20 April 2021

Grieving the loss of my friend, Joseph Inns

Butterfly by Joseph Inns
Butterfly at Butterfly World Photo Credit Joseph Inns
Yesterday, Monday, 19 April 2021 at 00.06, one of my best friends ever, Joseph, passed away after suffering metastatic cancer for more than the last year and six months.

He phoned me on Valentine’s Day 2020 in Cape Town to convey the tragic news. I cried, I’m still crying after the loss of this giant of a man. He was the most peaceful person in my life and I believe, in many people’s lives.

I’ve known him for 28 years – as lecturers – as business partners – as photographers – as friends – together we dreamed of conquering our world(s) – and we did.

In many ways he was my inspiration into photography. I believed in his passion, his image making and above all, his endless patience.
 
Today I’m sad, very sad, but it’s a 'positive' sadness. He is / was a very good man with exemplary values of kindness and gratitude.

He left a legacy to many - he left me a better person than ever before. Like many; his family, all the photographers in his life and I (and so many others) will mourn his loss – and I will build a big statute for the big man here right inside of me.

Grieving the loss of my friend, Joseph Inns
The Life of Joseph Inns : Image Credit: Joseph Inns family
As for me – Joseph will never be gone – he will keep living
in a very special place throughout my existence as a person.

We will never forget you, Joseph.
 
I will write a full tribute - "I Remember...." for Joseph here on my website in the next couple of months.

Rest in Peace, Big Fellow.

As I recently replied to his wife, Janice Inns, on the Joseph Inns Memorial invitation "I just cannot believe it when I look at the memorial invitation - its unreal. I am so sad, its the same sadness as when my mom died.

I miss Joseph - just the emotional connectness we had. And can just about imagine how you and the family must feel. Mike also messaged me on Monday. But, be proud, he was the best of the best. I learned a lot from him. He calmed me down in ways nobody else could."

The Life of Joseph Inns - Memorial Service 26 April 2021 10:00.
I wrote this to my darling lady friend in France on 26 April 2021 - after the memorial Service. (she's been going through the motions with me for months of Joseph's illness) "I listened carefully to every word spoken about my friend at his service and the words that came out from all the speakers were Compassion / Care / Non-Judgmental / Artist / Creative / Love / Peace - all values words. He was all of this - and more. He did not try and be this, he was this - every time I saw him - for 28 years in our friendship."

I forwarded above message to Joseph's wife - Janice, as well.

It was a beautiful informal service at the Bloemhof Restaurant in Bo Oakdale, Cape Town and many people presented their love, feelings and celebrations for the Life of Joseph Inns.  I re-connected with my of my old time friends. Due to Covid there were not many people there, but of those there, Joseph touched us all in a very special way. 

Attached Butterfly Image: From the Joseph Inns Collection. Photographer: Joseph Inns (with one of his beloved Nikon cameras)

The Joseph Inns Story By His Wife Janice Inns Dignity SA

From Darkness into Light... Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden View

Hout Bay Harbour African Art & Textiles - for Joseph Inns View

15 April 2021

Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town

Canon Camera / Photography Training Cape Town
Canon EOS Fast Shutter Speed Action Photography - Woodbridge Island
Canon Photography Training Cape Town

Private Canon EOS DSLR Camera and Photography tutoring / training courses in Milnerton, Cape Town.

Tailor-made (individual) learning programmes are prepared for specific Canon EOS DSLR camera and photography requirements with the following objectives:
  • Individual Needs / Gear analysis
  • Canon EOS camera menus / settings
  • Exposure settings and options
  • Specific genre applications and skills development
  • Practical shooting sessions (where applicable)
  • Adobe Lightroom post-processing training
  • Ongoing support

Canon Camera / Lens Requirements
Any Canon EOS body / lens combination is suitable for most of the training sessions. During initial contact I will determine the learner's current skills, Canon EOS system and other learning / photographic requirements.

Self Catering Accommodation Milnerton
Vernon Chalmers photography training is facilitated from a self-catering apartment in Arnhem, Milnerton (opposite Woodbridge Island) with an option for local and international photographers to overnight during the various training sessions. Optional accommodation will be calculated at reduced rates into the Photography Training Proposal / Invoicing. More Information

Photography Training Gift Vouchers
Most photography training sessions are available as Birthday / Christmas Gift training voucher options with a one year validity period. More information
  
Photography Private Training Classes Milnerton, Cape Town
  • Introduction to Photography / Canon Cameras More 
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop More
  • Canon Speedlite Flash Photography Workshop More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop More

Training / demonstrations are done on the client's own Canon EOS bodies attached to various Canon EF / other brand lenses covering wide-angle to zoom focal lengths.

Method of PaymentPayment Options>>

Private Canon Camera / Photography Training Cape Town
Canon EOS System / Menu  Setup & Training Cape Town
2020 Individual Photography Training Session Cost / Rates>>

From R650 per four to five hour session in Milnerton, Cape Town. Practical shooting sessions can be worked into the training. A typical training programme of four training sessions is R2 450-00.


This to be inclusive of up to 15 hours theory / settings training (inclusive: a three hours practical shoot around Woodbridge Island if required).

Canon EOS Cameras / Lenses / Speedlite Flash Training
All Canon EOS cameras from the EOS 1100D to advanced AF training on the Canon EOS 80D to 
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. All Canon EF / EF-S and other compatible brands.  All Canon Speedlite flash units from Canon Speedlite 270EX to Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT (including Macro Ring Lites). 

Advanced Canon EOS Autofocus Training
For advanced AF training have a look at the Birds in Flight Photography workshop options. Advanced AF training most suitable from the Canon EOS 7D Mark II to Canon EOS 1-DX Mark II.

Cape Town Training Schedules / Availability
From Tuesdays - during the day / evening and / or over weekends.


Canon Camera and Photography Training Cape Town
Canon EOS / Accessories Training Cape Town
Core Canon Camera / Photography  Learning Areas
  • Overview & Specific Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Exposure Settings for M / Av / Tv Modes
  • Autofocus / Manual Focus Options
  • General Photography / Lens Selection / Settings
  • Transition from JPG to RAW (Reasons why)
  • Landscape Photography / Settings / Filters
  • Close-Up / Macro Photography / Settings
  • Speedlite Flash / Flash Modes / Flash Settings
  • Digital Image Management / Post-Processing

Private Canon Camera / Photography Training Cape Town
Canon EOS / Speedlite Flash Training Cape Town
Practical Photography / Application
  • Inter-relationship of ISO / Aperture / Shutter Speed
  • Aperture and Depth of Field demonstration
  • Low light / Long Exposure demonstration
  • Landscape sessions / Manual focusing
  • Speedlite Flash application / technique
  • Introduction to Post-Processing

Tailor-made Canon Camera / Photography training to be facilitated on specific requirements after a thorough needs-analysis with individual photographer / or small group.

Typical Learning Areas Agenda (based Canon EOS 70D)
  • General Photography Challenges / Fundamentals 
  • Exposure Overview (ISO / Aperture / Shutter Speed) 
  • Canon EOS 70D Menus / Settings (in relation to exposure) 
  • Camera / Lens Settings (in relation to application / genres) 
  • Lens Selection / Technique (in relation to application / genres) 
  • Introduction to Canon Flash / Low Light Photography

Above Learning Areas are facilitated over two sessions of three to four hours each. An optional practical shooting component (if required) will be at an additional cost.



Click to Enlarge


Woodbridge Island / Milnerton Lighthouse before sunrise - Canon EOS 6D / 16-35mm Lens
Woodbridge Island / Milnerton Lighthouse - Canon EOS 6D / 16-35mm Lens


White-Breasted Cormorant in flight - Slow Shutter Speed Abstract Cape Town
White-Breasted Cormorant in Flight  : Slow Shutter Speed Abstract Application

Private Canon Camera / Photography Training Cape Town
Perched Kingfisher - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Canon Camera and Photography Private Tutoring Cape Town
Long Exposure Photography: Canon EOS 700D / Wide-Angle Lens


Private Canon Camera / Photography Training Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm lens


Colourpoint Persian : Canon EOS 6D / 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Colourpoint Persian : Canon EOS 6D / 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens

Private Canon Camera / Photography Training Cape Town
Fashion Photography with Canon Speedlite flash : Canon EOS 6D 70mm Focal Length

Long Exposure Photography with Canon EOS 6D - Woodbridge Island / Cape Town
Long Exposure Photography with Canon EOS 6D - Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Private Canon Camera / Photography Training Cape Town
Close-Up & Macro Photography Cape Town  - Canon EOS 6D

Canon Camera and Photography Private Tutoring Cape Town
Panning / Slow Shutter Speed: Canon EOS 70D 70-300mm Lens

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

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

14 April 2021

New Full-Frame Canon EOS R3 Mirrorless Camera

New Full-Frame Canon EOS R3 Mirrorless Camera
Image Credit: Canon USA
Canon USA Press / Media Release

Developing News: Canon Announces That The Powerful Professional Full-Frame EOS R3 Mirrorless Camera Is On Its Way

The Company Is Also Welcoming Three New RF Lenses: The Canon RF100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM, RF400mm F2.8 L IS USM and RF600mm F4L IS USM


MELVILLE, NY, April 14, 2021
Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc., is developing a new, high-performance professional camera — the Canon EOS R3*.

When it arrives, the EOS R3 will be an outstanding complement to the three new RF lenses the company also introduced today — The Canon RF100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM, RF400mm F2.8 L IS USM and RF600mm F4 L IS USM.

“The development of the Canon EOS R3 and the launch of the new RF lenses are the latest testament to the company’s commitment to professional still and video image and content creators,” said Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “When the camera becomes available, it will pair well with each of the new RF lenses announced today. Canon is excited to share this news today, and we look forward to seeing the images captured with the new RF lenses and upcoming EOS R3.”

Under Development - The Canon EOS R3
The Canon EOS R3 will join the current lineup of EOS R full-frame mirrorless series cameras. This camera will usher in a new category to the EOS R system, positioned squarely between the EOS R5 and EOS-1D X Mark III cameras. The camera will put great emphasis on superb AF performance and speed, with fast-moving subjects. It is being designed to meet the reliability and durability demands of professionals, even when working in challenging conditions.

At the heart of the EOS R3 camera’s performance will be an EOS camera first, a Canon-developed, full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with a back-illuminated design, providing substantially faster read-out speeds during still-imaging recording. This completely new sensor is designed to produce less “rolling shutter” distortion during Electronic Shutter operation and offer continuous Electronic Shutter still-image shooting at speeds up to 30 fps — with full Dual Pixel CMOS AF and auto exposure1.

The AF system will leverage technology and performance from the well-received EOS R5 and EOS R6 cameras, using Deep Learning technology to further enhance eye and body detection for even better performance during portrait and action-type shooting. In addition, the EOS R3’s subject detection AF will offer new recognizable subjects for its AF system, bolstering its focusing capabilities during challenging shooting conditions.

The Electronic Viewfinder of the EOS R3 will offer photographers the ability to select the initial area for AF tracking by simply looking directly at the viewfinder location where they want to begin AF. With Eye Control AF2 and Servo AF activated, the camera will focus on and track moving subjects at that location in the frame. When Face Detect + Tracking is active, the camera will continue to follow moving subjects around the entire active AF area.

The camera body will be entirely new and accentuates the camera’s high-performance design. It’s a one-piece design, integrating the body with a vertical grip section. The weather and dust-resistance will be equivalent to that of EOS-1D class cameras — an essential consideration for nature, wildlife, sports and photojournalism content creators working in extreme conditions. In addition, news photojournalists will be excited to add the Mobile File Transmitter application for iOS and Android devices that will be available.

Full details of all the EOS R3’s features and specifications will be provided at the time of its formal announcement*. To follow along for more news on the Canon EOS R3 camera, please visit: www.usa.canon.com/eosr3.

From Up-Close To Far Away, New Canon RF Lenses Have You Covered
The Canon RF100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM lens is not only Canon’s first RF lens designed specifically for macro photography, but also the world’s first3 medium telephoto macro lens with a maximum magnification of 1.4x. The new lens, designed for both advanced photo enthusiasts and professionals, takes macro photography expression to the next level with the introduction of a spherical aberration (SA) control ring. The SA control ring allows users to change the character and appearance of the bokeh and obtain a softer focus effect with a simple turning of the ring to the desired result. Additional features of the Canon RF100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM include:
  • Optical Image Stabilizer with up to five stops of Shake Correction4.
  • When combined with a camera featuring In-Body Image Stabilizer, up to eight stops of shake correction5 is possible with coordinated operation of Optical and In-Body Image Stabilizer.
  • Hybrid IS helps to compensate for angular and shift camera shake during macro shooting.
  • High-speed, smooth and quiet auto focus with dual nano USM.
  • Customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO.
  • Rugged Canon L-series dust and water-resistant design.

The Canon RF400mm F2.8L IS USM and Canon RF600mm F4L IS USM are both designed to be optically identical to their EF counterparts. The RF400mm and RF600mm weigh in at 6.37 and 6.81 pounds with a minimum focusing distance of 8.2 and 13.8 feet, respectively. Both lenses share many of the same critical features that help professional high-end super-telephoto lenses stand out from the crowd. Those features include:
  • Ideal for a wide variety of shooting situations, including sports, aviation, trains, automotive, and wildlife, such as birding.
  • Optical Image Stabilization with up to 5.5 stops6 of shake correction. Including three IS Operation Modes — still subjects, panning, and irregular movement.
  • Proprietary Canon lens coatings, Super Spectra Coating (SSC), and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) help minimize ghosting and flaring. Lens placement and coatings are optimized to provide users with clear, high-contrast images even when there is a bright light source.
  • Lenses include fluorite and super UD lens elements arranged in such a way to help correct chromatic aberration and make the models more compact. Like the latest Canon EF400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF600mm f/4L IS III USM lenses, released in the fall of 2018, weight on these RF-series super-telephotos has been significantly reduced vs. previous-generation Canon super tele designs.
  • Compatible with Canon RF 1.4x and 2x extenders, and feature a customizable electronic focus ring, with manual focus capability during SERVO AF.
  • A nine-blade circular aperture provides users beautiful bokeh and ideally blurred backgrounds when the aperture is stopped down.
  • For added convenience when on a shoot, two focus presets are available. Users can instantly return to one of two memorized focus distances.
  • Rugged Canon L-series dust and water-resistant design with vibration and shock resistance. The front element has been dressed with a fluorine coating for easy cleaning.
  • Infrared reflective pigments with high reflectance and titanium oxide lens barrel coating with silica provide excellent UV weather resistance and heat reduction.

Canon RF Lenses Pricing and Availability
The Canon RF100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM, Canon RF400mm F2.8 L IS USM and Canon RF600mm F4L IS USM are scheduled to be available in July 2021 for an estimated retail price of $1,399.00, $11,999.00 and $12,999.00, respectively*. For more information, please visit usa.canon.com.

Source: Canon USA (Canon Press Release)

13 April 2021

For new Birds in Flight Photographers

For the new Birds in Flight photographers
Pied kingfisher in Flight - Canon EOS 6D 
For the new Birds in Flight photographers / anybody else interested

This is a post I published on Birdlife South Africa's Facebook Group on 13 April 2021.

The pied kingfisher is one of the fastest and smallest birds here at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town and generally the photographers here will by default use the 'fastest' camera (frames per second / Autofocus) and longest lens (reach) in their camera bags. Same as anywhere else I suppose...

For this exercise I used the 'slowest' camera and my shortest long lens in my bag to see what could be done - if that is all that’s available in a new / developing photographer’s bag.

The four images = a consecutive burst at a relatively slow, but maximum fps for the EOS 6D @ 4.5 fps with an 80 MB/s SD memory card. View all four images here

Canon Equipment / Settings used:
  • Canon EOS 6D Full Frame body (4.5 fps / basic 11-Point AF System)
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens
  • Manual Mode: f/5.6 / 1/4000s / Auto-ISO 500
  • AI Servo (for continuous focus / movement)
  • 300mm focal length
  • Single Point AF
  • Image Stabilasation (IS) turned off

Succeeding in Birds in Flight photography does not necessarily mean the fasted frame rate / best AF-System on the market, but rather the mindfulness of a range of environmental factors that contributes to the ‘overall workflow’/ skills in getting satisfactory results.

Other considerations to keep in mind when developing skills for Birds in Flight Photography

------------------------------------

Questions / My Response on this post - on the Birdlife South Africa Facebook Group

Question "Interested to know why the IS was off? Always thought IS to be important for handheld shooting and especially for wildlife and birds.

My Response "In my opinion not required above 1/1000s - I give the camera and lens as little as possible 'to think about" My 400mm lens does not have IS - and is not really required for Birds in Flight photography using shutter speeds between 1/3200s - 1/4000s. Even in testing done for Canon South Africa on the EF 100-400mm f/4.6-5.6L IS II USM lens (Birds in Flight) I turned the IS off. It works for me - every photographer should test / experiment over an extensive period to so see how it 'pans' out for him / her."

"IS is globally debatable in application for action photography. It can become a hot topic, because people pay up to R120K+ for a prime lens with IS. You posed a very good question - and my answer to your question, like hundreds like yours I receive, is I don't use IS for fast action photography (ito the equipment I use). My main reference is Birds in Flight photography where I use 1/3200s - 1/4000s. I use different cameras for different genres - and there will be many time where IS = NB. My motto = anything that moves - no IS required if I use a high enough shutter speed - just have to watch your ISO - if using Auto-ISO (on modern DSLRs)."

Birdlife South Africa Facebook Group Reference

10 April 2021

From Darkness into Light... Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

From darkness into light.... Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
From Darkness into Light... Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden 
Personal Note: Friday at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (to turn sadness in happy moments - for being in the moment)

From darkness into light...

It was with eager anticipation that I prepared my camera bag for a morning session at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. I have not been there in more than a year - and at the time was left with sad memories of the most special person / and keen photographer I ever known (my biggest love) - which I have 'emotionally lost' soon after our last visit to Kirstenbosch. 

She (the most beautiful person ever in my life) is gone, the cognitive dissonance is dissipating, but the good / bad memories kept on lingering. I knew I had to go back to Kirstenbosch with real friends (with gratitude) to let the biggest Love in my live go - and I did so on Friday.

Update: Grieving the Loss of my Friend, Joseph Inns (is not the person described here)

In "Conversations with God", Neale Walsch writes something to this effect, what God said "When you meet your biggest Love, you will meet your biggest Fear". I grappled with this for the past 12 months. I became Fear.... and this was so profoundly true - in every breath I took. It took me months and months of working through personal conditioning efforts of (my own) neuroplasticity regimes to 're-wire' my brain for overcoming this particular Fear.

On a glorious and fresh sunny Friday morning I went back to Kirstenbosch with one of my photography club friends, Karen Donaldson, (a dear friend of mine for many years and also a friend of my best friend, Joseph Inns, who is now very ill - I've never been to Kirstenbosch with either of them).

I had one of the very best mornings ever at Kirstenbosch, free to roam the gardens and to think about love, life and to share the crispness of the beautiful morning with a real friend.

Blessed with God's Gifts of nature and real, true and good people in my life.

I've had the greatest support over the last 6 - 8 months to get my mojo as photographer and person back. It will be unfair to identify any individual in my healing, but you know who you are. Some of of you I unfriended from Facebook, because any reminders of her which was hurting me to the core, was just to challenging at times. I will never forget you, your words, your wisdom, to carry me back into the true light of life and photography.

An for a very special lady: you gave me 'the little gold nuggets' to rebuild my life. You've listened to me for hour after hour here in my Blu-C studio. I'm forever grateful for your professionalism, wisdom, patience, love and care.

----------------------------------------

My thoughts on Loss: Love vs Fear - Vernon Chalmers Photography
Love vs Fear : Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden
My thoughts on Loss: Love vs Fear

(in response to a comment I received on Facebook)

"When we lose good people that were close to us the loss / pain is almost incomprehensible to self and in explanation to others. I lost my mother in March 2017 and it took me a few years to overcome this loss.

Today I cherish her life and am thankful for the legacy she left with her good values, gratitude and unconditional love.

When you lose somebody (death or otherwise) that were severely compromised in the application of basic values, healthy emotions and expectations the 'wound' can take forever to heal. IMHO = if you lose somebody in Love the mourning and healing is a sad, but healthy process vs if you lose somebody in Fear (due to abuse and emotional disconnect), the mourning and healing is a long drawn out process that runs wild and toxic (in the mind).

There is no legacy, there is no 'statue' in the mind for them. I had to learn new ways to deal with my thoughts and today am grateful to let somebody go that I thought I will never forgive for the hurt et al. But, I was taught (over months) to let her go in peace"

"The last 6 - 8 months were indeed my biggest learning curve in my entire life. Nothing I was taught at university in 7 years with psychology / decision-making / strategic planning, et al assisted in closure - and the fact that I lectured all these subjects - nothing really assisted me in finding a personal "solution" for moving on. The essence was the fact that I went into the 'darkness' with no torch / no light and learned about myself - in honesty and fairness of who I was, want to be, will be, can / could be...

The rawness of this became a poignant realisation and acceptance of the true self. The authentic self .... not in relation to others first, but to the self first. This does not mean I diminish the roles others play in my life, their roles are huge - when they are 'healthy' individuals..."

From darkness into light... Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
"Understanding the true impact of Light only now" Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Website

09 April 2021

Butterflies and Sunbird at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

African Monarch Butterflies and Southern double-collared sunbird at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

On a glorious and fresh sunny Friday morning with Karen Donaldson during a visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

With the oldest Canon kit in my camera bag>> 

African Monarch butterflies: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens (Mark I)
  • Manual Mode: 400mm / f/5.6 / ISO 500 / 1/2000s shutter speed
  • Handheld

Southern double-collared sunbird: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens (Mark I)
  • Aperture Priority (Av) Mode: 370mm / f/5.6 / ISO 160 / 1/540s shutter speed
  • Handheld

From Darkness into Light... Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden

All Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden images Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy

African Monarch Butterfly at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
African Monarch Butterfly at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

African Monarch Butterfly at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
African Monarch Butterfly at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

African Monarch Butterfly at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
African Monarch Butterfly at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Southern double-collared sunbird - Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Southern double-collared sunbird - Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Website

Small butterfly photography with Birds In Flight Setup

02 April 2021

Small butterfly photography with Birds In Flight Setup

The small butterfly was captured while I was out doing some birds in flight shooting around Woodbridge Island, Milnerton Cape Town this morning.

This is exactly the same camera / lens setup that I use for capturing birds in flight around the island. Normally, I would use a macro lens / or a zoom lens with an extended tube, but I was keen to see how this setup could work. 


Advantages for close-up photography with this setup are very good image quality and fast Autofocus (AF) of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens combination.

A disadvantage of the 400mm lens is the Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) when capturing close-up subjects. the MFD is 3.5 meter, but the lens can be used with extension tubes and / or close-up lens filters. Filter thread is 77mm.

The rest is up to (AF) tracking and framing requirements. I've captured all three images with lens AF on.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II /  EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens (Handheld). Manual mode: ISO 1000 / f/6.3 1/5000s. Wide Zone AF / 10 fps. Handheld.


(Click to enlarge)
Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Butterfly Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Butterflies and Sunbird at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden View

Visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

During May 2019 I had an opportunity for testing the Canon EOS R mirrorless body. For one of my outings I paired the Canon EOS R with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens for a trip to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden close to Cape Town.

It was a bit late in the morning with the summer sun pounding down on Cape Town. Nevertheless, I was quite pleased with some of the images captured. I've captured a lonesome, but busy Southern Double Collared Sunbird and fauna and flora.

From Darkness into Light Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden 2021

All images Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy

Southern Double-Collared Sunbird Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
Southern Double-Collared Sunbird Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Canon EOS R at ISO 100 / 200mm f/4

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Canon EOS R at ISO 100 / 102 mm (f/2.8 / IS on and Handheld)
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Canon EOS R at ISO 100 / 102 mm  f/2.8

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Canon EOS R at ISO 100 / 200mm (f/2.8 / IS on Handheld)
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Canon EOS R at ISO 100 / 200mm f/2.8 

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Canon EOS R at ISO 100 / 200mm (f/4 / IS on Handheld)
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Canon EOS R at ISO 100 / 200mm f/4

Butterflies and Sunbird at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden View

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Website

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town Gallery

01 April 2021

Shooting Birds in Flight at higher ISO’s / moodiness of poor light

Little egre in flight - Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Little egret in flight - Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Woodbridge Island @ ISO 1600

My students know that I’m an great believer of Auto-ISO on all DSLR's in my bag (for Birds in Flight photography.) On this occasion (a while before Covid) I looked out the window and observed ISO weather of between ISO 1200 – 3200. A bitterly cold and horrible day for anything outside let alone Birds in Flight Photography. Normally on a day like this, I will evaluate my opportunity cost options and rather do something else.

But, I had a new client, super keen on testing out his brand new kit (body and lens) and I had little choice but to assist him in his quest for mastering application / practice. I did however, offered him coffee (instead) on Woodbridge Island before this shoot, but the lad wanted to shoot – so off we went.

Herewith one of the images I managed to capture with my traditional Birds in Flight settings on that day - remember I deliberately selected Auto-ISO to see the results. EXIF Data: ISO 1600 / f/5.6 / 1/2500s.

Little egret in flight over the Diep River Woodbridge Island with Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Grey reflections behind the bird: Icy cold water of the Diep River, reflecting the state of the sky above...

Taking advantage of Auto ISO - Official Canon Article

Taking advantage of Auto ISO is an official Canon Learning document. 

Using Auto ISO 500 with Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Image: Vernon Chalmers Photography
Using Auto ISO 500 with Canon EOS 7D Mark II - View Gallery
Many of my Canon EOS photography clients / students uses the Canon EOS-1D X II, Canon EOS 5D Mark III/ IV and Canon EOS 6D / II and high-end APS-C / Crop bodies (EOS 7D Mark II / EOS 90D / EOS 80D / EOS 70D amongst others). This article is an excellent resource to inform them of the official Canon motivation on using Auto ISO.

I only use Auto ISO for my birds in flight photography and for many new birds in flight photographers this is quite a departure from pre-set ISO's

I have used Auto ISO since 2013 for serious birds in flight starting with the Canon EOS 70D and rarely had noise issues up to ISO 1200 (with some noise reduction applied in post-processing).

Taking advantage of Auto ISO
Canon’s EOS-1D X, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 6D possess a host of new features and improvements, including a significant refinement of Auto ISO, that makes the feature an even more practical option to working photographers and serious enthusiasts. Aside from the cameras’ outstanding high ISO image quality and significantly increased ISO range, the following features answer the requests of many serious shooters:

  • User can manually pre-set a minimum and maximum ISO range
  • For Auto ISO, the shooter can pre-set the minimum and maximum available ISO range (this is separate from the range for manually-adjusted ISO)
  • For the first time with an EOS SLR, the shooter can set a minimum shutter speed used with Auto ISO. If the shutter speed drops below this user-set value, the Auto ISO will automatically be raised

Auto ISO has become a feature many experienced SLR users are considering in certain shooting situations. This article will cover in detail these new settings and offer some possible scenarios where they might prove very useful.

Auto ISO
The EOS-1D X, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 6D allow Auto ISO to be used in all shooting modes, including Manual mode, and all the ISO speed options are accessed from a single screen. But for many experienced shooters, the first question may be, “Why would I want to have the camera automatically set the ISO for me?”

One example is when lighting may change radically during shooting. Theater and concert photography, where stage lighting may change rapidly, are really good examples. Wedding ceremonies in churches are another example. With available light in the church, the photographer would have to speedily adjust when the doors open and the couple exits. Without missing a moment, Auto ISO would let the photographer work at higher ISOs indoors and seamlessly switch to lower ISOs outside.

Sports events that occur in the early morning or late afternoon, where half the field may be in direct sunlight and the other side in deep shade, are also challenging. Professional sports photographers used to have a few choices to deal with this situation, such as pre-setting exposure settings for only one side of the field. Another possibility would have been carrying two cameras, each pre-set to different settings and film speeds, and switching between fields. I doubt many photographers miss doing that.

A wildlife photographer suggested this challenging scenario: he or she is following a running animal, which means that the shutter and aperture can’t be easily changed. The animal might hide under the shade for a moment before suddenly running into bright sunlight. Adventure photographers, like rock climbers, might face the same challenge with dramatically different lighting situations when facing up or down from the same spot.

If a photographer shoots in Av or Tv mode, they may anticipate needing or wanting to make major changes in aperture or shutter speed, respectively. Auto ISO can save time by preserving a reasonable hand-held shutter speed (in Av) or usable lens aperture (in Tv), which possibly eliminates the need to follow-up with a big Av or Tv change with a manual adjustment of ISO.

In Manual exposure mode, a pre-set shutter speed and lens aperture can be continually maintained, even if the light changes. This allows the photographer to have full control over stopping motion and depth-of-field, while still allow the camera to react to any changes in light (this could be ideal in remote-controlled or intervalometer shooting). A very handy, yet underutilized, feature is the ability to apply AE Lock when working with Auto ISO in Manual mode. The viewfinder will show the difference between the locked value and the current metered value. It is important to know that the camera won't let you use the “ealxtended” ISO settings (equivalent to ISO 50, 51200 and 102400 on the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 6D) in Auto ISO.

Shutter Speed
Until now, one problem that kept many pros away from Auto ISO was that there was no meaningful control over how slow a shutter speed might be selected in low-light conditions. But with Canon’s recently introduced SLRs, the photographer can tailor Auto ISO to give exactly this type of control. A separate menu entry, Minimum shutter speed, provides the following settings:

  • Auto: Camera will continue to try to maintain a shutter speed of at least 1 over the lens focal length, changing ISO to maintain this as long as possible. The camera will tend to pick lower ISOs and slower speeds when using standard or wide-angle lenses.
  • User-defined shutter speed: Photographer can pick a speed from 1 second to 1/250 of a second and the camera will only go below this shutter speed after it has raised its ISO to the highest available setting, based on Maximum ISO set by the user under Auto ISO range.

Some users are often hesitant to delegate such an important setting to the camera’s brain. But after getting used to this new feature, the results speak for themselves.

Image Quality
Thankfully, Canon thought about image quality at great length and came up with very elegant solutions. Users can specify the slowest shutter speed before the ISO is raised automatically and they can set a limit to the highest ISO the camera will use, which enables them to retain the lighting and look that they desire for a scene. They can also specify the ISO range the camera can use to ensure proper image quality.

The overall image quality at higher ISOs on Canon’s latest full-frame digital SLRs is superior to any Canon EOS models which have come before them — making shots at higher ISOs a legitimate and practical option, even for critical shooters. Just a few years ago, ISO 400 or 800 provided image quality that was borderline acceptable. With current systems, one can now push the ISO to 3200 and higher and get vastly cleaner files. This point certainly means Auto ISO is here to stay.

Flash and Auto ISO
When using a flash on the EOS 6D, 5D Mark III or 1D X, photographers need to be aware of these settings:

  • Auto ISO normally is locked at ISO 400 when an EOS speedlite is attached and turned on
  • Auto ISO can be lowered down as far as 100, if over-exposure would occur in fill-flash situations in bright outdoor lighting
  • If an EX-series speedlite is swiveled for bounce, Auto ISO can extend from 400 or up to 1600 (depending on level of ambient lighting in the scene) and allow for an extra measure of E-TTL exposure when flash is scattered by bouncing

Video
Even though one can’t set maximum and minimum ISO or shutter speed when shooting video, video shooting with EOS SLRs does permit use of Auto ISO. When recording video with an EOS SLR in any Auto mode (P, Tv, or Av), ISO is always set automatically by the camera.

When shooting in Manual Mode, users can set a specific ISO (from 100 to 12800; up to 25600 on the EOS-1D X) or let the camera automatically adjust the ISO on the fly. The beauty of this is that the photographer’s choice of shutter speed and lens aperture, often critical when recording HD video, can be pre-set and locked in. Yet, if lighting changes as the camera or subject moves, the camera can adjust exposure by only varying ISO. Again, when shooting video and the camera is set to Program (P), Aperture Priority (Av) or Shutter Priority (Tv), the only option users have is to let the ISO be automatically set by the camera.

If you are shooting from a moving vehicle — for example, a car or a train — you may be going through a whole range of scenes from bright to dim light. Another situation when Auto ISO is very helpful is when shooting one continuous shot with a Steadicam. Auto ISO comes in handy when going from a very dark scene (an underground Subway platform) to a very bright scene (a street at midday) when one does not have easy access to the camera settings while recording.

Conclusion
As you can see, Auto ISO is a very useful setting when the light is changing rapidly and either the shutter speed and/or aperture need to be pre-set to match a specific effect – like freezing action for sports or wildlife, or when changing settings is not easy. It can enable very quickly and make major changes to speeds or apertures, thus allowing the user to shoot again without having to make a follow-up adjustment to ISO.

When working in situations with rapid and extreme changes in lighting, consider using Auto ISO more often, especially when capturing the moment is absolutely critical.

An In-depth Discussion of M + Auto-ISO for Canon SLRs View

Source: Canon USA

Vernon Chalmers Photography Training Update 2021

Landscape Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town
Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town
Offering individual photographers with private and flexible Canon EOS / Photography training classes in Milnerton, Cape Town (opposite Woodbridge Island). 

Training Objective
To assist the developing Canon EOS photographer with an integrated learning approach for mastering the more advanced camera and exposure settings within selected application and genres with any current Canon EOS APS-C or Full-Frame camera (i.e Canon EOS 1300D / 60D / 7D / 6D / 5D or Mirrorless EOS R / M bodies).

Delegates will be able to select specific areas to suite specific photographic applications / genres depending on personal requirements and current / future lens selections. Training may be scheduled over a period of time and does not have to be completed on a specific date.

Flexible Modules
The training will be from any combination of the Canon EOS / Photography training I offer via workshops or private training sessions. All training will be structured around a general Canon EOS Menu / Exposure Modes module and then elective application / genre modules.

Cost for 4x Five Hour Sessions
Training programme cost for 4x five hour sessions - 20 hours (of any of the below training options) R2 450-00 with ongoing technical support.

Specific Learning Areas (to select from)
  • Introduction to Photography / Canon EOS More
  • Birds / Birds in Flight Photography More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing More
  • Any combination of above

Image Post Processing
The complete image management / workflow process will be discussed (if required) with an introduction to Adobe Lightroom Classic CC either as an introduction or a hands-on post-processing learning module (depending on delegate genre / module selection).

Duration of the Training
Four sessions of up to five hours per session during the day, evening or Saturday mornings. All training will be inclusive of practical applications (depending on application / genre selection). 

Contact me from this website

Contact me via WhatsApp: Direct link wa.me/27608878087 or 060 887 8087

Visit the Vernon Chalmers Photography Website for More / Rates 

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

Landscape / Seascape Photography Training
Landscape / Seascape Photography Training Cape Town

Action / Motor sport Photography Training
Action / Motor sport Photography Training Cape Town


Fashion / Portraiture Photography Training
Fashion / Portraiture Photography Training Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton

Birds in Flight Photography Training Classes Cape Town - Image Vernon Chalmers  :  Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton - With EOS 7D Mark II
Canon Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town

 Vernon Chalmers facilitates the popular Birds in Flight Photography Workshop / Private Training (for Canon EOS DSLRs) in Milnerton, Cape Town - with hands-on practical sessions along the Diep River, Milnerton Lagoon and around the Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island. 


Please note that the Birds in Flight Photography training is for Canon EOS bodies only. 

New / Updated: The Advanced (AF) Autofocus photography training workshop is now integrated as an advanced AF Module in the current Birds in Flight Photography workshop. 

Birds in Flight Practical Training / Application
More than 55+ different bird species (in-flight and perched) have been photographed over the last couple of years at Woodbridge Island, Milnerton- all within a relatively short walking distance from the training studio apartment. Bird Species | Google Map

Canon EOS bodies covered in Birds in Flight Photography application / training:
  • Canon EOS 700D / EOS 750D / EOS 800D
  • Canon EOS 60D / EOS 70D / EOS 77D
  • Canon EOS 80D /  EOS 90D
  • Canon EOS 7D / EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 6D / EOS 6D Mark II
  • Canon EOS R / EOS RP EOS R5 / EOS R6 (Mirrorless)
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III /  EOS 5D Mark IV
  • Canon EOS-1D X / EOS-1D X Mark II

Recommended lenses for Birds in flight Photography (Focal Length)
  • 70 - 300mm (Canon / Sigma / Tamron)
  • 100 - 400mm (Canon / Sigma)
  • 150 - 600mm (Sigma / Tamron)
  • 300mm / 400mm / 500mm / 600mm (Canon)

Birds in Flight Photography Training Costs:


Cameras with less advanced AF Systems R1 250-00 (Two Sessions x 5 Hours each)
There will be some Lightroom (Classic CC up to Ver 9 )post-processing orientation (if required) and an extra session could be costed in for Lightroom training at half the cost of a separate Lightroom training session.

Optional Lightroom Session: Add R450-00 for 1x five hour session ((total programme hours = 15)

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Cameras with Advanced AF Systems R2 450-00 (Four Sessions x 5 Hours each)
There will be some Lightroom (Classic CC up to Ver 9) post-processing orientation (if required) and an extra session could be costed in for Lightroom training at half the cost of a separate Lightroom training session.

Optional Lightroom Session: Add R450-00 for 1x five hour session (total training hours = 20)

___________________________________________________________________

Please note: 25% discount applies if you've attended any of my previous workshops

Self Catering Accommodation Milnerton
Vernon Chalmers photography training is facilitated from a self-catering apartment in Arnhem, Milnerton (opposite Woodbridge Island) with an option for local and international photographers to overnight during the various training sessions. Optional accommodation will be calculated at reduced rates into the Photography Training Proposal / Invoicing. More Information

Photography Training Gift Voucher
Birds in Flight Photography training is available as a Birthday / Christmas Gift training option with a one year validity period. It could also form part of general Canon camera training option as well. More information  

Method of Payment
Payment Options>>

Read more about Starting Out with Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town
Intermediate to Advanced BIF / Action Photography
Anybody with a Canon EOS DSLR who wants to get a more in-depth understanding of the Canon EOS Exposure Modes, Autofocus (AF) system and its application / tuning for Birds in Flight / Action photography.

Detailed discussion will be provided for all modern Canon EOS bodies up to the 65-point AF system. Please see the session's contents / learning areas below.


Exclusive Ongoing Birds in Flight Photography Support
Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town
Any registered delegate who attends the Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town is welcome to join the Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town Support Group for uploading / discussing photos, learn more, get online support and / or shoot with me at Woodbridge Island (after the original workshop practicals). 

More information will be provided during the registration / payment process.

Further no-cost fine tuning is available after the initial workshop practicals at Woodbridge Island. 

Detailed notes and other relevant information resources will be provided during / after the workshop.


Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Practice at Woodbridge Island
Practical / walk-around shooting session for attendees of both Session 1 and Session 2. This is an opportunity to experiment with the various exposure settings, AF system configurations and capturing / composition techniques with the various birds species around Woodbridge Island. Guidance will be on hand for fine-tuning of exposure settings and AF system configurations.

What do you need to bring?DSLR Camera, telephoto or zoom lens & your own memory cards.

Recommended lens focal length300mm ie: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS (STM) or EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6(L) IS USM lens (or any 3rd party lens of similar focal length).


Birds in Flight image samples with a 70-300mm variable aperture Zoom Lens

Contact Me if you need more information about your DSLR body and lens pairing.

Each delegate will receive a folder with all workshop information and other useful resources.

Private Training / Workshop Learning Areas

  • BIF Fundamentals / Considerations 
  • Canon EOS Bodies / Lenses for BIF 
  • Camera / Lens Settings 
  • Exposure Settings 
  • Continuous shooting / AI Servo Modes 
  • Canon AF Systems (9-point to 65-point) 
  • Advanced AF System tuning (AF Configuration / Area Selection Modes) 
  • Advanced body / lens focus tuning / techniques / recommendations

All EOS body owners (or future EOS owners) are welcome to attend. Please note that the in-depth discussion / tuning around AF systems will primarily be focused around the following AF systems with specific emphasis from the 19-point AF system EOS bodies which offers more advanced case and zone configurations:

  • 9-point AF System EOS 500D / 550D / 600D / 650D / 700D / 60D / 5D / 5D Mark II) 
  • 11-point AF System EOS 6D 
  • 19-point AF System (EOS 750D / 760D / 70D / 7D)
  • 45-point AF System EOS 80D / EOS 90D / EOS 6D Mark II
  • 45-point AF System EOS 1D / 1D Mark II / 1D Mark III / 1D Mark IV / Older 1D's) 
  • 61-point AF System EOS 5D Mark III / EOS 5D Mark IV / EOS 5Ds / EOS 5Ds R / EOS-1D X (II) 
  • 65-point AF System (EOS 7D Mark II)

(Click to Enlarge)
Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town 

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town - February 2017
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town - February 2017
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town - February 2017
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town


Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town - February 2017
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight / Action Photography Skills Development Training 2017 Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight / Action Photography Skills Development Training 2017 Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town


Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape town
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

More Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town Images



Canon Photography Private Training Courses Milnerton, Cape Town
  • Introduction to Photography / Canon Cameras More 
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop More