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 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

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

01 October 2019

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Motor Racing Killarney Table View Cape Town

Objective: Demonstrating the panning photography technique / application with the Canon EF 70-300mm f4.-5.6L IS USM lens paired with the Canon EOS 70D DSLR body.

Note: Slower shutter speeds / panning hand-held in Tv mode. 


Post-Processing
All images processed in Lightroom 5.7. Converted from RAW to JPG. Lens profile correction.

Cape Town Location
Killarney Motor / Motorcycle Racing Complex Table View Cape Town

Canon Equipment (Action / Sports Photography) 

  • Canon EOS 70D SLR camera body 
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens 

Tv Mode - Shutter Priority Speed Settings 

  • Shutter speed: various (1/125 - 1/160 seconds) 
  • Aperture: f/11- f/13 
  • Focal length 70-260mm 
  • ISO 100 
  • Image Stabilization (Mode 2 Panning) 
  • AI Servo / Continuous Shooting Mode 
  • Lens Autofocus on

(Click to enlarge / slide show)
Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Cape Town

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Cape Town

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens Cape Town

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens Cape Town

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Cape Town

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Cape Town

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Cape Town

Panning with Canon EOS 70D Killarney Motor Racing Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Cape Town

Motor / Motorcycle Racing Killarney Cape Town Website

Motor / Motorcycle Racing Killarney Cape Town Website

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Large Zone Autofocus

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town: Using Canon's Wide Zone Autofocus
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens - Birds In Flight AF Application Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Objective: Using the Canon EOS 7D Mark II body / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens with AI Servo / Large Zone selection for tracking fast and at times, erratic flying smaller birds.

During the facilitation of our recent Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town practical shoot at Itaka Island / Woodbridge Island I did a few quick bursts with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's Wide Zone AF selection.


In our Birds in Flight Cape Town Support Facebook Group I wrote after some post-processing "Most of the modern Canon DSLR sensors will offer various AF Zones to select from. On bodies offering advanced AF system the larger / wide zone-type AF selection area is suitable for a variety of birds in flight" All new Canon EOS DSLR's from the EOS 7D Mark II is configured with the Wide Zone AF - other bodies will be the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and the the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town: Using Canon's Wide Zone Autofocus
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Wide Zone AF Selection

Birds in Flight with Wide Zone AF Selection
In my Woodbridge Island, Cape Town shooting environment the Sandwich Tern is a relatively fast bird and I am satisfied with the Wide Zone AF configuration.

Short bursts for six consecutive images
For the Sandwich Tern captures below I pre-focused with the AI Servo AF locking on and then pressing the shutter in short bursts of three to four images each. The three consecutive images (frames) are in my opinion all of consistent focus and sharpness.

Lightroom Post-Processing
All images processed in Adobe Lightroom 6. Converted from RAW to JPG. Lens profile correction. Minor colour correction. Some noise reduction

Cape Town Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Equipment (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 400) 
  • 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)
Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town: Using Wide Zone Autofocus
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Wide Zone AF : Birds in Flight Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town: Using Wide Zone Autofocus
Canon EOs 7D Mark II Wide Zone AF : Birds in Flight Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town: Using Wide Zone Autofocus
Canon EOs 7D Mark II Wide Zone AF : Birds in Flight Cape Town

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

Birds in Flight Photography View

Aperture testing after Birds in Flight Photography Workshop

Swift Tern -  Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Swift Tern - Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens - Birds In Flight Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Objective: Fine-tuning close distance shooting (at f/5.6) with selected background testing using the Canon EOS 7D Mark II body / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens with AI Servo / Wide Zone selection for tracking fast and at times, erratic flying smaller birds.

Good Cape Town weather at last
Since facilitating the recent Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town and straight after that the popular Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop Cape Town with little time for my own shooting. We were also subject to a very strong South-Easter wind around the Western Cape making any shooting unpleasant.


Cape Town Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

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

Manual Mode Settings / Lens AF On

  • Shutter speed: 1/5000s 
  • 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)
Yellow-Billed Duck - Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Yellow-Billed Duck - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Blacksmith plover / Kiewiet - Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Blacksmith plover / Kiewiet - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Egyptian Goose - Woodbridge Island CapeTtown
Egyptian Goose - Woodbridge Island CapeTtown

Little Egret - Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Little Egret - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

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

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Info / Manual Downloads View

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View