Monthly Archives: July 2014

Eagle Island – Time-lapse

I had posted an image stack of the stars in Eagle Island, Botswana a few days ago. This is the rendered time-lapse of the same sequence. Please view this as a 1080p HD video for the best visual experience.

Posted in Photography

Star-trails in the Southern Hemisphere

Finding Polaris or the North Star is easy in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, finding Sigma Octantis is very difficult. The star lies in the constellation of Octans and has a magnitude of 5.5 making it barely visible even on a clear night.  One can use the Southern Cross to make an attempt at locating its position but it will never be really accurate.  I did my best and set up my cameras to do a time-lapse.  This was the night Germany played Brazil in the World Cup.

My tripod and camera must have aroused the curiosity of the night security guard at Eagle Island Camp.  He kindly moved my rig to a more secure position on the tiles of the swimming pool.  This was after 395 images had been captured with about 105 to go.  Sequence disrupted but in my opinion the stack is interesting.  Sigma Octantis is in the top left corner of the frame – INVISIBLE.

Stars in Africa are incredibly bright as indicated by the EXIF data.  These images were captured using the Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the 12 to 35 mm Lumix Vario lens.  Exposure triad: f/2.8, 13 sec, ISO 200 – no noise reduction required.

In hindsight, I should have added an ND filter and increased the exposure to 25 seconds or closed down the aperture to f/4.  This would have extended the individual trails.

Your comments would be appreciated.

Eagle Island Star Trail

Eagle Island, Botswana –  Star Trail

Posted in Africa, Composite, Mirrorless, Motion, Night Photography, Panasonic GH4, Photography, Stacked Image, Star Trails, Time-Lapse, Workshops Tagged |

Southern Carmine Bee-eater

It was a rare but awesome opportunity to see this pair of Carmine Bee-eaters in Botswana. The Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicoides) is primarily found in sub-equatorial African region. These are migratory birds that spend the winter August to November (breeding season) in Zimbabwe. They move south to Botswana and  South Africa for the summer and then migrate to equatorial Africa from March to August.

Southern Carmine Bee Eater - Panasonic Lumix GH4 with the Lumix 100 - 300 mm lens.  Exposure: f/6.3, 1/2000 sec at ISO 400

Southern Carmine Bee-eater – Panasonic Lumix GH4 with the Lumix 100 – 300 mm lens, hand held. Exposure: f/6.3, 1/2000 sec. at ISO 400

Posted in Africa, Mirrorless, Panasonic GH4, Photography, Workshops Tagged , , , , |

The Okavango and Termite Mounds

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the largest inland deltas.  Most of the Okavango river’s water that feeds the delta is either evaporated or transpired and none of it flows into the ocean.  Some of the water (about 2%) does feed the Lake Ngami.

The termites of the Okavango are critical to the formation of the islands in the delta.  Nearly every island was formed by a termite mound.  During the floods, termite mounds are the usually the only land formation that is above water.  This make the mounds a surveying point for animals and birds.  It offers the creatures an elevated view allowing them to seek out prey.

This pair of lions are siblings who are keeping away from a large male who is pursuing them for territory dominance.

Siblings

Siblings

 

Posted in Photography

Chobe National Park – Leopard

Leopards are normally shy and elusive, not this one.  This very large male allowed us to follow him for an hour while he marked his territory.  At times he came to within ten feet of the Land Cruiser we were following him in.  We lost him when a large male hyena charged him.  This was one magnificent specimen and as per the guide one of the largest leopards in Chobe National Park – Botswana.

Male Leopard - Chobe National Park

Male Leopard – Chobe National Park

 

The animal is partially backlit that made this image worth including in this post. Click on the image for a larger view.

Photographed with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the 100 – 300 mm Lumix lens.  Exposure triad: f/8, 1/500 sec at ISO 400.  Focal length 170 mm (340mm full frame equivalent).

Posted in Africa, Mirrorless, Panasonic GH4, Photography Tagged , , , |

In search of the Lilac Breasted Roller

I do not believe a trip to Southern Africa would be complete without a good image of the Lilac Breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus). Many images were taken during this trip to Botswana and many rejected till this opportunity. The bird is fairly skittish and very fast in leaving its perch. Here it gave me a lovely pose and the catchlight was just right.

Panasonic Lumix GH4 with the Panasonic Lumix Vario 100-300 f/4-5.OIS lens at 264mm. Exposure Triad, f/5.6, 1/3200 sec, ISO 400. The image has been slightly cropped on the left for improved composition.

Lilac Breasted Roller, Botswana 2014

Lilac Breasted Roller, Botswana 2014

Posted in Africa, Mirrorless, Panasonic GH4, Photography, Workshops Tagged , , , |

Using Mirror-less Cameras in Africa

For my 2014 South Africa and Botswana photo tour I used only MILS cameras – a Sony A7R for some of the big landscapes and night photography, a Panasonic Lumix GH4 for action and wildlife (mainly with the Lumix Vario 100 to 300 mm which is  a 200 to 600 mm equivalent) and the Olympus OMD EM1 mainly with a Lumix Vario 35 to 100 mm (70 – 200 mm equivalent) for closer subjects and wider FOV.  Have no regrets and no disappointments at all.  The focusing is fast, shutter actuations at 12 and 11 FPS, accurate tracking and continuous focus. The next two images are of a sunset captured in the Shinde concession in Botswana:

Shinde Sunset - Panasonic GH4, 100 mm (200 mm eq)  f/5.6, 1/6400 sec, ISO 800 - Hand held

Shinde Sunset – Panasonic GH4, 100 mm (200 mm eq) f/5.6, 1/6400 sec, ISO 800 – Hand held

 

_1020094

New Moon in Botswana – Panasonic GH4, 100 mm (200 mm eq.), f/5.6, 1/10 sec, ISO 6400 – Hand held

Red-billed Francolin (Francolinus adspersus)

Red-billed Francolin (Francolinus adspersus) – Panasonic GH4, 100-300mm at 300 mm (600 mm eq.), f/7.1, 1/1250 sec, ISO 800 – hand held.

Earlier in the day this Red-billed Francolin was captured sitting on a termite mound.

Contact Gary Farber or Keth Patankar at Hunt’s Photo & Video for all your Mirror-less Camera Needs

Hunts_Logo_Web

Posted in Africa, Mirrorless, Panasonic GH4, Photography, Workshops

Absence

It has been over a month since I posted on my blog. Here is the excuse – I left for an Iceland trip (the third one this year).  We did a complete circle around the island and more.  It was an incredible trip.  Many images – downloaded but not reviewed yet.  Came back to the USA for three days – enough time to pack for the next excursion – Africa. Specifically South Africa and Botswana.  A WOW trip.  Flew back on Thursday arriving at 11:30 AM.  Home by 1:00 PM – a quick switch of suitcases, shower and off to Amherst for the 69th annual NECCC conference.  This is undoubtedly the best photography related event in the US if not the world.  Next year it will be extra special – the 70th.

It has been a lot of fun and getting used to the mirror-less world.  Took a Sony A7R full frame, Panasonic GH4 and Olympus OMD EM1, both MFT bodies with a full compliment of lenses from 7 to 300 mm (14 to 600 equivalent in full frame terms)  I have never been happier – small, light, easy, and super image quality.

I posted this on Facebook but here it is again:

A lion at sunset.

A Lion at Sunset

Panasonic Lumix GH4 with the Lumix Vario 100 – 300 mm f/4 – 5.6  lens at 300mm. EXIF info:  ISO 400, f/6.3 and 1/100 sec.  Hand held with image stabilization on.

Contact Gary Farber or Keth Patankar at Hunt’s Photo & Video for all your Mirror-less Camera Needs

Hunts_Logo_Web

Posted in Africa, Mirrorless, Panasonic GH4, Photography