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How To Photograph Birds in Lamington National Park (Green Mountains section)

How To Photograph Birds in Lamington National Park (Green Mountains section)

Eastern Spinebill

World Heritage Listed Lamington National Park, in Queensland, Australia, is an approximate two hour drive from Brisbane or a one hour fifteen minute drive from the Gold Coast. Habitats within the park vary from subtropical and remnant rainforest, ancient Antarctic Beech forest, as well as some sclerophyll and eucalyptus forests. The variety of bird species, therefore, is quite numerous. Many of the birds are used to the presence of people, so they can often be photographed at close range. There are around 245 or so species of birds found within the park, so it is easy to see why so many bird photographers travel there with their cameras from across Australia and the world.

Where To Find Different Bird Species in Lamington National Park:

Ground Dwelling Birds

It is a good idea to pick up a track map of the national park from the local Parks and Wildlife Service office and familiarise yourself with the different tracks within Lamington National Park. Once you choose a track, I suggest spending a bit of time there, letting the birds get used to you being there. The Border track, which has its starts right across the road from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat entrance, is a perfect place to begin. Here you will find a number of ground-dwelling birds including the Bassian and Russet-tailed Thrush, Australian Logrunners and the elusive Whipbird. These birds spend most of their time on the ground, searching for food and interacting with each other. By keeping still and silent, you will be surprised how close the birds will come to you.

Two ground-dwelling species which are high on the list for bird photographers to try and photograph in Lamington N.P. are the Albert’s Lyrebird and the Noisy Pitta. The Albert’s Lyrebird is only found within an approximate 100 kilometres radius of the park. There are none in captivity and they aren’t found anywhere else in the world. The males of the species, once they mature, produce an incredible array of sounds. They are quite proficient at mimicking many of the different bird species in their territory and do so with amazing accuracy. By walking along the boardwalk that takes you towards the tree top walk, you will sometimes see a lyrebird scratching the leaf litter, searching for insects. This is the time to take a few shots – while the bird is ‘preoccupied’.

The second species mentioned, the Noisy Pitta, is one of the most beautifully-coloured birds in Lamington National Park. They hop along the ground and are rarely seen flying. They will often land on the large buttress roots of trees, making for a perfect background. Their call is quite distinct – it sounds like ‘walk to work’ but in a high pitch, which they repeat over and over.

Identifying Birds in Lamington National Park

It can be quite daunting to turn up to a new area such as Lamington National Park and to know where to find them. I recommend photographers purchase one of a number of Australian bird identification Apps that are available for download. Personally, I am a fan of ‘Michael Morecombe’s Birds of Australia’. This app has every Australian bird featured as paintings (male, female and juvenile), the regions where they are found, the nest and eggs as well as the various calls each species of bird makes. I wouldn’t be without it!

Best Way To Photograph Birds in Lamington National Park

Monopod or Tree

Quite a number of the birds in Lamington National Park can be seen around the edges of the rainforest, or along the rainforest tracks. Some of these tracks include the Border, Elabana Falls, Python Rock and Moran’s Falls tracks. As it can be relatively dark in these areas, the issue you may encounter is your camera’s shutter speed will be too low. Sure, you can raise your camera’s ISO to a much higher setting, but that inevitably leads to images with too much noise. What I have been recommending to my photography workshop participants for many years is to look at how you can stabilise your camera and lens in low light situations. I am quite a fan of using a monopod and specifically designed monopod head, to help minimise movement that is caused by hand-holding a camera with a larger lens in low light environments. The monopod allows you to swivel your camera and lens around from left to right (or vica versa) while the monopod head allows you to swivel the camera and lens back and forth. If you don’t own a monopod and are out and about shooting, you can also rest your lens against one of the many trees that grow along the various tracks within the park. This alone will greatly reduce any camera shake.

Suggested Metering For Rainforest Bird Photography

If it’s overcast and you are a rainforest such as Lamington N.P., I suggest using Evaluative Metering (for Canon users), Matrix Metering (for Nikon users) and Multi-pattern or Multi-segment Metering for all other brands. This metering is recommended as your ‘general’ metering for bird photography, especially in overcast, rainforest conditions. If, however, there is bright light behind the bird, Spot Metering (all brands) is recommended. By using Spot Metering, you are metering on the bird itself rather than the whole scene, therefore greatly reducing the chance of the bird ending up as a silhouette.

Practise Your Bird In Flight Techniques

Once a day, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat (situated within Lamington National Park), offer a ‘Free Flight Bird Show’. With a backdrop of trees, a stunning valley below and photogenic mountains in the distance, you have an incredibly beautiful backdrop to shoot the birds against! Some of the birds on display in the show include the Barn and Barking Owl, Nankeen Kestrel, Black Kite and Wedge-tailed Eagle. Being such a large and fairly slow flying bird, the Wedge-tailed Eagle (for example) is the perfect species to practise your birds-in-flight techniques. By using the Continuous Focus setting on your camera, coupled with burst shutter mode, your chances of success in capturing that split-second moment are much greater. Species such as the Barn and Barking Owl will happily sit in one spot, so you have plenty of time to properly compose your image and adjust your camera’s exposure settings.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Lamington National Park, for optimum bird photography opportunities, is spring (September, October, November here in Australia). There is so much activity going on – birds are calling for mates, displaying regularly or raising chicks. It is no wonder that this park is one of my favourite places to visit in Australia for bird photography. Other times of the year are quite decent for photographing birds, but its spring where you will find the most number of birds.

Some Other Species To Look Out For

Satin and Regent Bowerbirds

Both of these stunning birds frequent the area in front of reception at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. The males take approximately 6-7 years to colour up and once they do, their plumage is quite striking! The native grevilleas that grow either side of the reception entrance are favourite ‘landing sites’ for the bowerbirds. This means you are close to eye level with the birds and it makes for the perfect angle to photograph them. As there is a building where the birds land, care needs to be taken to not to include this distraction in your photo. By simply moving a metre or two to the left or right, you can end up with foliage in the background, that makes for a much more pleasing image.

Eastern Spinebills

While you are our front of the reception area photographing the Satin and Regent Bowerbirds, you will regularly see the Eastern Spinebill hovering like a Hummingbird, feeding on the nectar of the native grevillea bushes. You need to make sure you use a shutter speed of at least 2000th of a second (or higher) especially if you wish to ‘freeze’ the Eastern Spinebill’s wings while it is hovering over the flowers.

Eastern Yellow Robins

The Eastern Yellow Robin is a common bird in Lamington N.P. and can be easily photographed along the various tracks within Lamington National Park, including the Border track, Python Rock track as well as around O’Reillty’s Retreat. The key thing to look out for with these birds is that they will regularly land vertically on the side of a tree, rather than horizontally on a branch. By turning your camera to portrait, you should be able to get some decent images of these birds, often with a blurred-out background.

If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.

Ropse Robin

9 Day Northern Territory Bird Photography Workshop

  • Beautiful Multi Colored Gouldian Finch Bird From Australia

7th to 15th of August 2022

About the Workshop and Tour

NEW

Capture a myriad of bird species in tropical North Australia with your camera, on this 8 day photographic adventure. This unique bird photography adventure has been designed specifically with photographers in mind. 

We’ll get the opportunity to photograph some of Kakadu’s 280 bird species, as well as the legendary saltwater crocodile and lotus plants. We have booked an exclusive-use private wetland cruise at Yellow Water, for our group.  

 

Jabiru

Locations include:

  • Darwin
  • Holmes Jungle, East Point, Lee Point and Buffalo Creek
  • Fogg Dam
  • Mamukala Wetlands
  • Ubirr
  • Cahills Crossing
  • Yellow Waters Billabong
  • Nourlangie Rock
    Angbangbang Billabong
  • Cahills Crossing
  • Mary RiverFogg Dam
  • Pine Creek
  • Edith Falls

Dates

7th to 15th of August 2022

Price

$AU6295 (includes GST) per person Twin Share. Single Supplement $AU700 (includes GST)

Your Guides

Professional Photographer and Tutor, Michael Snedic and Experienced Birding Guide, Barry Davies

Kakadu_Photo_Tour_7

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Meeting Point

Darwin - Northern Territory

Accommodation

As per itinerary

Transport

We will travel around the Northern Territory in a 12 seater bus, with luggage trailer

Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii) at Abattoir Swamp in Julatten, Queensland, Australia. aAso known as the Macleay's or Blue Kingfisher

Photography Level

There is no “minimum level” required regarding photographic ability. Beginners and highly experienced shooters alike are all very welcome to join us. You will receive plenty of individual one-on-one time that will be geared towards your own personal skill levels and needs.

Kakadu_Photo_Tour_3

Inclusions

  • Photography tuition from Michael Snedic and birding from renowned birder, Barry Davies
  • All meals, as per itinerary
  • All accommodation, as per itinerary
  • Kakadu park entry ticket
  • Exclusive private sunrise Yellow Waters cruise, for our group only
  • Nitmiluk Gorge (formerly Katherine Gorge) cruise

Northern Territory bird photography workshop_15

Exclusions

  • Arrival/departure flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcohol
  • Airport transfers

White-bellied Sea Eagle foraging in the sea

Itinerary

Day 1 – Darwin - Aug 7

Meet in Darwin and use what time we have left in the day to visit Knuckey’s Lagoon and Howard Springs Nature Reserve. Possible species include Rainbow Pitta, Australian Pratincole, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Wood Sandpiper, Green Pygmy Goose, Magpie Goose and a variety of other wetland species.

Accommodation: Double Tree Hilton or Palms Motel for 2 nights.
Dinner included.

Beautiful Multi Colored Gouldian Finch Bird From Australia

Day 2 – Darwin - Aug 8

We will spend the day visiting Holmes Jungle, East Point, Lee Point and Buffalo Creek. Birds likely to be seen include Rainbow Pitta, Arafura Fantail, Northern Fantail, White-gaped Honeyeater, Forest Kingfisher, Silver-crowned Friarbird and Paperbark Flycatcher. In the mangroves at Buffalo Creek Red-headed Honeyeaters, Green-backed Gerygone, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Grey Whistler, Red winged Parrots and Common Sandpiper are found and the rarely seen Chestnut Rail and Large-tailed Nightjars frequent that area on dusk.
Various seabirds and waders are also possible. We will visit the Botanical Gardens to look for Rufous and Barking Owls.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

A close-up shot of a salt water crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) with reflection in the water

Day 3 - Fogg Dam and Kakadu National Park – Aug 9

After breakfast, we drive to Fogg Dam with its spectacular diversity of water birds including Comb-crested Jacanas, Black-necked Stork, Magpie Geese, Straw-necked and Glossy Ibis, Pied Heron, Plumed and Wandering Whistling Ducks, Green Pigmy Geese, Whiskered Tern, Caspian Tern and Brahminy Kite. Saltwater and Freshwater Crocodiles are also found here.
A boardwalk on the edge of the lake is a good place for the endemic Rainbow Pitta, Little Kingfisher, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Shining Flycatcher, Little Bronze-Cuckoo, Rufous-banded Honeyeater and Broad-billed and Lemon-bellied Flycatcher.
Along the Arnhem Highway we will stop at a small waterhole for Crimson, Long-tailed, Double-barred and, if we are very lucky, Gouldian Finches. A stop at Adelaide River could produce Mangrove Golden Whistlers and along the route Black-faced Woodswallow, Marsh and Spotted Harriers, Black-shouldered Kites, Nankeen Kestrels, Black-breasted Buzzard, Red-backed Kingfisher and Zitting Cisticola are among the possible species.
The first planned stop in World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park is Mamukala Wetlands where the numbers of water birds can be spectacular and there may be the possibility of seeing some species not seen at earlier sites.
In Kakadu, we go to Jabiru to stay at the Anbinik Resort, which is owned by the local Aboriginal corporation, to check in to our accommodation. After dinner at the Thai restaurant at Anbinik look for Barking Owls.

Accommodation:
Anbinik Resort for 3 nights.
Breakfast and dinner included.

Northern Territory bird photography workshop_2

Day 4 - Kakadu National Park – Aug 10

A dawn cruise on the famous Yellow Waters Billabong is the perfect start to the day. The early flights of the waterbirds are a great spectacle. After breakfast at Cooinda spend time photographing the wildlife close to Cooinda. Back in Jabiru we visit the Bowali Visitors centre then have lunch. After a break in the middle of the day travel north to the Bardedjilidji walk and the art sites at Ubirr. Sunset at Ubirr is a Kakadu tradition and a great way to finish the day. Birding highlights include species previously listed and Long-tailed, Double-barred and Crimson Finches and many more. Amongst the sandstone outcrops two special locals are the Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon and Sandstone Shrike-thrush. Mammals seen here include Common Wallaroo, Agile Wallaby, Short-eared Rock Wallaby, Narbalek and Sandstone Antechinus. At nearby Cahills Crossing, the causeway across the East Alligator River to Arnhemland, Saltwater Crocodiles are easily seen. After sunset have dinner at the Border Store.

Breakfast and dinner included.

Sunset over Yellow Water

Day 5 – Kakadu National Park – Aug 11

Have an early start to get to Nourlangie Rock and Angbangbang Billabong when the birds are most active. Another highlight there would be seeing, and photographing, the Black Wallaroos that are endemic to the Arnhemland Plateau. This is a good location for the locally endemic Banded Fruit-Dove, White-lined Honeyeater, Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon and Partridge Pigeon. Go to Cooinda for a day time or a late afternoon cruise on Yellow Water. It is another opportunity to get close to, and photograph, huge numbers of birds. Large Saltwater Crocodiles are also a feature of this cruise. White-bellied Sea-Eagles have territories along the billabong, large numbers of Nankeen Night-Herons roam the banks, and Bar-breasted and Banded Honeyeaters live in the riverside vegetation.

Kakadu_Photo_Tour_8

Day 6 – Kakadu and Pine Creek – Aug 12

Travelling further south through Kakadu towards Pine Creek provides the opportunity to look for two of Australia’s rarest raptors, the Grey Falcon, which has almost mythical status because it is so elusive, and the Red Goshawk. Brown Goshawks, Australian Hobby, Black-breasted Buzzard, Whistling Kites, Collared Sparrowhawk and Black and Brown Falcons are also found in this area. Masked Finches, Weebills, Black-tailed Treecreepers, Brown Quail, Brush Cuckoo, Black-eared Cuckoo and Variegated Fairy-wren are all possible at random roadside stops. The little town of Pine Creek where we stay the night is a good location for Hooded Parrot, Varied Lorikeet, Cockatiel, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Northern Rosella, Red-collared Lorikeet, Diamond Dove, Striated Pardalote, Magpie Lark, Crested Pigeon, Black-chinned, Blue-faced and White-throated Honeyeater, Crested Shrike-tit, Owlet Nightjar and sometimes Gouldian Finches.
The nearby sewage treatment plant is home to Australian Pratincole, Black-fronted Plover, Black-winged Stilt and Grey Teal whilst Chestnut-backed Buttonquail have been seen at the nearby
cemetery.

Accommodation: the Pine Creek Railway Resort for 2 nights.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Kakadu_Photo_Tour_4

Day 7 – Edith Falls - Aug 13

A very early start will be necessary today to go to the Edith Falls area to be ready for dawn at a location where beautiful Gouldian Finches and a many other species come for a morning drink. Red-winged Parrots, Hooded Parrots, Cockatiels, Rufous Whistlers, Black-tailed Treecreepers and Long-tailed and Crimson Finches are regular visitors to the waterhole. Just down the road is Edith Falls, a good spot for an early lunch and more birds.
Drive south to Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park for a 2-hour cruise up the gorge then back to Pine Creek for the night.

Breakfast and dinner included.

Yellow Water - Kakadu N.P. - Northern Territory

Day 8 –Edith Falls and Darwin - Aug 14

An early start to have another visit to Edith Creek to look for Finches and other species then travel back to Darwin via Adelaide River where the Silver-backed Butcherbird is often seen near the beautiful war cemetery. This beautiful bird is only found in the Top End and Kimberley regions. In Darwin we will use whatever spare time we have to look for more birds.

Accommodation: 1 night at the Double Tree Hilton or Palms Motel
Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 9 – Departure – Aug 15

Breakfast included.

Comb- crested Jacana stepping across a gap in the lily pads on a lake in Australia

To Make A Booking

Please contact Michael to be sent payment details

Your position on the tour will be guaranteed immediately upon payment of non-refundable deposit of AU$900 (includes GST). The balance will be due 90 days before the start of the workshop date.

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation up to 91days before departure, deposit non-refundable or transferable.
  • Between 90- 61 days if you cancel the whole tour, there will be a 50% cancellation fee
  • If the whole tour is cancelled within 60 days prior to departure, 100% cancellation fee applies.

WildNature COVID 19 Cancellation Policy:

In the event of the cancellation of the 8 day Kakadu and Top End photography workshop, or you are unable to travel to the state of the workshop or tour due to Government-imposed travel restrictions, specifically due to COVID 19, you will be eligible for the following:

 

  • A full refund, less any cancellation fees incurred by the operator from the tour accommodation and activity suppliers.
6 Day Lady Elliot Photography Adventure

6 Day Lady Elliot Photography Adventure

Sunday 9th to Friday 14th of October 2022

  • Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

About the Workshop and Tour:

Join professional wildlife and nature photographer and tutor, Michael Snedic, for six amazing days of photography and tuition on  stunning Lady Elliot Island!

NEW Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay situated at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. We are located approximately 80 kilometers north-east of Bundaberg and nestled in between Fraser Island and Lady Musgrave Island. Lady Elliot is the closest Great Barrier Reef island to Brisbane, Queensland’s southern capital. The Island lies within a Marine National Park ‘Green Zone’ and forms part of Australia’s World Heritage Listed Area on the Great Barrier Reef.

 

When:

Sunday 9th to Friday 14th of October 2022 (six days/five nights)

Where:

Lady Elliot Island - Great Barrier Reef

Cost:

$AU4695 (plus GST) per person twin share (Single Supplement available for $695 plus GST)

Please note: WildNature Photo Expeditions will endeavour to find someone to share with you, from the photography group. If no one is available to share, then a single supplement will be added and you will have your own room.

      Maximum participants: 8

 

 

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Departure Point:

We will fly to Lady Elliot Island from Redcliffe airport in Queensland

Accommodation:

5 nights at the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

Photography Skill Level:

There is no “minimum level” required regarding photographic ability. Beginners and highly experienced shooters alike are all very welcome to join us. You will receive plenty of individual one-on-one time that will be geared towards your own personal skill levels and needs.

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

Inclusions:

  • 5 nights accommodation at the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
  • All meals on Lady Elliot Island
  • Return flights from Redcliffe, Queensland (valued at AUD$790)
  • Professional photography tuition by Michael Snedic
  • Glass Bottom Boat/Snorkel Tour
  • Snorkelling equipment – mask,snorkel and fins & lesson if required
  • Environmental Management Charge

 

 

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

Exclusions:

  • Transport to and from Redcliffe airport
  • Hotel “in-room” expenses
  • Other personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages and barista made coffees
  • Accommodation at Redcliffe before and after tour

 

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

About Your Photography Tutor:

Michael Snedic

Michael Snedic, Professional Photographer and Proprietor of WildNature Photo Expeditions, has been passionate about the natural world since he was very young and has now been photographing wildlife and nature for twenty years. He is one of Australia’s most accomplished and published nature photographers, his images having won numerous awards. Michael’s images have been published across Australia and the world, in hundreds of publications. He has also written many dozens of magazine articles on nature/photography since 2001, including Australian GeographicWildlife AustraliaBirdlife Australia, the UK’s BBC Wildlife and Australian Photography (Australia’s largest-selling photography magazine) which he has been a feature writer for since 2006.

Michael is honoured to be Queensland's only Nikon School Tutor (but is proficient in all camera makes and brands)

Michael Snedic Pro Photographer and Tutor

Itinerary:

Day 1

You will leave from Redcliffe airport (Qld) to Lady Elliot Island. With your camera ready, you may be able to take shots of this beautiful island from the air. Once you arrive on the island, you will have time to settle in to your room. We will then have a group briefing, where Michael will assess participant's photographic skill levels. Camera menus will be set up, if required, then we will head out and explore the island with our cameras.The landscapes and numerous birds will all be fodder for your cameras!

Today, Michael will also present a sunset photography session.

Days 2, 3, 4 and 5

There will be plenty of different photography sessions over days 2, 3, 4 and 5. We will do a sunset shoot or two, landscape shoots, LOTS of bird photography as well as macro. There will also be an audio visual session and some image critique, as per usual with a multi day WildNature Photo Expeditions workshop. You will also have free time to wander this gorgeous island with your camera. The thousands of birds on the island are quite used to people, so you will have lots of opportunities to get some very close shots : - ))

Thought the workshop, Michael will make sure you are capturing the best possible images of this incredibly photogenic island. There will be structured group sessions, as well as one-on-one time with workshop participants.

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

Day 6

We will do another early morning sunrise as well as more bird photography.

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

Lady Elliot Island's Weather

The average water temperature on Lady Elliot Island in October is 23.4 degrees C. It is definitely suitable  for swimming. The warmest water temperatures on the island in October are 24.8 degrees C , with the coldest water temperature being 21.8 degrees C.

 

 

Things To Bring

Al list of suggested items to bring will be forwarded to you after you have booked a spot(s). This will include photographic equipment as well as clothing etc.

Lady Elliot Island Photo Workshop

To Make A Booking

Please contact Michael to be sent payment details

Your position on the tour will be guaranteed immediately upon payment of a deposit of AU$900.00 (plus GST) The balance will be due up to 90 days prior to the start of the workshop. 

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation up to 90 days before departure - deposit non-refundable or transferable. Cancellation between 90 and 30 days before departure - 50% of total workshop price forfeited. Cancellation less than 30 days before departure or during tour, no refund available.

WildNature COVID 19 Cancellation Policy:

In the event of the cancellation of the photography workshop, or you are unable to travel to the state of the workshop or tour due to Government-imposed travel restrictions, specifically due to COVID 19, you will be eligible for the following:

 

  • A full refund, less any cancellation fees incurred by the operator from the tour accommodation and activity suppliers.
Wildlife Photography Composition Tips

Wildlife Photography Composition Tips

Baby Elephant Seal

1. Avoid Placing Your Subject in the Centre of the Frame

Many wildlife photographers, when beginning their photography, place wildlife directly in the centre of the frame. If at all possible, avoid doing this. Instead, compose your image so that the animal’s face is across the intersecting ‘rule-of-third’ lines. If you place the subject in the centre, it often forces the viewer’s eyes to stay on the subject, which can end up producing a very average image. By composing your subject off-centre, it makes for a much more pleasing image, as the viewer will tend to look at what else is surrounding the subject.

2. Shoot at Eye Level

From the very beginning, when I started learning about wildlife photography some 25 years ago, I was told by my photographic mentor to ‘shoot at eye level’. Rather than standing up and pointing your camera and lens down onto an animal that’s on the ground, get down as low as you can. Photographing wildlife at their level is so much more pleasing to the eye.

The same goes for shooting straight up at an animal. Its not always possible to get to their level, but by stepping back a few metres, for example, your composition will be so much nicer. In some cases, if there is a hill nearby or some steps, I suggest walking up the hill or steps so that you are on a similar level as the subject. One exception to this rule, is when there is a bird (or birds) flying above you.

3. Watch out for Distracting Backgrounds

Over the last 20+ years, I have judged thousands upon thousands of images in nature and wildlife photography competitions. So often, I have seen amazing wildlife images, only to be ruined by a very distracting background. If you look at an image and your eye goes straight to the distraction, rather than the subject, it ruins the effect you are trying to convey. By distractions, I am referring to things like man-made objects (buildings, fences, cars etc), bright highlights or blurred out trees and branches. In many situations, you can move around the subject until you have a smooth, blurred out background that doesn’t
compete with the subject.

If your subject is cooperative, I suggest shooting a few frames and then checking the images on the camera’s LCD screen. If a distraction pops out at you ‘like a sore thumb’, then change the angle or direction from which you are photographing. In some instances, if there is a distracting shiny leaf in the background, simply pick it up and move it out of the way. It’s much easier to do this in situ, rather than trying to clone out the distraction during post-processing!
(PS – many nature photography competitions don’t allow cloning of any sort, so best to move the distraction while you are physically out photographing).

4. Focus on the Eyes

One very important rule when photographing wildlife is to focus on the eyes of your subject. If the animal/bird is way out in the distance and tiny in the frame, then focusing on the actual subject is fine. But if you are closer, then it’s the eye that your camera’s focus point should be on. When viewing an image, whether it be online, in a publication or as a framed print, it doesn’t work as well if the eyes aren’t in focus. The first thing we tend to look at when looking at an image of an animal is the eyes, so it makes perfect sense to focus on them. In some instances, such as when you are photographing wildlife in an abstract or arty way, this rule doesn’t count but for most situations, it is very important.

5. Best use of Negative Space

An alternative to tight or close up shots of wildlife is the use of ‘negative space’ in wildlife photography. This is where the subject is a very small part of the image and looks out or is travelling across a vast landscape. In many wildlife photography competitions, the category ‘animals in the environment’ has become increasingly popular. The aim of such images is to capture on camera not only an interesting image of an animal, but also the environment in which this particular species lives. A stunning landscape, coupled with the subject, can make for some impressive shots. The space around the subject can greatly change the viewer’s perception of the image they are looking at. Basically, the negative space around a subject can tell the ‘story’ of the image.

In Conclusion

The best thing I can suggest is to get out there with your camera and try some of these techniques. Practise, try new techniques, then practise some more.

If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.

Wildflowers of Western Australia Photography Workshop

About the Workshop and Tour:

NEWThe wildflower collection in Western Australia is the largest on Earth. With more than 12,000 species, over 60% of which are found nowhere else on Earth, they colour the landscapes from coast to forest and city to outback. This tour has been designed to give you the best opportunity to discover and photograph a huge range of wildflowers, in a variety of landscapes and regions.

As well as wildflowers, you will also have the opportunity for landscape, wildlife and bird photography as we travel through coastal and inland regions including the Wheatbelt, Coral Coast, Mid-West, and the southern coast and forests.

In the heart of Everlastings country, Lesueur NP and the small country towns of Moora, Carnamah, Mingenew, Mullewa, Morawa and Dalwallinu, give us the opportunity to see carpets of yellow, white and pink everlasting wildflowers as well as the unique Wreath Flower. We’ll also explore The Pinnacles and watch sunset over the Indian Ocean. 

As we travel through the Wheatbelt region, we’ll see Tassel Grevillea and other Proteaceae, wattles and orchids. A private nocturnal tour at Barna Mia Sanctuary showcases the local native animals including threatened species including bilby.

 We explore and overnight in the spectacular Stirling Ranges, and travel down to the coast at Bremer Bay. The whole south west corner of Western Australia is a biodiversity hotspot and a couple of private tours with local botanists will give us the best chance of seeing as many wildflower species as possible. In the Stirling Ranges alone there are 123 varieties of orchids and over 100 species of birds, as well as sweeping vistas from Western Australia's only mountain range.

 No visit to the South West of WA would be complete without a visit to the Gloucester Tree and a walk through the “Valley of the Giants” on the tree top walk in Walpole. The ancient tingle forests are unique to this area.

 Our tour finishes with an orchid extravaganza at D’Entrecasteaux National Park and a private sunset river cruise, with a variety of habitats to photograph.

 

Wildflower photo workshop_6

Highlights include:

  • Lesueur, D’Entrecasteaux and Stirling Range National Parks
  • The Valley of the Giants tree top walk in Walpole
  • The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park
  • The Gloucester Tree
  • Private nocturnal tour at Barna Mia Sanctuary
  • Private sunset cruise on the Donnelly river
  • 3 private tours with local botanists
  • Foxes Lair Reserve in Narrogin
  • Numerous country towns, wildflower walks and drives in Everlastings country

Australian,Wildflower:,Yellow,Flower,Of,The,Birds-nest,Banksia,,Banksia,Baxteri,

Dates:

TBA

Your Guide:

Professional Photographer and Tutor, Michael Snedic

Wildflower photo workshop_2

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Accommodation:

As per itinerary

Transport:

We will be travelling in an air-conditioned bus. There will be a maximum 8 guests onboard, for maximum comfort.

Photography Level:

Basic photographic ability is recommended. You will receive group tuition as well as individual one-on-one time, geared towards your own personal skill levels and needs.

WA wildflower photography workshop

Inclusions:

  • Sole use of air-conditioned tour bus, with professional driver guide and a photography tutor
  • 1 night pre and 1 night post tour accommodation in Perth
  • Most meals, as stated
  • 11 nights accommodation while touring
  • Park entry fees
  • Private Barna Mia nocturnal mammal experience at the Dryandra Woodland
  • Private wildflower tours of Foxes Lair in Narrogin, Stirling Range NP and Bremer Bay

Exclusions:

    • Arrival/departure flights into Perth
    • Travel Insurance
    • Alcohol and soft drinks (water is provided with dinner, water and cordial provided with lunch)

WA wildflower photography workshop

Itinerary:

Day 0 - arrival day into Perth (D)

Upon arrival into Perth, please call our Perth Airport hotel for a complimentary pick up to the hotel.

The rest of the day is at your leisure until dinner this evening, which will be our first as a group. Your driver guide and tour escort will run through the itinerary with you for the next week and this is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.

Overnight accommodation- The Ingot Hotel at Perth Airport- motel room with en-suite

WA wildflower photography workshop

Day 1 – (B,L,D)

We depart the hotel at 7am to begin our 12 day Wildflowers Photo tour.

The wildflower collection in Western Australia is the largest on Earth. With more than 12,000 species, over 60% of which are found nowhere else on earth.

Our first stop is the town of Moora, followed by Badgingarra NP, renowned for its incredibly diverse bushland.

Our destination this afternoon is the town of Cervantes, the gateway to the Pinnacles Desert and Nambung NP. We then continue 17kms south to Nambung NP, made up of 17,000 hectares of coastal heathland. The Pinnacles are amazing natural limestone structures, formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago. We’ll stay in the park to photograph the sunset.

Overnight accommodation- Motel room with en-suite in Cervantes (2 night stay)

WA wildflower photography workshop

Day 2 - (B,L,D)

Our first stop today is Lesueur National Park, which is home to over 900 plant species – 10 per cent of Western Australia’s known flora. Lesueur National Park is a biodiversity hotspot and ranks as one of the most important reserves for flora conservation in WA.

The park is also home to a wide variety of fauna including 122 species of birds, 15 species of native mammals, 52 species of reptile and a variety of insects including 29 species of the colourful jewel beetle.

Next, we’ll take the Carnamah-Eneabba Wildflower Drive, known for its spectacular wildflower displays.

Our final stop today is Coorow, where we’ll hunt for wreath flowers.

Overnight accommodation- Motel room with en-suite in Cervantes

Wildflower photo workshop_4

Day 3 – (B,L,D)

Today we travel to the town of Mingenew, where we can take the Mingenew Wildflower Walk, located south west of the Mingenew Recreation Centre. This is an ideal place to experience many varieties of wildflowers.

Next is the rugged reserve of Depot Hill, a short 12km drive northwest of Mingenew via the Allanooka Springs Rd.

We reach Geraldton and you have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.

Overnight accommodation- Ocean Centre Hotel, Geraldton- hotel room with en-suite. Located right next to the beach.

WA wildflower tour 2

Day 4 – (B,L,D)

We depart Geraldton and drive east to the town of Mullewa, one of the few places in the world that the wreath flower grows. Here we can take the Wildflower Walk, a picturesque 2,820 metre circuit through bush land renowned for its stunning wildflower displays.

Continuing south, we arrive in Morawa, known as the Heart of the Wildflowers and one of the most prolific areas for native flowering plants, including the unique and distinctive Wreath Flower.

Our destination today is Dalwallinu and en-route we stop in Perenjori and a couple of other spots if there’s time.

Overnight accommodation- room with en-suite – The Old Convent Dalwallinu

**please note that single rooms here have king single beds only and the price reflects this**

WA wildflower photography workshop

Day 5 – (B,L,D)

We spend today in the Wongan Hills region, in the Wheatbelt district. Gathercole Nature Reserve is located just outside of Wongan Hills and offers a short five minute scenic walk to view some fascinating sculpture. Views across the farmland and into the distance are available along the walk. The 2.5km Christmas Rock Walk is on the outskirts of Town.

A little further afield, Mount Matilda is the highest point of the Wongan Hills Nature Reserve, at 434m. The area is extremely diverse with more than 1400 species of flowering plants and 24 species are unique to the Wongan Hills. Here there will be a possibility of photographing Mallee fowl and their nests.

Our accommodation this evening is in historic York, the first inland European settlement in WA and situated in the Avon Valley.

Overnight accommodation- Terrace motel room with en-suite –The York Palace Hotel and Terraces

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Day 6 – (B,L,D)

This morning we drive down to the township of Narrogin, where we will head to the nearby Foxes Lair to explore. Foxes Lair has landscapes, plants, and birds from both regions. There are over 240 species of flowering plants here.

This afternoon we’ll visit Dryandra Woodland, north of Narrogin, where there are lot's of wildlife species to photograph, including the rare Numbat. We have some time to explore before our private evening experience at Barna Mia, a predator-proof animal sanctuary, situated within the Dryandra Woodland. With the guide using special torches, you can see threatened native animals such as bilby, woylie, mala, quenda and boodie.

Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite at the Narrogin Motel

WA wildflower tour 3

Day 7 – (B,L,D)

Today we drive to the Stirling Ranges National Park.The mountain ranges of Stirling Range National Park rise to more than 1000m above sea level, featuring stark cliff faces, sheltered gullies, magnificent views and a rich diversity of unique and colourful wildflowers.

After lunch, we depart for our afternoon of exploring with the retreat's resident flower expert, who will show us the best orchid and wildflower hotspots and to discover well camouflaged blooms hidden under bushes.

Overnight accommodation at the Stirling Range Retreat, nestled against the majestic Stirling Ranges National Park.

The Pinnacles

Day 8 – (B,L,D)

This morning we take the spectacular 115 kilometre mountain drive, filled with enthralling views and stops along the way, then head for the small coastal town of Bremer Bay.

Many rare species are found only in and around Bremer Bay. The Fitzgerald River National Park boasts an abundance of over 1800 unique species of flora and over 200 types of fauna. Orchids are also a big highlight of the area with many different species recorded and they can be seen walking around the townsite from the footpaths and walk trails.

Overnight accommodation- Bremer Bay Resort - motel room with en-suite

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Day 9 – (B,L,D)

This morning we drive out to a nearby bushcamp for a special tour of the property with their resident botanist. This is an eco tour in a sensitive area, bordering Fitzgerald River National Park, so the group will be split into 2 for the day. One group will head off for a 3 hour tour with the botanist while the 2nd group has time to explore the wildflowers around the camp area. And then the groups swap over. These are small group private tours for just our tour group and there’s plenty of time to learn about and photograph the wildflowers.

After the tours finish, we drive to Albany for our overnight accommodation.

Overnight accommodation- Dog Rock Motel in Albany- motel room with en-suite

Wildflower photo workshop_3

Day 10 – (B,L,D)

We head further west today, driving to Denmark and onto the tree-cloaked Walpole-Nornalup National Park, home to tingle forests, which occur nowhere else in the world. Here we take The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, featuring a stunning walkway positioned 40 metres above the ground amid the dizzying heights of the tingle forest canopy.

Our next stop is inland, to Pemberton and the Gloucester National Park, home of the Gloucester Tree. The Southern Forests region is known for it's biodiversity with more than 2500 species of plants including over 100 terrestrial orchid species.

At Gloucester National Park we hope to see karri wildflowers Cutleaf Hibbertia, Tassel Bush, Native Wisteria, Coral Vine and White Clematis.

Overnight accommodation- Manjimup, motel room with en-suite (2 night stay)

White everlastings on the roadside credit Tourism Western Australia

Day 11 – (B,L,D)

Orchid lovers should be happy today as we travel to D’Entrecasteaux National Park. Consolidated limestone cliffs overlaid with sand at Pt D'entrecasteaux provide a perfect habitat for coastal heath wildflowers and orchids.

At Point D’Entrecasteaux there’s an easy cliff-top walk and there’s plenty of other offshoot trails if you’re more adventurous and haven’t had enough of the stunning coastal blooms.

We have the whole morning to explore here and then this afternoon, we’ll take a private cruise on the Donnelly River. We will transverse a diverse eco system that is only accessible by boat. From the lush Jarrah and Karri forests, through the Paperbark and wetlands, to the limestone cliffs and majestic Southern Ocean. On the way we will cruise past the unique holiday huts nestled amongst the towering Marri trees and coastal dunes. This cruise will be tailored to suit our group’s photography interests and includes an on-shore stop en-route, for drinks and a gourmet BBQ.

Overnight accommodation- Manjimup, motel room with en-suite

Wildflower photo workshop

Day 12 – (B,L,D)

We start making our way back to Perth today, with a stop for lunch en-route.

We arrive into Perth mid afternoon, so there’s time to freshen up before our last group dinner together.

Overnight accommodation- The Ingot Hotel at Perth Airport- motel room with en-suite

Departure day from Perth- (B)

After check out, please make your way to Perth Airport for your onward flight. A free shuttle service is available at the hotel.

For anyone staying on an extra day or two, Kings Park in Perth CBD has an excellent wildflower display in its Botanical Gardens with free guided walks at 10am and 2pm (subject to change).

WA wildflower photography workshop

To Make A Booking:

Please contact Michael to be sent payment details

Your position on the tour will be guaranteed immediately upon payment of non-refundable deposit of AU$900 (plus GST). The balance will be due 90 days before the start of the workshop date.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Cancellation up to 91days before departure, deposit non refundable or transferable
  • Between 90- 61 days, there will be a 50% cancellation fee
  • If cancellation occurs within 60 days prior to departure, 100% cancellation fee applies.

 

 

WildNature COVID 19 Cancellation Policy:

In the event of the cancellation of a workshop or tour by WildNature Photo Expeditions, or you are unable to travel to the state of the workshop or tour due to Government-imposed travel restrictions, specifically due to COVID 19, you will be eligible for the following:

 

  • A full refund, less any cancellation fees incurred by the operator from the tour accommodation and activity suppliers.

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