Friday, November 26, 2021

Post Processing and Workflow Bootcamp - Lightroom and Photoshop NEW DATE - Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December 2021


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Post Processing and Workflow Bootcamp - Lightroom and Photoshop

NEW DATE - Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December 2021

Hi Mark,

I am pleased to advise the new dates for the next Post-processing Bootcamp are now finalized.

Bookings are now open.

It will be held at the re-opened Caboolture HUB. It's a great facility with plenty of space for all our laptops and gear.

Lots of amazing new features in the recent release of Lightroom Classic so it is a great time to come along.

If your catalog and photos are in a mess then this workshop will get you back on track.

This workshop is designed for the beginner to fast track entry into the world of Lightroom and Photoshop but still caters to the more experienced user wanting to hone their skills and learn new tips and tricks.

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Some comments from past participants:

Chris Holland wrote: 
This was such a useful weekend... I'm still in mental overload, but excited about putting into practice so many of the ideas that I absorbed. Thanks to Mark and the rest of the group for making it all so worthwhile. There wasn't one unanswered question!!

Anne Reid wrote: 
Was a great weekend, yes it was a great venue. Easy parking, close to shops and beach for the lunch time breather. Must mention the great teacher and the surprises we all received with some of the things we learnt.

Heather Streatfield wrote: 
Am feeling especially inspired after my photography Bootcamp this weekend. Alarm set for 3.45am, it's time to drag this butt out of bed for a summer sunrise!

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Here is a rundown of what to expect over the weekend.

Phototrek - 7:00am Saturday

We will all be photographing together in the surrounding area and this shoot will provide most of the imagery for the weekend's processing tuition. You will be working from scratch on images from your own camera, far preferable than working on supplied images which may have totally different characteristics than your own.

Morning Tea

Session 1

This session covers the basics of Adobe Bridge/Lightroom Library and Camera Raw/Lightroom Develop and de-mystifying the connections of both with Photoshop. Mark will show you how best to transfer your images to your computer and some convenient protocols for folder naming and storage. We will look at the benefits of utilising Adobe Lightroom exclusively for this process.

1:00pm Lunch (BYO or purchase nearby) will split session 1

Session 2

This session will cover image adjustment and enhancement in Camera Raw / Lightroom and look at a number of techniques to speed up the post-processing workflow. We will look at the various adjustment modules and tools which will become the backbone of your image processing.

Adobe Lightroom Splash

Session 3 - 10:00am Sunday

We will start to get into some of the new user friendly aspects of Photoshop and really begin to make a difference to our RAW files to produce images with that "Wow" factor. We'll look at the best way to set up your tool panels and optimise your workspace to suit your style and needs. You will explore the different tools available in Photoshop and how and when to use them.

11:00am Morning Tea

Session 4

To help speed up the workflow process we will begin to incorporate plug-ins, presets, actions and scripts. As well as providing you with many ready to use presets, Mark will guide you through the process of creating your own actions to speed up processes that you find yourself doing more often. 
You'll learn how to create stunning, unique and interesting backgrounds for your "studio" portraits and much more.

1:00pm Lunch (BYO or purchase nearby) will split session 4

Session 5

By this session you will have a new understanding of presets, actions, scripts, plug-ins, batch processing, curves, layers, masks, resolution, filters and many more terms.This session will put your new found knowledge and skills to work and consolidate what you have learned into a smooth and efficient workflow. We will also look at the basics of some of the hot topics of digital photography such as HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama stitching and more.

If you have any special or problem files you wish to work on please bring them along (time permitting).

All the details can be found on the website here -> Brisbane

Hope you can make it along.


Questions? Please give me a call on 0459 221678 or shoot me an email.

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Lightroom Develop Module

Wildlife, Reptiles and Frogs - Summer 2021 Collection Saturday 4 December 2021


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Wildlife, Reptiles and Frogs - Summer 2021 Collection

Saturday 4 December 2021

Hi Mark,

This is a special opportunity to see and photograph some amazing reptiles, frogs, birds and mammals. Some of these have not been presented at a workshop before.

Many are all but impossible to photograph in the wild without a BBC Wildlife budget.

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You will have an amazing opportunity to photograph tame native wildlife at a private breeder’s collection. Some of the native wildlife species that we will photograph (depending on availability on the day) include, but not limited to:

Tessellated & or Crowned Stick Insects
Emerald spotted Tree Frog
Barking Gecko
Granite Belt Leaf-tailed Gecko
Granite Belt Cunningham’s Skink
Northern Bluetongue
Pink tongued Skink
Sth. Angle headed Dragon
Coastal Bearded Dragon
Sand Goanna
Saltwater Crocodile
Rough scaled Python
Black headed Python
Green Tree Snake
Long nosed Potoroo
Ringtail Possum
Tawny Frogmouth
Barking Owl

You'll be shooting in lovely rainforest environment utilising a number of natural displays where, you'll get to shoot all manner of snakes, lizards, birds and mammals. We'll have strobes, soft-boxes and LED lighting on hand to help you achieve amazing images. The lighting equipment provided is fully compatible with any DSLR or mirrorless camera. We'll have you up to speed shooting with outdoor studio lighting in no time.

If you have any special requests please let me know and we'll see if they can be made available.

Click here for all the details and to book:

Hope you can make it along.



Live, Laugh, Photograph

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Sunday, January 3, 2021

AF-S NIKKOR 300MM F/4E PF ED VR AF-S Tested - Updated



Tested - UPDATE - LOVE IT!!

Back in October 2018 the good folks at Nikon (thanks Tony) loaned me an AF-S NIKKOR 300MM F/4E PF ED VR AF-S lens to try out.

The timing was great as I was heading  north to run my North Queensland Bird and Nature Photography workshop with Dick Jenkin and, from what I had read, this lens held a lot of promise.

To cut a long story short, I bought one on my return. It still remains the lens that is usually sitting on my camera ready for action. I have since purchased the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Lens which is also a beauty but for lightweight convenience, the 300 remains in front.

So, a bit about this lens.

The first thing you notice is its size and weight. For a 300mm lens its small and very light coming in at around .7kg. In fact its lighter than a 24-70 f/2.8 zoom and almost identical in size. So, it fits very easily into a camera bag.

The lens comes with all the usual things we expect these days like VR (vibration reduction) with normal and sport modes. You can also limit the focus to 3m to infinity which speeds up focusing on more distant subjects. And it has instant manual focus override, always nice to have when you need to tweak the focus manually.

The lens has Nikon's ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens elements as well as Nano-crystal coatings and fluorine coating on the front element to repel water, grease etc. But the real secret to this lenses' performance is a PF (Phase Fresnel) lens element. This element does some magic mumbo jumbo to keep the weight down and reduce chromatic aberration. The lens also has Nikon's SWM (Silent Wave focus Motor) for ultra quick and quiet auto-focus.

The filter thread is 77mm which is the same as Nikon's 24-70, 16-35, 70-200 and probably quite a few others. So your existing polarising or ND filters will screw straight on.

So that all sounds wonderful but how does it perform in the real word?

It is sharp! Very sharp and from edge to edge. I couldn't discern any noticeable fall off towards the edges of my images. I tested the lens on a Nikon D850, a Nikon Z7, a Z6 and more recently a Z7II  and combined with the resolution of those camera the results were outstanding.

My primary target during the test has been birds, both stationery and in flight. I have been rewarded with superb fine feather detail and excellent auto focus capturing birds in flight.

It is an f4 lens so there is a 1 stop light penalty when compared to a 300 f/2.8 but the light weight and the brilliant high ISO performance of modern cameras makes the 1 stop almost meaningless. The light weight will appeal to travellers who constantly hold their breath when checking in at airline counters and also to people who are finding the heavy weight of big primes or zooms is getting more difficult to handle. The light weight also makes this lens so easy to wield when photographing birds in flight or other moving subjects.

You can check out more details and pricing from Camera Pro here.

Well that pretty much covers it so here are some sample images with the settings used for each.

Amazon Parrot
Nikon D850 Nikkor 300 f/4 PF
1/800s @ f/4 ISO 720

King Parrot
Nikon Z7 Nikkor 300 f/4 PF
1/320s @ f/4 ISO 560
Brown Honeyeater
Nikon Z7 Nikkor 300 f/4 PF with 1.4tcIII
1/320s @ f/5.6 ISO 1800

Juvenile Male King Parrot
Nikon Z7II Nikkor 300 f/4 PF with 1.4tcIII and SB910 Speedlight
1/60s @ f/5.6 ISO64 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

13 Day South West Queensland Outback Wide Open Spaces, Birds and Wildflowers Adventure Tour and Workshop Saturday 27 March - Thursday 8 April 2021


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On again in 2021

13 Day South West Queensland Outback Wide Open Spaces, Birds and Wildflowers Adventure Tour and Workshop

Saturday 27 March - Thursday 8 April 2021

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Hi Everyone,

Join me again in 2021 as the weather begins to cool as I take you to the real Queensland Outback. We'll stay at working cattle properties and a few country pubs along the way. 
There will be dust. 
There will be the odd fly. 
Accommodation will be modest. 
But, there will be birds. Lots and lots of birds. 
There will be stunning outback sunsets. 
There will be incredibly clear outback night skies. 
And you'll enjoy country style home cooked meals and of course good country hospitality. 
This will truly be an amazing outback adventure!

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The first two workshops were outstanding successes and I am very keen to share the experience with you again.

Join me as we tour in air-conditioned 4x4s west along the Adventure Way right out to Thargominda and beyond.

We'll kick off with a magic three nights at 'Wagganba Station', a working cattle station situation between Surat and St George. 
Wagganba is not open to the public so this is an exceptional opportunity to visit an amazing location.

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But that's only the start. We'll head much further west where that landscape, wildflowers, vegetation, crops and birdlife continue to change.

We'll stay in country pubs in Eulo and Thallon. There will be more working cattle stations for us at Charlotte Plains and Kilcowera Station teeming with birdlife.

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This tour is not just about visiting new and exciting locations. It's also about learning new techniques and honing your skills. 
Aside from lots of birds we'll look at focus stacking for landscape and macro photography. We'll do a number of astro shoots with incredibly clear outback skies. 
Time permitting we'll look at post processing techniques and I'll use your images to show you what you really can achieve. And much more.

To find out more and book, click on the button below to go to the website.

Spaces are limited with a maximum of 6 participants.

If you'd like even more information feel free to call me on 0459 221 678.

Until next time, please stay safe and I hope to see you in the outback.



Live, Laugh, Photograph

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Monday, November 23, 2020

New Zealand - South Island - New Revised Itinerary 3 - 17 March 2021 - Open for Bookings


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New Zealand - South Island - New Revised Itinerary

3 - 17 March 2021 - Open for Bookings

New Zealand - Land of the Long White Cloud

Hi Everyone,

Subject to Covid-19 restrictions and Australia - New Zealand travel bubble opening up please allow me to invite you to join me as we explore New Zealand's magnificent South Island for a jam-packed photographic adventure.

This new photography tour encompasses previous favourites but now includes exciting new destinations and an off-shore pelagic charter trip.

This really is the ''Best of New Zealand" south island photography tour. Check out some of the details below or go straight to the website for all the information -> HERE

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We start in Christchurch for our first get together and then we head north to Kaikoura for an amazing photographic opportunity photographing albatross and other pelagic birds.

Continuing north we visit Blenheim before traversing the very scenic Wairau Valley and Buller Gorge as we make our way to our next overnight stop at Westport.

Heading south from Westport is New Zealand's answer to the famous Californian Big Sur. A truly magnificent coastal scenic drive with many, many landscape/seascape opportunities along the way.

After a night in Greymouth we'll head south stopping at Lake Mahinapua to demonstrate the use of 'Big Stopper' neutral density filters to good effect, to remove ripples from the water to create a mirror-lake surface.

Further on the Whataroa River fed by blue glacier water will captivate you.

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Along the way you'll have the opportunity to take an optional helicopter flight south over the glaciers. As well as Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers you'll see many others that are to all intents and purposes, inaccessible other than by air.

A stop at Okarito lagoon and a bird walk and then onto our accommodation at Franz Joseph Glacier.

You'll take an easy hike through other worldly terrain to the base of Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier. The grandeur and scale of these massive flows of ice will astound you.

Heading further south, we have a day of waterfalls and streams in store. Hidden gems just begging for your tripod and camera await along our route. We'll shoot Jimmy's Falls, Haast Falls, Fantail Falls and others.

Then the famous Wanaka Tree. Sunset will be a special treat as we photograph the famous icon. For those who are keen we'll re-shoot the tree after dinner with the Milky Way as our backdrop.

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On our way to Queenstown you'll visit St Bathans to photograph the Blue lakes.

We'll lunch at the wonderful old hotel where there will ample time to photograph the old buildings and farm machinery.

A day of rest (maybe) in Queenstown jet boating, chair lift or just relaxing.

You will visit historic Arrowtown where you can wander and explore the Old Chinese Settlement.

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Leaving Queenstown we make our way across to Dunedin where the Otago Peninsula Albatross colony is a must-see. You'll have the opportunity to photograph these magnificent birds as they soar on the coastal updrafts. We'll visit a colony where you'll have access to see some of the albatross nesting.

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As we head north we'll visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary (great bird opportunities) before making our way to Moeraki.

The Moeraki Boulders will be a landscape highlight of your New Zealand adventure. A sunset shoot will see these incredible structures at their best.

A sunrise shoot at the Moeraki Boulders will be followed by a visit to photograph Yellow-eyed Penguins and seals.

You'll visit the Tasman Glacier and take in magnificent Mount Cook.

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This New Zealand photo adventure will fill up very quickly. We are keeping it to a maximum of 8 photographers to ensure your comfort and access to photography guidance and tuition.

Please get in quick and book your spot today.

Your photography tour Includes :

Accommodation for 15 nights starting in Christchurch night of 3/03/2021 ending in Christchurch night of 16/03/2020
All Meals (except lunch on Day10)
Entrance fees to all Parks
Cruise fees at Kaikoura
Otago Peninsular Albatross Colony fees
Entry to Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Exclusions :

All incidental personal items.
Optional helicopter flights at Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers
Flights to / from New Zealand

For more details and detailed day-to-day itinerary please have a look on the Trekabout website -> HERE

To book your spot please call Mark on 0459 221 678 or email.

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