Tag Archives: Wildlife

Pushing the Limits

It was very early morning when we spotted this young lion. He has been through some territorial fights – see the scars. The sun had not risen and I was not sure if I could get a decent image. Captured with the Panasonic Lumix S1R and the S Pro 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens. I had the ISO on “auto”, and I set the shutter speed to 1/160 sec (i wanted to be as close to one over the focal length I was at). The focal length was at 130mm. The aperture was set at f/2.8 and the camera set the ISO to 16000. Typically I set the limit at ISO 6400 but there would be no image at that sensitivity.

The image a direct conversion from RAW to JPG – no adjustments at all except a crop for composition. The noise reduction is at 0, sharpening at 0. Image processed using Capture One 12.

Please do click on the image to view it larger.

IMPRESSIVE!!!

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Lumix S Pro 70-200 f/2.8 hand-held

Zebra Family at Sunset

One of the greatest features of Lumix cameras, the G and the S series is the incredibly good image stabilization. On the S1R was rated at 6 stops. With firmware version v1.1, the in-body IS system will reduce shake by an additional 1/2-stop, for a total of 6 stops with non-stabilized lenses and 6.5 stops with Dual IS-compatible glass. With the new S Pro 70-200 f/2.8, the stabilization is rated at 7 stops.

This image was captured hand-held with the S1R and the S Pro 70-200 and a 2X Teleconverter. The combined focal length was 400mm. Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO 800.

Click on the image to view a larger rendition.

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Lilac Breasted Roller

Lilac Breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)

This bird is one of my absolute favorites. This avian lives in acacia country where there are well-spaced trees, bushy game lands, riverside areas, and cultivated lands. However, they do not associate with human habitation. They are about 14 in. long.

The Lilac Breasted Roller is also referred to as the Fork Tailed Roller or Mosilikatze’s Roller. They typically perch at high points of trees, poles, etc. so the can spot thir prey close to ground level. they will swoop down to grab insects, scorpions, lizards and even small birds.

This specimen was photographed with the Panasonic G9, the Leica 50-200 lens with the 2X tele-adaptor. Exposure triad: f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 250.

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My impressions of the new 70-200 mm L mount zoom lens – LUMIX S PRO 70-200 O.I.S (S-E70200)

I had the pleasure of using two of these lenses, albeit pre-production, with two Lumix S1R bodies while on my trip to Tanzania. I used these with and without the 1.4X and 2X teleconverters in order to extend the reach as needed. With the high resolution of the S1R cropping is a viable option.

The Pro S 70-200 has one of the best image quality performance I have seen in a zoom lens in the range. The lens surely must meet or exceed certain stringent standards to be certified by Leica.

Color rendition
Leopard resting
Exposure triad f/63, 1/500 sec, ISO 2000

Tech details: 22 elements in 17 groups, the use of 2 UED (Ultra Extra-low Dispersion) lenses, 3 ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses. Magnification .21X with a close focus distance of .95m. Focus range switchable from Full to .95m-5m and 5m to Limit. The lens is 208.6mm (8.2 in) long with a max diameter of 94.4 mm (3.72 in)and weighs 1,570 gm (3.46 lb). Filter diameter 82mm. It is dust and splash resistant and has a working temperature range of -10 C to 40 C (14 F to 104 F). The focus speed is rated at 0.12 sec. at the extended focal length of 200 mm. It has a focus clutch to allow manual – autofocus switching and the lens barrel has three programmable focus buttons. Dual IS – when coupled with a Dual IS2 body the overall image stabilization is rated at 7 stops. The provided lens collar has an Arca Swiss compatible foot.

Superb detail and dynamic range
African Elephant and Calf
Exposure triad f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 500

I found that the lens had exceptional focusing speed and now understand why. The lens uses a double focus system. A large linear motor is used for long-throw adjustments and a stepper motor is used for small incremental strokes. All focusing is internal and the focusing lenses are light so as to allow rapid movement during focusing. The focus frame rate is 480 FPS and the lens tracks subjects incredibly well. This combination clearly has the fastest focusing I have experienced in the Lumix lens line-up. The close focus distance is .95m or about 3 feet. Even at this close range, there is no visible distortion. in-fact the has little to no distortion over its entire zoom range even wide open at f/2.8.

Smooth focus fall-off.
Impala Stag
Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400
Another example of smooth focus fall-off
Cheetah Yawn
Exposure triad f/8, 1/1300 sec, ISO 3200
Fast action capture
Wildebeast Migration
Exposure triad f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 250
Tracking performance with fast-moving subjects
Wildebeast (Connochaetes gnou)
Tracking performance
Impala on the run (one of the fastest four-legged animals)
Exposure triad f/6.3, 1/800 sec, ISO 320
Tracking performance.
Juvenile African Fish Eagle  (Haliaeetus vocifer).
Exposure triad f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO400
Low Light Detail
Lion Family on Kill
Exposure triad f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 2500
Low light longer exposure.
Serval Cat (Leptailurus serval)- 2x teleconverter used. Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/200 sec, ISO12800

For the duration of the Tanzania safari, I never mounted either S1R on a tripod or any other clamp or mount. All images were captured hand-held and the image stabilization was amazing even at slow shutter speeds.

Note: Some images have been cropped and some have a vignette applied for presentation purposes.

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Barred Owl – Corkscrew Swamp

The barred owl, also known as northern barred owl or hoot owl, at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Florida this afternoon. The swamp has way too much water and as a result, the number of birds is minimum. This owl remained with its eyes closed for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, when the park staff came by to say we had to leave, I stopped by to get this image.

Panasonic Lumix G9 and the Leica 100-400 mm lens – hand-held.  Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/60 sec, ISO 500.
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MINWR Field Workshop

January 25, 2019 – 7:00 AM field trip to Merrit Island National WIldlife Refuge, Black Point Drive yielded some decent images once the clouds dissipated and we got some good light. The day prior was a washout because of the storm that came through the area – high winds, heavy rains and reports of tornados.

Reddish Egret fishing – Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400 mm lens. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/800 sec, ISO 500

This year the number of Glossy Ibis in the reserve is exceptional. I have never seen so many flocks of 20 Ibis or more.

Glossy Ibis stepping into the water – Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400 mm lens. Exposure triad: f/6.3, 1/1000 sec, ISO 640

On the other hand, the Roseate Spoonbills are not as abundant as in past years.

Roseate Spoonbill with a Great Egret keeping a watchful eye – Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400 mm lens. Exposure triad: f/7.1, 1/1300 sec, ISO 200
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Leica 50-200mm f/2.8-f/4 on the G9 with 2X Tele-extender

This is a crop from the image below.  I wanted to see how well the Leica 50-200 mm performed when used with 2X tele-extender.  The image was shot at ISO 16000 and as you can see the noise performance is great.  The cropped image has a small amount of Lightroom noise reduction applied.  Though the flash did fire the distance to the bird was beyond the flash units reach.

Lumix G9, Leica 50-200mm, 2X Tele-extender and Lumix DMW-FL360L. flash. Exposure triad: f/8, 1/2000 sec at ISO 16000

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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

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African Skies 2 – A Timelapse Video

Gunther Wegner the developer of LRTimelapse software has just released African Skies 2.  This excellent time-lapse video showcases the beauty of the African landscapes and animals in film and time lapse sequences, that have never been seen before.

The production took more than half a year – and has been compiled from 4 terabytes of raw-data.  All editing (time lapse and even video) was done, using the new LRTimelapse 3.2 and Lightroom 5.2. !

The video sequence can be seen on Vimeo but is available at a nominal cost as a HD video and a 4K video.  The sale proceeds will be used to fund and support the African wildlife and environmental protection organizations.  This funding was done from proceeds from the video too and I commend Gunther for his efforts. we decided to sell the film as download in much higher quality in Full HD and even 4K. With the revenue we again want to support local animal and environmental protection organizations.

Click here to be directed to the LRTimelapse Web and then use the African Skies Tab to purchase it if you would like to support the cause.

Please share this post with your family and friends.  Gunther has created an excellent video and I hope this can be viewed by all.  Please click on HD and open it in full screen view.

 

Click here to be directed to the LRTimelapse Web and then use the African Skies Tab to view the video and purchase it if you would like to support the cause.

 

Posted in Africa, Motion, Night Photography, Photography, Shows, Software, Time-Lapse, Video Also tagged |

India Photo Workshops and Tours – February and March 2013

After a very successful trip this past February we now have a trip that gives you a unique opportunity to photograph three endangered species, The Asiatic Lions, Wild Asses and Black Buck.  In addition to these mammals we will have opportunities to photograph over 300 species of birds, other mammals, reptiles and insects.  We will photograph ancient monuments including the Taj Mahal, and have a lot of opportunity to photograph village people and their ways.

Feb 15 – Feb 26  – India Rann of Kutch, Velvader and Sasangir where the endangerd Asiatic Lions, Wild Asses and Black Buck will be the primary subjects Click Here for Details
Feb 26 – March 6 – India – Agra (Taj Mahal) Chambal for the River Crocodiles, Sarus Cranes and Black Buck,  Bharatpur for over 300 species of migratory birds Click Here for Details
March 6 – March 11 – India – Bandhavgarh for the Tiger and a plethora of wildlife (This segment depends on the Government of India lifting the tourism ban in Tiger Reserves Click Here for Details
You can do Segment 1 alone or combine it with Segment 2 or do all three.  You can also pick just Segment 2 and 3 or any one.
India is the home of the endangered Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica), and has some of the best opportunities for photographing other mammals and migratory birds from as far as Siberia. This trip is geared towards capturing images of Indian wildlife, landscapes, ancient architecture and local village people.  The tour is in three parts and you can register for one, two or all three segments.

The first segment will take us from Delhi to the Rann of Kutch for wild asses, foxes, and vast salt flats.  We then spend time in Velavader for some incredible birds and the black buck. Sasan Gir is the next stop for lions and other wild life.  The Wild Ass, Asiatic Lion and Black Buck are all on the endangered species list. We return to Delhi concluding this segment.

The second segment takes us to Agra where we photograph the Taj Mahal by sunset and sunrise.  The trip has been  scheduled to coincide with the full moon. We then drive to Chambal for bird photography and a river safari to capture images of the Gharial, Crocodiles and shore birds including Skimmers, Ibis and European Spoonbills to name a few.  Next we drive to Fatehpur Sikri to photograph ancient moslem architecture and then continue to Bharatpur.  The Keoladeo sanctuary in Bharatpur boasts over 300 hundred  species of migratory birds, owls and water fowl. We will drive back to Delhi concluding the second segment.

Our third segment takes us from Delhi to Jabalpur by air and then a drive to Bandhavgarh for tigers, jackals, the Indian Bison, wild boar and many other species of mammals and birds.  We return to Jabalpur to fly back to Delhi, concluding this segment.

Registration Forms are available on the Workshops Tab above or Click Here

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