Silver Gulls, or as they are more commonly known here in Perth, just plain old Seagulls are an enigma!
Our Seagulls are renowned for their annoying & scavenging lifestyle swooping down on unfinished open-air restaurant dishes and foraging through rubbish bins in their dozens.
Yet they are incredibly beautiful creatures, so pristine & almost picture perfect. Because of this they make very good photographic subjects 📷
These particular Silver Gulls were photographed at Burns Beach a few days ago in their natural environment not being a nuisance to anyone 👍
Burns Beach in Perth’s Northern Suburbs is a great spot for a walk, there is usually plenty of bird life and lots of rocks & rock pools to explore.
In a world where native wildlife is struggling to survive, mainly due to the irresponsibility of the Human Race, these Silver Gulls are thriving , mainly due to the irresponsibility of the Human Race 😱
As natural scavengers they benefit enormously from our increasingly wasteful “throw-away” approach to life in general and more importantly food & refuse.
In the animal world food is hard to come by and generally very little is wasted, in the human world food is over-supplied in abundance (except where it isn’t, which is another sad reflection on Human Society) and much of what we purchase / produce is cast aside.
On the positive side, many people are now trying to live a waste free life by avoiding packaged food, growing their own herbs & veggies, reusing unused food scraps as compost and recycling wherever possible. That is certainly our approach to life, we keep our bins as empty as possible and our garden as healthy as possible 😃🍎
Bird photography can have it’s challenges but is also very rewarding when it pays off 🦅
Lots of patience & a fair bit of luck go a long way to getting some great images, but what I find most rewarding is seeing the individual character in each and every bird that I Photograph. Photography is as much about telling a story as it is the image itself.
Thinking of making some inspirational products soon, what do you think of my “I Love to Fly Like a Bird” Mug mockup❓
I Think I’ll get Maggie to print one for the Gallery.
Human shortcomings aside, what do people think of our scavenging but pretty little friends? Beauty or Beast ❓
These images were processed using a combination of Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 & ON1 Photo RAW 2019.
Last weekend I attended my first Tour Day at the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre and I must say it was amazing and worth every bit of the low $15 booking fee 😃
Located in the Banyowla Regional Park in the Perth Hills on a former tourism wildlife park site their purpose is to protect and rehabilitate our native wild black cockatoo species here in Western Australia.
As the tour begins we are given an introduction to the organisation, the work they do and how they are working to restore the site to it’s original native state along with several other revegetation projects in WA.
First stop is the Kangaroo enclosure containing a community of Red & Western Grey Kangaroos left over from the old wildlife park. Sadly these Kangaroos have been isolated for decades, they are suffering from inbreeding and cannot be released back into the wild so they are cared for as best as possible.
Next came the Emu enclosure, where we found that our Tour Guide had a strangely close relationship with the resident Emu’s. Personally I don’t think I’d trust getting up close & personal with an Emu!
Finally we arrived at the Dingo enclosure, something I was really looking forward to and I wasn’t disappointed.
On the way into the Dingo enclosure is an aviary full of beautiful Finches.
Apparently the Dingoes are walked around the site daily for exercise and also to help prevent / detect any rogue foxes attempting to enter.
Dingoes have had a bit of a bad rap over the years, including being threatened with removal from the protected native wildlife list (thankfully overturned) but these guys are seriously cute …
Finally we arrived at the Black Cockatoos and were taught about all the different aviaries designed for different purposes and how injured Cockies are prepared and returned to the wild whenever possible 🐾👍
Having been told how we had to respect the Black Cockatoos space and be respectful, we were then told that they had no intention of doing the same (being wild animals) 🤣
We then had our feet sprayed, removed jewelry and entered the Aviary to play with the Cockatoos, or maybe for them to play with us 😎
If you’ve never been up close and personal with a group of Black Cockatoos then I highly recommend an experience like this.
They will swoop over you make loud raucous noises and randomly land on shoulders (or heads), and they are a lot bigger than most people would imagine.
Black Cockatoos are, however, incredible social and gentle birds. They will not harm you and you will fall in love straight away ❤
Unlike cuddling Koalas, which should never be allowed as it is stressful and dangerous for the animal, interacting with Black Cockatoos is a two way relationship.
It is also worth pointing out that these “educational” Cockatoos are very familiar with humans and can not be released back into the wild for health reasons. You will never get near a Cockatoo that is being prepared for release as they need to maintain their natural caution of humans.
Please remember that these magnificent Black Cockatoos are highly endangered, if you want to help protect WA’s Black Cockatoo population then support the local organisations that are working hard to keep these amazing birds alive:
I got some great Black Cockatoo images from the recent open day at Native Animal Rescue here in Perth but I wasn’t expecting this!
This particular trio of images feature Obama, one of their resident Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos chewing on a gum nut. It wasn’t until I got home and checked out the images that I realised that his nut had exploded with perfect timing.
The trio of images looked so good that I decided to experiment with a short Timelapse video showing just how seriously these guys take their gum nuts 😎 I just love how his claws open up in the second shot as the nut explodes.
I’ve been meaning to make some video’s for a while now and initially thought I should just do it in Photoshop. While I did successfully create a video very similar to the above in Photoshop I found it somewhat inefficient, especially when I just wanted to make small changes.
Eventually I remade the video in much less time using Premier Pro, and that included reminding myself exactly how Premier Pro worked. However, if Photoshop is all you have access to then it will work fine for simple videos like this one 👍
Here are the individual images …
These 3 images are available now as Fine Art Prints or on any of our Photo Products. I’m thinking a Triptych of square canvases or Aluminium Prints would look amazing 😃
Please remember that these magnificent Black Cockatoos Cockatoos are highly endangered, if you want to help protect WA’s Black Cockatoo population then support the local organisations that are working hard to keep these amazing birds alive:
The Carnaby Black Cockatoos were out in Yanchep National Park last week when we turned up there for a walk. Noisy as ever they paraded around the treetops with their usual majesty and charm allowing me to get some great photos.
Black Cockatoos truly are magnificent, you really have to see one up close to realise just how big and beautiful they are. They each have a unique character and are very friendly & gentle creatures.
But the sad thing is Black Cockatoos are highly endangered!
A survey in April last year known as the “Great Cocky Count”, held here in South Western Australia, reported that Carnaby Black Cockatoo numbers had fallen by 35% over the last year. Carnaby’s are only found here in Western Australia and their numbers are dropping due to increasing decimation of their habitat and food sources due to urban and industrial development.
While it is possible to transfer images onto wood or even print directly on wood it is not a process that is available or practical for many of us so I have been playing around with a process in Photoshop for combining photos and textures to give the illusion of a print on wood.
Waves on Wood, Redgate Beach, Margaret River Region, Western Australia – Photographic Art
How cool will this look as a 60″ canvas in your living room?
Waves on Wood, Redgate Beach, Margaret River Region, Western Australia – Living Room Canvas
Compare the Textured Image with the original image “Crashing Waves on Redgate Beach”
If you’re interested in the technique used to create this effect then here are the basics (though the exact settings will vary depending on the photo & the textures being used):
Open your image in Photoshop
Open your texture image in Photoshop and resize it to the same dimensions as your photo
Copy and paste your wood texture over your photo as a new layer
Set the blending mode of the texture layer to
Set the blending mode of the texture layer to something like “Darken” or Multiply”
Duplicate your texture layer (CTRL/CMD + J)
Set the blending mode of the second texture layer to “Soft Light” or “Overlay”
You can now adjust the blending modes & opacity of the texture layers to get an effect you like
You can also replace one of the textures with an alternate texture for different effects or even add additional textures, the sky’s the limit
This image was created using a combination of Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 & ON1 Photo RAW 2018.
Our latest Fine Art Image release is a beautiful shot of “Sturt’s Desert Peas” (Swainsona formosa) in Kings Park. These wildflowers are backlit by the afternoon sun giving the leaves a bright green luminance bordered by the white glow of the sun highlighting the fine hairs around the leaves.
Sturt’s Desert Pea, Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia – Full Image
There are so many ways to present an image like this, in it’s original 2:3 format you can really appreciate the narrow depth of field isolating the Sturt’s Desert Peas by blurring the foreground and the trees in the background creating such a tranquil Forest Scene.
Sturt’s Desert Pea, Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia – Panoramic Image
We are always happy to provide custom formats for our images to suit your decor. Cropped as a Panorama the image focuses entirely on the Peas and looks amazing further cropped to 3 squares and hung as a Canvas Triptych.
Sturt’s Desert Peas, Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia – Living Room Triptych
Then again, if you’re looking for creativity I’m working on some new designs emulating the effect of printing on wood without all the drawbacks. Can’t wait to see how this artistic approach works out …
Sturt’s Desert Pea, Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia – Photographic Art on Wood
This image was created using a combination of Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 & ON1 Photo RAW 2018.
Way back in 2010 I wrote a blog post about a very annoying Photoshop feature where the text “copy” was appended to the name of any layer or layer group that you duplicated. To this day I still get comments thanking me for providing the simple (though not obvious) solution to prevent this behavior so I though it was time to do a new up-to-date post documenting the fix.
Since the introduction of Adobe Photoshop CS5 you have been able to turn this feature off (and back on) much to the relief of many Photoshoppers, and the same process still applies today in Photoshop CC 2018 😎
If you happen to find this feature useful, essential or just plain don’t care then feel free to have a browse through my Portfolio while you’re here 😀
Photoshop – Layers Panel Options
Sometimes it’s amazing how the little things can be such a pain to deal with, either constantly renaming layers or putting up with nasty little “copy” tags all over the place became very annoying. With every new Photoshop release I was always searching the preference screens hoping that a fix would be implemented, finally with CS5 an option was added to turn this feature off!
But did Adobe make it easy to find, of course not, where would be the fun in that 🙄
Anyway, I eventually found it nestled in the Layers Panel drop down menu where you can still find it today. Who knows, maybe it will make it into one of the the “Preferences” screens one day, we can only hope!
The Solution (CS5 to CC 2018)
Click on the dropdown menu on the top right of the Layers Panel
Select Panel Options near the bottom and you’ll get the “Layers Panel Options” window up (see right)
Look at the bottom of the “Layers Panel Options” window to see where Adobe have hidden this little treasure
Titled “Add ‘copy’ to Copied Layers and Groups” the new checkbox will default to ticked, simply untick it to enable one of the most powerful changes in Photoshop known to mankind 😎
Did you know it’s a proven fact that being out in nature is great for your mental and physical health
While you won’t get the full health benefit from our range of prints and photo gifts they are always a great reminder of where you’d rather be 👍🐬
Perth Zoo is an amazing place to visit and experience some of the incredible wildlife from Australia & around the world. To be honest we haven’t been to the Zoo for many years, must be time for another visit, I’m sure there have been many changes over the past few years.
African Lion, Perth Zoo, South Perth,Western Australia
Baby Giraffe, Perth Zoo, South Perth,Western Australia
Bonzai the Numbat, Perth Zoo, South Perth,Western Australia
These gorgeous creatures were captured during our visits between 2003 & 2010 when we were working with the Zoo on their website and I decided to have a play around with them to create some Perth Zoo Photo Art.
Sadly Bonzai the Numbat has since passed away but we were proud to have our images used on the signage around his enclosure for a few years before he died.
Perth Zoo and many other zoo’s around Australia and the World do an amazing job help protect & preserve our wildlife, we owe it it to them to do what we can to support these efforts.
All images were processed in Adobe Lightroom, ON1 Photo RAW 2018 & Adobe Photoshop.
Did you know it’s a proven fact that being out in nature is great for your mental and physical health! While you won’t get the full health benefit from our range of prints and photo gifts they are always a great reminder of where you’d rather be. So be sure to check out our range of Fine Art Prints here in our online gallery and our unique photo gifts (scarves, wall tapestries, beach towels, tote bags and much more) at madaboutwa.com.au.
Note: Our Perth Zoo images are not for sale currently though we would dearly love to create more amazing images and products that could help support the Zoo.