NEWS IN BRIEF New Trekabout Photography Workshops Dates for 2012 ▪ New dates are up on the Trekabout website for early 2012. City Lights Experience,

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New Trekabout Photography Workshops Dates for 2012

New dates are up on the Trekabout website for early 2012. City Lights Experience, Full Day Mountain Experience, Reptile and Frog Experience and Post Processing and Workflow Experience workshop dates are available.

For further information check here

Australia Zoo Experience

Always on the lookout for new opportunities, Michael and I are putting together a brand new photography experience workshop based at the Sunshine Coast's Australia Zoo. This workshop promises to be an experience not to be missed with some amazing wildlife photography opportunities. . We expect to release the first of these workshops when the weather starts to cool down around March.

Stay tuned.

For Sale

More items have been added to the FOR SALE section at the bottom of this newsletter. There are some fantastic treats for all the Nikon users out there this time around. Don't forget to drop me a line if you have any photography equipment you would like to sell ( cameras, lenses, tripods etc.) to include your item in the next newsletter. No fees involved, just a service I'd like to offer for past and future workshop participants. As a buyer if you are interested in any of the items for sale I will put you in contact with the seller.

Norfolk Island

Wow!! What can I say. Our Trekabout "Norfolk Island Experience" was fantastic. More on that below. The 2012 workshop is now up and avalable to book. Click here for details.

Trekabout Photography Workshops Christmas Get-together

Michael and I have sent out invitations to all our Trekabout friends to attend a Christmas get-together. In case you missed the invite it will be held in Arthur Davis Park at Shorncliffe, the same park as we did last year, on Sunday 18 December 2011. We will meet in the top area of the park where there is a large undercover area to keep us out of the sun. More details can be found here.

Australian Creatures Experience

The first Australian Creatures Experience was a resounding success. We received terrific feedback and some of the shots I have seen come from the workshop are superb! This workshop is not just about learning new techniques and tricks. It is an opportunity to access and photograph amazing creatures that you simply would not find in the the wild without tremendous expenditure (both time and money). One of the attendees had such a ball that he booked in for the second workshop when he got home that same night. More info below.

Portrait Process and Print

Those of you who attended my last PPP workshop will remember that little Mason became quite ill during the morning. Turns out he had some nasty tummy bug (which went through the family). But he's a tough little trooper and is fit and well again ready for his next session of stardom :-)


The Photographers Process

What was the question again?

I am constantly being asked many questions whilst running workshops or just out photographing with friends. That's fine of course. The reason you come along to a workshop is to learn and, clearly, questions will arise.

Many questions can often be answered by another question. For instance one of the most often asked questions I am asked is "What F stop should I use?" To which I will ask "What effect are you after in your image?"

You see there is no "right" answer to that question without putting the entire composing process in context. You need to look at the scene or object and decide what it is you are after. After working out what you want your image to look like then a few "rules" can be applied to come up with an answer. And in all honesty, it's dead easy.

So you are shooting a wide landscape and there are some gorgeous rock formations a short distance away that are key to your image. You want the rocks to be tack-sharp and you want the mountains off in the distance sharp too. You sure need a lot of the image in focus. You therefore need good DOF (depth of field) and to obtain that you need a small aperture like f/16 or f/22. You also need to shooting with a wide-ish lens to produce a greater range of the image in focus. If you're shooting your landscape with a 100mm lens and you are trying to focus on those lovely rocks a metre away as well as the mountains in the distance, well, you're going to be disappointed. A wide 16mm focal length will do the trick very nicely.

Now you find you are shooting a close-up of a wallaby. He's grazing close by and quite undisturbed by your presence. You attach your 70-200mm zoom and compose the shot so that the wallaby fills the frame. You remember seeing that lovely soft background blur (bokeh) in a wildlife magazine and again ask the question "What f stop should I use?" Well, the circumstances here are totally different from the landscape scenario and require a totally different answer. To obtain that soft bokeh you are looking for a result with very little of the image in focus. Obviously you want to have the wallaby nice and sharp but that's it. Everything else needs to be soft. You need to use a wide open aperture like f/4 or f/2.8 if you lenses allows it.

So if you follow some basic rules you can easily work out for yourself "What f stop should I use?"

Isolated subject with blurry background - Wide aperture ( small number like f/2.8 - f/5.6)

20110627153829-MPR 0533

Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens at 200mm Shot at f/5.6

Lots and lots of the image in focus - Small aperture (big number like f/16 - f/22)

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Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 lens at 14mm Shot at f/22

The best advice I can offer when it comes to learning which aperture to use is to get out there and practice. Try different apertures for the same scene and see the difference that each aperture brings to the image. In todays digital world you can experiment out in your back yard and be checking your results in minutes back at your computer. it is a great way to learn and you'll have a much better understanding of what the different apertures will do. This knowledge is invaluable as you strive to improve your composition and capture those really special moments.

Now, what was the question again?

Please feel free to send me any photography (equipment or technique) or post-processing related questions or concerns and I'll do my best to answer them for you.

Please send your questions to and put "Photographers Process Question" in the subject line.


Norfolk Island Experience - 2011

Norfolk Island put it on again for us earlier this month. What a fantastic week.

The weather, although looking rather ominous on our arrival, cleared up to provide terrific landscape (both natural and man-made) and wildlife opportunities.

The White Terns had chicks this year and where there are chicks there have to be busy parents gathering food to feed them. Patience certainly paid off for the group when, after a 45 minute wait, mum arrived back with a mouthful of fish for her hungry offspring.

Christmas Chick 2

Norfolk Island has such a lot to offer and is rich in history and the drama of convict times. A wander through the cemetery reveals an abundance of hangings and death by "misfortune". They were tough times, a far cry from the idyllic Norfolk Island of today.
The team from Norfolk Island Travel Centre looked after us as usual with great facilities, a superb welcome dinner and farewell barbecue. The group shot below, taken just after a picnic lunch at gorgeous Emily Bay sums up the group's feelings. We had a ball.

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We covered so much whilst on the island from HDR techniques photographing the old ruins at Kingston to captivating sunsets at Anson Bay. I got to be a radio star for my 15 minutes of fame with an interview on the local radio station where we chatted about photography in general and then we backed up with Michael starring as guest music presenter on the Sunday morning of our departure.

I can't wait until next years trip. Click here for details.

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Australian Creatures Experience - 3 spots remaining - Sunday 4th December 2011

There is still time to get onboard for the Australian Creatures Experience this Sunday 4 December 2011.

With creatures like Bird-eating Spiders and Scorpions, this workshop is quite different to Trekabout Photography Workshop’s half day ‘Reptile and Frog Experience’ and full day ‘Brisbane Wildlife Experience’.

Many species are totally new (never shown before on any Trekabout workshop) and photography will take place indoors and under studio conditions. No matter what the weather conditions are like outside, this workshop will proceed!

Not only will you be photographing your subjects using ‘miniature studios’, terrariums and portable ‘soft boxes’, you'll also learn about new lighting and equipment techniques. Lighting will be created with studio lights, flash units, reflectors and diffusers. A rare and unique experience indeed….

To find out more about this unique workshop click on the link here or call Michael on 0408 941 965 or phone Mark on 0459 221678.

Lord-Howe-Island-Stick-Insect MS23676
Bird-eating-Spider MS23705
Scorpion MS23704b

Weekend Mountain Experience - 9-11 December 2011

Our last weekend workshop for 2011 is fast approaching. Held around O'Reilly's Mountain Retreat in the fantastic Lamington National Park, this one sure way to escape the heat and enjoy an amazing weekend of photography. It can be around 6 to 7 degrees cooler up in the mountains.

O'Reilly's offer significant discount accommodation if you mention that you attending a Trekabout workshop. We still have a couple of spots available so get in quick.

Here's a quick rundown of what to expect over the weekend.


Meet at 5.30pm in the bar (upstairs from reception) at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, for sunset drinks and an introduction to Michael and Mark, as well as the other participants
8-9pm – Session 1 - Overview of the weekend, general chat re. individual’s photography levels/skills and needs, aperture/depth-of-field/shutter speed/ISO


Session 2 - Visit Moran’s falls and nearby cascades for landscape photography
Session 3 - After morning tea, we will head into the rainforest for some macro photography tuition, including fungi and flowers/plants
Session 4 - After lunch, there will be a session on how to best post-process your images
Session 5 - Late afternoon – landscape photography at Luke’s Farm, overlooking the Kerry Valley


Session 6 – After breakfast, some bird photography techniques
Session 7 – After morning tea - Post processing, critique of participant’s photos, audio-visual
12:30 PM finish

For more details check out the Trekabout website here.


Post Processing and Workflow - Next series - 7,8,14,15 December 2011

I have two spots available so it's not too late to join in for the December series.

This very informative series starts Wednesday 7 December. Held over four nights the workshop covers a multitude of issues designed to improve your post processing workflow and expertise.
Topics covered will include but not be limited to:
* Importing and opening images
Image resolution * Selections and masks Colour and white balance adjustments
Retouching * Histograms * File formats * Filters * Actions * Scripts * Plug-ins * HDR Metadata
Batch processing * Presets * Keyboard shortcuts * Exporting and saving Automating tasks
Re-sizing * Sharpening Noise reduction

I will also be introducing new sessions on integrating Lightroom into your Photoshop workflow.
Spaces are still available but limited to a maximum of 8 participants to ensure quality of learning.
To find out more have a look on the Trekabout website here.

The price is $240.00 for the entire 4 night (12 hour) workshop.

Loyalty discounts are available for returning clients.



200 400 vr

Nikon 200-400mm VR AFS F4 ED G zoom lens in excellent condition with camouflage sleeves, Kirk mount, and soft case . Bargain $4750 no offers.

500 f4

Nikon 500mm F4 EDP Super telephoto manual focus lens in very good condition with TC 301 and TC 14B Teleconverters and custom soft case $2200

Hoya Circular Polariser - 67mm - $40.00 plus postage

Kenko UV Filter - 55mm - $20.00 plus postage

Don't forget if you have any photography equipment you would like to sell ( cameras, lenses, tripods etc.) drop me a line and I will include your item in the next newsletter. No fees involved, just a service I'd like to offer for past and future workshop participants. As a buyer if you are interested in any of the items for sale I will put you in contact with the seller.


I hope you enjoyed this edition and will continue to enjoy many new issues into the future.

If you do not wish to receive future newsletters, don't worry I wont be offended or upset. Simply unsubscribe at the bottom of this newsletter.

Happy Shooting

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