Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bicentennial Park - A Bit Of Macro And Stuff

When it gets really stinking hot you just have to bring water and you will have a great day in Bicentennial Park - every other sane Sydneysider will be at the beach! However, be careful about leaving the water in your car (even if it is white!) Since it will be close to boiling when you get back - consequence being that you drink 0.5L and turbo sweat 0.5L as a result thereof :-)

Suddenly having an extra lens there is not straight forward! Having been used to the Bigma handling 95% of my shooing; long, short (with stitching) and semi-macro makes it very hard taking it off. However, my new macro lens has some qualities that makes it superior for certain types of photography - one of them obviously being proper macro - I just need to learn to shoot that type of photos.

A great example is the two Golden Orb Weaver spider shots - the one above is taken with the Bigma at about half zoom, somewhere around where you get the best magnification ratio (at 500mm the minimum focus distance is significantly increased). The picture below is with the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro and you suddenly realize that when you get really close a hole new story is unfolding. The macro shot is actually not really good, I had a hard time getting a sufficient depth of field, at least to cover the travel of the insect while they were being blown around by the wind :-/ Handholding macro shots outside under windy conditions will be one of the things I will have to optimize in 2010! :-D

Finally having gotten the Macro on I decided to keep it there for a little bit and had a bit of luck finding a Leaf curling spider that had established its home in a sunny and less windy spot.

A super smart little spider that is truly taking advantage of its surroundings. They are very common here around Sydney, but often people do not notice them since they sit inside their little leaf only having the legs resting on their web, detecting any vibration caused by potential prey.

When you get optimal conditions - and a preying spider might be one of the most still and optimal targets you can hope for - my new Sigma macro is scary sharp ;-) If you press the picture above you are taken to a higher resolution version, for a bit of spider leg-hair examination.

Well, after a while the prime lens got a bit restrictive and I returned to the Bigma for a bit of water shooting. Having a leaky underwater camera has hurt the underwater content of this blog badly so I will try to make up for it with a few wet ones.

I was happy about the eel above, I have tried to get a similar photo before, but maybe because of the heat and the consequential low oxygen level this day the underwater creatures where swimming closer to the surface ... or the fact that an entire 7 membered family was standing bombarding the water with old bread next to me :-)

Fantastic stuff! The possibility of carbon loading (or once again the low oxygen levels?) also attracted a couple of turtles - they look pretty scary close up!

Great day in the park! Bicentennial park is a fantastic package of various habitats and therefore packs an excellent selection of wildlife to look at. From a photographic point of view it is nearly as good as going to the zoo - the park being one of the busiest in Sydney has made the wildlife very relaxed about having screaming human activity around them, so relaxed indeed that you are more successful by walking straight towards a bird and shoot your pictures instead of trying to creep towards it .. crawling in public parks have been known to be considered suspicious behavior ;-)

No comments: