Esther Beaton

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On the Beaton Track

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Ambient “lighting” is easy

Sometimes you don’t have to work at creating a background because you are blessed with the colours of nature. Or you’re just smart enough to go out at sunrise or sunset. Both of these pictures are pre-dawn. The colour in the sky at this time is called “afterglow” and I especially like this twilight time …

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Rembrandt artist

Rather than using colour, as in the previous post, to get rid of a busy or dull background, you can accomplish it with exposure control alone. This artist worked in her garage and the best angle of her using her jewellery press had some old storage units behind her. The easiest thing was to turn …

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Building up your lighting

While on the subject of lighting, here are a couple more examples of adding colour. Using coloured flashes is one way to overcome a drab scene – and when you’re indoors, in a clinical environment, it’s always a drab scene. I like to think of it as building my scene, a bit like adding layers …

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The Worst Drought Ever – are the birds coping?

It’s the worst drought in New South Wales “in six generations” some say. Others say it’s the worst recorded since European settlement. Still others say the worst in 400 years.  Chiltern-Pt Pilot National Park, near the New South Wales border, is one of the world’s birding hotspots. When I was there on an assignment in …

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Victoria’s Coast and Photo Tip: Charming the Birds

There are some great bird photography locations in Victoria, but during my January trip the drought was playing havoc, with days of unexpected rain, paralytic heat, and dust storms. But even with a little persistence, even in the worst of weather you can still find a few plucky birds. The scenery along the shores of …

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Wildlife Photographers to Follow

Black Swan with 3 newly hatched cygnet riding on back,

I’M FEELING PROUD AS PUNCH     I’ve been given another nice “award”. I’m very honoured to be considered one of “25 Amazing Wildlife Photographers to Follow“. You can read the blog post here at Loaded Landscapes. They sell some great Lightroom presets and have very knowledgeable articles in their blog too. As a matter …

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Whitsunday Islands Photography Sailing Safari

I’ve been wanting to do longer than one-day workshops and heres’s one that will thrill some of you to bits. Together with Southern Cross Sailing Adventures, I’ll be running workshops aboard a well-known tall ship, the Solway Lass. But wait, theres’s more! It will be in the Whitsundays, a land beautiful beyond belief. There’s the …

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A Visit to AWC and the Challenges of Mammal Photography

Wayne Lawler, staff photographer for Australian Wildlife Conservancy, photographing Boodies and Woylies at night with several flash units, Yookamurra Sanctuary, South Australia

I love the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. I love all conservation groups but the AWC has an astounding success rate. Not only are they re-establishing populations of highly threatened species, they are achieving the job at discount rates. They run a mean, tight ship as far as admin spending goes. Income goes almost entirely to field …

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Think the Reciprocal Rule is safe? It fails with high resolution cameras

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) on nest among casuarina trees, Lake Tuggerah, Central Coast, New South Wales

The reciprocal rule is handy to know when you are hand-holding your camera, especially with a long lens attached. It states “always use a shutter speed whose reciprocal is faster than the focal length of the lens”. So if you’re hand-holding a 500 mm lens, you have to use a shutter speed of 1/500 or faster. …

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Take Advantage of the Rain – Do Bird Photography!

Red Wattlebird, capturing a Brown Katydid insect which feeds on pollen, in Callistemon bush, National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

I had business in Canberra a few months ago and I grabbed a couple spare hours to do some bird photography. I chose the bird-abundant National Botanic Gardens. But alas it was late in the day, dark and raining. But knowing how I could push my ISO into the “danger zone” and still be able …

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