Monthly Archives: September 2014

There wasn’t too much activity on the incoming tide late this morning so I wandered up to an area of the wetlands where pairs of shore birds are gathering in these early days of Spring. There were curlews too, doing what they do best, laying low and camouflaged in the scrub. And this white-faced heron came a little closer than another pair I spotted. This shot gives a good sense of the colour of grasses near the mangroves at the moment.

On the way back home I dropped in again on Oyster Point and was rewarded by an egret on the hunt for fish.

white-faced heron - Moreton Bay wetlands - 12 Sept 2014 - FX Vignetteegret stalking fish - 12 Sept 2014fishing - 12 Sept 2014 - egret - FX TS and Vignette

I’ve been testing the new Sony A6000 particularly as it relates to ISO noise. The light sensitivity of these cameras is very impressive, particularly when you think back to using 35mm film, when 400 ISO could give you grainy results in low light. These Clivia photographs were taken mid-afternoon in the shade of a large tree.

ISO 640 123mm  f5.6  1/200 sec


ISO 1250  170mm  f6.3  1/320 sec


ISO 2500  200mm  f6.3  1/400 sec


I’m still working on capturing flight moments. Much depends on the time, place and settings. So when the composition of this white-faced heron worked, it seemed a shame to dispose of the image altogether just because of a lack of focus.

white faced heron in flight - Worn Pop 4 and Magenta Stroke FX and Socorro FX

Same goes for this young magpie and the pelicans, all caught over the past two days on my wanderings.

magpie approaching - Pop Grunge 2 + FX Ancient smpelicans in flight Pop Grunge 7 FX Warm +

Light Garden - Brisbane Festival 2014 South Bank

An evening with Steve Nieve as part of the 2014 Brisbane Festival was a great way to test out the light sensitivity chops of the Sony A6000 and its 16-50 mm lens. Here are some of the shots which include some fun reflection work courtesy of the split mirrors inside the Spiegeltent. It made for some great duplications and reverse images. The cafe shot and the first one of Steve Nieve have some light FX effects work. Otherwise, except for some cropping, the photos are as they came off the camera. I’m pretty pleased with its first outing, particularly as I’m still new to what it’s capable of.

The art installation is called Light Garden which includes occasional real smoke. We ended the evening at Champ for affogatos, just to stay on the high. 🙂

Steve Nieve - 10 Sept 2014inside the SpiegeltentThey do it with mirrors - Steve Nieve in the Spiegeltent - FX TokyoSteve Nieve - reverse mirror duplicationChamp for after-show affogatos - 10 Sept 2014



Just over a fortnight ago, I came across this mound and a lone Brush Turkey on a rainy walk. Early on Sunday morning I found the pair on the same mound. They were making adjustments to the nest together presumably getting the temperature just right for when the eggs are laid. Spring is definitely with us.

brush turkey pair - Sunday 7 Sep 2014

Down on the point, I’m persisting with my self-imposed learning journey to capture birds in flight.

black and white stilts

Morning stilts

There was a healthy breeze picking up as the mid-morning car ferry left Cleveland on Saturday. We were on the best kind of day trip, one that’s combined with a catch up with friends.

Car ferry to Stradbroke Island - 6 Sept 2014

The gannets and pelicans were fishing on Flinders Beach. We were blown away by the wind on the North Gorge Walk then finally our patience was rewarded as we saw whales amid the choppy ocean, fin slapping as they headed south.

Windy day - Main Beach Stradbroke Island 6 Sept 2014

Then it was a picnic lunch at Cylinder Beach, some dolphins close in the waves, non-stop talking and laughing.

Cylinder Beach picnic - 6 Sept 2014

Main Beach - Stradbroke Island 6 Sept 2014

The last beach run in the vehicle became a race against the incoming tide.

Brown Lake - Stradbroke Island 6 Sept 2014

A stop at Brown Lake before ice-creams and a small tipple on the ferry home. It was a good day. A very good day.

The Black-winged Stilts are constants on the incoming tide at the moment. The closer in time that I arrive before a high tide, the closer in distance I get to the birds.

I’ve been contemplating why I’m going through this practice every day. It’s as much about the desire to improve the shot taking as it is for the exercise and fresh air. Every day I’m learning something new or having other things reaffirmed. It’s all about the light today. Mid-late afternoon. And for a change, these photos have absolutely no adjustments to exposure or effects added.

I’m noticing improvements in my ability to track birds in flight with the camera too. Practice, practice, practice, as they say.

Stilt flight - 3 Sept 2014 Stilt shuffle - 3 Sept 2014 Stilts settled - 3 Sept 2014



I’ve been timing my coast walks close to high tide so it was after 2pm that I made today’s trek. The only shore birds evident were the usual suspects, these Black-winged Stilts. They were mostly intent on holding the same pose. As I was leaving, I caught sight of a Greater Egret wading around the mangroves.

b&w stilts - OP - 1 Sept 2014

I watched him catch two fish and then took a few unspectacular photographs from my vantage point.

greater egret - OP 1 Sep 2014Once done fishing, the bird took off in a hurry. Any shot of his departure was going to be miraculous. You’ll notice that the camera (and the photographer) did manage to get the mangroves in focus.

Egret takes flight - FX Pacific 20