Wednesday, 20 January 2016


I'm known as being a feather collector - can't resist photographing them too.  Trying to get detail in a feather floating by the bridge, such a small feather, I decided to try spot metering to see what effect I could get.  It was quite hard to keep the focus on such a small thing on a moving surface and I had several failures, but I kept trying and this is one of the successes.  What I liked is how the river water darkened and displayed the white feather perfectly.  I used Aperture Priority which stopped at 6.5 when I zoomed in fully, and the spot metering faded out the surrounding water beautifully.  You can also see the surface tension on the water around the feather.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Using Birdwatching Scene Mode - not just for the birds!

Looking at the settings that Birdwatching Scene Mode sets up on my camera, I wanted to view the difference in the settings as I zoom out.  The only thing I have against the Nikon P610 is that the lens is variable in that I can set it all I like at 3.3, but when I zoom out it changes according to what focal length I end up with.  That doesn't happen with the Panasonic FZ200 but hey, not camera is perfect.  Anyway, when I zoomed right out, there weren't any birds outside the window at the time so I aimed at a hibiscus bud.  Oh - the leaves behind it blurred out and gave me a good clean shot.  Aperture down to 5.6 but still nice and clear.
I aimed at a much smaller flower, a seaside daisy.  The aperture went out to 6.5 and I found I really liked the result, with the large ginger lily leaf going right out of focus and leaving the seaside daisy and a few stems (I did crop this a bit because a lot of dead stalks were to one side).

Tuesday, 5 January 2016


Purple Swamphen
I was pleased with the bokeh effect - blurry background setting off the sharper image of the bird, particularly in this case the eye.  Discovering some of the Scene modes in the Nikon P610, there is one called Birdwatching.  In this Scene mode, the ISO is set on auto, F/3.3, shutter speed 1/30, and the only choice being single or continuous frames.  Generally speaking I have found this setting to be much the same as if I had set up Aperture Priority with continuous frames, which would normally be my go-to choice for bird shots.  So I have been trying out both, and while often both give the same result, occasionally one or the other will produce the better result.  In other words, it's always worth taking lots more than one photo of any subject, from different angles, different distances, different zoom lengths.
Another shot I was pleased with is a pair of pelicans cruising down the Torrens.  This is also in Birdwatching mode.  I cropped it back to one pelican for this purpose, to show the frondy feathers on the back of the neck.
Pelican on the Torrens

My Nikon P610

I have tried to post a new page about my new camera (twice), but it won't show.  Apparently I'm not alone in this so I will just have to continue my news about it here.  I bought it for the zoom 60x, and I have had some lovely images with it.
Black Swans on Linear Park at Fulham
Another great close up was of a Koala, up a gum tree on Linear Park at Klemzig.  He was hiding behind the leaves but still not a bad shot.  I was impressed that I could see the details of his fur when he was so high in the tree.
Koala, Linear Park, Klemzig
I've also been looking at ripples and reflections - with the sun low in the sky, I am delighted with the appearance of the river, with the ripples and reflections appearing exactly like when we dyed the Fortuny scarf at college.  This was just one image - I ended up with a couple of dozen, kept finding more beautiful reflections.
ripples and reflections looking like a dyed scarf
More on my experiments soon.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

I love my Panasonic FZ200 - it is easy to use, it has f/2.8 available throughout the zoom range, and many other reasons.  It is also the first camera I have had that I ventured outside "everything auto".   But I found I was looking for a longer zoom; this one is 24x, which has been great for me as a beginner.   But when I started looking for more zoom, and found the extension zoom for the FZ200 was going to cost nearly as much as a new camera with a 60x zoom, I did my research and decided to get the Nikon Coolpix 610.  Only had it a few days but I'm finding it just as easy to use; there are diffferences of course - each has their own pluses and minuses, like anything in life - but the 60x zoom is giving me what I wanted, the fine detail on feathers on those too-far-away birds.
Crested pigeon - look at the colours, and then see how the texture of the feathers shows up too.

from a distance - look at the feather edges

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Experimenting with the white balance

Recently I was in the Mortlock Building on North Terrace, looking at the wonderful old books.  I took the same photo twice - once with the white balance on auto:
Mortlock Building, auto white balance
and then with the white balance changed to Daylight:
Mortlock Building, Daylight white balance
The auto white balance made it look quite cold with a blueish cast, whereas the Daylight setting made it look warm and inviting, which is how it always seems to me.  I don't know which one is strictly accurate, but I like the warm Daylight one to express its genuine feeling for me.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Kakadu wildlife

Yellow River, Kakadu.  Though the left of the photo came out a bit fuzzy - possibly from another tourist - I like this photo because the Jabiru is eyeing the Saltwater Crocodile, who is eyeing the Jabiru.  It is like an action photo waiting to happen - and crocs often do take the wading birds.  The reflection is rather nice too, showing the movement in the water.  It follows the rule of thirds, though I don't always look for that.

These beautiful Plumed Whistling Ducks are just part of a large congregation of them along the river bank of the Yellow River in Kakadu.  I liked that there were three in this small group - an odd number - with a partial nod to the rule of thirds again.  Taking shots from the brilliant sunshine out on the water into the shade of the trees meant I lost some of the detail of the feathers but the experience of being there was wonderful.
Both of these photos were captures taken from video from my Panasonic FZ200.  Overall I was able to take some great photos and videos in Kakadu.