18 August 2022

Canon 100-400mm Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter

 Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter

Small Flower Close-Up Photography : The Paddocks, Milnerton

Small Wild Flower Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Small Wild Flower Canon 100-400mm Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter

Handheld small flower photography experiments between f/22- f/11 with my 'Kirstenbosch lens'. It's quite unlike me to use apertures smaller than f/11 without a tripod, but here are four images between f/22 - f/11.

Here are a few samples of close-up subjects in dismal / windy conditions

The objective was to see how far I can push small apertures when using the original Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens with the Canon 500D Close-Up lens filter with Auto-IS0, Autofocus and Image Stabilisation on. Being so incredibly close to such small subjects is challenging (as the close-up lens decreases the Minimum Focussing distance (MFD) of the original 100-400mm focal length (in terms of lens distance to subject) considering that a bigger aperture (i.e. f/5.6) will only provide a small section of sharpness in the image – depending on the focus area.

I don't really do any handheld photography with apertures smaller than f/11 and was quite surprised with the outcome during these images - in using the long lens with close-up lens filter (and Image Stabilisation). In the windy conditions and to minimize camera shake I have also experimented with a variety of different shutter speeds (up to 1/1000's).

Apertures used with the attached flower images

  • Image 1 = f/22  (250mm)
  • Image 2 = f/22  (350mm)
  • Image 3 = f/16  (250mm)
  • Image 4 = f/11  (250mm)

Canon Equipment Used
  • Canon EOS 70D (APS-C body)
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5,6L IS USM Lens
  • Canon 500D Close-Up Lens (77mm) More examples here >>
  • Lens IS On/ Handheld
  • Aperture Priority (Av Mode)
Minor corrections / cropping using Adobe Lightroom

All images © Vernon Chalmers (The Paddocks, Milnerton)

Arum Lily with Bee Canon 100-400mm Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Arum Lily with Bee Canon 100-400mm Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter

Tiny Wild Flower Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Tiny Wild Flower Canon 100-400mm Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter

Tiny Wild Flower Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Tiny Wild Flower Canon 100-400mm Lens / Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter


Canon EOS / Canon EOS R / Canon PowerShot Photography Training 
Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town | Across  the Cape Peninsula

All Images Copyright / Intellectual Property of Vernon Chalmers More Information >>

15 August 2022

The Paddocks Milnerton Bird Species Index

 Birds Around The Paddocks, Milnerton, Cape Town

Grey Heron Portrait The Paddocks Milnerton Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Grey Heron Portrait : The Paddocks Milnerton

Adjacent to The Paddocks Shopping Centre in Milnerton is a small nature reserve / park. Over the last couple of years I have taken little notice of the park as it was not very well maintained - the reeds, trees and plants were in a total overgrowth / neglected state. The water in the pond was littered with paper, plastics and subsequently various other items..

Since the beginning of 2022 I witnessed a significant improvement in the conditions and the landscaping of the park as started a regular walking routine (before dong some daily shopping at The Paddocks Shopping centre). Over the last few months I witnessed a conscientious effort by the landscaping company and its workers for providing residents / visitors with a well-maintained / safe garden environment  planting quite a number of flowers, plants and trees attracting various bird species (and butterflies).

Increasing Bird and Flower Species
Since last week I've started taking along one or two of my cameras with me on route to The Paddocks Shopping Centre, Milnerton. The park is about a two minute walk from the Bridle Road exit from the shopping complex (view Google Map below). The park is also accessible from the corner of  Milnerton Drive / Racecourse Road. Over the last few weeks I have seen more birds around the pond trees and shrub areas. There is a very nice paved footpath right around the park which is handy for photographing the increasing close-up flower species as well. 

This photographing project is similar to the other two personal 'Bird Species Index' projects I am photographing at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Woodbridge Island / Table Bay Nature Reserve.

I will keep updating my 'The Paddocks Birds Species Index', but for now have photographed or spotted the following species in / above the park: 

'The Paddocks Bird Species Index' : Photographer: Vernon Chalmers
  • African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)
  • Blacksmith Plover (Vanellus armatus)
  • Cape Wagtail (Motacilla capensis)
  • Cape White-Eye ((Zosterops virens)
  • Cape Shoveller Duck (Spatula smithii)
  • Cape Sparrow (Passer melanurus)
  • Cape Spurfowl (Pternistis capensis)
  • Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
  • European / Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
  • Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
  • Fiscal Shrike (Lanius collaris)
  • Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
  • Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
  • Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)
  • Hartlaub's (King) Gull (Chroicocephalus hartlaubii)
  • Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
  • Pied Crow (Corvus albus)
  • Pin-Tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)
  • Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
  • Reed Cormorant (Microcarbo africanus)
  • Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus)
  • Yellow-billed Ducks (Anas undulata)

Yellow-Billed Ducks The Paddocks Milnerton Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Yellow-Billed Ducks : The Paddocks Milnerton

The Park / Nature Reserve at The Paddocks, Milnerton Google Map

The Park / Nature Reserve at The Paddocks, Milnerton Google Map

View larger Map Area on Google Maps

Canon EOS Cameras used for The Paddocks Species Index
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 6D

Canon EF Telephoto Lenses used for The Paddocks Bird Species Index
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens

All Images Copyright Vernon Chalmers : Copyright | Intellectual Property Policy

Birding Photography at The Paddocks, Milnerton

Canon Photography Training Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town

Tiny flowers with Canon EF 85mm lens and 500D Close-Up Lens

 Close-Up Wild Flower Photography : The Paddocks, Milnerton

Arum Lily with Canon EF 85mm Lens Milnerton, Cape Town
Arum Lily with Canon 70D / EF 85mm lens :  Milnerton, Cape Town (Without Close-Up Lens)

I took along one of my cameras going shopping at The Paddocks, Milnerton, late morning. These tiny flowers were all at least against the current inflation rate - opportunity cost worth every cent.

Close-Up photography with Canon EOS 70D / EF 85mm lens (and Canon 500D Close-Up Lens Filter screwed into front of EF 85MM lens).

Apertures used with the attached flower images
  • Image 1 = f/11 (not with Close Up Lens)
  • Image 2 = f/11
  • Image 3 = f/4
  • Image 4 = f/11

Canon Equipment Used
  • Canon EOS 70D (APS-C body)
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens
  • Canon 500D Close-Up Lens
  • Lens No IS / Handheld
  • Aperture Priority (Av Mode)

Minor corrections / cropping using Adobe Lightroom

All images © Vernon Chalmers (The Paddocks, Milnerton)

Tiny Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens (Aperture f/11) :  Milnerton, Cape Town
Tiny Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens :  Milnerton, Cape Town

Tiny Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens (Aperture f/4) :  Milnerton, Cape Town
Tiny Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens :  Milnerton, Cape Town

Tiny Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens (Aperture f/11) :  Milnerton, Cape Town
Tiny Flower with Canon EOS 70D / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM  :  Milnerton, Cape Town

Canon EOS / Canon EOS R / Canon PowerShot Photography Training Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town | Across  the Cape Peninsula

All Images Copyright / Intellectual Property of Vernon Chalmers More Information >>

01 August 2022

Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Licencing Agreements

Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Licencing Agreement Conditions
Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Licencing Agreements
Copyright Licencing Agreements
Over the past 10 years I have offered no commercial or personal Copyright Licencing Agreements (CLA) image publication or sales of any Vernon Chalmers Photography (VCP) images (in accordance with the Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy) - with the exception of National Geographic, Canon South Africa and various individual (private) publishers (via a special project request agreement). All publishing / drawing requests were evaluated from a commercial, research and / or humanitarian perspective.

Drawing / Painting of Images: Copyright Licencing Agreement
I am currently in process of re-evaluating my (VCP) commercial and personal CLA for both the international and South African markets for the drawing / painting of any Vernon Chalmers Photography image. Each submitted request will be subjected to a commercial / personal licencing contract agreement and licensing fee.

 Publication of Images: Copyright Licencing Agreements
No further current Vernon Chalmers Photography images (2012 – 2022) will be made available under the existing VCP CLA conditions. 

Commercial and personal CLA’s will only be provided on images after the availability of amended VCP CLA conditions.

Contact Vernon Chalmers for more information.

© Symbol Image: Copyright Free from Pixabay

Table Bay Nature Reserve: Hidden Urban Treasure

 Table Bay Nature Reserve / Woodbridge Island

Entrance to the Table Bay Nature Reserve
Entrance to the Table Bay Nature Reserve

Table Bay Nature Reserve / Wood bridge Island
A short hike from Woodbridge Island, opposite Milnerton High School, is the entrance to the Milnerton Lagoon section of the Table Bay Nature Reserve conservation Biodiversity Network. A relatively small wetlands area, but part of the much wider geographical nature conservation zone covering the Rietvlei Wetlands, Milnerton Lagoon, Milnerton Beach, Milnerton Racecourse, Zoarvlei Wetlands, Diep River and the Parklands Fynbos Corridor.

I frequently hike the Milnerton Lagoon / Diep River area in the hope of spotting some of the various bird species around the roadside of the Milnerton Lagoon, the Diep River and the tiny island (not Woodbridge Island) where I regularly photograph egyptian geese, grey herons, pied kingfishers and spoonbills.


I've spotted a lonesome malachite kingfisher flying past a few times, but I'm still unable to discover his perching whereabouts - or to get a good in flight capture. On a sunny morning there are many red-knobbed coots scooting down the river.

Perched Pied Kingfisher : Table Bay Nature Reserve
Smaller Birds
Various smaller birds like the weaver and waxbill chirp and hop impatiently through the reeds. Many of the larger birds also land and feed on the Milnerton golf course side of the Diep River. 

On any given day there will be at least one Pied kingfisher flying, diving and / or perched. Personally, my favorite small bird to watch and photograph.

During summer many sandwich and swift terns carry out their spectacular dives and turns out past the pump station into the main reserve area. 

Malachite kingfisher
Over the last couple months I've also captured the elusive malachite kingfisher perched / (and eventually in flight) in the reserve and on the wooden bridge.


More information on the Woodbridge Island, Cape Town Local Bird Species

Table Bay Nature Reserve: Hidden Urban Treasure
Karoo Prinea : Table Bay Nature Reserve
Entrance to the Table Bay Nature Reserve (Milnerton Beach / Milnerton Lagoon / Diep River) is free and the images below are captured from about a 10 - 15 minutes walk from Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island through the Diep River entrance.

There are some amazing views of the Diep River, the prominent Milnerton Lighthouse on Woodbridge Island and our majestic Table Mountain. 

On the other side of the Diep River are the lushes greens of the Milnerton Golf Course - on a quite morning you will hear the regular 'ping' of golf balls being driven down the well-kept fairways.

Snapshots with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens.

Table Bay Nature Reserve Management
The Table Bay Nature Reserve is managed by the City of Cape Town and consists of seven parts: Rietvlei Wetlands, Milnerton Lagoon, Milnerton Beach, Milnerton Racecourse, Zoarvlei Wetlands, Diep River, and the Parklands Fynbos Corridor.

This approximately 880-hectare reserve comprises a variety of permanent and seasonal wetlands, and is surrounded by Cape Flats dune strandveld and Cape Flats sand fynbos vegetation.

The Rietvlei Wetland is in the floodplain of the Diep River between Milnerton and Table View. The river drains into Table Bay via the Milnerton Lagoon. The wetland offers a variety of habitats including a permanent freshwater lake, shallow marshes that flood in winter, reed beds, a river, and an estuarine lagoon with salt marshes that is open to the sea. A strip of coastal dunes links the reserve to Table Bay.

Bird watching facilities, including boardwalks and two bird hides, are provided in the Rietvlei Section. The “Old Friends Hide” looks out over the seasonal pans while the “Sunset Hide” looks out over the southern deep water lake. (Source: Cape Bird Club)

© Vernon Chalmers Photography

(Click to Enlarge)
Table Bay Nature Reserve - Diep River View
Table Bay Nature Reserve - Diep River View

Table Bay Nature Reserve - Table Mountain View
Table Bay Nature Reserve - Table Mountain View

Links to more Table Bay Nature Reserve information

Table Bay Nature Reserve - City of Cape Town
Table Bay Nature Reserve - City of Cape Town

Table Bay Nature Reserve - Cape Bird Club

Table Bay Nature Reserve - Cape Bird Club

Bird Watching in the Table Bay Nature Reserve
Bird Watching in the Table Table Bay Nature Reserve

Table Bay Nature Reserve - Wikipedia
Table Bay Nature Reserve - Wikipedia

Table Bay Nature Reserve - Cape Town Green Map
Table Bay Nature Reserve - Cape Town Green Map

Table Bay Nature Reserve – Responsible Tourism
Table Bay Nature Reserve – Responsible Tourism


Accommodation near Table Bay Nature Reserve

African Spoonbill Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island
African Spoonbill Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island

Directions / Map to the Diep River Section of the Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town
Entrance to the Table Bay Nature Reserve is on the Diep River side of the crossing of Broad Road and West Coast Road. My recommendation if you coming by car is to park on Woodbridge Island and walk over the main bridge, past the old wooden bridge and keep along the Diep River, past the pump station rondawel and enter to the left where you see the Table Bay Nature Reserve sign board (at the traffic lights).

Directions / Map to the Diep River Section of the Table Bay Nature Reserve, Cape Town


Close-Up Photography : Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island
Close-Up Photography : Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island

Vernon Chalmers Photography Popular Posts