24 June 2021

Bird Photography Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island

Purple Heron in Flight Diep River Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Between all the rainy days forecasted for this week today was probably the best weather and light of the week. I only left my studio after 10:00 due the poor light and some cloud cover. 

The weather (and the light) cleared up quite nicely by the time I got down the Diep River, Woodbridge Island on my usual walk down to  the Table Bay Nature Reserve. During the walk I was fortunate to observe and photograph the rare (for here) purple heron. There was a pair, but I only mange to get an extreme long range shot of one of them.

I was greeted with all the usual birds with lots of common starlings around. I manage to capture a few Cape cormorants and eventually walked to the reserve. Here I saw many Cape spurfowls, yellow-billed ducks, Southern masked weavers and a few grey herons. On my return I photographed the 'sprinting' common moorhen along the Diep River and one of the two resident pied crows.

The highlight in the reserve - and my morning - was the successful stalking of the fidgety Karoo prinea  - a rare small bird for me down here. I've only seen them a couple of times in the last ten years around this area.

Birds of the morning:
  • Purple heron
  • Karoo prinea
  • Common moorhen
  • Cape cormorant
  • Pied crow

Cape Town Location

Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Milnerton

Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II Body
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: Auto-ISO: 400 - 800
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/1000 - 1/3200
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.4: Cropping. Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction

Karoo Prinia Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Karoo Prinia Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Common Moorhen Sprinting Diep River Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Common Moorhen Sprinting Diep River Woodbridge Island 

Cape Cormorant in Flight Diep River Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Cape Cormorant in Flight Diep River Woodbridge Island

Pied Crow in Flight Diep River Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Pied Crow in Flight Diep River Woodbridge Island

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town View

16 June 2021

South Africa Living Using a Vernon Chalmers Image Without Permission

South Africa Living Using a Vernon Chalmers Table Bay Nature Reserve  Image Without Permission

It came to my attention that South Africa Living at https://southafricaliving.com/best-things-to-do-in-milnerton/ is using a Vernon Chalmers Table Bay Nature Reserve Milnerton, Cape Town  copyright image without permission.

When visiting the South Africa Living website the Vernon Chalmers Table Bay Nature Reserve Milnerton, Cape Town image is located on the URL listed above page on the South Africa Living Website (Milnerton)

Table Bay Nature Reserve Milnerton, Cape Town Image Used by South Africa Without Permission
This is the Table Bay Nature Reserve image that was taken by South Africa Living without permission from a Vernon Chalmers website in Cape Town, South Africa.

South Africa Living also changed the original Vernon Chalmers .JPG file from hiding / deleting a section where the known Vernon Chalmers Copyright was clearly identified on the image

South Africa Living Using a Table Bay Nature Reserve Milnerton Image Without Permission
South Africa Living Using a Table Bay Nature Reserve Milnerton Image Without Permission

Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy

15 June 2021

Variety of Birds in the Table Bay Nature Reserve

Levaillant's Cisticola Diep River Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright
A still foggy, but with some really good early morning sun coming through. I took a brisk walk to to the Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island just after 10:00 this morning.  Lots of grey herons and yellow-billed ducks on the small island. They've spotted me early enough to make a hasty getaway. 

I noticed the resident water thick-knees out on the small island. This is quite unusual for them as they are generally found on the adjacent mainland side of the river flowing through the reserve. Nevertheless it was very good to see them.

I also noticed (for the first time) an African swamphen walking quite casually on the Milnerton Golf Course. Took a long range (record) shot. The bird lovers over at the Birdlife South Africa Facebook Group was kind enough to provide me with the correct species identification. Many of them was surprised about the swamphen walking around quite casually on the open grass banks.  

Back against the Diep river, close to the wooden bridge, I was was fortunate to photograph Levaillant's Cisticola at close range.

Birds of the morning:
  • Levaillant's Cisticola
  • Cape teal ducks in flight
  • Cape Shoveler duck in flight
  • Cape Teal duck in flight
  • Yellow-billed ducks in flight
  • Speckled pigeon in flight
  • Water thick knee
  • African swamphen

Cape Town Location
Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Milnerton

Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II Body
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: Auto-ISO: 250 - 800
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/1000 - 1/3200
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.4: Cropping. Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction


Cape Teal Ducks in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright
Cape Teal Ducks in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Cape Shoveler Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright
Cape Shoveler Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Cape Teal Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright
Cape Teal Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Yellow-Billed Ducks in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright
Yellow-Billed Ducks in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Speckled Pigeon in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright
Speckled Pigeon in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Water Thick Knee Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright
Water Thick-Knee Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

African Swamphen Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright
African Swamphen (Record Shot) Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town View

10 June 2021

Pincushion Flowers using Autofocus and Manual Focus Override

The objective of this post is to show the ability of a macro (and many other lenses) to manual focus while in camera / lens AF Mode.

For these images I focused from four different distances with my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens - while just hand holding the camera / lens and after 'locking focus' with the AF focus I just turned the front focus ring (for further fine-tuning). For optimum focus / sharpness results it's recommended to use a tripod - but, not always possible (in limited time / space).

In my upcoming Macro and Close-Up Photography Workshop I will demonstrate the Canon Extension Tube EF25 II on various non-macro lenses.

With Canon EOS 70D / 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens: f/8 ISO 400 (Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash).


(Click To Enlarge)

Pincushions flowers using AF and Manual Focus Override
Canon 100mm Macro Lens - AF Focus with Manual Focus Override

Pincushions flowers using AF and Manual Focus Override
Canon 100mm Macro Lens - AF Focus with Manual Focus Override

Pincushions flowers using AF and Manual Focus Override
Canon 100mm Macro Lens - AF Focus with Manual Focus Override

Pincushions flowers using AF and Manual Focus Override
Canon 100mm Macro Lens - AF Focus with Manual Focus Override

Grey heron and small birds | Table Bay Nature Reserve


Grey Heron in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton Photo Vernon Chalmers
With a slight over the sea and the Diep River I  took the relatively short hike to the Table Bay Reserve, Woodbridge Island just after 09;30 this morning 
Still quite wet underfoot I scanned the reserve and was greeted with a few white-breasted cormorants, reed cormorants, Cape spur fowls and quite a few grey herons. 

Overhead was a fly past  of one of the black headed herons, yellow-billed ducks, a pied king fisher and an abundance of small birds (Cape sparrows / Sothern mask weavers, Southern red bishops  and Levaillant's  cisticolas). 

Birds of the morning:
  • Grey Heron in flight (first two images)
  • Southern red bishop female
  • Levaillant's  cisticolas

Cape Town Location
Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Milnerton

Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II Body
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: Auto-ISO: 250 - 800
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/1000 - 1/3200
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.4: Cropping. Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction


Grey Heron in flight Closer Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton Photo Vernon Chalmers
Grey Heron in flight Closer Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton

Southern Red Bishop Female Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton Photo Vernon Chalmers
Southern Red Bishop Female Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton

Levaillant's Cisticola Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton Photo Vernon Chalmers
Levaillant's Cisticola Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town View

09 June 2021

Birds on a foggy morning | Table Bay Nature Reserve

Yellow-Billed Duck in the Diep River Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Photo Vernon Chalmers
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday's glorious morning turned into a thick fog layer all over the Diep River and the Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island  - with poor light and visibility all round.

I walked into the reserve and waited for more than hour for the fog to lift somewhat. Nevertheless, I managed a few shots in these challenging conditions. I spotted two black-headed herons - interesting they don't go near any of the grey herons in the reserve - keeping very much a steady distance.

Birds of the morning:
  • Yellow-billed duck
  • Reed cormorant in flight
  • Yellow-billed duck in flight
  • Pied kingfisher in flight (with fish)

Cape Town Location
Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Milnerton

Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II Body
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: Auto-ISO: 250 - 800
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/1000 - 1/3200
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.4: Cropping. Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction

Reed Cormorant in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Photo Vernon Chalmers
Reed Cormorant in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Yellow-Billed Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Photo Vernon Chalmers
Yellow-Billed Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Pied Kingfisher in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Photo Vernon Chalmers
Pied Kingfisher in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town View

07 June 2021

Glorious Bird Photography Morning | Table Bay Nature Reserve

African Spoonbill Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
African Spoonbill Table Bay Nature Reserve
Another glorious morning along the Diep River, Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island . This morning I was greeted by the black-headed heron, the Cape spurfowls, quite a few grey herons, yellow-billed ducks, Egyptian geese and an African spoonbill or two.

A Cape bulbul poked his head out from the reeds and I had an opportunity to see the Cape teal ducks and yellow-billed ducks frolicking in the early morning sun.

Birds of the morning:
  • Afican spoonbill
  • Little egret in flight
  • Cape teal duck in flight
  • African sacred ibis
  • Pied crow
  • Perched Cape bulbul

Cape Town Location
Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Milnerton

Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II Body
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: Auto-ISO: 160 - 1000
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/1000 - 1/3200
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.4: Cropping. Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction


Little Egret in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Little Egret in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Cape Teal Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Cape Teal Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

African Sacred Ibis Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
African Sacred Ibis in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Egyptian Goose in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Egyptian Goose in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Pied Crow in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Pied Crow in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Perched Cape Bulbul Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Perched Cape Bulbul Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town View

06 June 2021

Bird Photography in the Table Bay Nature Reserve

This is the view from the Table Bay Nature Reserve close to Woodbridge Island, Milnerton. I often refer to this area as the ‘Hidden Urban Treasure’ of local bird photography. I've created some of my best images here over the last 10 years. The location is approximately 2.5 km’s from Woodbridge Island.

The best place to park should you want to visit the reserve is Woodbridge Island (next to the Milnerton Canoe Club) and take a walk along the Diep River to the Reserve (with the entrance opposite Milnerton High School).

Table Mountain / Reserve Image
Notice the small channel of water to the right. There is a small island with the Diep river flowing towards the right – opposite the Milnerton Golf Course. On any day there will be an abundance of birds on the small island (i.e. African spoonbills, grey herons, pied kingfishers, cormorants, ducks, geese, various small birds and the rare sight on occasion of the night heron).

Birds images: Grey heron in flight / Water thicknee in flight / Pied kingfisher

Table Mountain View From the Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton Photo Vernon Chalmers
Table Mountain View From the Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton


Water Thicknee in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton Photo Vernon Chalmers
Water Thicknee in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton


Perched Pied Kingfisher Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton Photo Vernon Chalmers
Perched Pied Kingfisher Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Milnerton



04 June 2021

Birds in the Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island

Levaillant's cisticola Table Bay  Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Levaillant's cisticola Table Bay  Nature Reserve
On my morning walkabout to the Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island I was greeted with slightly windy conditions, but otherwise a crisp early morning with various bird species in the reserve.

The Cape spurfowls were there, but as usual took of on my arrival, a couple of grey herons, many ducks and geese. The Levaillant's cisticolas were frolicking in the early morning sun and I was fortunate to photograph at least one of them.

Birds of the morning:
  • Levaillant's cisticola
  • Yellow-billed duck
  • African darter
  • Egyptian goose
  • Blacksmith lapwing

Cape Town Location
Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Milnerton

Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II Body
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: Auto-ISO: 160 - 1000
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/1000 - 1/3200
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.4: Cropping. Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction.


Yellow-Billed Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Yellow-Billed Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

African Darter in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
African Darter in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Egyptian Goose in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
African Darter in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Blacksmith Lapwing in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Blacksmith Lapwing in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town View

03 June 2021

Table Mountain | Cape Town Views from Signal Hill

Table Mountain | Cape Town Harbour | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town Stadium

Spent a glorious day at the V&A Waterfront and Signal Hill with Karen Donaldson.

Perfect June weather for an outdoor walkabout. Blues skies, great company, a good lunch and do what we love most - taking pictures of our beautiful city, mountain and surroundings.

Images / Views:
  • Table Mountain
  • Cape Town Harbour
  • V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
  • Cape Town Stadium, Green Point

Canon Equipment / Settings:
  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens
  • Av Mode: f/11 / ISO 100 / 1/60s
  • Handheld

Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy

Table Mountain Cape Town view from Signal Hill Vernon Chalmers Photography
Table Mountain Cape Town view from Signal Hill


V&A Waterfront view from Signal Hill Vernon Chalmers Photography
V&A Waterfront | Table Bay Cape Town view from Signal Hill

Cape Town Harbour | Table Bay view from Signal Hill Vernon Chalmers Photography
Cape Town Harbour | Table Bay view from Signal Hill

Cape Town Stadium Green Point view from Signal Hill Vernon Chalmers Photography
Cape Town Stadium Green Point view from Signal Hill


01 June 2021

Cyclamen Flowers - Canon EOS 700D and various lenses

Cyclamen Plant : Arnhem Milnerton Cape Town

Objective: Demonstrating application of the Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i DSLR camera with EF 50mm f/1.8 II and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lenses (and Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash / Canon EF25 II Extension Tube).

Note: All photos hand-held in Av mode (Aperture Priority) with external hot shoe flash. Auto flash ISO (TTL mode). Shutter speeds all automatically selected by camera. All images shot in JPEG.

Canon Camera / Flash Equipment
  • Canon EOS 700D SLR camera body
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II prime lens
  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM zoom lens
  • Canon EF25 II Extension Tube (for last image close-up)
  • Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash
  • Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce EW Diffuser

Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings
  • 50mm f/1.8 II lens (nifty fifty) @ (f/8 - f/22)
  • 18-135mm lens @ (f/16 - f/22)
  • Auto ISO 400 / TTL flash mode
  • Shutter speed: various (auto)
  • Image Stabilization on (EF-S lens)
  • Zero post-processing (just crops)

Cyclamen Flower Photo Project: With Canon EOS 70D and EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens Photo: © Vernon Chalmers
Canon EOS 700D / EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens (Nifty Fifty) f/22 ISO 400 (Flash)

Cyclamen Flower Photo Project: With Canon EOS 70D and EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens Photo: © Vernon Chalmers
              Canon EOS 700D / EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens (Nifty Fifty) f/8 ISO 400 (Flash)

Cyclamen Flower Photo Project: With Canon EOS 70D and EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens Photo: © Vernon Chalmers
Canon EOS 700D / EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens (Nifty Fifty) f/22 ISO 400 (Flash)


Cyclamen Flower Photo Project: With Canon EOS 70D and EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens Photo: © Vernon Chalmers
    Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens f/16 ISO 400 (Flash)

Cyclamen Flower Photo Project: With Canon EOS 70D and EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens Photo: © Vernon Chalmers
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens f/22 ISO 400 (Flash)

Cyclamen Flower Photo Project: With Canon EOS 70D and EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens Photo: © Vernon Chalmers
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens f/22 ISO 400 (Flash)

Cyclamen Flower Photo Project: With Canon EOS 70D and EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens Photo: © Vernon Chalmers
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens f/22 ISO 400 (Flash)

Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm lens  / Extension Tube f/22 ISO 400 (Flash)
Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm lens / Extension Tube f/22 ISO 400 (Flash)

More on the Cyclamen Plant - The Cyclamen Society