31 October 2019

Update on Gift Vouchers: Photography Training / Accommodation

Photography Training Gift Vouchers Cape Town
Photography Training Gift Vouchers Cape Town

Photography Training Gift Voucher CostsTraining sessions are generally between three and four sessions (of up to 5 hours per session) and range from R950 to R1 250. These rates / sessions are only applicable for Gift Vouchers and will be valid for one year.

More Information Photography Vouchers View

Milnerton Self Catering Accommodation Gift Vouchers
Milnerton Self Catering Accommodation Gift Vouchers

Self Catering Accommodation Gift Vouchers Cost
Min of two nights at Blu-C Self Catering Apartment for one or two people. Price per person per night is R280-00 per person. Can be combined with photography training. Contact me for discussing requirements. Accommodation Gift Vouchers are valid for one year and will be subject to accommodation availability.

More Information Self Catering Accommodation Vouchers View

20 October 2019

Canon EOS 7D Mark II: Low Light Shooting

Canon EOS 7D Mark II: Low Light Shooting Cape Town
Shooting in the fog down at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town is a typical glass-half-full optimism scenario. I'm at times hoping for the sun to break through, but know even in the sun's absence, the low light should generally bring a unique background blur against the green grass of the Milnerton Golf Course - albeit at the expense of a softer bird in flight capture.  

All four (continuous) Birds in Flight images are captured at ISO 1250 - the maximum I will push the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is 1600 (but, not in the fog) - more in lower light due to background darkness and sometimes some early morning winter sun.

Auto IS0 for Birds in Flight Photography
I predominately use Auto ISO with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and even when paired with my 400mm lens am quite confident to shoot Auto-ISO in good and variable / low light. I must admit that I rarely shoot Birds in Flight in poor / low light. With my very close and elevated proximity to Woodbridge Island I have a good view of the light and weather conditions before every possible shoot.

Equipment (Birds In Flight 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
  • Sandisk Extreme Plus SDHC™ UHS-I Card 95MB/s 32 GB 

Exposure / Focus Settings

  • Manual Mode Settings / Lens AF On
  • Shutter speed: 1/4000s
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal length 400mm
  • Auto ISO (ISO 1250)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps) / AI Servo
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

Post-Processing

Adobe Lightroom 6: Cropping. Colour correction / Lens profile correction. RAW to JPEG conversion.

Location / Conditions
Foggy morning around Woodbridge Island, Cape Town.


(Four Consecutive Images)
Canon EOS 7D Mark II: Low Light Shooting Cape Town
Low Light Photography : Egyptian Goose / Canon EOS 7D Mark II Cape Town 

Canon EOS 7D Mark II: Low Light Shooting Cape Town
Low Light Photography : Egyptian Goose / Canon EOS 7D Mark II Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II: Low Light Shooting Cape Town
Low Light Photography : Egyptian Goose / Canon EOS 7D Mark II Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II: Low Light Shooting Cape Town
Low Light Photography : Egyptian Goose / Canon EOS 7F Mark II Cape Town

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

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

15 October 2019

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Cape Town

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
'A small prime lens with lots of potential'

At first I didn't consider the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime / consumer lens as an option while planning for the 2015 Partners Hair Design Training Academy Graduation / Fashion Show in Cape Town.

Prime sharpness

My initial thoughts were that the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM may be a tad short for this close-up hair fashion shooting application, but as a fast, sharp and small non-zoom lens it could just be good enough for the catwalk (if I could move with the action). With all the confidence in the world I paired it with the EOS 70D; using the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens on the Canon EOS 6D for the group / wider angle shots.

Just love 85mm... after shooting with 400mm for months
Great value and sharpness for a consumer lens and I am sure there are a few similar priced Sigma and or Tamron 85mm lenses that could possibly do the same job. If you're prepared to learn how to zoom with your feet the 85mm focal length could work well on full frame / crops bodies (85mm on full frame vs 136mm on APS-C / crop when considering the crop factor of 1.6).

Hair-raising action photography
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
The main goal of covering the event was an all-round documentation of the show, guests, graduates and hair models. The biggest challenge was to shoot the extravagant hair designs with the 85mm lens on the crop-sensor Canon EOS 70D. Throughout the rehearsal I realized that it could be done as long as I move close enough with the models.

First image below is non-flash / non-action, but the others are all faster action walking / panning with the models (bounced flash). The last shot was captured during the rehearsal - no flash.

I did not really feel the need to use the Canon EOS 7D Mark II as I trusted the EOS 70D's AF and AI Servo to deliver within the same image quality parameters.

All Canon Equipment Used (during the show)

  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Usm lens
  • Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash
  • Canon Speedlite 270EX II flash

Canon EOS 70D / Lens Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s 
  • Aperture: f/4
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Focal length 85mm (Canon prime lens)
  • Single Shot shooting / AI Servo Mode
  • Single-Point Autofocus / Lens AF on

(Click To Enlarge)
Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens (f/4  ISO 100)


© Vernon Chalmers for Partners Hair Design Training Academy Cape Town

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Reviews

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing

I track the Egyptian goose in flight as part of my own testing standard to periodically test AF consistency of the EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens

These 10 consecutive frames were done this morning in good light at f/5.6 / 1/4000s / Auto-ISO 400 / Large Zone AF / Case 1. Almost zero post-processing, just cropping.

I looked the mages in more detail later last night and happy to shoot as is for the summer in Cape Town. I never see anything as perfect, are mindful of many different variables, but they tick many boxes / expectations for just shooting and not to think about gear when out.

Cape Town Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. Over the Diep River flowing past the Milnerton Golf Course

Equipment (Birds In Flight / Action Photography)
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card

Manual Mode Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/4000s
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal length 400mm
  • Auto-ISO (ISO 640 - all 5 images)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps)
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Large / Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 01
Image 1 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight


Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 02
Image 2 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 03
Image 3 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight



Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 04
Image 4 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 05
Image 5 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight


Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 06
Image 6 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight


Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 07
Image 7 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight



Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 08
Image 8 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight



Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 09
Image 9 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight



Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight 10
Image 10 : Canon EOS 7D Mark II Autofocus Consistency Testing : Egyptian Goose in Flight

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

Birds in Flight Photography Training Cape Town View

Birds in Flight Photography Training Gift Vouchers View

11 October 2019

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Speckled pigeon in flight at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
During my morning routine of Birds in Flight Photography at Woodbridge Island I was close enough to witness and quickly capture the landing routine of one of the local speckled pigeons on the Otto Du Plessis roadside of the Diep River.

Lightroom Post-Processing
All images processed in Lightroom 8. Converted from RAW to JPG. Lens profile correction. Minor colour correction. Sharpness and noise reduction applied. Due to the low light / higher ISO images I spent more time with post-processing that I would in good light.

Setup and Tips For Birds in Flight Photography View

Cape Town Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. Over the Diep River flowing past the Milnerton Golf Course

Equipment (Birds In Flight / Action Photography)
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card

Manual Mode Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/4000s
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal length 400mm
  • Auto-ISO (ISO 640 - all 5 images)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps)
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Large / Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Image 1: Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Image 2: Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Image 3: Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Image 4: Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island

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

Birds in Flight Photography Training Cape Town View

Birds in Flight Photography Training Gift Vouchers View

African Darter Fishing at Woodbridge Island

African Darter Fishing at Woodbridge Island
During my morning routine of Birds in Flight Photography at Woodbridge Island I was fortunate to witness and capture the African darter fishing - quite a spectacle of throwing the fish up in the air and once positioned properly it  gets swallowed in one quick gulp.

Four consecutive frames with the 10 fps advantage of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and a relatively fast shutter speed of 1/4000s..

Lightroom Post-Processing
All images processed in Adobe Lightroom 8. Converted from RAW to JPG. Lens profile correction. Minor colour correction. Sharpness and noise reduction applied. Due to the low light / higher ISO images I spent more time with post-processing that I would in good light.

Setup and Tips For Birds in Flight Photography View

Cape Town Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. Over the Diep River flowing past the Milnerton Golf Course

Equipment (Birds In Flight / Action Photography)
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card

Manual Mode Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/4000s
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal length 400mm
  • Auto-ISO (ISO 500)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps)
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Large / Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

(Click to enlarge)
African darter fishing in the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Image 1 Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Frame 1 : African darter fishing in the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

African darter fishing in the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Image 2 Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Frame 2 : African darter fishing in the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

African darter fishing in the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Image 3 Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Frame 3 : African darter fishing in the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Image

African darter fishing in the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Image 4 Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Frame 4 : African darter fishing in the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town 

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

Birds in Flight Photography Training Cape Town View

Birds in Flight Photography Training Gift Vouchers View

10 October 2019

Milnerton Beach Photography

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town
Capturing Long Exposure / Low Light photography Milnerton Beach Cape Town

Delegates attending my Landscape / Long Exposure Workshops shooting practicals at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town are generally drawn to the majestic beauty of Table Mountain - and the excellent framing opportunities over Table Bay towards Cape Town and Green Point (with some leading beach / water lines).

I personally prefer the opposite view and framing opportunities towards the Table View. Milnerton Golf Course and the evening lights from the restaurant / beach buildings.

The Milnerton lighthouse is a powerful decision maker in many of my Milnerton Beach / Woodbridge Island photography. I used my Canon EOS 6D full frame body paired with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 IS USM lens.

Objective of the long exposure shoot
Shooting the fast deterioration of most of the ambient light (without using any ND filter) - taking advantage of the 30 seconds shutter speed from the Canon EOS 6D Av mode exposure time (and a relatively small lens aperture)

All images captured in RAW and post-processed / converted to JPG in Adobe Lightroom 6.

Long Exposure Photography Gear / Av Mode Settings

  • Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens 
  • ISO 100
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter Speeds 2.5 - 30 seconds
  • Focal Lengths 16-35mm
  • Manual focus / Image Stabilization off
  • Manfrotto Tripod 190X MK190X3-3W

 (Click To Enlarge)
Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town
Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town
Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach ,Cape Town

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town
Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town


Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Cape Town Shooting Location
Milnerton Beach, Cape Town

Long Exposure / Night Photography Setup & Tips View

For Cape Town Photography Workshops visit Vernon Chalmers Photography Workshops

Tips / Settings for New Year's Eve Fireworks Photography

Tips / Settings for New Year's Eve Fireworks Photography
Canon EOS 700D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens - V&A Waterfront
Getting ready for capturing NYE Fireworks? A few quick tips / settings to get new photographers going with photographing firework displays (Cape Town). 

How to shoot NYE Fireworks?

Canon EOS DSLR Settings for attached photographs:
  • Bulb Mode
  • Shutter Speed +- 4 - 6 seconds
  • Aperture f/8 - f/11
  • IS0 100 - 200
  • Manual focus
  • RAW

A sturdy tripod is essential. I've used a cable release (optional). No built-in or Speedlite flash.

All DSLR's should be good to go (most compacts as well).

Lens selection will be distance-dependent. Setup +- 30 minutes before the event and take a few test shots.

Fireworks / Long Exposure Image Below: I've used my Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens at +- 250mm (app 1.5 kilometers from fireworks over Woodbridge Island towards the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town - captured from Arhem Milnerton).

Best Vantage Points for Cape Town NYE Fireworks (not close to the V&A Waterfront)
Should you wish not to drive / go into the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town for photographing the NYE Fireworks, the Milnerton areas between Lagoon Beach and Milnerton Beach (Woodbridge Island) should provide for plenty opportunities for setting up tripods (with a clear view towards the V&A Waterfront).

Lagoon Beach / Milnerton Beach / Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Google Map

Tips / Settings for New Year's Eve Fireworks Photography
Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - V&A Waterfront, Cape Town NYE Fireworks Display 
Long Exposure / Night Photography Setup & Tips View

05 October 2019

Great white pelican and other birds in flight

Great White Pelican : A rare sight on / over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
A few in-flight images from this morning. I took advantage of the good light we had here at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town.

The highlight of the morning was definitely seeing the great white pelican spending some time on (and over) the Diep River. All the birds featuring in this birds in flight photography update is flying directly above the river.

Birds in flight (from the top)
  • Great white pelican
  • Black-winged stilt
  • Cape teal duck
  • Little egret
  • African oystercatcher
  • Purple heron
  • Egyptian goose
  • White-breasted cormorant

Lightroom Post-Processing

All images processed in Adobe Lightroom 8. Converted from RAW to JPG. Lens profile correction. Minor colour correction. Sharpness and noise reduction applied.

Cape Town Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. Over the Diep River flowing past the Milnerton Golf Course

Equipment (Birds In Flight / Action Photography)
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card

Manual Mode Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/3200s
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal length 400mm
  • Auto-ISO (ISO 400 - 800)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps) / AI Servo
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Large / Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

(Click to enlarge)
Black-Winged Stilt over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island
Black-Winged Stilt over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island

Cape Teal Duck over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island
Cape Teal Duck over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island

Little Egret in Flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island
Little Egret in Flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island

African Oystercatcher  in Flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island
African Oystercatcher  in Flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island

Purple Heron  in Flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island
Purple Heron  in Flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island


 Egyptian goose over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island
 Egyptian goose over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island


"Scruffy' White-Breasted Cormorant over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island
"Scruffy' White-Breasted Cormorant over the Diep River, Woodbridge Island

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

Birds in Flight Photography Training Cape Town View

Birds in Flight Photography Training Gift Vouchers View