Friday, 29 February 2008

Little Desert Workshop

Finally we have the details sorted for the Little Desert Workshop to be held at the Little Desert Lodge on the 7th to the 9th of November. For more details got to

The brochure is available here. Space is limited (9 places left!) so book early to avoid missing out on this exciting photographic adventure. Read more...

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Workshops 2008

Well it is about time we let everyone know about the dates for this years workshops. Due to other commitments we are only running five public workshops this year, four at Gluepot in South Australia's Murray Mallee and one at The Little Desert National Park.
Learn how to make the most of your time in the field

At Gluepot we will be holding An Introduction to Nature photography which covers all you will need to know about how to get more from your photography in the fields. Topics covered include exposure, lenses, light and getting close to subjects just to name a few. The two day course is jam packed with information on how to maximise your time spent shooting and how to maximise the quality of your digital captures. We spend half of the time in the lecture room looking at equipment and slides and the other half of the time in the field shooting a variety of subjects from insects and flowers to birds and landscapes. Be prepared for a long day full of fun and information as we stay up well into the night learning how best to express your photographic vision of the great outdoors.

Intro to Nature Brochure can be found here

Also at Gluepot we are holding An Introduction to Macro Photography. This will deal with the specifics of shooting the close up world from lizards to flowers and beyond. Again we spend half the time talking about how to get the best quality shot and the other half doing it with plenty of demonstrations of techniques and lighting about how to bring the wonderful world of macro to life.

More details can be found in the brochure here

The third workshop is our Little Desert National Park Field Workshop. This will again cover everything to do with nature photography in an amazing location only a few hours out of Adelaide and Melbourne. We will spend nearly all our time shooting on this one so bring plenty of storage space! This event to be held from the 7th until the 9th of November and is set to be a photographic extravaganza with the spring and summer wildflowers in bloom and over 200 bird species recorded. The format of this event will be different to the Gluepot workshops in that it will include all meals from the Friday until Sunday lunch and accommodation in the luxurious Little Desert Nature Lodge. The event will commence with a slide show after dinner on the Friday followed by field tuition starting early Saturday morning. We will have a chance to catch our breath over lunch with a talk about any photographic concepts that are troubling the participants before heading back into the field for and evening shoot. Once the sun has completely set ant there is no light left in the sky we will head back for dinner, another slide show and for those who have not yet had enough a night-time session on how to capture star trails using digital. A similar schedule will be planned for the Sunday finishing up early evening so make sure you catch up on your sleep the week before because this is not a weekend for lying in.

Sorry but we are still waiting for the brochure for this course. If you do have any questions about it either email me direct or post a comment. I will post the brochure as soon as we get it from the designer (we were told it would be ready by Monday!) . Price for this course is $429 including food and accommodation (twin share).


If you are thinking about coming on one of the courses remember to book early as a number of people missed out last year. We keep the group size down to maximise you instruction level but because of this they do fill up fast.

To those of you who are wondering about the Broome workshop, we are still trying to get one organised but because of other shooting commitments doesn't look like we can fit it in this year. If time allows and interest persists then we shad try to organise it for March of 2009. I do apologise to anyone who was hoping to join us in Broome this year.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

And the winner is... the D3

While the D300 is a great camera and very similar to the D3 in many respects it is no D3. Take on look through the viewfinder of the D3 with a 14-24mm f2.8 and you will be sold. The huge, bright viewfinder is awesome and to have a 'real' 14mm again is great. The 100% viewfinder is a must for me apposed to the 92% coverage of the D300.

The lighter weight of the D300 is great and the smaller package is great when travel/climbing is concerned but to get the 8 frames per second you need to purchase the battery grip MB-D10 making it a similar size, the D3 shoot 9 FPS straight outta the box! Winner D3.

When I don't need high FPS is when I am shooting landscapes, the D300 is great as a landscape camera but many of my images are blown up to over a meter for galleries and the slight difference in quality at iso 200 is noticeable at this size. Again the D3 edges out the D300.

Then there is the high ISO, while the D300 is fantastic at ISO 200-400 and pretty good at 800, I have no problem pushing the D3 to 1600 to get shots that are otherwise impossible once the sun has hit the horizon.

The DX format is great for that extra reach when shooting wildlife, it doesn't beat the old school method of getting close. This is still the best way to get great wildlife images and using biological knowledge and a little know how you can get close enough to capture great images.

So while the D300 is a great camera, (I am going to take one with me when I am traveling in Asia later this year,) my main camera for the forseable future will definitely be the D3. Nikon has surpassed themselves with this camera, quieting all the doubters and producing a revolutionary tool that will open new doors in photographic creativity. Read more...

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Top Photography Blogs

Here is a quick list of my favorite photography blogs at the moment, in no particular order...

If you haven't heard of this you must have been visiting a different planet for the last six months. A fantastic learning resource for anyone shooting with flash.

A fantastic all round shooter comercial photographer Joe McNally's new blog is destined to be a good one to watch. Also check out his book ' The Moment it Clicks'.

Though technically not a blog, rather a monthly update, Dave Black's Workshop at the Ranch is a great resource for action/sports shooters (I include wildlife in the action category.)

Again not a blog but a weekly article on all things related to digital landscape photography.

An interesting update from one of the worlds best wildlife photographers Moose Peterson and a brief insight into how he get things done.

An eclectic and interesting read on all aspects of photography.

Well there are a few links to keep you busy an d learn a few new things about photography. Read more...

Friday, 15 February 2008

What's in the bag? Part 1

I am often asked if someone should buy this lens or that camera. I cannot answer that question directly as I do not know what that persons style is and how that equipment will fit in with their workflow. What I can do is tell you what I shoot with. The next few posts will show you what I use for different situations. I use mainly three different bags and countless combinations of gear, chopping and changing depending on the project to get the job done.

First up is the 'light weight' bag. This is used for landscape work where I don't need or want a heavy pack and for climbing and action photography.

The main body in this set up is a Nikon D3. This camera is awesome. I am totally blown away by the quality and the features of this new body. It is no light weight likes its cousin the D300 but there are a few features that I just cannot do without and are worth the extra weight like the 100% viewfinder, and that viewfinder is awesome!

Lenses range from 14-200 mm in just three lenses. the 14-24mm f2.8 the 24-120 (soon to be replaced by the 24-70mm f2.8, hurry up Mr Delivery Man!) and the 70-200 f2.8. All heavy fast f2.8 lenses which allows me to make my subjects pop with shallow DOF. I carry a TC17e a 1.7x teleconverter to extend the range of the 70-200 to give me a little extra reach.

I carry two flashes for action work with a SU-800 commander unit to allow for off camera flash control and a couple of filters, a polarizer and a Canon 500d close up dioptre to allow the 70-200 to focus at 1:1 and two ND grad filters a .6 soft edge and a .9 hard edge from Lee.

All this fits very neatly into the Orion AW from Lowe Pro as seen above. What you cannot see is the grads and the SU-800 which fit in the front pocket with a spare camera battery and the TC17e which is under the 24-120. In the side pockets are spare AA batteries for the flashes, a shower cap to protect the camera from rain and an allen key to tighten any plates that need it. In the top lid is a pen and model/property release forms, a necessity for any shots for commercial use.

Happy shooting!