Egrets – I’ve had a few…

Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 2 May 2019.

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In the late afternoon, we visited the Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, within the city.  I had requested this and I thought we might see a different kind of wildlife from in the rainforests and it would be a good test of my equipment and technique.

Photographic technobabble alert:

I’ve mainly been shooting Fuji in the last couple of years but I decided to take Nikon this time. I decided to get a D850 to go with my 300 f2.8 and I discovered my 1.4x teleconverter had died but managed to get it replaced just before I left thanks to prompt action by Nikon Australia.  Buying a Fuji 200mm f2 and two X-T3s as an alternative was too expensive at the time, and the Nikon option offered better autofocus and greater room to crop if necessary.  I could have taken my Fuji 100-400m but that is weaker at the long end and loses about a stop in light sensitivity, critical in the often dark rainforest.

It was low tide when we reached the wetlands, connected to the sea by a tidal estuary.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crab on the mudflats.

The first image is an illustration of the hazards of low light shooting.  It is at 1/200sec, f4 @ 18,000 ISO, and is an 84% crop!  So it was dark and the crab was some distance away.  The exposure was hand held (though leaning on the hand rail) because there was no point getting out the tripod on a raised wooden walkway with people on it.  It’s not suitable for printing at any size but the wonder is that there is anything there to see at all.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Mud crab with eyes on stalks.  It must hide beneath the water and mud with only eyes above, waiting for prey.

This one’s not so extreme at 1/200sec, f4 @ 2,800 ISO, but it is also an 84% crop .

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Dragonfly on a dead tree, some distance away.

This one is a more respectable exposure, being 1/100sec f4.5 @280 ISO and not cropped much at all.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Eastern Great Egret.

I discovered that the calibration for my 300mm lens plus 1.4 teleconverter was significantly out so I did a makeshift calibration focusing on the details of a patch of mud.  Having done that, this image is now sharp.  It is on a tripod from inside a large hide.  It would have been better without the tree or pole but there were too many people for me to be able to move around.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were I think four or five egrets there.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

After a while they all flew off.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Walking back now, it is a mangrove zone.

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… with lots of visible roots.

(This was taken with a Fuji X100s, so a wide angle.  All other images were with Nikon D850 + 300mm f2.8 + 1.4xTC, so a long telephoto).

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Egrets, Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, Mangroves, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

… and finally, a flower near the Visitors’ Centre..

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KK Fishing Boats (Kota Kinabalu)

Kota Kinabalu, South China Sea, 2 May 2019.

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After the markets we had some free time and many of the others may have wandered back to the hotel but I wanted to wander along the wharves to check out the fishing boats. I had seen some great looking fishing boats coming and going from the port the previous evening and the light was great then, but I only had my Fuji X100s, which has a wide angle lens, and I needed a telephoto. So I thought I would see what I would find on this day.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

There were quite a few fishing boats lined up at the docks.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

This is the rear of one at the front, with nets rolled up on spools for deployment and retrieval.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

One is arriving at the dock.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

Another is preparing to leave.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

Suddenly the light changed – or maybe that’s just the infrared sensor.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

First wildlife sighting, of an egret on the prow of a boat.

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel

Another one returning …..

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

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fishing boats, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Street photography, Travel .

KK Markets (Kota Kinabalu)

Kota Kinabalu, South China Sea, 2 May 2019.
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Jools and I arrived in KK and met the group for our Sabah Wlidlife Photography, organised by NatureArt Lab . .. There were fifteen of us altogether, all from Australia and New Zealand, all resident in Australia, and ten resident in Canberra. We had a few days in KK to acclimatise to the heat and humidity of the tropics and on our first full day we visited the markets, both the regular markets and the fish markets.

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Not much need to comment on most of the images.  They are what you see.  They are all taken with a Fuji X100F, a compact camera with a fixed 35mm-equivalent lens.

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel

The regular markets were undercover and almost something of a maze, with narrow corridors and stores crammed with small items.

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel

Now we were on our way to the fish markets and so were these two, with an impressive load of fish direct from the nearby fishing boats.

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel

The fish markets were much larger and more spacious, with an impressive variety of fish on display.

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel .

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Kota Kinabalu, Markets, Photography, Sabah, Street photography, Travel
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KL to KK (Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu)

Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, South China Sea, 1 May 2019.
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The images in this post are taken from a plane above the South China Sea, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, on my way to a two week wilderness photography excursion in Sabah, formerly British North Borneo.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Leaving KL Airport.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Still over the outskirts of KL.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Taking photographs from a plane requires a relatively clean window.  Internal reflections can be a problem and sometimes one side of the plane is better than the other.  A rubber lens hood against the window might help for the internal reflections. You need a high enough shutter speed to account for the vibrations of the plane.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Haze can be a problem but I don’t think a polarising filter would help as I think it would pick up diffracted colours from the plane’s windows.  Post processing is likely to make a big difference.  Infrared can help too as it tends to cut through the haze.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Islands in the South China Sea (I can’t work out from Google Earth exactly which ones).

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Coast of Sarawak.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

This and the next one is probably the coast of Sabah, possibly Brunei.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel

Approaching Kota Kinabalu.

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Infrared, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Landscape, Photography, Sabah, seascape, Travel .

All images are infrared, taken with a camera with a converted infrared sensor.  There is a lot of scope for variations in colour in processing colour infrared.

 

Sabah Itinerary

1 May to 15 May 2019.
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Kota Kinabalu, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Sabah Itinerary, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

My partner Jools and I embarked on a trip to Sabah in May 2019.  It was a two-week wildlife tour, organised by NatureArt Lab, based in Canberra.  Links to posts appear below..

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Kota Kinabalu, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Sabah, Sabah Itinerary, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is a great profusion of wildlife in Sabah which is much less affected by logging than Sarawak and Kalimantan.  There should be much to see including orangutans, sun bears, pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, hornbills, spectacular butterflies and remarkable vegetation such as orchids and the giant rafflesia flowers.

Using the letters from the map above (click it if you need to see more detail):

  • (a) We arrive in Kota Kinabalu Airport
  • (b) We spend a couple of days in and around Kota Kinabalu, the capital and largest city of Sabah
  • (c)  Cool rainforest in Mount Kinabalu (everywhere else we go will be hot and humid)
  • (d)  Different birds, insects and animals at Poring Hot Springs and staying the night in a Tea Plantation.
  • (e)  Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Centre, Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre and the Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre
  • (f)  Photography from a boat on the Kinabatangan River
  • (g)  Tabin Wildlife Reserve
  • (h)  Fly out from Lahad Datu Airport.

 

Links to Posts: