01 February 2020

The Roll of the Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

A gorgeous early morning at Woodbridge Island (and above the Milnerton Golf Course) this morning provided for lots of birds in flight activity in the Diep River. Herewith four consecutive images of the Sandwich tern before. during and after shacking the excess water from his features.

Sandwich tern images by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens ISO 400 - 500 f/5.6 1/4000's, AI Servo Mode (Handheld). 10 fps High-Speed continuous shooting mode.

(Click to Enlarge)
The Roll of the Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island
Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

The Roll of the Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island
Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

The Roll of the Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island
Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

The Roll of the Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island
Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island Cape Town



Another Sandwich Tern over Woodbridge Island

The Roll of the Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island
 Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

The Roll of the Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island

Sandwich Tern - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Birds in Flight Photography with different Canon AF Systems

Birds in Flight Photography with different Canon Autofocus Systems
Camera Autofocus System (AF) and continuous Frames Per Second shooting (fps) not always everything to succeed in Birds in Flight Photography

Canon EOS 7D Mark II vs Canon EOS 6D

A high continuous shooting fps camera with a sophisticated AF system is not the only requirement to succeed in Birds in Flight photography. Many other criteria will assist the quality of the end result(s).

Birds in Flight Shooting Conditions 
Conditions / subject speed for both images more / less the same. Both birds in flight images created in the Table Bay Nature Reserve just off Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Image 1:  Canon EOS 7D Mark II (APS-C) / EF 400mm f/5.6L lens @ 10 fps and 65-Point AF System / Large Zone AF (AI Servo)

Image 2: Canon EOS 6D (Full Frame) / EF 400mm f/5.6L lens @ 4.5 fps and 11 Point AF System / One Point AF (IA Servo)

Source / Settings Image 1: Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Source / Settings image 2: Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens
Image 1: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens

Canon EOS 6D / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens
Image 2: Canon EOS 6D / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens

Tracking Variables for Improved Birds in Flight Photography Article>>

Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town Training>>

Remarkable Cropability of a Full Frame DSLR Sensor

Remarkable Cropability of a Full Frame DSLR Sensor
With bigger pixels on the sensor, the full frame body (i.e. Canon EOS 6D) produces less noise than a crop-sensor body (i.e. Canon EOS 7D Mark II) at the same higher ISO - in this case at ISO 800. Tighter cropping of the original full frame image should therefore produce better / cleaner results than with a crop body.

1st image is the unprocessed / uncropped frame of a little bird taking off.


2nd image is the cropped version towards the centre of the frame / the little bird taking off (processed in Lightroom 6 with some noise reduction et al)

Note: The cropped image s not good enough for real-world publication - its only for demonstration purposes.


I regularly shoot with Full Frame and Crop / APS-C bodies and have equal purpose and respect for both - its about using the most suitable body for my interest areas / research. For anything that moves (action) and / or small (macro) I use a Crop / APS-C body and for landscape / long exposure /  low light I use a Full Frame body. But saying this, both body types are more than capable for all genres. Similar demonstration with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Cape Town Shooting Location
Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Canon Equipment Used

  • Canon EOS 6D Body 
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens

Camera / Lens Settings
  • Manual Mode: ISO 800 / f/6.3 / 1/ 4000s @ 300mm
  • Multi-Shot / AI Servo
  • Single AF point
  • IS off
(Click to enlarge)
Remarkable Cropability of a Full Frame DSLR Sensor
Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens

Remarkable Cropability of a Full Frame DSLR Sensor
Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens - Cropped

Low Light Birds in Flight Photography, Table Bay Nature Reserve

Sacred Ibis Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Sacred Ibis at ISO 640 - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Training Cape Town
I don't think many photographers would have considered Saturday morning a great morning for bird photography.

As part of a Canon EOS 7D Mark II practical training session we nevertheless braved the light rain, gloomy water and dark-grey clouds.

Fortunately, the rain stayed away and we made our way past the Woodbridge Island pump house and spend some quality shooting time in the Table Bay Nature Reserve (albeit at high ISO's).

All in all a great experience with a very enthusiastic wild life photographer.

Client Canon Camera & Lens
Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens

Cape Town Location
Diep River / Table Bay Nature Reserve
Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

My 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 - 3200)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps) / AI Servo
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

A few of my birds in flight captured. Note the high ISO's ranging from ISO 640 - ISO 3200:

(Click to Enlarge)
Little Egret in Flight at ISO 640 - Table Bay Nature Reserve Cape Town
Little Egret in Flight at ISO 640 - Table Bay Nature Reserve Cape Town

Cape Shoveller Duck Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Cape Shoveller Duck in Flight at ISO 1000 - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town


African Darter in Flight at ISO 1000 - Table Bay Nature Reserve Cape Town
African Darter in Flight at ISO 1000 - Table Bay Nature Reserve Cape Town

hEgyptian Goose Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Egyptian Goose in Flight at ISO 1250 - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town 

Cape Shoveller Duck in Flight at ISO 2500 - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town
Cape Shoveller Duck in Flight at ISO 2500 - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town

Cape Shoveller Duck Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Cape Town
Cape Shoveller Duck in Flight at ISO 3200 - Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town

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

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Lightroom 8.2 required for editing Canon CR3 RAW files

First images processed with Lightroom Classic CC 8.2
Image Credit :  Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 8 Splash Screen
First images processed with Lightroom Classic CC 8.2

Before I started with my Canon EOS R testing for Canon South Africa this past week I updated my Windows desktop systems from Lightroom Classic CC Version 7.5 to Version 8.2 (released in February 2019).

Canon EOS R First Impressions / More Sample Images

Canon CR3 / C-RAW RAW Requirement
The main reason for this update for my workflow was to accommodate Canon's relatively new CR3 RAW file standard for  the EOS R Full-Frame Mirrorless camera.

More about Canon CR3 RAW files go here>>

The Lightroom 8.2 update went without any problems and I continued with my normal post-processing workflow almost immediately when it was done.

There were no issues reading the Canon CR3 RAW files and / or the Canon C-RAW file standard. I tested both standards with more than a 1000 images each (from different SanDisk SD cards).

Update: Canon EOS RP CR3 RAW files are now compatible with the latest edition of Lightroom - Ver 8.2.1 (3 April 2019)

 Note: Lightroom Classic CC is a desktop-focused photo management and post-processing service (not on the cloud), but with monthly payment plan / subscription licence.

 All my Lightroom 7 import / export settings were also migrated at the same time.

Adobe Lightroom Training Cape Town
During my Adobe Lightroom Training I cover Lightroom importing / catalog management / exporting / processing in Lightroom 5.7 / 6.14 / 7.5 CC - and the migration to Lightroom CC from older versions (if required).

Minimum System Requirements for Lightroom Classic CC Go Here>>

More about Updating to Lightroom Classic CC Ver 8.2 Go Here>>

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Trial Download
Download a 7-Day Trail Versions of Lightroom 8.2.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2 Development Module Interface
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2 Development Module Interface
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2 Development Module Interface

First images processed with Lightroom 8.2

Shooting Location
Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Canon EOS Camera And Lens
  • Canon EOS R Full-Frame Mirrorless
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens
  • Canon Extender EF 1.4x III
  • Lens / Extender attached to EOS R via Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

My First Birds in Flight Images Processed with Lightroom Classic CC 8.2

(Birds / Bird in Flight : Click to Enlarge)
Cormorant - With Canon EOS R : Processed in Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2
Cormorant - With Canon EOS R : Processed in Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2

Gull - With Canon EOS R  : Processed in Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2
Gull - With Canon EOS R  : Processed in Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2

Little Egret in Flight - With Canon EOS R  :  Processed in Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2
Little Egret in Flight - With Canon EOS R  :  Processed in Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.2

Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.10.50 For Windows | Mac View

What is Camera / Lens EXIF Data?

What is Camera / Lens EXIF Data?
From Canon's EOS Utility Software
EXIF = Exchangeable Image File Format Information (EXIF Data)

EXIF Data is the identification and listing of information metadata tags and its values -available for DSLR / Compact / Smartphone cameras before and / or after taking the photo. 

Generally found on your LCD screen viewing image detail or when downloaded in Canon's Digital Photo Professional / Adobe Lightroom (and other camera / editing software).

Basic camera and lens detail such as Camera Make / Model, Lens Type, Exposure, White Balance, File format and various other settings are included in the EXIF Data.

Before / after the shot
The image on the right is a Windows 7 screenshot from a Canon EOS 700D DSLR attached to the EOS Utility (via USB) - before a shot. The Canon camera was set to Av mode with a pre-set f/stop value of F4.5, ISO 200, AF (Auto-Focus), RAW, and Single Shot. The absence of the shutter speed is indicative that when in Av mode, the camera will select the shutter speed during the actual exposure - and will only be available as EXIF Data after the shot.

The bottom image is the EXIF data displayed after the shot settings (extracted from the Canon Digital Photo Professional post-processing software). Notice that the Shutter Speed is now included = (1/45) - The lens information - Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM is now also displayed (together with other useful information).

Adobe Lightroom Free Plugin to view Body / Lens EXIF Data
Adobe Lightroom Free Plugin to view Body / Lens EXIF Data

Exposure / EXIF Data
Exposure EXIF information is the result of the Exposure / Lens settings set by the photographer ie. in Manual / Aperture Priority / Shutter Priority / Program Mode the photographer controls exposure settings such as Aperture / ISO / Shutter Speed.

What about EXIF Data in Auto Mode? Although the camera carries out all exposure decisions (except for lens focal length / zoom), all EXIF data will still be recorded and be available after the shot.

Basic camera and exposure info:- Camera / lens type ie. Photo taken with the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS at a focal length of 200mm.
  • Aperture - measuring the size of incoming light areas (f/stop) ie. f/5.6
  • ISO - light or image sensor sensitivity standard) ie ISO 100
  • Shutter speed - (measured in seconds) ie. 3 seconds or 1/1000's

Example of EXIF Data
: Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

  • Focal Length (FL) 200mm
  • f/5.6 (Aperture)
  • ISO 200 (ISO)
  • 1/250s (Shutter speed)

EXIF Data as displayed in the Canon's Digital Photo Professional Post-Processing Software:


Canon EOS 7D Mark II RAW EXIF DATA (After the Exposure / Capture)

EXIF Data as displayed in the Canon's Digital Photo Professional Post-Processing Software (Canon EOS 7D Mark II):
Canon Digital Photo Professional Post-Processing Software Snapshot

More on The Exposure Triangle (Aperture / ISO / Shutter Speed) - Exposure Triangle
Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.10.0 For Windows / Mac - Download

Close-Up Photography: Canon EOS 6D / 50mm Lens

Small Flowers - Woodbridge Island Cape Town

Canon EOS 6D and EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens for Close-Up Photography

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens is Canon's latest budget 50mm 'nifty-fifty' standard telephoto lens. It's a fast autofocus lens now with a metal mount - and definitely a lens I should use more often. The quality of the background blur is very pleasing when shooting between f/1.8 and f/8. The lens also pairs very well with all the Canon crop sensor bodies i.e. Canon EOS 80D / Canon EOS 760D.


There are currently four Canon 50mm lenses on the market. All Canon 50mm lenses are compatible with Canon Full Frame and APS-C / Crop Sensor bodies. More information.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens
Another very cost-effective Canon standard telephoto lens for consideration is the exceptionally sharp and versatile Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens.

(Click to Enlarge)
Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens @ f1/8 / ISO 100
Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens @ f1/8 / ISO 100

Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens @ f4 / ISO 100
Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens @ f4 / ISO 100


Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens @ f1.8 / ISO 100
Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens @ f1.8 / ISO 100


Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens @ f1.8 / ISO 100
Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens @ f1.8 / ISO 100

Aperture Testing Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens View


Birds in Flight Photography with Canon EOS 6D View

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

Canon EOS 6D: High ISO Noise Comparison View