North Queensland Itinerary 2022

8 to 29 July 2022.

(Click maps for a larger size if they are too small to see).
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Jools and I are flying north to North Queensland tomorrow for three weeks. You would think this would be quite a change from the currently cold climate of Canberra and for the most part it will be, though in these times of unusual weather, Laura looks like being much the same as Canberra.  We attempted this journey in 2021 but had to bail out when we got caught in a COVID lockdown in Brisbane for a week and the ACT Government advised all travellers to return.

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In 2021 we flew north to Brisbane to stay with friends for a few days and had intended to fly on to Cairns (as shown above).  This time, we fly straight to Cairns and back.  The itinerary up there is very similar but we are taking more time this time and there are a couple of additions.

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From Cairns, we drive south to the Atherton Tablelands, staying in a small village and then in rainforest near Lake Eacham and Craters Lakes National Park.  We expect to visit Cathedral Fig Tree, Lakes Eacham and Barrine, Yungaburra, Curtain Fig National Park, Atherton, Hasties Swamp National Park (bird hide), Herberton, Mt Hypipamee National Park, Ravenshoe, Tully Gorge Lookout and Millaa Millaa waterfalls.  We also expect to visit the Art Deco town of Innisfail and various waterfalls and nature sites along the way.  This is not shown on the map which I haven’t updated it since last time but it’s a loop down to the coast, starting from Millaa Millaa and meeting up with the road from Cairns to Atherton where it goes inland.  You can see it if you click the map for a larger view. 

Wildlife we hope to encounter includes striped possums, platypodes (the correct plural of platypus since the word derives from Greek not Latin) and tree kangaroos.  Tree kangaroos may be elusive though.

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We then drive to Laura where we stay overnight and join a camping excursion for Aboriginal rock art over three days and two nights.  We next drive to Cooktown where we stay for several days and join another Aboriginal rock art tour on the last morning.

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After Cooktown, we drive to Mossman Gorge where we stay for two nights.  Next is an early morning wildlife cruise on the Daintree River, then we head to Daintree National Park, where we stay for a few days at Cape Tribulation.  The rainforest here comes down to the sea and we may encounter a cassowary. 

Next we drive down to Kuranda, in the hills near Cairns and stay overnight.  The next day we drive back down the hill then take a cablecar back up to Kuranda and come down again in a small train.  Then we have a day or two in Cairns including a day trip to Fitzroy Island (where I visited in 1987 taking pictures of lighthouses).  Finally we catch our plane back to Canberra.

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I am planning to take both just Fuji photographic equipment.  In the abandoned trip in 2021 I also had Nikon for long telephoto and wildlife.  The penalty for that change is that the autofocus of my cameras will not be nearly as good for birds in flight (a new Fuji camera is, but It’s not available yet) and I will not have as much capacity to compose loosely and crop down (eg for wildlife which may move unpredictably).  The advantage is about 3 kilos less weight and a long lens easier to hand hold.

I will have Fuji X-T2, X-E4 and X-T2 IR cameras, together with 4mm f2.8 fisheye, 8-16mm f2.8, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f2, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 80mm f2.8 macro, 70-300mm f4-5.6 and 200mm f2 lenses and a 1.4x TC.  My photographic pack will be about 11 kg which is fine.  Jools will  have an X-E4 and a 18-135mm lens and will be able to borrow the 70-300mm when I am using the  200mm for wildlife.

There’s a complication with selecting lenses for infrared because some produce a “hot spot” or bright flared area in the centre of the image.  So I could have taken the 27mm instead of the 23mm and 35mm but it’s not good for infrared.  The 8-16mm is only good for infrared at f2.8 so I took the 14mm as well, the 80mm macro is no good for infrared and the 200mm is only good at f4 and below but I have the 70-300mm. 

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I may find time for some temporary posts while travelling and will in time include below links for all posts I make from this trip.  In the meanwhile I have one more post to release from Crete and will resume posts from that trip later. 

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Here are links to the Brisbane posts from the 2021 trip:

Brisbane posts:

Links to North Queensland 2022 posts to appear here….

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Introduction to Infrared Photography

1982 to 2022, various locations.

Links go to original posts.  These are likely to be IR or Mono posts with little detail but there may be detailed information in a preceding normal-colour post.  (Some images have no corresponding posts, so no link).

Click on any image to see it larger (If you are on a PC at least).

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I’ve just finished posting on Istanbul/ Constantinople and next I will post on the Acropolis in Athens.  First, this post.

I have upgraded my IR camera and am selling the old one so one purpose of this post is to provide information to a buyer who may not well understand IR photography.  The IR explanation may be of general interest to photographers and others may just be interested in the images (there’s lots of text but also lots of images further down).

In ancient days of yore, decades ago, we had both colour and black & white infrared film.  Colour infrared film seems all but unavailable now whereas there are a few avenues for B&W IR film.

Normal photographic colour film has layers of red, green and blue.  Infrared light comes in below the red frequencies and ultraviolet is above blue, though ultraviolet is not relevant here.  Infrared colour film had layers of infrared, red and green, and missed out the blue.  Since infrared light is not visible, arbitrary colours were associated to the layers, so it was also called false-colour film.  You could also change the colour combinations by putting colour filters on the end of the lens.  This didn’t just add a colour caste but changed all the colours (since the infrared is invisible) and stacking filters changed all the colors in strange and mysterious ways.

Black and white infrared film was simply much more sensitive to infrared light.  It was also very sensitive to visible light and had to be loaded and unloaded from the camera in total darkness.   It was often grainy and could have an ethereal effect.

I never shot black & white infrared so I can’t show you any images of that but I did shoot colour IR.  I must have quite a few processed colour IR rolls in my film drawers but I’ve scanned hardy any of them but I can show you one example.

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Aboriginal Performance, Canberra, 1982.

This is a curious example.  I was shooting an Aboriginal performance when I ran out of regular fim so I continued with infrared.  Then, after I sent it to the lab to be processed, it came back with Sabattier Effect.  They must have left the inspection port open in the processing machine so that created a partial reversal of the shadows – resulting in a negative audience.  I had tried this myself several times but never got it to work as well as that.

Of course we now live in a digital age and we can take infrared images with digital cameras.  This is not entirely equivalent to colour IR film – you would actually need to combine digital regular and IR images for that, but it offers lots of scope for artistic effects and experiments and can also work particularly well for monochromes.

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St Kilda, 2013.

The cheapest way to take a digital IR image is to attach an R72 (or similar) filter to your cameras lens.  (This works for most cameras but some have too strong an infrared-blocking filter.)  This is how I took the above image and the next two.

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Jarlshof, Shetland, 2013.

The problem with using an R72 filter is that it is almost opaque so you need to use a tripod (or extremely high ISO) and if you’re using a DSLR, you will need to have the filter off to focus and compose.  A converted camera you can use hand held, just like a normal camera.

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Manvar Desert Camp, Rajastan, India, 2014.

This image is to some extent reminiscent of IR b&w film which could have heavy grain but it does not include the characteristic ethereal blurring of highlights.  I could have tried to replicate that with the Orton Effect in Photoshop but I have no interest in copying appearances from another era without a good reason.

Much more convenient than an R72 filter is an IR camera but it is more expensive as you have to send a camera off to get converted.   Mirrorless cameras are more suitable than DSLRs (unless you just plan to use live view) because focusing has a separate sensor to taking the image and they may get out of synch.

Most people use a custom camera white balance, usually taken off foliage.  Otherwise your captured image will start off different shades of a single colour.  There can also be different kinds of conversions.  A 720nm conversion gives you an image suitable for black and white with very little processing (perhaps even none, out of the camera).  A conversion with a lower number such as 560nm or 590nm has more colour in the image and is suitable for either colour or B&W IR but requires processing.

Not all lenses are suitable for infrared photography.  Many perform flawlessly but many have “hot spots”, a circle of diffusion and flare in the centre of the image.   Some lenses are also OK at wider apertures but have hot spots when stopped down.  There are a few guides to this online such as this one from Kolari or this one from Life Pixel, but you can also easily test your lenses yourself (with either an IR camera or R72 filter).

Processing is an important part of creating infrared images, though most people seem to take a relatively minimalist approach.  So while I have generally taken a complex approach to processing using Lightroom and Photoshop, I decided to see what I might get with relatively quick processing just in Lightroom.

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This is what you see in your camera without a custom profile or as the RAW file in Lightroom without any processing.

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This is the change from applying a custom Lightroom profile made using the Adobe DNG Profile Editor, as described here, then making a few minor changes to Temperature and Tint.  This is useful because Lightroom and Camera RAW by default give you a constricted colour range to play with for infrared images.  It is not necessary for Capture One.  This is similar to what you see in your camera with a custom profile there.  (Actually I did not do this in processing this image but clicked the White Balance Selector on foliage instead.  For this image, it provided a similar result.)

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Beijing Garden, Canberra, 2022.

I created this just using Lightroom. 

Apart from the custom white balance, I adjusted some hues in HSL, I played with some settings in Calibration, I optimised individual colour channels in curves, and I made some adjustments to shadows with colour grading.  I’m not suggesting a recipe; I made some adjustments I thought appropriate at the time and I might do completely different things with a different image or at a different time.

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This is the result of a quick B&W conversion in Lightroom.  I usually do my conversions in CaptureOne and Photoshop is also powerful, though may be more complex.

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Beijing Garden, Canberra, 2022.

This is another one from the same place on the next day.  We’ll get to Photoshop soon and one of the things you do in Photoshop with infrared images is swapping channels.  There’s a way to get a profile in Lightroom that does this so I was able to incorporate a red/blue channel swap in this image.  Such a profile is complex to set up, though you can read of this process or purchase swap profiles here.

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Ducks and Ducklings, Mt Ainslie, 2021.

This is an image from out the back of where I live, during a COVID lockdown.  Processed entirely in Lightroom except for neutralising the colour of the water at the bottom in Photoshop, because even with recent Lightroom improvements, masking in Photoshop is much better (Capture One was also possible).

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Carillon in early Spring, Canberra, 2021.

I recently tried processing infrared images in Capture One (which I have been also using for three years now).  It has very powerful capabilities for adjusting colours and masking, and has layers.  It’s better than Lightroom in many ways though channel swapping is not offered and Photoshop is more powerful for this purpose but can be much more complex.  (However, channel swapping is possible.  You can select, say, a blue 120 degree third, make the maximum -30 degrees hue shift four times, do the same for red (except +30) and save as a preset.)

The above image and the next two are processed in Capture One.

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Bushland on Mount Ainslie, 2021.

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Kangaroo on Mount Ainslie, 2021.

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Kangaroos on Mount Ainslie, 2014.

This was one of the first images I took with my old IR camera.  All the following images are from that camera and also half the preceding ones.  The image you end up with is more important than the camera you take it with.

All images from the one above down were primarily processed in Photoshop.

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Grand Canyon by Helicopter (IR), 2014.

Infrared is good for aerial images because it cuts through the haze, even before any processing.

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Zion Canyon (Mono) (image is actually near Zion Canyon), 2014.

Infrared can also be good for monochrome.  This was processed in Nik Silver Efex Pro but in the last couple of years I have gone to using Capture One.

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Louisiana Bayou Monochromes, 2014.

IR can facilitate deep blacks and high drama in mono.

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Louisiana Bayou Monochromes, 2014.

Photographing people can be interesting in infrared.  Easier perhaps in mono; colour image can require delicate tweaking.

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Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail, 2015.

All of these later images were mainly processed in Photoshop, but what you can do there depends on what you start with.  It’s advantageous to process the images first in Lightroom (or ACR) and you can do this in a number of different ways which each led to a different set of possibilities in Photoshop.

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Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast from Above (IR), 2015.

Though some people always process their images the same way, for me there is no set way of doing this, in Photoshop, or in Lightroom or Capture One.  It seems as though each time I process an image I think of a new way to do it..

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Taxi! Taxi!, 2015.

So I’m not providing any recipes because I don’t believe in them and don’t use them.  The key is to look at the essence of each image and creatively explore its potential.

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Kipahulu/ Haleakala National Park, 2015.

In Photoshop, the first thing to do is often channel swapping, usually red and blue channels.  But there are lots of things you can do with channel swapping and you can also combine different effects with layers and masks.

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Kipahulu/ Haleakala National Park, 2015.

Then I may use a Hue/ Saturation layer to adjust or change individual colours.

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Oonartra Creek IR, 2015.

I may use a Black and White adjustment layer in luminosity mode to intensify individual colours.

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Dream Lemurs, 2015.

I may make some tweaks with a Selective colour layer.

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Ocean Harbour Dreaming, 2015.

I may also make a range of adjustments using luminosity masks (for which I use TK Actions though there are other alternatives that may be less complex).

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Ocean Harbour Dreaming, 2015.

Of course, you don’t need to use the most complex method possible.  Simple methods are fine if they work for you (and complex methods may not).  I do think it’s important though to always be experimenting and learning….

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Cazneau Tree, Brachina Gorge and Edowie ruins (IR), 2016.

There is potential technical complexity in processing infrared images but it will not work if it becomes just a technical exercise.  It’s the image that you create that is important, not the process you used to create it.  Whether you spend a lot of time doing complex things is ultimately irrelevant, the objective is simply to create Great Art.

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Flinders Ranges Monos 3 IR, 2016.

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Cazneau Tree, Brachina Gorge and Edowie ruins (IR), 2016.

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Parachilna Ruins (IR), 2016.

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Return to Adelaide (IR), 2016.

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Yaxha and Topoxté (IR), 2016.

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Tikal Monochromes, 2016.

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Salton Sea (IR), 2016.

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Salton Sea Monochromes, 2016.

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Sculpture Garden, NGA, 2016.

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KL to KK (Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu), 2019.

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Mount Tamborine, 2021.

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Ashoka (he’s actually a red Burmese), 2021.

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I have deliberately refrained from giving detailed methodology and screen shots partly because the article would get too long but more because I think it’s counter-productive.  There is no correct way of doing this and your own individual approach is for you to discover.

I will however, supply a couple of links for further reading.  You can find more with web searches:

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Monochromes from Shakhrisabz

2 October 2018, Shakrizabz, Uzbekistan.

Links go to colour posts (with more information and historical context, including Sogdia). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

Click on any image to see it larger (if on a PC at least).

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Architecture, Black and White, History, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, Shakhrisabz, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan, Wildlife

Walking though the gardens of Dor-us Siyodat.

Kesh, Sogdia, Timur and a Sufi.

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Eurasian magpie.

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A corner of Dor-us Siyodat.

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Dor-us Siyodat.

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Inside Dor-us Siyodat.

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Timur’s modest intended tomb.

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Dor-us Siyodat.

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Dor-ut Tilovat ensemble.

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Inside the mausoleum of Shamsidden Kulol.

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Inside the other cupola, built by Ulugbek for his descendants.

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Arches in a corridor inside the mosque..

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Kok-Gumbaz (Blue Dome) Mosque.

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In the distance, about a kilometre away, is what is left of Timur’s Ak Saray Palace.

Ak Seray Palace

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Remaining tiles on the sides of the entrance arch.

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Walking towards the entrance arch.

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Timur.

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The entrance arch from the other side.

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The entrance arch from the side.

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A remaining section of the palace walls.

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Locked Down in Canberra (Floriade)

28 September to 9 October 2021, Canberra, ACT.

Click on any image to see it larger (if you’re on a PC at least).

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While in lockdown we are still allowed out to visit open places in our immediate area.  Usually I’ve just been going for walks in the reserve out the back but I have also made some visits to Floriade.  This is an annual flower festival in Canberra.  Usually it is jam-packed with tourists and visitors from other Australian states but because of lockdown it was not publicised and no-one can come into Canberra from outside.  Usually I don’t attend because of the crowds and because other than in small very occasional doses I find it all a bit twee, but it does have some interesting potential for photographs.

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I visited Floriade three times.  The first time I was interested in trying focus stacking, taking lots of images and assembling them later to get arrays of all the flowers with all of them in focus.

I found it didn’t work as well as I was expecting.  We don’t see detailed arrays in perfect focus like that and I found that the detail was overwhelming the composition.  This first image is cropped in considerably for that reason.

I was using a Fujifilm X-E4 (for which you can specify start and end focus points for photo stacked images) and an 80mm f2.8 macro (and processing in Zerene Stacker) though as it turned out, most of the images didn’t really need a macro lens.

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In the original version of this image, there were too many flowers in focus for the eye to know where to rest.  I had to crop the image in considerably and also reprocess it so that fewer flowers were in focus.

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

This isn’t cropped in, it is as composed but the wind was blowing around so that the flowers were moving with respect to each other.  The camera took around 150 images but there was no way I could use all those.  So I selected 12 and combined those for essential detail, leaving the background out of focus.

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

This image didn’t require cropping and isn’t really part of Floriade.  These are flowers on reeds growing on a small swampy island and I got down low to take them against the light.

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This image is also not cropped, and works OK as a focus stack, with varying layers of white, green, red and purple.

Most of the images from this series I ended up discarding though.

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

The second time I visited I had a very different approach.  I used a long telephoto with a very fast lens to get a flower or part of a flower in detail, with most everything else completely out of focus.

(A fast lens is one that opens very wide at maximum aperture and lets in lots of light with a small depth of field. To be precise, I used a Nikon D850 and 300mm f2.8 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter, all taking at maximum aperture of f4.  The Fuji equivalent would be a 200mm f2 + 1.4x TC, but I do not have that lens.)

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Using a long lens with a shallow depth of field like this brings out subject isolation and for the most part worked much better than trying to get everything in focus.

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

There were also some ducklings in the park.

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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The third time I visited I had in mind a variation of the approach.  I still used the same long telephoto and this time I focus stacked, but only a small number of images.  The images could be dramatic with a single shot but only part of a flower might be in focus.  I wanted to see how it would work with a bit more depth of field to get the whole flower in focus. (Starting with the image above)

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

This worked well but there was too much wind on this day (it doesn’t take much when focus stacking) so I had to be patient and wait for lulls..

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Australia, Canberra, Floriade, Flowers, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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Locked Down in Canberra (Macro Landscapes in the Rain)

4 September to 5 October 2021, Canberra, ACT

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Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Small worlds in rain.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

(Acacia in bloom).

.Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

I live backing onto a nature reserve.  The first five images are on the path at the back of the houses, no more than fifty yards or so from the back gate.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

I decided to get some practice going out and shooting in heavy rain.  Some places you travel to you may well encounter it and not want to waste too much time sitting around.  I found it has interesting potential.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Almost all the rest are further out in the bush, no longer in heavy rain, and within about twenty minutes’ walk if I’m not stopping to take photographs.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

There’s no real need to describe most of these images (though feel free to ask questions).  I’ll add notes on how I took them at the end.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

As you may have noticed at the top, they were taken over a period of about a month.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

t. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

s. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

s.

These two were at a different location, at the Jerrabombera Wetlands.

s. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

s.Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

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. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

These are on a young eucalypt just outside the back gate.  They look like caterpillars but they are actually spitfire bugs or sawfly larvae and are harmless to people and animals.  Sawflies are a kind of stingless wasp.  They are closest to the ancestral form of all hymenopterans (ants, wasps, bees and sawflies) and survive as fossils from the Jurassic.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

On the back path by the fence again.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Back in the bush.

Though I didn’t encounter the heavy rain again, many of these images are taken during or after lighter rain, which brings out colours and changes the feeling.

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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There are thirty-seven images here and only five were taken as a single image (marked with an “s” below them).  The rest were focus stacked.  Macro images have a very small depth of field, but to increase that you can take images at slightly different points of focus.  Then you need to combine them later in post-production using Photoshop or a dedicated program such as Zerene Stacker or Helicon Focus.  That’s focus stacking.

Focus stacking doesn’t require a macro lens or subject.  With a wide angle lens in a landscape you may not need many exposures.  At the extreme, using a 4mm circular fisheye lens, it required just two exposures to be in focus from around three inches to infinity (that’s the Pimilea Physodes image in this earlier post).  Conversely, macro depth of field is very small and I took as many as 600 exposures for some images in this post.

Anyone can focus stack, provided you have appropriate software to combine the images.  It’s good to stop down to f11 or so (to reduce the number of exposures) and useful to use manual focus, preferably with focus peak highlighting if you have it.

At the most basic level, you have the camera on a tripod, take separate exposures and carefully adjust the focus for each shot.  Alternatively, you can set the shutter going on fast burst and slowly move the focus through your desired range.  In both cases you need to be careful not to leave focus holes where you moved the focus too much between exposures.

It’s easier if your camera automates the process.  I have Nikon D850, Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-E4 cameras that do that.  They all operate a bit differently.  The D850 and the X-T2 fire away from a starting focus point for a set number of exposures.  You also have to set the delay between exposures (usually 0) and the focus adjustment between exposures (usually a middling value in the range).

With the D850, when you finish a burst, the focus stays on the last exposure so if you haven’t specified enough frames, you just set it going again for the rest.  With the X-T2, it goes back to initial focus so if you didn’t specify enough frames, you need to increase the number and start again.  But it does make it easier to make a panorama in the same focus range.  Three of the images above were also panoramas, combining two or three focus stacks.

The X-E4 can operate like the X-T2 but it also has an Auto option where you can specify the start and end points, so you don’t end up shooting lots of autofocus frames.

In all cases, it is better to start a little before what you see as the initial focus point because you can easily miss what that really is.  When taking macro focus stacks, you need to carefully look through at different points of focus before taking the shot and even then it is easy to miss debris and extraneous elements that can disturb your composition.

It’s not necessary to use a tripod, though it definitely helps.  The second acacia image, that I have marked with a “t” was hand held (with a long telephoto lens).  There was some wind too and I was impressed how well Zerene Stacker dealt with that.  It did have a clean background against the tree though.  It would not have worked had there been other plants also blowing around further back.  The previous three images (from the previous day) may also have been hand-held.

The six images at the back of the houses were all taken with the D850 and a Sigma 180mm macro lens.  All the others were taken with Fuji, mainly the X-E4.  Most of those were taken with the 80mm macro (sometimes with 1.4x teleconverter) and I also used 8-16mm, 14mm and 100-400mm lenses.

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This post is the second of a short series of images from Lockdown in Canberra.  The previous one is here, two posts back.  The next one is (insert link when available).  They are interspersed with Uzbek monochrome posts.

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Locked Down in Canberra (Wildlife)

24 August to 24 September 2021, Canberra, ACT

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Currently we are in lockdown in Canberra with small levels of COVID at large while Victoria and NSW are also in lockdown with much larger COVID levels.   Hospitals and ambulance services in NSW and Victoria are already over capacity.  Current caseload indicates this will get worse and opening up prematurely for political reasons rather than health advice will not help.   Levels are much higher in NSW and Victoria probably due to flouting of the restrictions there including demonstrations and football final celebrations.  We are in this situation primarily due to the failure of the Federal Government to obtain timely vaccination supplies, set up quarantine centres and financially support the more vulnerable in the population (whereas large businesses are not required to repay hundreds of millions of dollars of excess payments).   Also because the NSW failed to lock down at the first Deltas case and instead waited 10 days.

The one hopeful factor is that vaccination is rapidly increasing.  Fully vaccinated people can still get COVID but they are less infectious, far less likely to have to go to hospital and then less likely to get long COVID.  In the ACT as of yesterday, we have 89.2% receiving the first dose and 60.9% fully vaccinated.

So in the meanwhile, as I said, we are in lockdown.  We mainly stay at home and currently we can leave to exercise for two hours a day in our local area.  This is slowly easing starting from the end of the week.  I am lucky to live at the edge of a nature reserve so I have been going out and photographing on many days.  Here are a selection of wildlife images from that.

I will continue making such posts midweek during lockdown though it may not be every week.

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Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Eastern grey kangaroos.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Grey fantail.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Eastern grey kangaroo.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Eastern grey kangaroos.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Australian Magpie.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Eastern grey kangaroo.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos.

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Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Little Corella (rare in Canberra).

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Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Common Bronzewing (though not common for me).

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Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Female Blue Wren.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Pied Currawang.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Chough.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Australian Wood Ducks

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

An Australian Wood Duck performing for me.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

.Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

.Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Kookaburras.

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.Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Crimson Rosellas.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Australian Wood Ducks.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

.Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Cunningham’s Skinks.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Galah.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Peewee or Magpie-Lark.

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Eastern Rosellas courting…

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

.Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

.Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Galahs pairing up…

.Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

.Australia, Australian Wood Ducks, Birds, Canberra, Cockatoo, Cunningham's Skink, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Kangaroos, Kookaburras, Little Corella, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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This post is the first of a short series of images from Lockdown in Canberra.  The next one is here, two posts on.  They are interspersed with Uzbek monochrome posts.

Lockdown is for the Birds

Brisbane, Queensland, 1 to 6 August 2021.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.).
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 Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Butcher Bird.

At the end of the last post, we had stopped off in Brisbane for a couple of days en route to a photographic tour in North Queensland, when our progress was arrested by a sudden seven-day lockdown.  So we spent the next seven days with our friends Jim and Milena in their new home, and with the birds that either visited or lived there.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

The same Butcher Bird from the verandah (also then next two images).

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Back inside, with Percy and Polly (Rainbow Lorikeets) and Milena.  One of the lorikeets is interested in learning how to use the coffee machine.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

The other, not so much.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

On the verandah again, two Kookaburras.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Juvenile Magpie soaring up for food.  this one has a damaged foot.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Juvenile Magpie on the rail (the adults are black rather than grey).

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

The Australian Magpie is not related to the Eurasian Magpie.  It is related to the Butcherbird, though.

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Kookaburra.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Though we were in a city, we were able to go for a brief walk in a forest nearby.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Inside with the lorikeets again.

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 Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

They are very fast inside the house and challenging to photograph.

Ironically, I had brought a Nikon D850 and 300mm f2.8 lens (plus teleconverters), specifically for photographing birds in flight, mainly from various bird hides I expected to encounter.  I did not anticipate the my BIF photography would be indoors.

These indoor images were all taken with a Fujifilm X-E4 and a 27mm f2.8 lens (40mm full frame equivalent), heavily croppped.  I couldn’t predict when and where they were going to fly I needed loose compositions.  They are all on 1/2,000 sec because the lorikeets are very quick and light levels were quite low so they are all on high ISOs, more that two thirds on 6400 or 12,800.  As well as that, this was a new camera and when I had set up Custom Quick Menus, I hadn’t realised that as well as the values on the Quick Menus, there were also many other values I needed to set or they would revert to the original camera defaults.  This meant I was shooting JPEG instead of RAW so many of the images are lacking highlight or shadow detail.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

This might represent an interesting lorikeet decal on the splashback except that it was a bit too transient for full appreciation at the time.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Lorikeet and Jools.

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Percy and Polly powering past.

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Also a Budgie, even more elusive on the wing.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

… and here playing hide-and-seek.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Back on the balcony, an adult Magpie in midair leaping for food, plus a Butcher Bird.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

  … Coming in to land ….

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Magpie pair.

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Again, a lorikeet as an interior decoration….

.  Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife .

. Australia, Brisbane, Butcher Bird, Kookaburras, Landscape, Magpie, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Rainbow Lorikeets, Travel, Wildlife

Jim with Percy and Polly.

It was difficult to find lockdown information at this time as the Queensland Government told people not to ring them and if you did, you could wait for a long time and then drop out.  Eventually, we worked out that we were free to fly back to the ACT, even while the lockdown continued in Brisbane.  Jools did so first, I did so after receiving an email from the ACT Government advising against further travel. 

Now Queensland is out of lockdown and we are in lockdown in Canberra.  The main problem is New South Wales, which failed to lockdown for ten days after their first case and is now spiralling out of control with over a thousand cases per day.  (That won’t sound high if you live in Montenegro, Malaysia or Miami but is the highest we have seen in Australasia).  (The other problem is the low vaccination rate, due to the incompetence of the Federal Government).  Fortunately it doesn’t seem too bad in the ACT and we may be out of lockdown in a couple of weeks, though the situation remains precarious.

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At the water’s edge

Brisbane, Queensland, 31 July 2021.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.).
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We are on our second day in Brisbane, staying with friends, en route to Northern Queensland, or so we thought.

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Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

Though inside Brisbane, we are on a scenic drive that goes in part through a national park, and we are looking down some distance at a house on farmland.  It appears to be the mansion of a drug baron.  Perhaps a nineteenth century drug baron.  Probably opium, in that case.

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Near the road, we noticed this compact granny flat.  Specially adapted for natural air conditioning.

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And in the distance there are these massive ancient megaliths.  Some of them may be more than a hundred feet high.  How they carried the stones there is a mystery.

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It’s not fire season yet so this was presumably burning off.  These days severe bush fires can occur even in winter though.

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We proceeded on to Wynnum, where we visited a cafe and then wandered out onto the pier.  Beside the pier, this I believe is a gazebo martin (though usually known as a tree martin).  I tried to get them in flight as a test of camera settings for that purpose but they are very fast and I did not succeed.

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Wynnum pier.  The martins were building a nest in the roof of the right-hand gazebo.

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Next we visited the nearby East Coast Marina and I photographed some of the yachts sailing around and in or out of the marina, from the end of a pier.

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Also, a couple of dragon boats.  Going out…

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…then coming back in.

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Small yacht returning to the marina.

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Two launches and a yacht coming out.

The red sign at the left is not blank on purpose for the benefit of people who cannot read, rather it is a marker for the dredged channel.  The water can be otherwise quite shallow around here.

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A launch and a windsurfer exploring the possibility of flight.

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I think the same windsurfer.

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A small flotilla of launches coming in on the channel. 

You can see the channel marker in the mid background (in itself an indication the water is not as deep as it may seem).

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There was a parasurfer there as well.

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We are now around behind the marina and a paddle-boarder is proceeding out.  He may not require as large a mooring as those catamarans.

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The boat at front in the middle is an old pearling lugger with a Maori name, which may indicate it was used by Maori divers.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

We are now a bit further south at Cleveland Point.  There are a number of cormorants on this tree.

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With a slightly different angle, I am now shooting into the sun.  It is still a colour image but the extreme contrast has wiped out the colour.

. Australia, Brisbane, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Queensland, Reflections, Skywalk, Travel, Wildlife, Yachts

This is the old Cleveland Point Lighthouse, no longer in use.  It has an unusual design and was built in 1865.  It is a State lighthouse for local navigation so was not amongst the Commonwealth lighthouses I photographed in 1987 (Lighthouses tab, at top of page).

Half an hour after I took this photo, Brisbane went into a sudden COVID lockdown for at least seven days.  We worked that out later when we drove past a pub that had no patrons.  No flight for us to North Queensland early morning the day after next.

Fortunately, we were able to stay with our friends for the duration.  The lockdown did end after seven days but then there was a North Queensland lockdown for another three days.  That also ended after the three days and I would have waited and kept on going but I received a letter from the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Government advising against further travel.  The problem was New South Wales where COVID was out of control by Australian standards because the NSW Government waited for 10 days before locking down.  Had I kept going I risked an ACT lockdown and either having difficulty returning or returning to 14-day hotel quarantine (as opposed to the much more benign home quarantine).

 

So after five days, I abandoned the North Queensland trip and returned to Canberra.

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Meanwhile, we stopped for the sunset at a beach a bit further south near Victoria Point.

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… as the light slowly receded.

MacLeay Island in the background and South Stradbroke Island beyond that.

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An obliging pelican swam up and posed for me.

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The light was getting very low and although I was using a lens with good image stabilisation, that does not compensate for subject movement and I underestimated what shutter speed I needed so the pelican in this image is not actually in focus.  (I decided to show it anyway because of the feel and the colour).

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A last image in the gathering doom….

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Then when we got back home, I went to change lenses on my cameras for more compact storage and discovered I was missing a lens – actually the new lens from my recent post on Setting Up the X-E4.  It had fallen out of my bag.

Clearly it wouldn’t be there the next morning so notwithstanding the lockdown, I went back to try to find it.  I thought it had probably fallen out of the bag when I bent down to take a photo using a small post as support. 

When we got back to where we had been, I immediately saw it on the road where the car had been parked.  It had fallen out when I got the bag out of the car, about eighteen inches to two feet.  Fortunately I hadn’t run over it.  It was unmarked, had no apparent ill effects and still worked fine including autofocus.  (Phew!)

Mount Tamborine

Brisbane, Queensland, 30 July 2021.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.).
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Infrared, Landscape, Mount Tambourine, Nature, Photography, Rainforest, Skywalk, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Just before dawn, we headed off on our flight from Canberra to Brisbane, the first step of our journey to North Queensland.

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… though as it turned out, we would not get to North Queensland, rather turned back due to COVID lockdowns.

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We met up with our friends Jim and Milena, and later headed for Mount Tamborine.  This is a view looking inland over the plains.

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… and over farmland.

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The weather seems to have been changing considerably and is not quite how I remember it, though perhaps that is the infrared sensor and processing.

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We stopped at a cafe for lunch.

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And then we headed for the Mount Tamborine Skywalk, so the remaining images are from there.

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The bunga bunga pines are towering over the rest. 

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Eastern yellow robin (male).

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These two images looking straight down at some distance.

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North Queensland Itinerary

30 July to 15 August 2021.

(Click maps for a larger size if they are too small to see).
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Jools and I are planning to fly north to North Queensland for a couple of weeks. This would be quite a change from the currently cold climate of Canberra. 

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Current Queensland border closures.

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However, it all depends of COVID restrictions and border closures.  Australia is pretty much closed to the outside world so we can’t leave the country and there are also restrictions for internal travel.  Queensland currently has closed its borders to New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia but not the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra).  New South Wales is experiencing an explosion of the COVID Delta variant (by Australian Standards at least, 172 new cases yesterday), whereas Canberra hasn’t had a locally spread case for over a year.  We just have to hope that the borders will stay open for us at least for the next three days until our planned departure date.

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We are intending to fly north to Brisbane, stay with friends for a few days, then fly to Cairns.

Edit:  We got to Brisbane and then were caught in a snap 7-day lockdown.  Towards the end of that, Jools had already gone back and I was contemplating going on despite a 3-day North Queensland lockdown when I received an email from the ACT Government warning against further travel.  So I came back as well.  I was concerned I might have to come back to hotel quarantine.  ACT is now in lockdown so we’re now in lockdown there.

Hopefully we’ll be able to do the trip at a later date, perhaps next year.

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Brisbane posts:

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From Cairns, we drive south to the Atherton Tablelands, staying in rainforest for several days near Lake Eacham and Craters Lakes National Park.  We expect to visit Cathedral Fig Tree, Lakes Eacham and Barrine, Yungaburra, Curtain Fig National Park, Atherton, Hasties Swamp National Park (bird hide), Herberton, Mt Hypipamee National Park, Ravenshoe, Tully Gorge Lookout and Millaa Millaa waterfalls.  Wildlife we hope to encounter includes striped possums, platypodes (the correct plural of platypus since the word derives from Greek not Latin) and tree kangaroos.

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We then drive to Laura where we stay overnight and join two tours of Aboriginal rock art the next day.  We next drive to Cooktown where we stay for several days and join another Aboriginal rock art tour on the last morning.

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After Cooktown, we drive to Daintree National Park, where we stay for a few days.  The rainforest here comes down to the sea and we may encounter a cassowary.  Then we drive down to Kuranda, in the hills near Cairns and stay overnight.  The next day we drive back down the hill then take a cablecar back up to Kuranda and come down again in a small train.  From there we drive to Mossman Gorge, stay near there overnight and explore the gorge the next day.  Then we drive to Daintree Village where we stay overnight.  Early the next morning we have a photographic tour on Daintree river, then drive down to Cairns airport to catch our plane back to Canberra.

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I am planning to take both Nikon and Fuji photographic equipment.

I will have a Nikon D850 and a 300mm f2.8 plus 1.4x and 2x teleconverters as my prime telephoto equipment for wildlife.

To reduce weight and also carry a larger range of equipment, I will also have a Fuji X-T2, X-E4 and X-E2 IR cameras, together with 4mm fisheye, 8mm fisheye, 8-16mm, 23mm, 27mm, 35mm, 56mm, 80mm macro and 70-300mm lenses and a 1.4x TC.  (I could perhaps leave the 23mm and 35mm behind but they’re fairly small and light.)  Jools will  have an X-E4 and a 18-135mm lens and will be able to borrow the 70-300mm when I am using the Nikon 300mm.

Next will be a technical post on setting up the new X-E4 but there may be no posts after that for two or three weeks.