01 November 2020

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

The Milnerton Flea Market on a Sunny Saturday

Milnerton Flea Market  - Cameras and AccessoriesSaturday at the market...
A hotchpotch of colours, textures, goods and just about everything at the Milnerton Flea Market.

This Flea Market is not just about 'one man's junk is another man's treasure', there are various traders selling handmade African craft works, secondhand books, textile and various stalls of fresh produce and refreshments.

I have found the table with all the old film cameras and accessories particularly interesting and will definitely go back for another look.

The Milnerton Flea Market seems to be well organised with clear trading policies and communication between the traders and the Flea Market site management. I've spent some time discussing various bits of trading and other information and received very positive feedback on well organised trading environment and conditions.

Image Gallery
14 images with Canon EOS 6D / EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens.

Av Mode: Auto-ISO / various apertures (f/4-f/11).

All images Copyright Vernon Chalmers Copyright Policy

(Click to Enlarge - Slideshow)
Majestic Table Mountain keeping watch over market trading and proceedings
Majestic Table Mountain keeping watch over market trading and proceedings

A truck load full of everything.- from a first old first aid kit to shark teeth
A truck load full of everything.- from a first old first aid kit to shark teeth 

Vibrant and comfy hand painted pillows with boats, cars and flowers
Vibrant and comfy hand painted pillows with boats, cars and flowers

Hand-made leather bags and goods. All produced from factory off-cuts
Hand-made leather bags and goods. All produced from factory off-cuts

Books for everybody - from mastering the digital world to freshwater fish species
Books for everybody - from mastering the digital world to freshwater fish species

Something old, something new - busy traders preparing and presenting their goods
Something old, something new - busy traders preparing and presenting their goods

Caps for everyone - even supporting the Rugby World Cup 2019
Caps for everyone - even supporting the Rugby World Cup 2019


Beautiful textiles from all around the word at sale right here in Milnerton
Beautiful textiles from all around the word at sale right here in Milnerton 

Belts and buckles - handmade by a very proud local leather craftsman
Belts and buckles - handmade by a very proud local leather craftsman


Plastic flowers to decorate and over-loaded table.
Plastic flowers to decorate and over-loaded table.

More textiles with many colourful patterns
More textiles with many colourful patterns

Visitors strolling around the neat rows of traders and their goods
Visitors strolling around the neat rows of traders and their goods

Historic value - film cameras, lenses, flash and accessories
Historic value - film cameras, lenses, flash and accessories

Masterfully crafted authentic African art - dramatic face masks to end the morning
Masterfully crafted authentic African art - dramatic face masks to end the morning

Milnerton Flea Market Website

Address: Marine Drive (R27) opposite Metro Industrial Park, Paarden Eiland Cape Town

Milnerton Flea Market - Map / Directions


African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town View

Birds around Woodbridge Island / Table Bay Nature Reserve

Grey heron spreading wings - Table Bay Nature Reserve
Grey heron in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve
The week after my field testing of the Canon EOS R6
I went out a couple of times with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II for some reference testing. I went for a view short hikes along the Diep river, Woodbridge Island and the adjacent Table Bay Nature Reserve
(opposite the Milnerton Golf Course)

Also captured my first sighting of an African black
duck in fight 

Woodbridge Island Bird Index

Conditions and Location
Late morning winter sun with no wind at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. Woodbridge Island Map

Canon Camera / Lens Settings 
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode
  • Auto-ISO: 400 - 1000
  • Aperture:  f/5.6 / f/6.3
  • Shutter Speed: 1/3200s
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.0: Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction.

Speckled pigeon - Woodbridge Island @ f/5.6
Speckled pigeon - Woodbridge Island @ f/5.6


Speckled pigeon Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Speckled pigeon in flight - Woodbridge Island @ f/6.3

Blacksmith lapwing Woodbridge Island
Blacksmith lapwing  - Woodbridge Island @ f/6.3

African darter in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve
African darter in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve

African black duck in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve
African black duck in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve

Egyptian goose in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve
Egyptian goose in flight - Diep River, Woodbridge Island

Low flying grey heron - Table Bay Nature Reserve
Low flying grey heron - Table Bay Nature Reserve

Pied kingfisher in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve
Pied kingfisher in flight - Table Bay Nature Reserve

Perched Levaillant's cisticola - Table Bay Nature Reserve
Perched Levaillant's cisticola - Table Bay Nature Reserve

23 October 2020

African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town

African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town

A road trip trip via Kalk Bay, Simon's Town, Scarborough, Kommetjie and Noordhoek, took us to Monkey Valley (Noordhoek) for the most unforgettable lunch and sunset. 

One of the many highlights of the day, with artist and Nikon photographer, Linda Strydom, was an impromptu visit to the informal Arts & Craft Market / Souvenir Shop at Boulders Beach, Simon's Town.

On this crisp Cape Town morning we sampled the rich, creative  and unbelievable colours of African art (with the generosity of their creators giving us oodles of discount to purchase their craftmanship - this is actually sad as there is the obvious lack of tourism due to the global Covid Pandemic).

Image Gallery
10 images with Canon EOS 6D / EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens and Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Av Mode: Auto-ISO / various apertures (f/5.6-f/11).

All images Copyright Vernon Chalmers Copyright Policy

African Craftmanship African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Craftmanship African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Craftmanship African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Craftmanship African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Craftmanship: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Craftmanship: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
African Textiles: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

Godfrey's Sunbird: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town
Godfrey's Sunbird: African Art & Craft Market - Boulders Beach, Simon's Town 

Milnerton, Cape Town Flea Market View

01 October 2020

Representing Cape Town / SA Tourism with Zeitz MOCAA image

Explore Epic South Africa - Image from the National Geographic / South Africa Tourism Publication
Image: From the National Geographic Your Shot Publication
Explore Epic South Africa : National Geographic

Proudly representing Cape Town / South African Tourism as a National Geographic Your Shot Partner Photographer.

My photo visit to the Zeitz MOCAA Museum - V&A Waterfront Cape Town (with Joseph Inns) was recently recognized with the publication of one image by National Geographic / South African Tourism in promoting our beautiful country.

Publication: Explore Epic South Africa (National Geographic / SA Tourism Board)

Zeithz MOCCA -  V&A Waterfront, Cape Town 
A vast, disused grain silo complex overlooking Cape Town’s historic, working harbor now holds the world’s largest museum for contemporary African art. Spread over nine floors, the Zeitz MOCAA has 80 galleries and a cathedral-like atrium, carved from the silo’s original storage tubes: an incredible transformation that honors the old, while giving center stage to the new.

"Up The Silos at the Zeits MOCCA - V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Vernon Chalmers Zeiyhs MOCCA Museum Image from the National Geographic / South Africa Tourism Publication
Vernon Chalmers Zeitz MOCCA Museum Image from the National Geographic / South Africa Tourism Publication

Canon camera used: Canon EOS 6D / EF 16-35mm lens (Auto-ISO / f/11 / handheld)

Link to my Zeitz MOCAA Museum images here on my website

Link to the National Geographic / SA Tourism Publication

South African Travel Destinations in the National Geographic / South African Tourism Publication
  • Driekop, Northern Cape
  • Hermanus, Western Cape
  • Hole In The Wall, Eastern Cape
  • Howich, Kwazulu-Natal
  • Mpumalanga Drakensberg
  • Mwene Valley, Drakensberg
  • Nambiti Private Game Reserve, Ladysmith
  • Port Edward, Kwazulu-Natal
  • Shakaland, Kwazulu-Natal
  • Table Mountain, Cape Town
  • Table View, Cape Town
  • Zeitz MOCCA Museum, V&A Waterfront Cape Town

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

Aperture Demonstration for New Photographers

Aperture Demonstration: Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens
Aperture Demonstration for New Photographers - With Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

A brief aperture / background blur demonstration of 8 images captured at different apertures, but exactly the same depth of field between camera / subject and background distance.

Objective: To demonstrate what effect an aperture change will have on background blur when changing the aperture setting on the camera (with all other settings exactly the same).

Lens Apertures
Apertures selected from first to last image: f/1.8 / f/2.8 / f/4 / f 5.6 / f/8 / f/11 / f/16 / f22 (f/1.8 is the largest aperture (actual lens opening with f/22 the smallest aperture of the particular lens used). Read more on the inter-relationship between Aperture / ISO and Shutter Speed: Exposure Triangle>>

Note how the density of the background blur decrease from f/2.8 to f/22. The background blur changes will have very little effect on the focused subject (red telephone / money box).

Difference between Digital Noise and Background Blur View

When is this applicable? In almost all subjects we photograph - from portraits to wildlife to landscapes. For portraits you want to isolate the subject by using a larger aperture (smaller f/ number) i.e. f/2.8 - f/4, for wildlife; isolating animals from their immediate habitat at i.e. f/4 - f/5.6 and for landscapes where you want image sharpness across the frame with smaller apertures (higher f/ number) i.e. f/11 - f/16.

The quality and density of the blur will depend on type of lens used, focal length of the lens, distance to subject (and to background). Various other camera / environmental factors could also have an effect on the desired outcome.

Creative application will also have an effect on the background blur, i.e. long exposures or showing motion in some part(s) of an image. Another consideration is macro photography where you may want to capture a close-up flower with a very narrow depth of field relative to its background - where you may require an aperture between i.e. f/2.8 - f/11 depending on the required blur effect(s) across the frame.

Canon EOS Camera / Lens / Speedlite Flash - Other Settings Used

  • Canon EOS 6D / Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens / Canon Speedlite 430EX II
  • f/1.8 - f/22 / ISO 400 / 1/60s (85mm) Manual Focus (via Live View) Tripod

(Click To Enlarge / Slideshow)

Aperture f/1.8  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens  Aperture f/2.8  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

Aperture f/4  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens  Aperture f/5.6  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

Aperture f/8  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens  Aperture f/11  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens

Aperture f/16  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens  Aperture f./22  ISO 400 : Canon EOS 6D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens
Shooting Location: Milnerton Cape Town (Photographer: Vernon Chalmers)

More about the Exposure in Photography Exposure Triangle