21 January 2019

Transcend TS-RDF8K USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader

Transcend TS-RDF8K USB3.0 Multi Card Reader Cape Town
I rarely recommend or review any other products other than Canon EOS camera bodies / EF lenses / Canon accessories, but after acquiring this inexpensive Transcend USB 3 card reader (from Takealot) for my Home Office (compared to the more expensive Lexar Professional reader I use in the Studio) I'm more than impressed with it's price vs performance.

After attaching it to my Windows 8.1 workstation I downloaded +- 750 images from a UDMA7 Lexar CF card (EOS 7D Mark II) and +- 250 images from a Sandisk SD card (Canon EOS 70D) at the same speeds as the Lexar Pro card reader (to my Lightroom 6 catalog).

Update: I've upgrade to a Windows 10 Professional (Intel-based) workstation and the Transcent USB 3.0 readers works without any issues.

New: Thoughts on Memory Cards / Card Readers. Go>>

I have downloaded a further 1000 images from a Lexar CF card (EOS 7D Mark II) a few days after purchase via the Transcend card reader (with no problems whatsoever).

Price +- R250 with USB 3 Cable. Cable could be a tad short, but it happily sleeps plugged-in on top of my workstation. Its more / less the size of a Lions match box. Not quite as sturdy as the Lexar, but just as fast (and smaller). And a heck of a lot more convenient than attaching the USB 2 or 3 cable from camera to computer.

Transcend TS-RDF8K USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader Features:
  • Super-Speed USB 3.0 interface also compatible with USB 2.0
  • Supports next-generation memory cards including SDHC UHS-I, SDXC UHS-I, micro SDHC UHS-I, micro SDXC UHS-I, UDMA7 CF and MSXC cards
  • Convenient LED Indicator shows data transfer activity
  • Supports SD & CF built-in security functions
  • Offers a free download of RecoveRx photo recovery software

Takealot>>


20 January 2019

Challenges of Small Birds in Flight Photography

Challenges of Small Bird in Flight Photography - Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Challenge of Small Bird in Flight Photography  Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Telephoto Lens

Objective: Fast and small bird in flight shooting with Canon EOS 7D Mark II in early morning / changing light and windy conditions (Woodbridge Island / Cape Town).


Small Birds in Flight Photography Challenges
Photographing a small, fast moving bird is in most cases quite a challenge, but indeed possible with patience and the correct camera body and lens settings. Small birds are erratic movers / flyers and when they get ready to fly / or already in flight it could result in some hit and miss captures.


For capturing this particular bird I did a fair amount of viewfinder / autofocus tracking and shot in multi-shot mode at 10 frames per second. The low light into the reeds increased my Auto-ISO to ISO 1600 which was still manageable in my Lightroom post-processing.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Auto-ISO
With the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's quite remarkable Auto-ISO I'm shooting as such most of the time - I must add that we have reasonable to good light even in winter and the Auto-ISO almost never exceeds ISO 1600 (even at shutter speeds op to 1/5000s). More on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's advanced Auto-ISO: Canon DLC: Article>>


AI Servo: Large / Wide Zone AF Selection

I was once again satisfied with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's ability to track the small bird using AI Servo mode with Large / Wide Zone AF point selection. The fast AF of the Canon EOS 400mm f/5.6L USM lens assisted quite a bit for capturing two short burst of 7 images (in total) of which three were good enough for meeting my small Bird in Flight objective for creating this post. Herewith a few images of a starling I captured - as another example of a relatively small bird in flight: Starling in Flight>> Another Large / Wide Zone AF selection Birds in Flight demonstration: Red-knobbed Coot>> In further testing of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's AF options I've added a few images captured with the Zone AF Manual Selection option.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Large Zone AF
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Large / Wide Zone AF 

Levaillant's Cisticola Birds in Flight Images

All images were captured in Manual Mode: Multi-shot / continuous mode at 10 fps AI Servo. Post-processing done with Adobe Lightroom 6. RAW to JPG conversion with some sharpening and noise reduction applied.



Location
Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Canon Gear / Memory Card

  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera body 
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens
  • Lexar Professional CompactFlash UDMA 7 32 GB
  • Exposure / Other Settings: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens


Manual Mode

  • Aperture: f/ 6.3 
  • Auto-ISO 1600 
  • Focal Length: 400mm 
  • Shutter speed: 1/5000s 
  • AI Servo AF Case 1 / Wide-Zone
  • Lens Autofocus on
  • Handheld
(Click to Enlarge)
Challenges of Small Bird in Flight Photography - Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Small Bird in Flight  : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Challenges of Small Bird in Flight Photography - Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Small Bird in Flight  : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Challenges of Small Bird in Flight Photography - Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Small Bird in Flight  : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Birds in Flight Photo Gallery

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

18 January 2019

"Early morning aerobics" Swift tern after a dive

"Early morning aerobics" Swift tern after a dive
Swift Tern : Woodbridge Island Copyright Vernon Chalmers)
Why do (swift) terns fly upside-down?
This a question that was asked on the images I posted of the 'terning'' terns in the Birdlife South Africa Facebook Group

After a dive for fish they shake off the excess water.

In this series of five consecutive images a swift tern just emerged from the water and twist it's head / tail for a very rapid shake off

Description: Swift tern shaking off water after an unsuccessful fishing dive attempt into the Diep river, Woodbridge Island Cape Town.

The swift tern is also known as the greater crested tern (Thalasseus bergii)

Images below are 5 consecutive frames with the quick-shooting Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

This is a regular occurrence during most of our summer months. The sandwich tern follow similar behaviour in an attempt to get rid of the water.

Cape Town Location
Diep River - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Equipment Used (Birds In Flight / Action Photography)
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Lexar Professional 800x / 120MB/s 32GB CF Card

Manual Mode Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/4000s
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal length 400mm
  • Auto-ISO (ISO 640)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps) / AI Servo
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

(Click to enlarge)
Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Frame 1 / 5 Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town   Frame 1 / 5

Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Frame 2 / 5  Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town   Frame 2 / 5

Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Frame 3 / 5  Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town   Frame 3 / 5

Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Frame 4 / 5  Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town   Frame 4 / 5

Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Frame 5 / 5  Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Swift tern in flight : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town   Frame 3 / 5

Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Birds in Flight Photo Gallery

Woodbridge Island Cape Town Bird Species
Woodbridge Island Cape Town Bird Species

01 January 2019

Yellow Roses with Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens

Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens
All Photos © Vernon Chalmers
Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens

Objective: Demonstrating application of the Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i DSLR camera with EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens / Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash.

Note: All photos on monopod in Av mode (Aperture Priority). Images captured in RAW. Last photo with additional Canon EF25 II Extension Tube.

Shooting Location
Milnerton, Cape Town

Canon Camera Equipment
  • Canon EOS 700D SLR camera body
  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
  • Canon EF25 II Extension Tube
  • Canon Speedlite 430EX II
  • Manfrotto Compact monopod

Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings
  • f/11 - f/16
  • ISO 200
  • Auto Shutter
  • Auto-focus
  • RAW to JPG conversion / lens profile correction

(Click to Enlarge) 
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens - Milnerton, Cape Town


Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens - Milnerton, Cape Town

Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens, Milnerton. Cape Town

Top 10 Most Visited Vernon Chalmers Photography Posts 2018

Top 10 Most Visited Vernon Chalmers Photography Posts 2018
Little Egret - Diep River / Woodbridge Island
Annual Analytics Summary Full Year 2018

Top 10 most visited Vernon Chalmers Photography articles / posts during 2018 (for the Period 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2018)

1. Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List for Birds in Flight Photography
    Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List for Birds in Flight Photography

2. Photography Competitions / Contests South Africa
    Photography Competition/ Contests South Africa

3. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Birds In Flight Photography Gallery
    Canon EOS 7D Mark II Birds In Flight Photography Gallery

4. Canon Long Exposure / Night Photography Setup & Tips
    Canon Long Exposure / Night Photography Setup & Tips

5. Canon EOS 80D - First Impressions / Test Shoot
    Canon EOS 80D - First Impressions / Test Shoot

6. Canon Online Shooting Practice: Free Exposure Learning Software Application
    Canon Online Shooting Practice: Free Exposure Learning Software Application

7. Canon EOS Setup and Tips For Birds in Flight Photography
    Canon EOS Setup and Tips For Birds in Flight Photography

8. Two Cost-Effective Canon Lenses for Birds in Flight Photography
    Two Cost-Effective Canon Lenses for Birds in Flight Photography

9. Show Focus Points - Adobe Lightroom Plugin
    Show Focus Points - Adobe Lightroom Plugin

10. Photography Private Training / Workshops Cape Town
      Photography Private Training / Workshops Cape Town

Top 10 Most Visited Vernon Chalmers Photography Articles / Posts 2017


Top 20 Search Queries Full Year 2018

  • photo competitions south africa 2018
  • photography competitions 2018 south africa
  • photography competitions south africa
  • canon 7d mark iii
  • canon 80d birds in flight
  • vernon chalmers
  • camera competitions south africa
  • birds in flight photography
  • photography competitions south africa 2018
  • photo competitions south africa
  • vernon chalmers photography
  • canon eos 7d mark iii
  • photo competition south africa 2018
  • current photo competitions in south africa
  • wildlife photography competitions south africa
  • 7d mark iii
  • camera competitions south africa 2018
  • canon 7d mark iii specifications
  • canon 7d mark 3
  • eos 7d mark iii

Top 10 Countries Visiting Vernon Chalmers Photography 2018
  1. South Africa
  2. Unites States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. India
  5. France
  6. Australia
  7. Canada
  8. Germany
  9. Bangladesh
  10. Netherlands

Top 25 South Africa Cities Visiting Vernon Chalmers Photography- Full Year 2018
  1. Cape Town
  2. Pretoria
  3. Sandton
  4. Johannesburg
  5. Durban
  6. Centurion
  7. Randburg
  8. Port Elizabeth
  9. Roodepoort
  10. Bloemfontein
  11. Berea
  12. Stellenbosch
  13. Vanderbijlpark
  14. Pietermaritzberg
  15. Boksburg
  16. Polokwane
  17. Benoni
  18. Midrand
  19. East London
  20. Germiston
  21. Kemptonpark
  22. Durban North
  23. Paarl
  24. Alberon
  25. Kimberley

Visitor Acquisition Channels

  • Organic Search (36.5%)
  • Social (30.2%)
  • Direct (22.5%)
  • Referral (10.7%)

Analytics / Data Source
Google Analytics (Vernon Chalmers Photography: 1/1/2018 - 31/12/2018)



Most Visited Vernon Chalmers Photography Website Content 2018
Night and Long Exposure Photography Milnerton - With Canon EOS 6D / 16-35mm lens

Grey Heron in Flight Photography Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town: Grey Heron
Grey Heron Fly-Past: Woodbridge Island Cape Town
I've waited a long time for these captures on / above the small island adjacent to Woodbridge Island, Cape Town- on most mornings he's already sleeping on his spot.


Canon AI Servo AF: EOS iTR AF Testing 
These low-flying Grey Heron captures are still part of my ongoing Canon EOS 7D Mark II EOS iTR AF Testing - determining enhanced tracking capabilities for moving subjects.

Conditions and Location

Crisp early morning sun with no wind at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town (just off the small island). Woodbridge Island Map.

Canon Camera / Lens Settings

  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II 
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens 
  • M Mode: f/5.6 ISO 640 1/5000s 
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps 
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6: Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction.


(Click to Enlarge)
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Canon EOS 6D for Action Photography

Canon EOS 6D for Action Photography Cape Town
The humble Canon EOS 6D (Full Frame) for motorcycle panning at Killarney, Cape Town and Birds in Flight, Woodbridge Island.

The Canon EOS 6D body is not really renown for its Autofocus System capabilities when compared to i.e. the Canon EOS 5D Mark III (Full Frame) / Canon EOS 7D Mark II (APS-C) - and globally Canon photographers are not too keen for its 4.5 fps continuous rate compared to 6 - 14 fps in most sport-orientated bodies.

I took the Canon EOS 6D on various tests (deliberately) paired with the Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6L IS USM lens for demonstrating the camera's 11-Point AF system capabilities at 4.5 frames per second.

If this was my only Canon EOS body, I would have no concern shooting motor sport and / or Birds in Flight - only change I would make is to replace the 70-300mm lens with my 400mm prime lens for Birds in Flight (for faster AF and the 100mm additional reach).

Two images with Canon EOS 6D at Center-Point AF (AI Servo Mode):

1st Image: Motorcycle Panning at Killarney Cape Town

2nd Image: Birds in Flight Photography - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town


(Click to Enlarge)
Canon EOS 6D for Action Photography Cape Town
Image 1: Canon EOS 6D - Motor Cycle  Racing Killarney  Source

Canon EOS 6D for Action Photography Cape Town
Image 2: Canon EOS 6D - Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town  More


Canon EOS 7D Mark II Resources / Birds in Flight Photography Galleries
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Resources / Birds in Flight Photography Galleries

Two Cost-Effective Canon Lenses for Birds in Flight Photography
Two Cost-Effective Canon Lenses for Birds in Flight Photography

Wild Flowers - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

A few wild flowers captured around the Table Nay Nature Reserve area of Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town.

 All photos by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 6D / Canon EOS 70D, both with the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens (Av Mode / Handheld @ 300mm).

(Click To Enlarge)
Wildflower Canon EOS 70D  / Woodbridge Island Cape Town 01
Flowers Woodbridge Island Cape Town


Wildflower Canon EOS 70D  / Woodbridge Island Cape Town 02
EOS 70D / Flowers Woodbridge Island Cape Town


Wildflower Canon EOS 70D  / Woodbridge Island Cape Town 03
Flowers Woodbridge Island Cape Town


Wildflower Canon EOS 70D  / Woodbridge Island Cape Town 04
Flowers Woodbridge Island Cape Town


Wild flower Canon EOS 6D  / Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Flowers Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Canon Camera / Photography Workshops Cape Town

Action Photography Cape Town: Birds and Bee in Flight

Birds and Bee in Flight Action Photography Cape Town
Bee and Birds in flight with Canon EOS 7D Mark II

I accompanied a few local Birds in Flight photographers for a quick morning walkabout around Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. This morning was the first time out in a few weeks - mainly due to the local winter weather.

We took a walk down toward the Table Bay Nature Reserve and after everybody has left I went shooting on my own just of the old wooden bridge - getting in low for a few low flying birds.

On my way home I captured a few bees in flight - quite challenging with the 400mm telephoto lens, but nevertheless a few images to work with (using the same Birds in Flight settings I generally use around the island).

All images with Canon EOS 7D Mark II and the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L lens.

Bee and Birds in flight with same exposure settings / +- same time of day / light

The only (critical) variables between the different images are subject speed, distance to subject, distance between subject and background and the ISO selection (Auto-ISO).

Manual Exposure Settings: f/5.6 / IS0 500 - 1000 / 1/5000s shutter Speed

Note: Bee images are two consecutive frames

Location: Birds and Bee in Flight - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town


(Click to Enlarge)
Grey Heron with breeding plumage captured in the Table Bay Nature Reserve
Grey Heron with breeding plumage captured in the Table Bay Nature Reserve Cape Town

Very fast and quite far Common Starling towards the Milnerton golf Course
Very fast and quite far Common Starling towards the Milnerton Golf Course Cape Town

Grey Heron with breeding plumage captured in the Table Bay Nature Reserve
Low flying Egyptian Goose over the Milnerton Lagoon Cape Town


Low Flying Egyptian Goose over the Milnerton Lagoon
Low Flying Egyptian Goose over the Milnerton Lagoon Cape Town

Grey Heron with breeding plumage captured in the Table Bay Nature Reserve
Bee in Flight with classic Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town Settings 

Grey Heron with breeding plumage captured in the Table Bay Nature Reserve
Bee in Flight with classic Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town Settings

More Bees in Flight Photography Cape Town
More Bees in Flight Photography Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Ducks

All Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island duck photos by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 70D / Canon EOS 700D and Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens / Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM lens. Handheld.

More Woodbridge Island Duck Photos, with Canon EOS 7D Mark II Happy Duck>>

(Click to enlarge)
Cape Shoveller Duck Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island  Cape Town
Cape Shoveller Duck Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island  Cape Town

Yellow-billed Duck Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island
Yellow-billed Duck Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island  Cape Town

Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Ducks
Mallard Duck Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Ducks
Duck Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Cape Town


Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Ducks
Ducks in Love Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Cape Town


Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Ducks
Duck Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town


Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Canon EF 100mm Macro Lens - Inside A Red Pepper

Canon EOS 70D / Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / 100mm Macro Lens
Canon EOS 70D: Inside a Red Pepper - Cape Town

Objective: Demonstrating application of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens in natural light (paired with the Canon EOS 70D body using ISO's between 640 - 3200).

Note: Photos are hand-held in Av mode without flash. Some cropping / minimum post-processing in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6.


Cape Town Shooting Location
Arnhem Milnerton, Cape Town

Canon DSLR / Flash Equipment

  • Canon EOS 70D DSLR camera body 
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens 

Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings

  • Aperture f/2.8 - f/8 
  • Auto-ISO 640 - 3200 
  • Lens Autofocus off 
  • Manual Focus 
  • Shutter speed: various (auto in Av mode) 

(Macro Photography - Click to Enlarge / Slideshow)

Canon EOS 70D / Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens ISO 1250 f/8


Canon EOS 70D / Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens ISO 640 f/5.6


Canon EOS 70D / Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens ISO 3200 f/4


Canon EOS 70D / Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens ISO 1600 f/2.8


Canon EOS 70D / Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens ISO 3200 f/4

Canon EOS 70D / EF 100mm USM Macro Lens: Close-Up / Macro Flowers

Canon EOS 70D / EF 100mm USM Macro Lens: Close-Up / Macro Flowers