Since moving to West Wyalong I haven’t seen any camera or photography clubs so I decided to write this blog in the hope that it may assist anyone seeking information on wildlife photography or photography in general.
Living at or visiting West Wyalong offers lots of opportunities for photography particularly with Lake Cowal being so close where there are large numbers of birds, kangaroos and reptiles. Even the Wetlands between Wyalong and West Wyalong offer lots of opportunities without going too far.
So , down to photography and a brief introduction about my photographic experience. Firstly I am not a creative or talented photographer but I understand the mechanics or principles of exposure and it’s in this area that I may be able to pass on the fundamentals to someone just starting out.
I know that with modern cameras we just select auto and off we go taking photos. It’s when we wish to take shots of a more specific nature that we may need to override the automatic feature to select for instance a more appropriate shutter speed for birds in flight for instance.
In my experience the shutter speed requirements for the following birds or insects are as follows;
Birds in flight 1/640th sec f9 aperture 400 ISO
Bees or Dragonflys in flight 1/800th sec f11 640 ISO (ISO auto if available)
Now by looking at the above shutter speeds we can see we need a certain aperture and ISO to give us the correct exposure.
To explain this, the sensor of the camera is what captures the image and it requires the correct amount of light to do so (not to light or too dark)
We have two ways of controlling the light to the sensor and the sensor itself is adjustable for sensitivity.
The shutter speed is the duration the lens is open and the aperture is the size of the lens opening.
For the purpose of this explanation lets consider 200 ISO is normal and we are using 320th sec at f9 but because we are shooting a moving object we want the shutter speed higher to prevent blurring of the image. So we halve the length of time the lens is open going to 640th sec but in doing this we have reduced the amount of light to the sensor. So now we must compensate by letting more light back in (by opening the aperture more) or by increasing the sensitivity of the sensor. I choose to increase the ISO because I like to keep the lens opening around the f 9 mark because my lenses are sharper here.
Just a quick mention of focal lengths of lenses. Longer focal lengths are like looking through binocculars. My opinion is that you need a minimum of 200 mm focal length lens however 300 to 400 mm is better. Above 400 brings into play lots of challenges such as holding such large lenses steady not to mention cost.
For more information visit us at Mayfair Motel and inspect our information centre, old wares gallery and photographic display.
Shown below are of some of the wildlife photos I have taken, these photos have been taken at various locations around Australia using all Nikon equipment. Mostly I use a D 200 camera body fitted with a 300 mm f4 lens although sometimes I use D50 as well as various other lenses such as Macro.