Once again I have been fooled into thinking May would be a slow month for me.
How can one be so wrong, year after year ?
May started and finished with frenzied, frequent, visits to Staglands Wild Life Park to get to know the place better or future workshops and it gave Kath, my STAR pupil a chance to experiment with all the stuff I had been teaching her.
The big news for this month would have to be an addition to the Boney Whitefoot team.
So I’m introducing and welcoming Louise Wilman to team Boney Whitefoot.
Louise is a valuable addition to the team and will a great help to me when my workshops have more than two people attending .
Louise is a full time mum, married to Dean and they have 3 boys..
the 2 youngest boys 2 and 4 she refers to as the (critters) , they accompany mum and dad out in the field and can spot a hawk at 300 meters.
Then they make sure you know they have spotted it 😀
Both Dean and Louise are very keen wildlife and landscape photographers .
Louise will enhance our workshops with her infectious humour and boundless enthusiasm.
Meet the Boney team .
Louise and I trying to capture the Wood ducks, photo, taken by Kath.
Staglands Wildlife Park.
Kath the star student
It has been so rewarding working with Kath over the last few months, seeing Kath progress from where she started, to where she is now.
Kath would put many much more experienced photographers to shame.
Kath has learnt to assess and map the light values on the fly, with her own eyes in difficult conditions and can adjust the cameras settings to get a great exposure, without relying on the camera to make a blotch of it .
Cameras are great at making good AVERAGE over all exposures when the light is even , but the moment the light is hard to map, all cameras fall over .
They over expose, underexpose and misbehave like naughty children just when you need them to behave the most.
One must learn to map the over all light values mentally , identify the most important object in your photograph and compensate by making manual adjustments to the exposure system on your camera, tailored to correctly expose the main subject , or disappointment is going to raise its ugly head.
The photographer must take control and tell the camera what to do.
This is a skill that anyone can learn with practise and you can take advantage of shots like this below.
Kath has spent months doing exactly that and her results have been amazing.
With soft afternoon light streaming in from behind us but at a low angle, the front part of the image is light but takes up only a small strip of the over all image .
This image has been cropped but in the original, 2/3rds of the of the over all light, is the dark shadows under the bank at the back.
We are also positioned low to the water to get the best possible profile for the duck in mid flap, so that bright light is a thin strip indeed over whelmed by the dark background.
In these conditions , left to its own devices the camera will try and make up for the much greater amount of dark light behind the bird and over expose the bird, obliterating it .
Kath shot 2 stops under the cameras recommendations, which gave her the speed she needed to freeze the action and the bird was exposed correctly.
One can use spot exposure mode so that the camera exposes the subject in a very small section in the dead centre of the image, but with birds that are moving , its not really a viable choice of exposure methods, as if you are not bang on the bird, the exposure system will see the dark background and its gona turn to white light city.
Difficult and challenging light conditions is something the Staglands wildlife park excels at, if you want to take your camera skills to the next level.
This Mute swan is in pretty dark conditions with strong sunlight filtering down through the trees on to its back from behind.
Again left to choose for its self, the camera would have converted this bird into a great big white blob of pure fuzzy white light by trying to expose the dark background .
Another Image of the mute Swan
This time I wanted to capture the steam coming of the bird.
On a personal level I have been trying hard to get images of my new obsession, Wood ducks, with their wings extended and that has been a real mission.
At this time of the year I get only about 20 minutes of sun in the right place where I can drive the shutter speed up high enough to freeze the action.
The rest of the day is spent stalking the smaller birds in the park and enjoying the wildlife.
I managed to capture this female wood duck at full stretch.
and this male is almost perfect.
tētē or Grey Teal are lovely little birds and are a real challenge to capture .
I love Autumn and Staglands is a great place to visit late in the season.
Even the drive in there has always got something going for it.
Low mist with the sun filtering through made for a interesting image and then the car added to the mixture as well.
This turtle at Staglands looks less than than impressed with my efforts lol
Well that is it for this month, except this Wax or White eye.
Notice how the yellow flowers complement the colour of the bird.
In the next few weeks I hope to continue the new series I started a few weeks ago.
bless ya all heaps and heaps .
So get out there folks and make it happen , I know I will. ❤