This is really starting to bite deeply for me as I sit here at my desk staring at the mountain of paperwork I am supposed to be working through – Get me out of here please! With another three months or so to go before I leave for Iceland I am growing green with envy at some amazing photography being done of the Volcanic Eruption by photographers already on location. Steini Fjall has just posted his most recent shots from the eruption and there are some spectacular images for sure; both from ground level and aerial. This is other world photography in the land of fire and ice. Where is my passport…..?
The more time I spend doing wildlife photography the more I enjoy it – even when it is at the Zoo. Photographing animals in the Zoo is not as romantic or as exciting as an expedition to the Okavango Delta or the Serengeti, but it is still quite challenging and a lot of fun. The real trick with photographing wildlife regardless of wether the animals are in a Zoo or in the wild is trying to capture a special or unique moment with them. Most of the time they just lie around and frankly make for very boring photographs.
Wildlife photography in my experience is a combination of patience and luck (not necessarily in that order). You can increase your chances by shooting at times of the day when the animals are most active, by ensuring you are in the right sort of locations and of course having your camera at the ready. Ultimately however, you need a little bit of luck and just a lot of patience. Although this photograph looks as though it was taken somewhere in Africa, it was in fact taken at the Melbourne Zoo. A good trick to bare in mind when photographing animals in cages is to press your lens hard up against the wire and use a wide open aperture – this will throw the wire or bars completely out of focus and will make them disappear from the shot as is the case here. I used a 300mm F2.8L Image Stabilised lens hand held and wide open, pushed up against the wire fence for this photograph. A disagreement had broken out between the lions which ignited a brief brawl lasting only a few seconds. I had my camera ready and was lucky enough to be in the right location to capture the scene. Out of the half dozen frames I took this is my favourite. Its a unique moment between four male lions.
I think just about every landscape and nature photographer worth his or her salt is wishing they were in Iceland at the moment – me included. The recent eruption has and is providing some wonderful photographic opportunities. Each day amazing new photographs are being posted to the internet by local and visiting photographers. Christopher Lund has posted some of his recent photographs on his website that are well worth a look at this amazing natural phenomenon. There are also numerous workshops that have sprung up overnight inviting photographers to travel to Iceland to photograph the eruption including one by Seth Resnick which sounds great. Were it not for work commitments and the fact that I am already headed to Iceland in July for three weeks I would be very tempted to jump on the next plane and join in the experience. I have no idea how long this eruption is expected to continue – I am sure it is wishful thinking to hope that it is still erupting in another three months. Fingers crossed!
The road and drive up to Mount Buffalo in the Victorian Alps is one of my favourites in Victoria. The road snakes around the mountain and at various points provides excellent views to both the East and West for Sunrise and Sunset photography. There are lots of opportunities for landscape photography at Mount Buffalo, but some of the best in my experience are actually on the drive up the mountain. This photograph was taken just before sunrise looking into the Buckland Valley filled with fog. When I left my hotel in the pre-dawn dark and started the drive up the mountain I was unsure if there was going to be any opportunity for photography as visibility was so poor. After climbing half way up the mountain I emerged above the fog and cloud just as the sun was about to rise and was able to take this photograph literally from the side of the road. The swirling cloud and fog in the gum trees in the lower left hand corner of the frame provides the depth and dimensionality that make this photograph enjoyable for me. The orange and yellow glow of dawn adds a wonderful warmth and contrast to the cold blue of the fog. A higher resolution copy of this photograph is also in my Australian Portfolio on my website at www.jholko.com
This is definitely not the normal type and style of photography that I do – But I had a great opportunity this weekend to attend the 2010 Australian Formula One Grand Prix with a corporate ticket and excellent Pit access. It was to much to resist; and simply had to so some photography. These are just a few of my favourites from the days shoot.
All up I shot over 1200 frames for the day; a fairly small number considering the FIA photographer I was shooting with cranked off that many in a single practice session. This was a very enjoyable days photography amidst the corporate hospitality and electric atmosphere that is Formula 1 .