, Noisy Minors, Wattle Birds, and Blue Faced Honey Eaters. It's pretty boring but was worth it for putting the theory to practice.

Gold Coast Getaway

We spent a few days on the Gold Coast for a brief family holiday, it seems to be a yearly occurrence which we look forward to greatly.  I had some time alone with the camera, it has been quite some time since I have had a chance to get out and shoot.

Fig Bird

Every now and then I will go for a bird watching walk around the neighbourhood, the path makes its way along Lagoon Creek.  I came across some nesting Magpie Larks, Eastern Yellow Robins and a few Red Browed Finches but all were to deep in the scrub to photograph clearly; the only birds I managed to photograph in the open were a pair of Fig Birds.

Nikon D7100 | Sigma 70-200 F2.8 + 1.4xTC | 420mm | 1/160s | F9 | ISO400

Tamborine Botanical Gardens

It's been a while since I have posted anything or even taken a picture. Over the past two weeks I have spent some time in Newcastle photographing some local landmarks and then in Sydney photographing cherry blossoms at the Auburn Botanic Gardens but I haven't had a chance to sit down and edit.

Today's adventure was a bit spontaneous, on a whim we headed to Tamborine Botanical Gardens to hopefully find some blossoms but the season up here seems over. I didn't come away empty handed though, the mickey birds put on a bit of a show for us.

Rare Yellow Bittern

I dropped into Northlakes on the way home this evening to see if I could spot the rare Yellow Bittern that has bird watchers in a frenzy. Sure enough after about 20 minutes it landed at the waters edge nearby and I managed to capture a few shots before it got too dark.

The last confirmed recorded sighting of this species was back in 1967, this bird is native to South Asia, Indonesia and New Guinea.

Nikon D90 | Sigma 70-200 F2.8 + 1.4xTC @ 420mm | 1/100sec | F8 | ISO2000

Kondallila Falls

I headed to Kondalilla Falls this morning to create some vertical panoramas for a commission.  Packed the Nodal Ninja, 2x camera bodies, 10-20 zoom, 30mm prime, flash, and filters. 

It was a lovely morning up the falls, here are a few shots of the rock pool at Kondalilla Falls. I'm still working on the vertical panoramas but wanted to share these two images

Rainbow Lorikeet

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I just love photographing these Rainbow Lorikeets. I love their colours and boisterous behaviour; each one has it's own personality.

Once again pushing the boundaries of my cameras ISO handling. I have found with this lens combination that I need to be between F8 and F11 to achieve maximum detail but it becomes quite hard when I also need to use a faster shutter speed.

As a rule of thumb when hand holding your camera, your shutter speed should be equal to or greater than your focal length, ie. at 400mm you should be around 1/400sec or greater.

Nikon D90 | Sigma 70-200 F2.8 + 1.4xTC | 420mm | 1/320sec | F8 | ISO2000