21 March 2019

My most liked bird image from Woodbridge Island

'Grey Heron Stepping-out' - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
'Grey Heron Stepping-out' - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Sometimes is not the camera or the lens, but rather an interesting subject, pose or story.

For me, its not really (always) about the gear, but what I can achieve with whatever body / lens is in my hands. Of course, planned body and lens selection for a specific genre should improve the photographer's expected outcome...

Of all my bird images, this image (over a few years) returned thousands of Likes (and very interesting comments) on a variety of Facebook Pages - much to my surprise.

The image is of rather poor quality - captured at distance with an EOS 700D and a first generation EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens many years ago.

I was not even aware of the shot until a few days later. Out of curiosity I posted the image to see if there would be any interest - and without doubt this image is still the most liked and commented photograph out of any of my cameras.

Source: Woodbridge Island Bird Species

20 March 2019

Red-Knobbed Coot - Woodbridge Island

We have a quite a few of these coots down at the Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island - most of the time just swimming around and the occasional departure / take-ff. I didn't expect this movement mid-morning, but nevertheless captured the first coot for the Woodbridge Island website.

 All photos by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. (Manual Mode: f5.6 / ISO 640 / 1/5000s / 10 fps / AI Servo / Extended Zone AF / AF Case 1 / Handheld).

(Click to Enlarge)
Red-Knobbed Coot - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Red-knobbed Coot : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens Woodbridge Island, Cape Town 


Red-Knobbed Coot - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Red-knobbed Coot : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens Woodbridge Island, Cape Town


Red-Knobbed Coot - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Coot : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens Woodbridge Island, Cape Town


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

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

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

15 March 2019

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Zoom Demo Cape Town

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Zoom Demo - Cape Town
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens : Different Focal Lengths

Objective: Demonstrating the difference between five focal lengths when using the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (paired with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II) across the Diep River, Woodbridge Island Cape Town.

Note: All photos handheld with no cropping in Av mode (except the last image). Images captured in RAW (JPG conversion via Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.7).

Distance to Subject(s)
+- 50 - 60 meters

Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings
  • f/8 
  • ISO 100 
  • Auto-Focus 
  • Image Rehabilitation (Mode 1) Handheld

(Click to Enlarge)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 100mm
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 100mm

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 135mm
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 135mm

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 200mm
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 200mm

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 300mm
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 300mm

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 400mm
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 400mm

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 400mm  -- Cropped --
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Zoom Test - Cape Town @ 400mm
  -- Cropped --

Canon EOS 7D Mark II - First Impressions and Test Shoots

Small birds enjoying the sun at Woodbridge Island

Photographing Small birds at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
I captured these small bird species in the Table Bay Nature Reserve close to Woodbridge Island / Milnerton Cape Town: Perched Pied Kingfisher, Cape Sparrow, Levaillant's Cisticola, Weavers and a low flying Starling (under the old wooden bridge). 

All photos by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 7D Mark II and Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens - handheld in good light. All birds captured with my standard Birds in Flight Photography settings.

(Click to Enlarge)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Nature Reserve Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Nature Reserve  Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Nature Reserve Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Nature Reserve  Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Table Bay Nature Reserve  Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens - Table Bay Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Table Bay Nature Reserve  Cape Town


Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Table Bay Nature Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Table Bay Nature Reserve Cape Town

Flamingo landing: Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island

A welcome return of the Greater Flamingos after the Cape Town winter
Greater Flamingo landing in the Milnerton Lagoon, Woodbridge Island Cape Town.

 All photos by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens (Manual Mode / Fast Shutter speeds 1/2500s / Handheld). Al Servo Focus / 7 frames per second. Zone Autofocus.

(Click To Enlarge)
Flamingo landing: Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Flamingo Landing: Canon EOS 70D / Woodbridge Island Cape Town


Flamingo landing: Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Flamingo Landing: Canon EOS 70D / Woodbridge Island Cape Town


Flamingo landing: Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Flamingo Landing: Canon EOS 70D / Woodbridge Island Cape Town


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

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


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

Bird in Flight image photoshopped or not?

Photoshopped Image? A comment from a visitor on my Canon Camera Facebook Page after viewing one of my Birds in Flight Photography images.

Reed cormorant over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island - Copyright Vernon Chalmers
With Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens  : Copyright Vernon Chalmers

My response: "I don't know why you should think that photographers are not capable of achieving good results with knowledge, skills and planning? IMHO you should spend more time developing your own photographic skills for understanding and appreciating the work of others.

Other than that I take your comment as a compliment. Thank you. Reference to the images should you even be remotely interested in look at any non photoshopped images. View here "

For the record: I do all my image post-processing in Adobe Lightroom 6 (desktop) with no interest in / or access to Adobe Photoshop.

Image: Low-flying reed cormorant over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island. Captured with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L lens 

Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens : Different Focal Lengths - Cape Town

After sunset / sunrise long exposure photography with Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide lens (paired with the Full Frame Canon EOS 6D) across the two Woodbridge Island bridges, Milnerton Lighthouse and Table Mountain, Cape Town.


Ultra-Wide Lens
My Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 IS USM lens is without doubt one of my favourate lenses (paired with the full frame Canon EOS 6D). This lens will be equivalent to 10-18mm / 10-22mm Canon EF-S ultra-wide / wide-angle lenses on Canon APS-C / Crop bodies.

Note: All photos in Av mode, on Manfrotto tripod. Post-processing in Lightroom 6.


Shooting LocationWoodbridge Island, Cape Town

Canon EOS 6D Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings

  • Aperture: f/16 
  • ISO 100 
  • Shutter speed: 30s 
  • Manfrotto Tripod 190X MK190X3-3W

Before Sunrise - Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

After Sunset - Milnerton Beach / Cape Town

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Copyright Vernon Chalmers: Long Exposure Photography - Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm Lens
Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Ultra-Wide Lens

Canon Long Exposure / Night Photography Setup & Tips

Canon Long Exposure / Night Photography Setup & Tips

01 March 2019

Malachite Kingfisher in Flight - Woodbridge Island

'Far and Fast' - Woodbridge Island's elusive Malachite Kingfisher
Woodbridge Island's elusive Malachite Kingfisher
During a quick hike this morning I spotted the elusive Malachite kingfisher in the Table Bay Nature Reserve just off Woodbridge Island (opposite the Milnerton Golf Course).

The in-flight images are the first I've ever captured in more than four years pursuing this little colourful bird - in this time I've only spotted the Malachite kingfisher a few times. For some reason they are very scarce and not really part of the 'mainstream' bird life around Woodbridge Island.

The Malachite kingfishers are more common around Intaka Island, Century City, with many sightings (and captured images by many photographers) and breeding. More common around Woodbridge Island, Cape Town is the Pied kingfisher and to a lesser extend the Giant kingfisher (of which we see a few times a month predominately flying away, towards the old wooden bridge).

Image quality of these Malachite kingfisher is unfortunately not that great (far and overcast conditions). Credit must go to the Canon EOS AF System of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. Absolutely no issue tracking the bird in flight, just wished it was closer in better light conditions - the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens at f/4 to f/5.6 (with Canon EF 1.4x teleconverter) would probably have given better results.

For most Birds in Flight captures around Woodbridge Island, Cape Town, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens combination is outstanding in terms of:
  • Autofocus speed
  • AI Servo tracking
  • 10 frames per second
  • Image quality
  • Auto-ISO

Canon Gear Used
Malachite kingfisher images captured with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens - Manual Mode / Large (Wide) Zone AF / Case 1.

(Click to Enlarge)
Malachite Kingfisher- Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Malachite Kingfisher Perched - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town

Malachite Kingfisher- Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Malachite Kingfisher in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town

Malachite Kingfisher- Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Malachite Kingfisher in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town 

Malachite Kingfisher- Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Malachite Kingfisher in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Town

Malachite Kingfisher- Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Malachite Kingfisher in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town

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

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

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

Top 10 Most Visited Vernon Chalmers Photography Posts Feb 2019

Top 10 Most Visited Vernon Chalmers Photography Posts Feb 2019
Analytics Summary for February 2019

Top 10 most visited Vernon Chalmers Photography articles / posts during February 2019:

Photo Competitions South Africa 2019
Photo Competitions South Africa 2019

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Birds In Flight Gallery
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Birds In Flight Gallery

Canon Online Shooting Practice Application
Canon Online Shooting Practice Application

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

Two Cost-Effective Canon Lenses for Bird Photography
Two Cost-Effective Canon Lenses for Bird Photography

Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.10.0 For Windows / Mac
Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.10.0 For Windows / Mac

Birds in Flight Photography with Canon EOS 6D
Birds in Flight Photography with Canon EOS 6D

Woodbridge Island Bird Species
Woodbridge Island Bird Species

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

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

  
Top 20 Search Queries Landing on Vernon Chalmers Photography - February 2019
  • photography competitions 2019 south africa
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  • photography competitions 2019

Top 10 Countries Visiting Vernon Chalmers Photography- February 2019
  1. United States
  2. South Africa
  3. United Kingdom
  4. India
  5. Germany
  6. Canada
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  8. Australia
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Top 25 South Africa Cities Visiting Vernon Chalmers Photography- February 2019
  1. Cape Town
  2. Sandton
  3. Pretoria
  4. Johannesburg
  5. Durban
  6. Roodepoort
  7. Germiston
  8. Randburg
  9. Berea
  10. Pietermaritzberg
  11. Stellenbosch
  12. Port Elizabeth
  13. Bloemfontein
  14. Centurion
  15. Kempton Park
  16. Midrand
  17. Nelspruit
  18. East London
  19. Alberton
  20. George
  21. Boksburg
  22. Vanderbijlpark
  23. Potchefstroom
  24. Durban North
  25. Krugersdorp

Visitor Acquisition Channels

  • Organic Search (84.1%)
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Analytics / Data Source
Google Analytics (Vernon Chalmers Photography: 1/2/2019 - 28/2/2019)

Top 10 Most Visited Vernon Chalmers Photography Posts February 2019

Birds in Flight Photography: Cropping & Post-Processing

I recently responded to a request from one of my delegates from my previous Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town with regard to image cropping and the amount of post-processing required (as applied in my own Birds in Flight images in my regular shooting environment at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town).

The images added here are the same I answered in my Birds in Flight Photography Support Cape Town Facebook Group - showing the processed image first and then the SOOC / uncropped image (only converted from RAW to JPEG).

Please note: Images were cropped / adjusted using Lightroom 6 and saved for training purposes only.

SOOC: Straight Out Of Camera (only converted from RAW to JPEG with no presets)

Little Egret in Flight : Over-Exposure Correction 

Image 1: Cropped and processed to minimize the white over-exposure / some sharpening and noise reduction. Post-processing Time +- 5 minutes from cropping, making adjustments to saving.

Image 2: SOOC image : Over-Exposure Correction

Little Egret in Flight : Over-Exposure Correction
Image 1: Little Egret in Flight - Woodbridge Island Cape Town (Processed)

Little Egret in Flight : Over-Exposure Correction
Image 2: Little Egret in Flight - Woodbridge Island Cape Town (SOOC)

Egyptian Goose in Flight : Recovering feather detail / Under-Wing Shadow reduction

Image 3: Cropped and processed with objective for recovering feather detail in shadow areas / some sharpening and noise reduction. Time +- 3 minutes from cropping, making adjustments and saving.

Image 4: SOOC Image

Egyptian Goose in Flight : Recovering feather detail / Under-Wing Shadow reduction
Image 3: Egyptian Goose in Flight - Woodbridge Island Cape Town (Processed)

Egyptian Goose in Flight : Recovering feather detail / Under-Wing Shadow reduction
Image 4: Egyptian Goose in Flight - Woodbridge Island Cape Town (SOOC)

Sandwich Tern in Flight : Extreme Cropping / Colour Correction

Image 5: Cropped and processed with objective to show an extreme crop (probably more than the maximum I normally use) recovered some colour and some sharpening and noise reduction Time +- 3 minutes from cropping, making adjustments and saving.

Image 6: SOOC image

Sandwich Tern in Flight : Extreme Cropping / Colour Correction
Image 5:Sandwich Tern in Flight - Woodbridge Island Cape Town (Processed)

Sandwich Tern in Flight : Extreme Cropping / Colour Correction
Image 6: Sandwich Tern in Flight - Woodbridge Island Cape Town (SOOC) 

Diving Pied Kingfisher : Extreme Cropping Canon EOS 6D Full Frame

Image 7: Cropped and processed with objective to show an extreme crop with the Canon EOS 6D Full Frame  paired with the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens. Some sharpening and noise reduction Time +- 3 minutes from cropping, making adjustments and saving.
Image 8: SOOC image

 Diving Pied Kingfisher : Extreme Cropping Canon EOS 6D Full Frame
Image 7 : Diving Pied Kingfisher - Woodbridge Island Cape Town (Processed)

 Diving Pied Kingfisher : Extreme Cropping Canon EOS 6D Full Frame
Image 8 : Diving Pied Kingfisher - Woodbridge Island Cape Town (Processed)

Cameras / Lenses Used

  • Image 1 - 6 with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Image 7 - 8 with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens

Manual Exposure
  • ISO: Auto-ISO 500 - 800
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/4000 - 5000s

AI Servo Autofocus
Canon EOS 7D Mark II: Large Zone / Case 1 (10 fps in short bursts)
Canon EOS 6D: Single Point AF (4.5 fps)

Metering Mode
  • Image 1 - 2: Center weighted average metering
  • Image 3 - 8: Evaluative metering (default)

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 Main Adjustments

Cropping / Lens Profile Correction

Tone
  • Exposure / Contrast
  • Highlights / Shadows
  • Whites / Blacks

Presence

  • Clarity
  • Vibrancy / Saturation

Detail

  • Sharpening
  • Noise reduction

Location

Woodbridge Island (just off the small Island past the railings towards the Pump Station

Conditions
  • Image 1: Slightly overcast (mid morning)
  • Image 3 & 5: Sunny / windy (mid-morning)

Birds in Flight Photography: Cropping & Post-Processing - Lightroom 5
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 : Working in the Development Module


Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Private Training Cape Town
Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Private Training Cape Town

Show Focus Points - Adobe Lightroom Plugin
Show Focus Points - Adobe Lightroom Plugin