It’s time for our first Wildlife Photo Competition!
In collaboration with Heather at “The Northern Guide” we have announced a Photo Competition for local photographers here in Perth to showcase our amazing native wildlife.
Here at MADCAT Photography Maggie & I are all about wildlife conservation and love to do what we can to raise awareness of the many endangered species we have right on our doorstep here in Western Australia & all across the Australian continent.
We also love promoting photography as a hobby (or profession) for young and old alike. Photography encourages artistic creativity, it gets people outdoors and encourages an active & healthy lifestyle. Photography also provides the opportunity for people to learn new skills using computer tools like Photoshop, Lightroom or many of the free alternatives available.
There is a lot of talk these days about conservation, whether it be concerning the environment or wildlife! The reality is that many species of wildlife are threatened and some way too close to extinction! If you want to learn more about the plight of our planet and it’s wildlife then simply go to YouTube and search for “David Attenborough”, his natural history documentaries are some of the best ever made and he is a strong advocate for protection of the natural world around us.
One native animal close to our hearts is the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. Classified as Endangered (“fauna that is rare or is likely to become extinct soon”) these birds are endemic to WA’s Southwest and their population has fallen by 50% in 45 years, mainly due to loss of habitat and breeding grounds.
Another native animal we have been closely involved with is the Numbat, native to WA’s Southwest and recently re-introduced to South Australia they are also classified as Endangered. At one point their numbers dropped to well below 1,000 Australia wide. The Numbat is also one of WA’s Animal Emblems which has helped greatly to raise awareness to their plight.
So, we’re asking all you budding photographers out there “What endangered animal is close to your hearts”?
Enter your best Australian (endangered or not) Native Wildlife Photos to be in the chance to win a professionally printed & matted Fine Art Print of your photo:
First Place: 11” x 14” Matted Fine Art Print
Second Place: 8” x 10” Matted Fine Art Print
Third Place: 5” x 7” Matted Fine Art Print
Plus all top 3 places will receive a ceramic mug with their image printed on it
Plus all top 3 places will receive a 10% Discount Voucher to use in our Gallery
Entrants must reside in WA & be able to collect any prizes from our Gallery at Wanneroo Markets in person
Up to 3 images per person of Native Australian Wildlife with no people in the images
Entries should be submitted by email to email@example.com & received by 31st October
Important: Please read the full guidelines & conditions below:
When visiting natural environments please be respectful of the flora and fauna, take your litter home and treat the environment with respect.
Terms & Conditions:
Promoted by MADCAT Digital Design ABN: 19 094 456 845
Each entrant may submit up to 3 images, there is no cost to enter
Entries should be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org & received by 31st October 2019
Entries should be in JPEG format at high the highest quality possible and not reduced in size (preferably at least 3MB in size)
All entries will be acknowledged by email
Information required for each entry includes:
Email Subject should read “MADCAT Photography Competition October 2019”
Your full name
Your email address for notification to winners
Your suburb in WA
The location the photo was captured at
Optional: Image Title & Short Description
Optional: Tell us what endangered animal is close to your heart? (doesn’t have to be the same as your photo)
Entries must depict Native Australia Wildlife in a positive manner, preferably in a natural habitat
NO people should be visible in the image
Images will be judged on technical quality, artistic quality &
emotional response of the judges, Dave Catley & Maggie Catley
The judge’s decisions will be final
Images may be processed as the entrant sees fit but the judges
reserve the right to judge images based on their subjective opinions. In
other words if you go crazy you’d better do a good job of it 😊
You must be the legal owner to the copyright of any images submitted
All images submitted must be based solely on photographic images taken by the entrant
Entrants retain the full ownership of images submitted
Winners will be informed by email, announced in the next issue of
The Northern Guide as well as on our Website & Facebook page
MADCAT Photography reserves the right to use submitted images in
relation to promoting this or future competitions, recognition will be
given to the entrant if possible
Any personal information received will not be passed on to third
parties for any purpose, however entrants will be added to our email
database unless explicitly requesting to be excluded
MADCAT Photography accepts no responsibility for entries not
received, it is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure their entry has
Legal Stuff: MADCAT Photography has no liability, in negligence or
howsoever, for any accident, loss, illness, injury, damage, or
inconvenience suffered by you or any individual or property arising out
of or after entering the competition or collecting and using the prize. In other words “Whatever you do it’s not our fault!”
Always remember when visiting natural environments such as these please be respectful of the flora and fauna, take your litter home and treat the environment with respect.
Leave No Trace :
Take Nothing but Pictures
Leave Nothing but Footprints
Kill Nothing but Time
Keep Nothing But Memories
Burn Nothing but Calories
These images were processed using a combination of Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 & ON1 Photo RAW 2019.
There’s a lot more to do here in Wanneroo than many people realise, if you’re lost for ideas then here are some great Natural Experiences you can find right here in Perth’s second largest City.
Disclaimer: I have to admit that a few of my recommendations are not literally in Wanneroo but they are literally on the border with Joondalup and too good to ignore 👍
Did you know it’s a proven fact that being out in nature is great for your mental and physical health, just a few hours a week can make a big difference to all our lives so why not get outdoors and start exploring 🐾📷
Here’s the list, click on one for more information or just read through the article …
10. A Swim in the Indian Ocean – Yanchep Lagoon / Quinns Rocks Beach
Most of us might want to take a rain check on this activity until the warmer weather returns but we really are spoiled for choice for places to swim in the Ocean here in Wanneroo.
From Mindarie up to Two Rocks there are 32 km’s of beach to choose from. Some areas are more accessible than others and some beaches are more appealing for swimmers, surfer’s, snorkelers or diver’s than others so depending on your swimming passion you might want to do a little research.
For your typical family day out at the beach stick to the one of the two beaches patrolled by our amazing Surf Lifesaving Organisations at Yanchep Lagoon & Quinns Beach. Yanchep Lagoon is a natural swimming pool built by nature and walled of from the rest of the Indian Ocean by a large reef while the waters at Quinns Beach are enclosed by a wildlife friendly artificial shark barrier.
By the way, if you are overly worried about shark attacks I suggest you read this National Geographic article The Facts About Shark Attacks and take a good look at the room freshener you’re using which apparently is 200 times more likely to injure you than a shark 🤣 Unless of course you’re a cool surfer dude that doesn’t use room fresheners!
9. Dog Friendly Walk Trail – Beenyup Swamp Boardwalk & Perrys Paddock
If you’re looking for a bush walk that’s not too long or demanding where you can take your dog then the Beenyup Swamp Boardwalk & the area around Perrys Paddock in Yellagonga Regional Park is a great spot.
Though dogs are permitted it’s important to remember to keep your dog on a leash as the area is also open to horse riders who may not appreciate dogs barking at their hoofs!
The boardwalk is a great spot to see & photograph some local bird-life and experience the wetlands environment on a short 2.4km loop.
8. Check Out the Biggest Rocks in Town – Two Rocks Beach
It’s not called “Two Rocks” for nothing, just south of the Townsite on Two Rocks Beach you’ll find 2 of the biggest rocks in Perth and they’re pretty damn big!
The first rock you’ll come across just as you enter the beach is just enormous. I nicknamed it “The Guardian” because all rocks need a name and it’s a great spot to see various seabirds flying around or sitting on the ledges.
Walk a little further south and you come across the second somewhat smaller rock that I called “The Sentry”, also a good place to spot some of the local birdlife 🦅
Both of these rocks are incredibly weathered and artistically so interesting. They both feature “windows” through which you can catch glimpses of the ocean and sky behind them and can only be described as gnarled & grungy.
The rocks make amazing photographic / artistic subject matter but make sure you bring your widest angle lens to fit them all in 😨
Two Rocks beach is also renowned for its seaweed that can cover this entire area of beach at certain times of the year, making it hard to walk on the beach and hard on the nose 😵
7. Casual Walk Trail – Wetlands Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park
Another relatively easy wetlands walk trail circumnavigates Wagardu Lake in Yanchep National Park. Dogs are not permitted here as domestic pets are not allowed in our National Parks but the trail is well worth the effort and very different to Beenyup Swamp.
Although the lake does not have the water levels it used to it is still teeming with bird life. You can expect to see any combination of wading birds, ducks, pelicans, black swans and many other species so be sure to bring your camera and telephoto lens.
Plus, if you’re here late afternoon you will almost definitely spot a few Kangaroo’s (or maybe a lot of them) 👍
Even better hang around for the sunset over the lake …
6. Get Up Close with the Wildlife – Visit the Koala Enclosure at Yanchep National Park
Whilst Koalas are no longer native to Western Australia they are still iconically Australian and incredible animals to see & photograph.
We are lucky enough to have had a Koala colony in Yanchep National Park since 1938 where we can view them in their natural habitat doing what they do best, eating eucalyptus leaves & sleeping. Mostly sleeping 🤣
The enclosure is well designed so that the Koalas have their own personal space but can be viewed & photographed from the elevated walkways. If you want to learn more about these incredibly cute marsupials there is also a daily “Koala Talk” at 3:15pm.
However if you want to hold or cuddle a Koala then that is not possible here and generally not considered a good idea for the wellbeing of the Koalas, so it’s best just to get some great photos 🙂
If you’re lucky then you might even catch one on the move or with a joey, or even both at the same time if you’re really really lucky …
5. A walk on the Beach with the Local Wildlife – Burns Beach
Our beaches are not always thought of as the best places to go to see wildlife but Burns Beach is definitely an exception. OK, I know Burns Beach is actually in Joondalup but who cares right? It’s right on the border just south of Mindarie and a great beach for wildlife. If you like a bit of scrambling over rocks, investigating rock pools and watching the ocean waves crash onto the shore then it’s great for that too.
Apart from the obvious Silver Gulls (Seagulls) you can regularly see Oystercatchers, a mating pair of Ospreys, Kestrels, Cormorants, Terns, small crabs crawling among the rocks and maybe even a seal or a dolphin if you get lucky.
Burns Beach has ample parking, and a cafe should you feel peckish after your walk. The beach extends to the North of the car park towards Claytons Beach in Mindarie. At some point one beach ends and the other starts but I have no idea where that point is 🤣
4. A walk on the Beach in the Middle of Nowhere – Yanchep Beach
I grew up in Bournemouth on the south coast of England so I’ve had my fill of grockles (the local tourists) and sharing beaches with anyone who didn’t arrive with me and is not a native animal 👍
So for those of you like me who prefer their beaches pristine & empty there are many less populated beaches along the Wanneroo coastline that you can generally have all to yourself and are are still safe to swim at if you’re sensible and know what you’re doing. One such place is Yanchep Beach.
I’m not sure that “Yanchep Beach” is an actual place or where it starts and ends but it’s a good description for the beach north of Yanchep Lagoon and south of Two Rocks which includes the popular surfing beach called “The Spot”.
There are not many access points to this stretch of beach, you can walk north from Yanchep Lagoon, South from Two Rocks or park at The Spot and walk north or south. Google maps also shows a few small paths through the dunes but I have no idea how accessible they are.
If you look closely at the image above you’ll see a dark shadow near the very centre of the image, that is actually a Manta Ray that was swimming around the this particular bay near the old Club Capricorn 👍
This stretch of beach is largely unpopulated due to the lack of access points and is the epitome of pristine. With mostly untouched sand and many near shore reefs it’s like a paradise just outside of suburbia ❤
If you do decide to take a dip in the ocean please be sensible, keep an eye out for those killer waves, the Megalodon’s (if sharks scare you then do not follow that link!) and their smaller shark descendants like Great White’s 😱
3. Amazing Bird Photography – Lake Joondalup Circuit
Another spot just on the border of Wanneroo, Lake Joondalup, is a bird photographer’s heaven. The walk trail around the Lake is a must for any bird lover it’s an easy walk on concrete paths so you can really concentrate on the birds & the views.
The whole walk is 16.7km so you would need at least a few hours to do the whole thing. However you can easily do shorter stretches of it, just walk as far as you like then turn around and walk back 👍
Neil Hawkins Park in Joondalup is our favourite starting point because it is always teeming with birdlife, has lots of parking and a great lookout jetty but you can start anywhere on the Wanneroo side too.
You can get some great photos just standing on the Jetty so make sure you take the time to enjoy the view, then just walk north or south and enjoy the journey. There are many side tracks that will give you extra views and photo opportunities (always be wary of snakes) and you’ll often come across “a mischief” of Magpies on the path. Seriously a group of Magpies is often called “a mischief ” among other things 😎
2. Serious Bush Walking – Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park
If you’re into a more serious form of outdoor experience then there are quite a few longer walk trails in Wanneroo.
The 28km Yaberoo Budjara Heritage Trail is based on the movement of Yellagonga (the leader of the Whadjuk Noongar) and his people between Lake Joondalup and Yanchep.
Then there’s the 17.5km Cockatoo Walk Trail starting at Yanchep National Park. This is a great trail to see some flora & fauna including Wildflowers, Kangaroos, Black Gloved Wallaby’s, Quenda and Canaby’s Cockatoos.
One of our favourites is the 12.4km Ghost House Walk Trail in Yanchep National Park which takes you on a journey to discover the historic remains of the “Ghost House” itself and encounter the sights & sounds of the Park’s wetlands.
Officially known as the “Ghost House Ruin, Chauffeur’s Room and Garage” it was constructed in the 1930’s by L. E. Shapcott, Secretary of the Premier’s Office, as a holiday home and was only accessible via a 4WD track. It’s hard to believe that someone back then would not only have a holiday home in the middle of the forest but have a Chauffeur’s room and garage built there too!
However I’ve yet to find out why it is called the “Ghost House”?
The Ghost House Walk Trail takes you through the forest surrounding the wetland areas, it is a relatively easy walk with a camping ground around the halfway mark. At various points you will get glimpses of the vast wetland areas within the National Park, I never realised just how big Yanchep National Park is and how little is accessible to the public.
While you’re at the camp site don’t forget to leave it in the best state you can, also have a read of the visitor’s book and maybe leave your own message 👍
1. The Best Nature Has to Offer – Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos in Yanchep National Park
Finally to #1, the best natural experience you’ll find in Wanneroo is witnessing the grace, elegance and beauty of our highly endangered Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos in their own native environment.
Carnaby’s are one of only two species of White-Tailed Black Cockatoos. Both the Carnaby’s & their cousins the Baudin’s are listed as Endangered and are endemic to Southwest WA, that means you will only find them in this region, so when they are lost from Southwest WA that’s it, they’re gone forever 😨
The main reasons for their endangered status is loss of habitat & native food sources, a decreasing number of suitable nesting hollows, illegal poaching and increasing competition from introduced species like the Western Long-billed Corella. In other words, Humans are to blame 😨
Luckily there are several local organisations working tirelessly to help protect these Black Cockatoos. Although not generally open to the public organisations like Native Animal Rescue in Malaga & Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre in Gosnells host regular open days & private tours where you can see these magnificent birds up close and donate towards their protection at the same time. An experience not to be missed by any animal lover.
What you will notice when you enter an open aviary containing these birds is that they are big, very big. They are also very gentle & social birds, they will swoop above you, land on your shoulder or arm, snuggle into you and you will fall in love with them 💕
With a wingspan of over 1m they can be intimidating, but you quickly learn that these beautiful Cockatoos not only want attention but they all have their very own personalities.
Both Native Animal Rescue & Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre receive injured birds which are then released back into the wild after an extensive rehabilitation program making sure they have the best chance of survival. When visiting these centres you will only get close to birds that are unable to be released back into the wild and are trained for educational purposes.
So what’s all this got to do with Wanneroo? Well, we are blessed to have large flocks of Carnaby’s in our very own Yanchep National Park.
Finding these gentle giants of the bird world is not usually too hard, there are generally some flying around the main visitor area of Yanchep National Park doing their own thing in their small social groups. You’ll know when you find them, they have incredibly loud voices 👍
But what is really special and not always easy to find is when you see (& hear) large flocks of Black Cockatoos in the Park. I don’t know haw many Canaby’s reside in the Park area but on several occasions we have been lucky enough to witness flocks of 1000+, and that’s when they get very noisy!
But you just can’t beat being surrounded by these amazing birds, seeing their intricate social behaviour up close, and the experience of several hundred taking flight at the same all around you is simply breathtaking 😃
I’ve been using previous versions of ON1 Photo 2019.5 for many years now and I’ve watched its progress from a Lightroom / Photoshop Effects plugin to a fully fledged RAW Processing package.
ON1 Photo RAW is being touted as an alternative to Lightroom & Photoshop for Photographers and now supports many advanced features aside from RAW Processing & Effects Filters. Features like Layers, Layer Masks, Luminosity Masks, HDR Merging & Panorama Stitching to name but a few.
I haven’t fully embraced the newest version yet, but I’m excited to take a closer look and see how I can make the most of this new release. I’ve always found that it has formed a solid part of my post processing workflow and I’m intrigued to see how much that will grow and whether it really can be a serious replacement to Lightroom.
“ON1 Plus provides in-depth monthly courses on using ON1 Photo RAW and courses from top photographers on the photography topics you care about most. All of it is easy to follow-along and fun. You can also join-in with other ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5 customers to ask questions and share photos. That is ON1 Plus.”
For those out there not happy about the current Adobe Subscription model or not able to justify the cost then ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5 is available as a One Off Perpetual License at a very reasonable price. If you’re not sure if it’s for you then why not download the Free 30 Day Trial from the ON1 Website and give it a go.
On1’s recent webinar offers some interesting insight into using ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5:
Watch this space for more information on how I integrate the new ON1 Photo RAW features into my workflow 👍
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.
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.
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 😎
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.
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, 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 🙂 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, 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
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
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
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, 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.
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
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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
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, 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 …
Location: Perth City from South Perth
Date: 27th November 2017
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