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2012 Genre a Month Photography Challenge: Nature’s final call

Here is the final instalment in my January theme of Wildlife and Nature Photography.

It seems only fitting to end with nature ‘on its way out.’ After a very hot day in Sydney of about 33 degrees, I’m not surprised this agapanthus was looking a little worse for wear. Despite the wilted blossoms, the colour is still so rich. I am delighted with the photo, which I took while stopped in a traffic jam. We were creeping rather than driving and the road around Centennial Park in Sydney has beautiful houses and plenty of dog walkers.

Most of the dogs were too fast for me to get a clear shot. This flower on the other hand was fair game. I’m not sure why I’m so taken with it. Perhaps it’s because in a moment when I expected nothing, I got a photograph which surprised me in its simple wilted beauty.

So here is the last shot of the month. February’s theme is Travel Photography… let’s see what that brings…

Wilted agapanthus

75-300mm lens at 210mm, f/5 for 1/1000 sec, ISO 3200.

If you’ve participated in my Genre a Month Photography Challenge please post a comment with a link to your entry on this page.


2012 Genre a month challenge: Wildlife Photography

I’m half way through my month of Wildlife and Nature Photography and I am getting better at shooting moving targets. My father grows a number of plants in the front garden which attract birds and bees. This one he calls the ‘cigarette bush’ which is not a particularly flattering name. Nevertheless, it remains enticing to bees. I had more than half a dozen bees to choose from, which was lucky, as the buggers are quick!

2012 Genre a Month Photography Challenge: Wildlife

18-55mm lens at 55mm, f/5.6 for 1/80 sec. ISO 125. Cropped slightly post production.

If you’ve participated in my Genre a Month Photography Challenge, please post a comment with a link to your efforts on this page

2012 Genre a Month Challenge: Nature Photography

Sunset over the Redfern towers

Thank you mother nature for turning on a cracker of a sunset this evening. I’ve not seen one this colourful for a long time; perfectly timed too as I’m focusing on wildlife and nature photography this month.

I’ve learnt, quickly, that wildlife photography is very difficult so think I’m doing three-quarters nature. Even then, it’s tough to get an image which captures the true colours. I’m pleased to say that I haven’t altered the colours in this photograph and aside from a slight straighten, I’ve not cropped it either. Nature is so unpredictable. When I got out to photograph a sunset, sometimes she lets me down. Then when I sit on Andrew’s couch watching Kevin McCloud’s Slumming It not intending on doing any photography, I look out the window to find this beautiful saffron organza stretched across the sky.

So, where are your Wildlife and Nature Photographs for the 2012 Genre a Month challenge? Is anyone with me? If so, please post a link in the comments. [Since writing this blog post; I’ve now made a special page. Paste your comments and links here.]  My only condition is that the photograph be taken for the challenge, please don’t link old photographs. I’d like to think that the images posted are ones taken with a view to learning more about the genre of the month.

With several weeks in January left, there’s plenty of time to get snapping before I move on to next’s month’s theme: Travel Photography.

So c’mon, share, otherwise I’ll feel very lonely!

2012 Genre a Month Challenge: Wildlife & Nature Photography Take 3

2012 Genre a Month Photography Challenge: Wildlife & Nature Photography

Doing a little Sunday afternoon research re: wildlife & nature photography; except it’s Wednesday. (It feels like a Sunday!) For anyone planning on joining me on the 2012 Genre a Month Photography Challenge, January’s genre is Wildlife & Nature Photography. Given January starts next Monday, Andrew and I got a headstart yesterday by visiting Kuringai Chase National Park in Sydney’s north. Is this allowed? It’s my challenge, so absolutely! (As an aside on ‘rules’ there really aren’t any as this is a personal challenge. Even so, in the spirit of the challenge, which is about learning more about different styles of photography, selecting an image which you took last year, doesn’t fit the bill. This is about learning in 2012. About thinking about a style for a month and seeing what I learn at the end of it. So in that vein, I would prefer if fellow-participants – all 2 of you at this point – didn’t select old images. As for starting before the month has started… phhh… quite acceptable!)

Now, where was I? Oh yes, background research. Whatever you do, DON’T go reading the chapter in Tom Ang’s The Complete Photographer on wildlife and nature photography. The images from Stefano Unterthiner and Thomas Marent are so spectacular, you’ll be quitting the challenge before even starting. After seeing these images I realise even my BEST shots of yesterday are worse than ‘pedestrian’ which is how I described them to Andrew last night. Now, I’m not sure what qualifies as worse than ‘pedestrian’ yet my confidence that is where my pictures belong, is unshakeable. I mean really, how unremarkable is this shot?

Ant escaping

18-55mm lens at 55mm, f/5.6 at 1/800 sec, ISO 2500, ND2, Close-up +4 filter

The only thing vaguely remarkable about it, is that in the context of my shots, it wasn’t blurry! Can someone make wildlife that doesn’t move?

I’m sure that leaving my neutral density filter on the camera did not help. I forgot that it was underneath the close-up filter.

I had another go with a winged insect (yes, another challenge of Wildlife & Nature photography – I don’t know my insect names!).

Who’s stupid idea was it to put Wildlife & Nature Photography as the first subject in this challenge? January is going to be a long month. Oh well, lots to learn I suppose.

Insect Kuringai Chase National Park

18-55mm lens at 53mm, f/5.6 for 1/80 sec, ISO 250, ND2, +4 close-up filter

Before you think I’ve completely lost my sense of humour, I’ll include 2 more photos from yesterday’s excursion. Both were taken en route to the National Park (for those of you who live in Sydney, you’ll laugh knowing that we went from Redfern to Kuringai Chase National Park via Palm Beach!)

The first, tells me crows can read:

Dogs no crows ok

The second is a strange kind of wildlife. Very rare indeed. Only found in a pie shop in Whale Beach.

Oliver's Pig

If you are participating in the Genre a Month Photography Challenge, please post a comment including a link to your efforts on this page.