NEWS IN BRIEF To all my photography friends, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wow, I can't believe 2011 is over today. 2012 is shaping up to be a corker and I'll loo

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Mark Issue 5

To all my photography friends, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wow, I can't believe 2011 is over today. 2012 is shaping up to be a corker and I'll look forward to catching up with many of you at workshops and other events throughout the year. If you are heading out tonight to photograph the fireworks, I have a tip for you later in the newsletter.

Open Invite to Join me for the first Sunrise of 2012

I'll be photographing the first sunrise of 2012 from one of my favourite spots, good old Point Cartwright. You are most welcome to join me down on the rocks. I'll be shooting from first light at 04:30am with sunrise officially set for 04:57am. The conditions should be awesome with an outgoing tide hitting low around 07:00am.

The Animals are Coming!

The Australia Zoo Experience is all but finalised. The date is set for 3 March 2012 and Michael and I are just putting the finishing touches on the itinerary. There will be a new page on the Trekabout website next week with all the details. I've had a number of people ask me about pricing as some people have yearly memberships to Australia Zoo and were wondering about admission to the zoo. Pricing will be based on a "workshop only" basis so that, if you do have an annual membership, you won't be charged admission again.

New Trekabout Photography Workshops Dates for 2012

A reminder that the 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

For Sale

More items have been added to the FOR SALE section at the bottom of this newsletter. Michael is parting with his trusty Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 There are more fantastic treats for all the Nikon users out there after a late Christmas present. 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.


The Photographers Process

Do it in RAW

One of the most misunderstood areas of photography, especially for people just starting out with a digital SLR, is RAW v JPEG.

To really simplify the argument, just think of a RAW file as the equivalent of your old film negatives. If you were printing an image from a negative you could make many adjustments to improve the end result. If, however, all you had to start with was the print and you wanted to make another print then the results would not be as good and you would be very limited in what adjustments could be made.

That's probably over-simplifying it but I hope the analogy helps give you the idea that, ultimately, shooting in RAW will give you a better end result.

Probably the two greatest benefits of shooting in RAW are the abilities to correct exposure and white balance problems. Make no mistake, it is always best to obtain the best possible image in camera, but in the event that something is not quite right, correcting from a RAW file is so much easier.

Correcting White Balance is ridiculously simple from a RAW file. Just open the white balance adjustment tool and select the correct white balance. Done. In seconds.

Picture too dark? Adjust the Exposure slider and it's sorted. In seconds.

All modern DSLR cameras have a RAW setting available. The file formats differ from brand to brand but they all do the same thing. They capture the maximum amount of data available to the cameras sensor. The dynamic range available in a RAW file far exceeds what will be found in a JPEG, hence the ability to make those exposure adjustments as mentioned above.

Given the number of software programs available (many are free) that can effectively process your RAW images, there really is no excuse not to shoot RAW. Your camera would have been supplied with software capable of converting the RAW images specific to your camera. Free programs such as Picasa are available to read and work with your RAW files. Try GIMP for something a little more powerful (still free). By using one of the commercially available programs like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, you will really be able to explore the benefits of your RAW images.

Remember too that your desktop computer or laptop is far more powerful and faster than the computer built into your camera. The processing ability allows for far more complex and sophisticated conversion algorithms to achieve the best results.

Another benefit not commonly mentioned is that as programs mature and develop, better and easier post-processing methods evolve. Quite often you can revisit old RAW files and re-process to obtain even better results. Just compare it to pulling out your favourite negative and re-printing on the latest fancy photo paper just released.

Disadvantages? Well there are a couple but they are far outweighed by the benefits. RAW files are larger so take up more space on memory cards and hard drives. These days memory is cheap so file size is all but irrelevant. High speed continuous shooting in RAW will see the memory buffer fill up and the frame rate slow down (even in the expensive high end pro-cameras) to a crawl. Shoot JPEG on high speed continuous and some cameras will keep firing until the memory card is full. For most people, the need to shoot a hundred shots continuously at high speed probably won't happen so shoot RAW.


New Year's Eve Fireworks - Tip

As promised here is your tip on photographing fireworks. It really is quite simple.
Use a wide angle lens. You will want to capture the whole fireworks display and, as often you won't know which bit of sky is going to explode into light, a wide angle view will increase your chances of capturing the fireworks.
Manual everything!!
Focus manually and leave it alone once correct (auto will just hunt and never actually lock on anything). If possible arrive and set up while it's still light and you be able focus on something way off in the distance which will be similar to where the fireworks will be.
Set your ISO to 100 or 200, aperture to f8, f11 or f16 (depending on how far away the fireworks are). Fireworks are actually very bright so don't be tempted to use higher ISO settings.
Use a solid tripod.
Use the B (BULB) shutter setting (this keeps the shutter open as long as you hold the shutter release button down). Depress the shutter when the fireworks rocket is launched. Keep the shutter open until the fireworks fade away.
Take lots and lots of shots and adjust your settings along the way. Fireworks can sometimes be a bit hit and miss so check to see that your images are working and alter your aperture accordingly.

Have fun :-)



Australia Zoo Experience - Inaugural event 3 March 2012

This new and exciting workshop has been a long time in the planning but negotiations are complete. Trekabout Photography Workshops are ready to bring you a workshop with a difference.

You will have the opportunity to photograph the many species of animals at the world famous Australia Zoo whilst under the guidance and tutelage of Michael Snedic and myself.

If you haven't been to Australia Zoo, the visit in itself will be a terrific experience. Combined with expert tuition, you will come away with great photographs and improved techniques for shooting in challenging conditions.

The finishing touches are being applied to the Trekabout webpage so keep an eye out as full details are released.

To reserve your spot on this inaugural Australia Zoo Experience call me on 0459 221678.


Eastern Yellow Robin

Full Day Mountain Experience

Saturday, 21 January 2012 - $249.00

Get away from the summer heat and join us in the mountains.

During this full day workshop, Michael and Mark aim to give group presentations as well as one-on-one tuition for each participant. They will explain a variety of digital camera functions, teach you how to use these functions correctly and discuss different photographic techniques that will allow you to take better photos.

O’Reilly’s is home to some beautifully coloured birds, including Satin and Regent Bowerbirds, King Parrots, Eastern Yellow Robins and Crimson Rosellas, most of which are quite tame. In our first session, Michael and Mark will show you how to achieve great bird photos.

After morning tea, we go for a short stroll and learn techniques on rainforest photography, including macro techniques, before heading to lunch.

The session reviewing photos after our day’s shoot is included in order to give each individual participant feedback on how they are progressing. This will include suggestions on any improvements that may be needed. This session is also aimed at helping to improve your digital workflow and post-processing. Mark and Michael will show you how to bring the best out of your photos and will take place in O'Reilly's multi-media presentation room.

The last session covers landscape photography (during our winter months, we photograph the sunset) overlooking the stunning valley below. It is a great way to finish a rewarding day - one that has been full of learning new photographic techniques, lots of hands-on practice, in the company of like-minded people and in a beautiful natural setting.

Give me a call on 0459 221678 for more details.


Post Processing and Workflow - Next series - 15,16,22,23 February 2012

This very informative series starts Wednesday 15 February 2012. 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 $320.00 for the entire 4 night (12 hour) workshop.

Loyalty discounts are available for returning clients.

20110521 AlexLuke GLAM 413 copy

Full Day Portrait, Process and Print Experience

Saturday, 11 February 2012 - $340.00

In this full day workshop Mark will take you through the process of setting up studio lighting with a professional two strobe system and supplementary speed-lights. You will learn how to adjust the lights to perfect the correct exposure and control shadows and light drop-off. You will use large soft boxes for beautifully diffused light but you will also experiment with snoots and directional lighting for dramatic effects.
As well a family portrait session a professional model will join us for indoor and outdoor glamour sessions.
After the shoot Mark will guide you through the post processing with the goal of producing a high quality, client ready image. Your favourite images will be printed on amazing high quality metallic pearl paper.

8:30am Introduction and briefing on camera settings, studio lighting basics, use of natural light.

9:00am Family portrait session - Natural Light - This session will be outdoors in various settings through Newstead Park.
10:00am Morning Tea (working) - we will further discuss the next session and studio lighting set-up during morning tea.
10:15am Family portrait session - indoor studio lighting. During this session we will have two photographers shooting together (studio lights have two remote wireless triggers). We will also work in a baby shoot during this session (baby cooperation permitting).
11:15am Glamour model portrait session - indoor studio lighting, speed-light, soft box, snoots etc.
12:30am Lunch (provided)
1:00pm Glamour model outdoors session - natural light, dealing with harsh light conditions. We may choose to continue the indoor session depending on the group dynamics and weather.
2:00pm Post processing of the days images - batch efficiencies, white balance adjustments, soft lighting effects, skin smoothing and glamour touch-ups.
3:00pm Afternoon Tea
3:15pm Post processing continued into print. Each participant will print two 8" x 12" high quality prints.
5:00pm Wrap-up

For full details of these, and all of the Trekabout workshops, please visit the Trekabout Photography Workshops website here.



After many years, Michael has decided to sell his iconic Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 D lens.  This has been Michael’s stalwart lens and has been used to take loads of iconic shots including: Eastern Pygmy Possum (Michael’s business card), Osprey with fish (Australian Photography magazine cover), Regent Bowebird flying (Australian Photography magazine cover) And many more…. The lens is auto-focus and in very good condition. The price is $700 and the sale is on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Phone Michael on 0408 941965 for more details.

Canon EF 100-400mm IS zoom lens - Great all-round wildlife lens - Excellent condition - $1,600

Crumpler Karachi bag. Opens from the inside for added security when travelling. Laptop compartment. Comfortable camera backpack that doesn't look like a "camera backpack". As new. $150.00

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


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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