The total lunar eclipse of 26 May 2021 was visible from here in Sydney in the late evening. The weather was nice and clear, so I set up my camera to take a few photos.
The moon is quite a small photographic target – smaller than many of the birds I photograph at the distances that I get to them. You really need a telescope to photograph the moon with good detail, but I made do with a 400 mm lens. Focusing is also difficult, because a tiny adjustment of the lens causes a relatively large adjustment in focus for objects at extreme distances.
Exposure is also tricky for the moon. Normally for a subject as dark as the eclipsed moon, you would take a long exposure, of maybe 30 seconds or so. But in 30 seconds the moon moves across the sky by an appreciable amount, and the resulting photo would be dominated by motion blur. So instead I raised the ISO speed and set the exposure to a maximum of one second. Even at one second, you can see some motion blur in the stars caused by the rotation of the Earth, but it’s not so obvious on the moon itself. This is where a telescope with star tracking motor would be able to do a lot better than a camera on a tripod.
So I got some decent shots, but nothing as good as you could get with a dedicated astronomical telescopic camera. Still, it was fun!
I’ve been doing a few market stalls lately! Here I am at Kirribilli Markets:
Unfortunately I found the environment there wasn’t great for my photo products. Although under cover, it’s in a road tunnel open to the elements on both ends, and that meant significant wind blowing through each time I had a stall there. I had some stuff fall over and get blown into puddles and it was pretty messy. So I’ve had to stop booking Kirribilli.
I’m concentrating on indoor markets. That Great Market at East Lindfield is good, and has a lovely suburban vibe! I’ll be back there again on Sunday 20 June.
And I’ve booked a new market, this on the In Style Turramurra Market, which is on at Turramurra Masonic Centre on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 June.
Hello to people who met me either today at That Great Market, East Lindfield, or last weekend at Kirribilli Markets. It’s been a while since the last market stalls, and it was great to meet people and chat about my photography. If you’re looking for a particular image you saw at the stall, but it’s not here on this site yet, please drop me a message to ask about it.
While updating, I’ve been taking some photos around Sydney recently, because of the difficult of travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s one of a tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) I took a couple of weeks ago:
And here’s a young Australian brushturkey (Alectura lathami):
That Great Market is on again at East Lindfield on Sunday 18 October, 2020, after a few months of COVID cancellations. I will be having a stall here, selling large format mounted prints ready to hang, matted prints ready to frame, and greeting cards – all featuring my photography.
The market is at East Lindfield Community Hall, 9 Wellington Road, East Lindfield (Sydney, NSW), from 9am to 2pm. I hope to see you there!
I was contacted recently by the producer of the documentary series PBS Eons, requesting permission to use one of my photos in a new episode about Australian megafauna and its depiction in Aboriginal rock art. I had a photo of a rock art site at Ubirr, in the the Northern Territory that they wanted to feature.
I agreed to license my photo for this documentary. You can see the episode on YouTube here.
Last weekend I went on a photographic expedition to the New South Wales town of Mudgee. It was actually combined with a weekend away with my wife and our dog – we’d been planning a trip for April, but had to cancel it when COVID travel restrictions came in, so we were keen to hit the road when the restrictions were lifted.
The weekend was rainy, but I did manage to get a clear morning to visit Putta Bucca Wetlands, which is a wildlife reserve just outside the town. I went before breakfast to get the early morning light. Here’s an Australian raven and a magpie-lark:
A black swan on the lake:
A red-browed finch:
And a crested pigeon:
I think this pigeon was the shot of the trip, and I think I’ll add it to my portfolio of photos available for purchase as prints. So it was a successful trip, both in terms of a relaxing getaway, and for photography!
With the reopening of businesses and gatherings following the COVID-19 restrictions, my market stall is back! My next market date is Sunday 19 July, at That Great Market, East Lindfield Community Hall, 9 Wellington Road, East Lindfield.
I’ll be selling prints of my photos in:
large-format ready-to-hang block-mounted prints,
matted prints, ready to frame in standard 16×12 inch (40.6×30.5 cm) frames,
Things have been very quiet with the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions here in Sydney. There have been no more market days since my last one on 1 March, as markets have all been cancelled until further notice. I’m looking forward to them coming back, and will be keen to get out there and show off my work.
I also haven’t been able to get out very much to take photos, due to the travel restrictions. But with things loosening up with Stage 1 here in New South Wales, I took a short drive to Warriewood Wetlands yesterday to photograph some birds.
This is a male superb fairywren, in non-breeding plumage. I saw some females too, but didn’t get any very good shots of them. Most of the males were in non-breeding plumage, this relatively dull brown look. But I did find one male who still retained breeding plumage at the end of the autumn as we move into winter:
Hard to believe this is exactly the same sort of bird, but yes, they moult their feathers between these two colour forms twice a year.
And here’s a nice shot of a Pacific black duck.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get out a bit more and take some more photos soon!