Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Buduruwagala - Sri Lanka

A Rock Carving of Maithri Bodhisattva photographed in Buduruwagala Sri Lanka
Rock Carving of Maithri Bodhisathva - Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka

Buduruwagala was one of several stops I made on my way to Arugam Bay in July. The area is known for an archeological site located in the middle of the jungle relatively close to the town. The main features of the site are the seven figures that have been carved into the side of a large rock. The rock itself is said to look like an elephant kneeling down with its trunk in its mouth. Buduruwagala loosly translates to "Stone images of the Buddha".

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Common Sailor - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

A Photograph of the Common Sailor Butterfly (Neptis hylas) taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Common Sailor (Neptis hylas) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The wetlands in Thalangama are best known for the bird life around the marshes but they are also home to a large number of butterflies. I have seen and photographed the Common Sailor (Neptis hylas) at Thalangama on numerous occasions but, for some reason, never got around to posting them on the blog.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Coppersmith Barbet - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The Coppersmith Barbet phoographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
The Coppersmith Barbet - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Of the resident Barbets of Sri Lanka, I have found the Coppersmith, or Crimson-breasted Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala), the hardest to photograph. I had seen the bird before but it had always been from a distance. Those sightings were not the best for photographing the Barbet as it is quite small.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Macro Hydrangeas

A macro photograph of a Blue Hydrangea
Blue Hydrangeas

I'm pretty new to macro photography and I've got a fair bit to learn. The Hydrangeas are in bloom and  since they make good macro subjects, I took the opportunity to practice a little. The hardest part of taking these photographs was the lighting.

More photographs inside.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ceylon Small Barbet - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

Photograph of a Ceylon Small Barbet taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Ceylon Small Barbet - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

I have photographed the Ceylon Small Barbet (Megalaima rubricapilla), also called the Crimson-fronted Barbet, on several occasions. I have found them in the garden at home in Colombo and they are abundant at our place in Kandy. However, on these occasions the birds were some distance away.

More photographs inside.
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Variegated Flutterer - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

Variegated Flutterer (male) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Variegated Flutterer (male) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The Variegated Fluterer (Rhyothemis variegata variegata) was one of several dragonflies I photographed while in Sri Lanka. They are relatively common and since they are found around ponds, paddy fields and tanks, Thalangama is an ideal location to photograph them. It is also known as the Common Picture Wing.

More photographs after the jump.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

photographs from the temple at Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Thanthirimale is a small village which lies in thick jungle approximately 40 km away from Anuradhapura. The temple in Thanthirimale is both religiously and historically significant and still attracts thousands of pilgrims during Poson. The history of Thanthirimale is said to date back to the 6th Century BC.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brown Falcon - Sandy Hollow, Australia

A photograph of a Brown Falcon taken in Sandy hollow, Australia
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora) - Sandy Hollow

We were up at a friends farm in the Hunter region of New South Wales on our annual visit over the October long weekend when I came across a pair of Brown Falcons. The area is full of raptors as there is an abundance of prey on the farms. On our previous trips I had photographed Black Shouldered Kites, Kestrels and Wedge Tailed Eagles but had not seen any falcons.

More Photographs Inside.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Purple Coot - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Purple Coot taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Purple Coot - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

The Purple Coot, also know as the Purple Swamphen, is a common bird found in the lowland marshes of Sri Lanka. The subspecies found in Sri Lanka, Porphyrio porphyrio poliocephalus, is one of up to 13 subspecies identified through Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The thirteen subspecies mainly differ in the colour of their plumage.

More photographs after the jump.
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

52/52 - Talk to the hand

Talk to the hand
Talk to the hand

Here's the last entry for the project. I can't believe its been a year but I'm glad that I was able to actually complete it! I used a standard two light setup to light this one. I wanted this shot to have a bit of a cold feel to it so opted to use blue gels on the main light.

Lighting setup after the jump.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Leopards at Wel Mal Kema - Yala, Sri Lanka

Leopard at Wel Mal Kema - Yala, Sri Lanka
Leopard at Wel Mal Kema - Yala, Sri Lanka

Wel Mal Kema is a rocky area within block 1 of the Yala national park. There are a couple of water holes amongst the rocks and apart from the rock itself, there aren't any open areas. The road actually runs up the rock and relatively close to one of the water holes. The area is known for Leopard and Bear.  It's not the easiest road to drive along.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

51/52 - Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder

For this weeks entry I decided to go for a high key (sort of) product shot. I picked up this bottle of Estée Lauder lotion as lighting the reflective lid would be a challenge. I used two lights for this shot but if I did have a third I would have used it to light the background and bring up the white a bit more.

Lighting setup inside.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ruwanweliseya - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Ruwanweliseya - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

During our trip to Anuradhapura in July I decided to head out early morning to photograph some of the main stupas in the area. I first visited Thuparamaya and then walked around the complex in the general direction of Ruwanweliseya. At 6.00 AM you pretty much have the whole area to yourself as it is way too early in the morning for tourists and pilgrims. The light being at it's best is an added bonus.

More photographs inside.
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

50/52 - The Pianist's Hands

A Photograph of a Pianist's hands
The Pianist's Hands

This is the 50th entry for my project. I've got two weeks to go and I'm looking forward to doing something different. Possibly another project 52 focusing on macro photography. 

I used a basic two light setup for this shot. One for the base exposure and a second strobe was used as a key light.

Lighting setup shots inside.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher - Kandy, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Tickell's Blue Flycatcher taken in Kandy, Sri Lanka
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher - Kandy, Sri Lanka

One of the best sightings that I have had of the Tickell's Blue Flycatcher was in Kandy in July. The bird made several appearances and spent quite a bit of time around the house, allowing me to photograph it. I would have liked to get a lot closer to it but unfortunately this was not possible.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

49/52 - They're Alive!

photograph of Wall-e surrounded by red eyes
They're Alive!

I have used a number of lighting mods (mostly home made) throughout this project but realised that I hadn't used any gobos to date. So for this weeks shot I used 2! A gobo (derived from "go between" or goes before optics) is something that can be used to block light and control what is lit.

Lighting setup inside.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Common Iora - Thalangama and Yala, Sri Lanka

Photograph of a female Common Iora taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Common Iora (female) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

While I was in Colombo in July I visited the Thalangama wetlands almost every morning to photograph the bird life. On one of my visits I came across a few Common Ioras. I hadn't photographed them before and took the opportunity to shoot a few frames. The photograph above is one of my favourites because of the warm early morning light on the bird.

More photographs inside.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

48/52 - Cherries

Cherries

This weeks shot is of water splashing off some cherries. The hardest part of this shot was getting a decent splash. I wanted to light the cherries using two lights. I wanted one of them to light the overall image and the second to act as a key light. I could have used one light and the ambient to achieve a similar result.

Lighting setup inside.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Statues at Maligawila - Maligawila, Sri Lanka

The Maligawila Buddha Statue - Maligawila, Sri Lanka
The Maligawila Buddha Statue - Maligawila, Sri Lanka

Maligawila is a small village approximately 250km from Colombo. The area is sparsely populated and is covered in jungle. In 1951 the fallen remains of a 7th century giant free standing Buddha statue (said to be the tallest free standing Buddha statue in Sri Lanka) were discovered in the area. The statue was part of a larger complex which also included a large statue thought to be of the Avalokitheswara Bodhisatva and a gedi ge (A Buddhist shrine).

More images inside.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

47/52 - Marble

Marble
Marble

This week's shot is a bit late as I was away over the long weekend. I decided to photograph a marble and I wanted the colour to drop off towards the left of frame. I picked a "Sangria" coloured gel to create the background colour. If I were to shoot this photograph again, I would try and get a bit more colour on the right hand side of the marble.

Lighting setup inside.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Hybrid Black-rumped Flameback - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

 The Hybrid Black-rumped Flameback - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
The Hybrid Black-rumped Flameback - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

I had been hoping to photograph the hybrid species of the black-rumped Flameback for a couple of years but didn't get a chance to do so until recently. The closest I came to photographing it before our recent trip to Sri Lanka was in Anuradhapura in 2009. The bird visited the garden while I was away photographing butterflies!

More images inside.
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

46/52 - Smokin

A Smoking Tennis Ball
Smokin

Here's this weeks entry for the project. I know I have photographed a Tennis ball before but opted to use one again for this shot. I wanted to use smoke to give the shot a feel of speed and movement. I'm nto sure if I succeeded but here are the results anyway.

Lighting setup shots inside.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ceylon Paradise Flycatcher - Yala, Sri Lanka

Ceylon Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi ceylonensis) - Yala, Sri Lanka
Ceylon Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi ceylonensis) - Yala, Sri Lanka

The Ceylon Paradise Flycatcher is similar in appearance to the immature Indian Paradise Flycatcher, which is a winter migrant to Sri Lanka. I came across a number of these birds in Yala and Anuradhapura during the month of July. I was fortunate to photograph a number of them at fairly close proximity on a number of occasions during these sightings.

More photographs after the jump.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

45/52 - Ace

A Photograph of a Tennis racquet with blue bokeh created on the strings.
Ace

I was quite sure that the strings on a Tennis racquet could be used to produce bokeh if lit from the correct angle. I decided to test this out yesterday and produced a couple of photographs which doubled up as this week's entry for my project. The main problem which I had to contend with was working out an angle which produced bokeh as well as a half decent composition for the photograph itself.

Lighting setup shots inside.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Tusker - Yala, Sri Lanka

A Photograph of a Tusker Taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
The Tusker - Yala, Sri Lanka

On one of our morning rounds in Yala we sighted a massive Tusker striding across one of the plains. He seemed to be in a bit of a hurry as he crossed the plain pretty quickly and disappeared into the jungle. I was a bit disappointed as the sighting had been relatively brief.

I'm pretty sure that this Tusker is named "Thilak". Can someone please confirm?

More photographs inside.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

44/52 - Measure

Measure- A Photograph of measuring spoons
Measure

This weeks entry for my project 52 is a photograph of a set of measuring spoons. I used a slate cheese board as the background as it added a texture to the photograph. I used a two light setup for this photograph.setup shots and explanation after the jump.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crested Hawk-Eagle - Sri Lanka

Crested Hawk-Eagle - Yala, Sri Lanka
Crested Hawk-Eagle - Yala, Sri Lanka

The Crested Hawk-Eagle, also called the Changeable Hawk-Eagle, is a common raptor found throughout the dry lowlands. We saw a number of these raptors in Yala, Arugam Bay, Anuradhapura and Willpattu while we were in Sri Lanka. I was fortunate to take a few decent images of the raptor during these sightings.

More images after the jump.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

43/52 - Spice it Up

A photograph of spices
Spice it Up

I raided the pantry cupboard for spices to come up with this shot. I found Cinnamon, Szechuan Pepper-corns, Cardamoms, Cloves, Curry leaves, Chilli Powder and Garlic. Coming up with a decent composition was not easy as all the spices had to be visible and I didn't want to shoot from above.

Lighting setup inside.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Leopards at Karaw Gas Wala - Yala, Sri Lanka

A Leopard having a drink - Yala, Sri Lanka
A Leopardess having a drink - Yala, Sri Lanka

One of the best sightings we had while in Yala, was of a female Leopard and her cub at Karaw Gas Wala. We were on an evening round when we crossed another vehicle and were informed that a Leopard was seen in the area. Our driver had a hunch that the Leopard would be heading towards the water hole at Karaw Gas Wala and headed off in that direction. He had seen the Leopards stopping there for a drink before and thought they would make an appearance.

More photographs inside.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

42/52 - Ignition

A photograph of a match-stick as it catches fire
Ignition

I've never tried to photograph smoke before so I thought I'd experiment a bit. I wanted the photograph to be a bit more than just smoke and ended up with this. The hardest part of taking this photograph was obviously the timing. Thankfully I invested in a remote trigger sometime ago and it came in pretty handy!

Lighting setup shot and details inside.
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kudumbigala Monastery - Sri Lanka

A photograph from the Kudumbigala Monastery
Cave temple at Kudumbigala - Sri Lanka

The Kudumbigala Monastery is located along the south east coast of Sri Lanka. The area is very sparsely inhabited and the monastery is in the middle of thick jungle. The complex is said to have been built in 246 BC during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa and is made up of around 200 caves. Inscriptions in brahmini script found in one of the caves, named maha sudarshana lena, and other evidence shows that the cave was "built" and gifted to the priests by one of King Dutugemunu's "yodayas".

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

41/52 - Idea

Idea - a photograph of scrabble tiles
Idea

As this project winds down I seem to find it a lot more difficult to come up with ideas for weekly photographs. I guess going out and shooting something outdoors is an option but for one reason or another I have been unable to do so. I've got 11 weeks more to change this!

Lighting setup shots inside.
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sambar - Yala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a pair of Sambar deer taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Sambar - Yala, Sri Lanka

We came across this pair of Sambar on one of the drives we did in Yala. They had just come out into the open and were about to drink at a waterhole when we drove up. Initially they seemed a bit uncomfortable with our presence but within a few minutes they settled down and had a long drink.

More photographs after the jump.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

40/52 - Forks

A high-key shot of two forks
Forks

I hadn't done a high-key shot for a while so I thought I'd shoot one for this weeks entry for the project. This was a single light setup and the biggest challenge with this shot was to control the shadow and use it to add to the image.

Lighting setup shots inside.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sri Lankan Frogmouth - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

A Pair of Sri Lankan Frogmouths photographed in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Frogmouth - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

One of the highlights of our recent trip to Sinharaja was being able to photograph the Sri Lankan Frogmouth. When I was planning the trip I did wonder whether we'd actually get to see one of these birds but I didn't get my hopes up because they are nocturnal. We were quite fortunate to come across a pair of them in a daytime roost.

More photographs after the jump.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

39/52 - Brownies and Cream

A photograph of a Brownie and cream
Brownies and Cream

I was running out of time for this weeks entry for the project and didn't have any idea as to what I was going to shoot. Coming up with a new idea every week is probably the hardest part of this exercise. I opted to photograph one of the Brownies which my wife had baked earlier in the day. I'm glad I photographed them when I did because they didn't last much longer.

Lighting setup shots inside. 
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sri Lankan Kngaroo Lizard - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

A Sri Lankan Kangaroo Lizard photographed in Sinharaja, Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Kangaroo Lizard - Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

I hadn't photographed a Sri Lankan Kangaroo Lizard until our recent trip to Sinharaja. Surprisingly, they were relatively easy to approach and photograph and there were a number of them in the leaf litter along the walking tracks in the park.

More photographs inside.
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

38/52 - Little Creatures Pale Ale

A photograph of a lid of a bottle of Little Creatures Pale Ale
Little Creatures Pale Ale

This weeks entry for my project 52 is a photograph of the cap of a bottle of Little Creatures Pale Ale. I had to play around with a few different compositions before I settled for this one.  I liked the effect of the condensation on the bottle top (click on the image to see a larger version) and I tried to light it in a way which would emphasise the droplets. Not sure if I succeeded but I like the end result.

Read on for lighting info and setup shots.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Herd - Yala, Sri Lanka

A herd of Elephants huddling around two calves
Huddling around the calves

One of the highlights of my trip to Yala was the encounter we had with a herd of 8-10 Elephants. We had already been on a couple of rounds inside the park and were yet to see a herd of Elephants when we came across them. It was about 6.15 AM and we had just entered the park and were driving along the main road when we saw the Elephants feeding. I think we had actually driven past them before we realised!

More photographs after the jump.
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

37/52 - Jeans for Genes

A photograph of a pair of Jeans
Jeans for Genes

The 5th of August was Jeans for Genes day in Australia. Jeans for Genes is a charity event aimed at raising funds for the Children's Medical Research Institute and is held on the first Friday of August. People are encouraged to wear Jeans on the day and donate generously. 

Lighting setup inside.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Rukvilla Cubs - Yala, Sri Lanka

One of the Leopard cubs from Rukvilla - Yala, Sri Lanka
One of the Rukvilla Cubs - Yala, Sri Lanka
 
The Rukvilla cubs are the current stars of Yala. Born around a year or so ago, they have grown up surrounded by noisy safari jeeps and don't seem to be too bothered by them anymore. Due to this fact they offer lengthy sightings and are one of the first stops made by most jeep drivers. We actually experienced a number of traffic jams, caused by the cubs, in the Rukvilla area during our 2.5 days in the park.

More shots after the jump.
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

36/52 - Tune Up

Tune Up - a photograph of the tuning pegs on a guitar
Tune Up

Firstly, sorry for the delay between my last post and this one. I was away in Sri Lanka on a months holiday and just got back (with about 130 GB of images to process). I tried to keep the project going while I was away but with the trips and the fact that I didn't have a computer with me made things a bit difficult. However I did shoot a couple of shots, this one included, specifically for the project.

Lighting info and setup shots after the jump.
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Humpbacks in Sydney

A Humback Whale dives
A Humpback Whale dives

The migratory season for Humpback Whales is well underway and a large number of them are currently making their way north from the Antarctic Ocean toward the breeding grounds in North Queensland. One of our friends got us tickets to go Whale watching and we booked the trip for last weekend.

More photographs inside.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

35/52 - Yet another pair

A pair of high heeled shoes
Yet another pair

I've never understood women and their need for shoes. However, with my wife bringing so many of them home I guess it was only a matter of time before I decided to photograph them as part of this project. I went for a black background to make the colour of the shoes stand out a bit. 

Lighting setup after the jump.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Surfers at Bronte

A surfer at Bronte
Carving it up at Bronte

* Photographs must be viewed at a larger size. Please click on each image.

The weather last weekend was the best we've had in Sydney for a while. I decided to take advantage of it and headed out to the Eastern Beaches to do some surf photography. Bronte and Tamarama were the locations of choice due to the fact that they are relatively small bays which are surrounded by cliffs. Fortunately the zoom on the 100-400mm lens was sufficient for me to shoot from shore.

More shots inside.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

34/52 - A Mars a day

A Mars a day
A Mars a day

The inspiration for this weeks entry for the project came from an advertisement for Mars bars that runs on TV. The actual shot in the commercial is a lot closer than this one but I wanted to include the texture of the chocolate on the top of the bar and had to shoot a bit wider as a result. I felt this composition was better than a zooming right into the chocolate and making the nougat the dominant feature.
Lighting setup after the jump.
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Red Browed Finch

Red-browed Finch - Neochmia temporalis
Red-browed Finch - Neochmia temporalis

The Red-browed Finch was one of several species we spotted around the Barrington tops area. Although it wasn't a lifer for me, it was the first time I managed to photograph them. Photographing them isn't easy as they are constantly moving while they forage on the floor. They were feeding in the undergrowth and the combination of the canopy and the undergrowth guaranteed that the quality of light wasn't the best.

More photographs after the jump.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

33/52 - The Macro

The Macro
The Macro

I photographed my macro lens for this weeks entry. The challenge with this photograph was controlling the specular highlight on the lens itself. I had thought the process through and was happy with the fact that I had to actually use only one light setup. At lest I seem to be learning something! I used a two light setup for this one.

Lighting setup shots after the jump.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brown Ringlet

Brown Ringlet - Hypocysta metirius
Brown Ringlet - Hypocysta metirius

I photographed a number of Brown Ringlets while I was up at the Barrington Tops. Since I was out early almost every morning I managed to photograph them while they warmed up in the early morning sun. Due to the fact that they were still "warming up", I was able to get really close to the butterfly. Having the 100-400mm lens on also helped.

More images after the jump.
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Monday, June 6, 2011

32/52 - The Rose

The Rose
The Rose

This weeks entry for the project was fairly quick and pain free. I used a single strobe and the macro lens to produce the shot above. I did move the flash around a bit to add a bit more depth to the image by creating shadows of the layers of petals. I converted the shot into a black and white image and I'm quite happy with the result.

Lighting setup shots and a black and white version after the jump.
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