Southern Boobook Owl in Mum’s Backyard

Southern Boobook Owl in Mum’s Backyard

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Perth, Photographic Art

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Western Australia

Bird photography can be a time consuming process but rewards can pay of at the least expected times. a few days a go I got a call from my mum to say she had spotted a small owl in her back garden. As an avid owl lover mum has owl ornaments and images all around her house & garden so maybe this little guy just felt at home in her garden …

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Perth, Photographic Art

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Western Australia

Anyway, we headed off to mum’s to check out this visitor of hers hoping that he would still be there … and he was. We found him nestled in the foliage of a small tree in the garden. Luckily for us the tree’s foliage was dense enough to keep him protected but with enough gaps that we could get a good view of him, it’s not often you get so lucky ūüôā Ironically the only reason mum spotted him was because the local birds were going crazy about his presence, fluttering around the tree and and making a rawkus noise. But then it is spring and no doubt they were a little concerned about their nests becoming potential dinner plates!

Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Perth, Photographic Art

Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Maggie began looking into what type of owl he was while I started snapping away with my 70-200mm. The late afternoon sun was behind him making the light interesting and challenging. I knew the bright blue glimpses of sky would be blown out but the important thing was getting the owl exposed perfectly and retaining the brilliant green of the backlit foliage. The little guy was barely moving so shutter speed wasn’t so important but I still needed to keep it up high enough to prevent any camera shake. It was pretty dark inside that tree and after a bit of experimentation I compromised at manually setting my exposure to 1/160th, f7.1 & ISO 1000 and I was very happy with how that worked out. Noise levels were very low even with the shadows brightened up in Lightroom and the level of detail around his eyes was astounding as you can see from the exploded view below.

Lightroom Close Up of Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Lightroom Close Up of Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Although the owl was not moving all that much it was a windy day and the leaves  were blowing around all over the place making it tricky to frame the owl and causing the sunlight to randomly blow out parts of the owls body.

Blown Out Patches - Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Blown Out Patches – Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

All up we were there for around 40 mins, I took 213 photos and got some crackers. Turns out he was a Southern Boobook Owl, quite common around here though not so much in backyards! One good tip for photographing animals is to always focus on the eyes. At 200mm in low light depth of field is often sacrificed for shutter speed and if the eyes are not pin sharp then the whole image can be ruined.

Focus on the Eyes - Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

Focus on the Eyes – Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia

As usual my initial processing was done in Lightroom followed by adding effects in the new ON1 Photo Raw 2018 with some final tweaking in Photoshop, the Master File is then imported back into Lightroom from where I can export it in any format as required. All 3 tools have their benefits and work well together to produce a final image that is extremely high quality and suitable for any purpose.

Southern Boobook Owl Triptych, Mindarie, Perth - Tabletop Print Suggestion

Southern Boobook Owl, Mindarie, Western Australia – Tabletop Print Suggestion

I haven’t really looked at the new version of ON1 Photo RAW 2018 short of using the effects module to create & apply presets. Keep an eye out for my upcoming review of this very interesting photo processing software package that is becoming serious competition for Lightroom.

Image Details

Location: Mindarie Backyard, Western Australia Date: 26th December 2017 Time: 3pm – 3:40pm Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk11 Lens: EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Camera Mode: Manual Exposure: 1/160 sec, f7.1 at ISO 1000

Post Processing

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Buy a Print of a Southern Boobook Owl (WAO1.1-V1)

Buy a Print of a Southern Boobook Owl (WAO1.1-V1)

Buy a Print of a Southern Boobook Owl (WAO1.2-V1)

Buy a Print of a Southern Boobook Owl (WAO1.2-V1)

Buy a Print of a Southern Boobook Owl (WAO1.3-V1)

Buy a Print of a Southern Boobook Owl (WAO1.3-V1)

Our Boobook Owl is also available on a wide range of Photo Products, Home Decor & Clothing at our Redbubble store:

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 the rest of our range of Fine Art Prints at madcat.com.au and our unique photo gifts (scarves, wall tapestries, beach towels, tote bags and much more) at madaboutwa.com.au.

Cheers, Dave

The Ever Changing Colours of the Perth City Skyline – 2

The Ever Changing Colours of the Perth City Skyline – 2

Golden Hues, South Perth, Perth, Western Australia

Golden Hues, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia

We spent a lot more time in South Perth recently when my brother visited from the UK so I got the opportunity to view & capture many different colours & sunsets of the Perth City Skyline during November.

This second image in my Perth City Skyline series was taken at 5:15pm as the sun was starting to set. Again we were blessed with a nice amount of cloud coverage picking up some of the colours from the sunset however the difference in how those colours played out compared to my previous shot (see below), taken at a similar time of day, was mind blowing.

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline – Western Australian Landscape Photography

The light was less diffused and the colours much stronger making for a much more striking scene with rich golden hues reflecting off the buildings. You really never can tell how the natural colours of a West Australian sunset will evolve.

Original Stitched Image in Lightroom, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

Original Stitched Image in Lightroom, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

As before I had my camera¬†mounted on a tripod oriented vertically with my 70-200mm lens set to 70mm. This time I reduced the number of images I was taking by reducing the amount of overlap between each image to about 1/3rd resulting in only 5 images being needed to create the same size 35MP panorama. I also didn’t bother with exposure bracketing as the light variations were much more even.

One thing I love about Lightroom is that when you stitch your images together the resulting image is still in RAW format allowing all of the processing to be done after you have successfully created your stitched image,

Initial Processing in Lightroom, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

Initial Processing in Lightroom, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

My current workflow involves initial processing in Lightroom followed by some adding some effects in ON1 Photo Raw with some final tweaking in Photoshop, the Master File is then imported back into Lightroom from where I can export it in any format as required. All 3 tools have their benefits and work well together to produce a final image that is extremely high quality and suitable for any purpose.

Effects Added in ON1 Photo Raw, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

Effects Added in ON1 Photo Raw, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

ON1 Photo RAW has been a great addition to my workflow over the past year. I have built up a decent set of Effect Presets which I will be making available through my new online store in the near future. Each new image I process generally starts off from one of my existing Presets and evolves into a new set of effects and eventually a new Preset.¬†¬†It’s such a simple way of creating amazing looking images.

Final Processing in Photoshop, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

Final Processing in Photoshop, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

Photoshop is where everything in the image is held together and the final tweaking is done. My Master File consists of the Lightroom image, the modified ON1 Photo RAW image & any additional changes I make in Photoshop to finish off the image. I am a big fan of non-destructive editing and like to be able to re-visit any part of my post-processing steps at any time in the future which is exactly what this workflow provides.

Final Image in Lightroom, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

Final Image in Lightroom, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

Once my Master File is complete I flatten it, import it back into Lightroom¬†& add appropriate keywords and meta-data. From within Lightroom where I can export it in whatever shape & format I require in the future. I have many export Presets saved in Lightroom so whether I’m creating a Fine Art Print, a Greeting Card or a Tote Bag I know I can go to Lightroom and create the exact file I need quickly & easliy.

2:1 Zoom into Elizabeth Quay, Perth City Skyline, Perth, Western Australia

2:1 Zoom into Elizabeth Quay, Perth, Western Australia

Finally a quick 2:1 zoom in Lightroom shows just how much detail is available in such a hi-res image, if you look closely you can even read the “Mini Golf” banner near the entrance to Elizabeth Quay

Image Details

Location: Perth City from South Perth
Date: 27th November 2017
Time: 5:14pm
No. of Images Stitched: 5
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk11
Lens: EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
Camera Mode: Manual
Exposure: 1/13 sec at f14

Post Processing

Buy Prints & Photo Products

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 at madcat.com.au and our unique photo gifts (scarves, wall tapestries, beach towels, tote bags and much more) at madaboutwa.com.au.

Cheers,
Dave

The Ever Changing Colours of the Perth City Skyline – 1

The Ever Changing Colours of the Perth City Skyline – 1

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia

We live in one of the cleanest & most beautiful cities in the world here in Perth and we think it’s time to showcase just how amazing the Perth¬†City Skyline is.

We are currently in the enviable position of having access to a flat on Millpoint Road in South Perth with stunning views of the Perth City Skyline throughout the day. It never ceases to amaze me how much the colour & quality of light changes as the hours and days go by.

In this series of posts I’ll be showcasing unique images of the Perth City Skyline in all it’s glory and variety.

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia - Lightroom

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia – Lightroom

This first image was taken last week just before sunset. There were plenty of clouds in the sky with many gaps through which the sun streamed as it approached the horizon.

I had my camera¬†mounted on a tripod oriented vertically with my 70-200mm lens set to 70mm. The plan was to take a series of images and stitch them together in Lightroom to make a very high resolution image, it turned out to be 35MP in this instance. I set my camera up to take 3 bracketed images for each shot as the dynamic range looked liked a potential problem. Ironically I ended up only using the first¬†image from each set, the dynamic range of modern camera’s has come a long way but it never hurts to be safe ūüôā

Blowup of Elizabeth Quay from the Final 35MP Image to Show the Detail

Blowup of Elizabeth Quay from the Final 35MP Image to Show the Detail

To the West of the city the golden sun was filtered through the clouds providing a surreal golden glow that slowly faded towards the East into the cooler blue tones. The difference from one side to the other was enormous and simply breathtaking.

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia - Original

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia – Original

Replicating such an effect can be very tricky in Post Processing, what starts out as a living atmospheric glow as light bounces of particles in the air all around you simply becomes a flat dull haze when the image is first loaded into Lightroom. You can see from the original image¬†above there there was not a lot of “magic” to it at all.

As always Lightroom did a great job of the initial processing which I then transferred to ON1 Photo Raw to add some effects¬†and then into Photoshop for some final touches and to create my “Master File” for this image.

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia - ON1 Photo RAW

Afternoon City Glow, Perth City Skyline, Western Australia – ON1 Photo RAW

Image Details

Location: Perth City from South Perth
Date: 4th July 2017
Time: 5:32pm
No. of Images Stitched: 7
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk11
Lens: EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
Camera Mode: Manual
Exposure: 1/25 sec at f11

Post Processing

Buy Prints & Photo Products

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 at madcat.com.au and our unique photo gifts (scarves, wall tapestries, beach towels, tote bags and much more) at madaboutwa.com.au.

Cheers,
Dave