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Lunar eclipse in Sydney

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.

Lunar eclipse 2021-05-26

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.

Lunar eclipse 2021-05-26

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.

Lunar eclipse 2021-05-26

So I got some decent shots, but nothing as good as you could get with a dedicated astronomical telescopic camera. Still, it was fun!

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Capturing the clouds

Yesterday the sky here put on a spectacular show, with streaky, wispy cirrus clouds covering it from horizon to horizon.

Cirrus clouds over Sydney

The view was so amazing and beautiful that I just stood gaping in awe, looking up at the sky.

Cirrus clouds over Sydney

Naturally I stopped to take some photos. I took some of just the sky, to get an abstract feeling with no sense of scale.

Cirrus clouds over Sydney

Then I took some with a bit of foreground for contrast.

Cirrus clouds over Sydney

Cirrus clouds over Sydney

Sometimes it’s good to sit back and just bask in how beautiful our planet is.

Cirrus clouds over Sydney

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Market stalls update

I’ve been doing a few market stalls lately! Here I am at Kirribilli Markets:

Kirribilli Market stall

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.

That Great Market stall

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.

I hope to see you at a market soon!

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Back to markets!

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:

Tawny frogmouth

And here’s a young Australian brushturkey (Alectura lathami):

Australian brushturkey juvenile

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That Great Market, 20 December

I’ll have a stall again at That Great Market on Sunday 20 December, at East Lindfield Community Hall, 9 Wellington Road, East Lindfield (Sydney, NSW), from 9am to 2pm.

Here’s a photo of my stall from the last market in November. I have a better stall location now, with a wall behind me instead of windows, so the lighting is a lot better to view the photos.

My market stall

This is the last market before Christmas, so it’s a great chance to get some gifts or cards!

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Market date: Sun 18 October

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.

East Lindfield Market details

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!

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My photo in PBS Eons video

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.

My photo is used to illustrate art of the giant kangaroo Procoptodon goliah.

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Bird photo trip to Mudgee

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:

Australian raven vs Magpie-lark

A black swan on the lake:

Black swan

A red-browed finch:

Red-browed finch

And a crested pigeon:

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!

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Markets are back!

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,
  • greeting cards.

I hope to see you there!

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Market updates and bird shoot

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.

Superb fairywren, non-breeding male

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:

Superb fairywren, breeding male

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.

Pacific black duck

Hopefully I’ll be able to get out a bit more and take some more photos soon!