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Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec

 

The recently concluded Frogs of the World Photographic Workshop was a great success with the amphibians being very co-operative. The workshop participants came away with a stunning selection of imagery, of which I will share with you in a soon to be published blog post. A beautiful selection of tropical plants was sourced out to maintain natural looking set-ups to mimic what would we would find in the native habitats of each species we were photographing. This past workshop featured a couple of new additions as well – Dendrobates auratus dart frog and a Fire Salamander! Here are a few of the images I created in between assisting the workshop participants with their compositions and off camera flash techniques.

I will be hosting the next workshop in January and will likely mix it up a bit with some amphibians and a couple of very colorful, non-poisonous snakes!!! Please send me an email at info@andrewmclachlan.ca to be added to the “early-bird sign-up list” and you to can be creating stunning images of these incredibly beautiful and colorful critters without slogging through the swamp!

Do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper version.

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Fire Salamander - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Fire Salamander – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Fire Belly Toad - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Fire Belly Toad – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Dendrobates auratus - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Dendrobates auratus – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

White's Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

White’s Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Vietnamese Moss Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Vietnamese Moss Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Dendrobates auratus - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Dendrobates auratus – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog - captive Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

Red-eyed Tree Frog – captive
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60 sec.

 

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Bullfrog in Wetland Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens ISO 400, f16 @ 1/200 sec.

Bullfrog in Wetland
Nikon D800, Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens
ISO 400, f16 @ 1/200 sec.

This post is intended to be a cautionary note on photographing from canoes. My frog-scape imagery is always created from a seated position within my canoe, while I lean over the edge of the canoe’s gunwale. I have done this thousands of times however, on the day of August 27th while doing so my left hand went to sleep. I shook it off and was good to go. Later that evening my left shoulder began to ache. By the next morning the pain was worsening and by the following day my left hand began going numb. I figured a visit to the emergency ward of my local hospital was in order. I was told I had a swollen rotator cuff and that I would be all better in one week. This was not to be and in fact my left arm is still sore and my left thumb, left index finger are still numb, and my tricep muscle will not flex. After 5 weeks I do believe I finally have an accurate diagnosis as to what happened. While leaning over the edge of the canoe, I was leaning in such a way that my underarm was directly over the gunwale putting too much pressure on the brachial plexus, which is the network of nerves that control the shoulder, arm, and hand. The resulting pressure has bruised or damaged my brachial plexus and now I require a referral to a neurologist for a nerve conduction test and to determine the extent of the injury. Hopefully there will be a full recovery but it will take a very long time as nerves regenerate at a very slow pace. Fortunately I do have full movement of my arm with the discomfort subsiding to a very tolerable level however, the arm is weak due to the inactive tricep muscle and the thumb and index finger numbness is rather annoying at times…time will tell if these issues will resolve themselves. Here are some of my most recent frog-scape images that I created prior to this injury.

Bullfrog in Wetland Nikon D800, Laowa 15mm f4 1:1 Macro Lens ISO 1000, f16 @ 1/30 sec.

Bullfrog in Wetland
Nikon D800, Laowa 15mm f4 1:1 Macro Lens
ISO 1000, f16 @ 1/30 sec.

 

Bullfrog in Wetland Nikon D800, Laowa 15mm f4 1:1 Macro Lens ISO 800, f16 @ 1/100 sec.

Bullfrog in Wetland
Nikon D800, Laowa 15mm f4 1:1 Macro Lens
ISO 800, f16 @ 1/100 sec.

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Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps), Captive ©Don Johnston

Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps) – Captive
©Don Johnston

In this post I want to feature some of the images created by two of the clients that attended my first Frogs of the World Workshop on March 5th. It was a pleasure to meet Don Johnston and Keith Carroll, and both created some very lovely images. Keith and Don had great success using off-camera flash and their 100mm Macro lenses during the frog portion of the workshop and Don used his Nikon 200mm Micro lens and off-camera flash to photograph some very impressive reptile images in the Reptilia Zoo. Don Johnston came up with an interesting idea and subsequent effect during the workshop by using a small plant mister to create a rainfall effect, and in his Red-eyed Tree Frog image the frog seems to be quite enjoying the little shower🙂

For folks that may be interested, I am hosting my second Frogs of the World Workshop on April 30th. More information about that workshop can be found here. There are still some spaces available, but they are going quickly. Please contact me at info@andrewmclachlan.ca if you are ready to sign up for the workshop.

Please remember to click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper version and please let Don and Keith know which of their images are your favorites🙂

 

Red-eyed Tree Frogs ©Keith Carroll

Red-eyed Tree Frogs – Captive
©Keith Carroll

 

American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis), Captive ©Don Johnston

American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis) – Captive
©Don Johnston

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog ©Keith Carroll

Red-eyed Tree Frog – Captive
©Keith Carroll

 

Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis, Captive ©Don Johnston

Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) – Captive
©Don Johnston

 

Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas), Captive ©Don Johnston

Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) – Captive
©Don Johnston

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Common Snapping Turtle Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR Lens Nikon Circular Polarizing Filter ISO 800, f11 @ 1/320

Common Snapping Turtle
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR Lens
Nikon Circular Polarizing Filter
Handheld at ISO 800, f11 @ 1/320

A couple of weeks ago while I was in search of Bullfrogs in the wetland on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario I came upon a very cooperative Common Snapping Turtle basking in the sun on a partially water-logged white pine tree trunk. Several years ago this large white pine trunk became stuck near the entrance to the wetland, but this past winter / spring it has moved deeper into the wetland to a location that is sure to find it being used by several species of turtles and watersnakes. I am eagerly awaiting my next extended stay at the lake to try for more reptile images.

Common Snapping Turtles are usually difficult to approach as they will often retreat into the water at first sight. I made a slow and cautious approach in my canoe hoping not to disturb the turtle and every few feet I would stop to create a few images. Do note in the above photo I used my Nikon Polarizing Filter to cut the glare from the vegetation as well as the turtle’s shell. I soon came to realize that this particular turtle was being very cooperative, so I proceeded a little closer. Soon I had pulled the canoe right up alongside of the turtle and yet it remained undisturbed. I quickly switched out my Nikon 80-400mm VR Lens for my Nikon 18-35mm Lens to create an up-close and personal wide-angle view, and employed my Live View technique that has often worked well for frog-scapes. While using the Live View feature on my Nikon D800 I will lean out over the side of the canoe and hold the camera very close to the water’s surface to get a very low perspective. Using the virtual horizon in Live View will assist in keeping the resulting photos square with the world.

The only thing that kinda bugs me about these snapping turtle photos is the very large bloodsucker that can be seen on the turtle’s left cheek🙂

Do remember to click on each of the photos to see the larger, sharper version.

Common Snapping Turtle Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 35mm Handheld at ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1000

Common Snapping Turtle
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm Lens @ 35mm
Handheld at ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1000

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Amazon Milk Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

Amazon Milk Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

A few months ago there was a wonderful exhibit of tropical frogs at Ontario’s Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. One day in April I made a trip out to see and photograph some of the species that were on display. Photographing such animals through the glass walls of their enclosures can often be a bit troublesome due to finger prints and scratches on the glass, however, there are few simple techniques that can be employed for success. When I photograph captive subjects through the glass walls of their enclosures I will always get as close to the glass as possible to eliminate / reduce the risk of scratches and fingerprints from showing up in the resulting images. To get as close to the glass as possible I ensure that I am using my rubber lens hood so that I do not become one of those individuals that has left unsightly scratches on the enclosures. A relatively large rubber lens hood aligned flush with the glass wall of the enclosure will often reduce the risk of the flash from reflecting off the glass, ruining the photos when it fires.

Rubber Lens Hood on Nikon 105mm Micro Lens

Rubber Lens Hood on Nikon 105mm Micro Lens

At public exhibits I often find it too difficult to work with a tripod, mostly due to the number of visitors and elementary school class trips that attend. As a result I do much prefer to work with flash and when I photogenic subject and pose is noticed I can then quickly grab a few photos without affecting the other visitors that are also there.

Dendrobates auratus Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

Dendrobates auratus
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

For the image above of the Dendrobates auratus I was able to get a very low perspective and a pleasing background by placing the lens flush with the glass wall at the moment the dart frog jumped to the front of the enclosure. Dart frogs are often very quick and sometime difficult to photograph, but this image gives the impression that I am lying flat on the ground in their rainforest home, yet I was dry and comfy🙂

African Bullfrog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

African Bullfrog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

Pictured above is an African Bullfrog. What is not to love about a frog with teeth! These frogs will eat anything they can stuff in their mouths from insects to full grown mice. You will notice that in this image the camera was pointed downwards, with the lens close to the glass and in a downward postion the flash will not reflect back into the resulting images, however, if I tried the same perspective after taking a few steps backwards the flash would be noticeable and the images would be deleted.

Argentine Horned Frog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

Argentine Horned Frog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60

Warty skinned frogs such as the above Argentine Horned Frog do pose some challenges with flash generated spectral highlights. In Photoshop I will often evict the most noticeably distracting highlights, for many of the smaller ones as seen above I will open Selective Color and add a touch of Black to the White channel which tones them down a bit.

Waxy Monkey Treefrog Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

Waxy Monkey Treefrog
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

Treefrog specimens are usually very uncooperative subjects as they are mostly nocturnal so when one is encountered alert and wide-eyed grab as many photos as you can because they will probably go back to sleep very soon.

Below is a Fire-belly Toad which is an Asiatic species and very common in the pet trade. Believe it or not I actually used to keep Fire-belly Toads in a large terrarium many years ago and they lived for roughly 21 years.

Fire-belly Toad Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

Fire-belly Toad
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f16 @ 1/60

After photographing many of these wonderful frog species from around the globe in a single afternoon I thought it would be fun to take one of the images and create a frog fract using the Photoshop plug-in Fractalius. Below is a Goliath Frog skeleton. The Goliath Frog is the largest frog in the world, they live alongside streams and such in Cameron, in Africa.

Please do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions🙂

Goliath Frog Skeleton Fractalius Rendering

Goliath Frog Skeleton
Fractalius Rendering

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Hurricane Crab Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 80mm ISO 100, f25 @ 1/60 sec. Canon 500D Close-up Filter Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

Hurricane Crab
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 80mm
ISO 100, f25 @ 1/60 sec.
Canon 500D Close-up Filter
Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket

With this post I unveil my new logo that now occupies the header section of the blog. Hope y’all like it🙂

As mentioned in the previous post, I had several unsuccessful nights of searching for and photographing frogs while on the island of Cayman Brac. These nights were not wasted though. While exploring the understory of the seagrape trees I encountered numerous Soldier Crabs and Hurricane Crabs. I quickly noted that these crabs were very sensitive to the light from my flashlight. Often if too much light fell upon them they would immediately and quickly head for cover. A slow, cautious approach and careful use of the flashlight allowed me to get in low and close for the imagery I had hoped for. The Hurricane Crabs were very large with their bodies being roughly four inches across. Mostly they were a purplish-red color but I did encounter one specimen that had olive to yellowish coloration.

Hurricane Crab Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR @ 85mm Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket Canon 500D Close-up Filter ISO 100, f18 @ 1/60 sec

Hurricane Crab
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR @ 85mm
Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
Canon 500D Close-up Filter
ISO 100, f18 @ 1/60 sec

Hurricane Crab Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR @ 92mm Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket Canon 500D Close-up Filter ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

Hurricane Crab
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR @ 92mm
Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
Canon 500D Close-up Filter
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

The other type of crab that was most often encountered during my night time excursions for frog imagery was the Soldier Cab, which is a type of land hermit crab. They varied in size greatly with some having very small shells and others having very large shells. They most often are seen using abandoned whelk shells for their homes. Again these crabs were also sensitive to the light from my flashlight, but careful use also allowed the opportunity for some interesting imagery, particularly when I found a lone Soldier Crab walking along a very thin branch – almost like walking a tight-rope.

Soldier Crab Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR @ 165mm Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket Canon 500D Close-up Filter ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

Soldier Crab
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR @ 165mm
Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
Canon 500D Close-up Filter
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

As with the Cuban Treefrog images in the previous post note that I have once again used the Canon 500D Close-up Filter on my Nikon 80-400mm VR lens. This is the combination that I always use when traveling. It is a very convenient solution for quality close-up photography and also helps to reduce the overall weight of gear to carry onto an aircraft or out into the field.

Do remember to click on each of the photos to see the larger, sharper version and if you feel so inclined, let me know which is your favorite image🙂

Soldier Crab Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400 mm VR @ 210mm Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket Canon 500D Close-up Filter ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

Soldier Crab
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400 mm VR @ 210mm
Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
Canon 500D Close-up Filter
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

Soldier Crab Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR @ 220mm Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket Canon 500D Close-up Filter ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

Soldier Crab
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR @ 220mm
Nikon Speedlight SB600 on Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
Canon 500D Close-up Filter
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec.

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Daybreak at Pollard Bay on Cayman Brac Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm ISO 100, f16 @ 1 second Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Daybreak at Pollard Bay on Cayman Brac
Nikon D800, Nikon 18-35mm lens @ 18mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 1 second
Singh-Ray 3-Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter

I returned from my 14 day stay on the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac late on March 19th. Since my return I have been busy getting caught up on various things and processing a few of my initial favorites, from the vast number of images created during the trip. Today’s post will highlight my most favorite photos from the trip and in subsequent posts I will get into the nitty-gritty of what worked, what didn’t work, and the techniques used to create the images.

During my trip there were many lovely sunrises, a few nice sunsets, lots of Brown Booby chicks, reptiles, amphibians, and it seemed like with each day of snorkeling, which was everyday, I found something really cool to photograph in the ocean too🙂

Here are a few images from this recent trip to Cayman Brac.

Please do remember to click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper version. Hope ya like ’em🙂

Male Brown Booby with Chick Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm ISO 400, f16 @ 1/320 sec.

Male Brown Booby with Chick
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm
ISO 400, f16 @ 1/320 sec.

Hurricane Crab Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 80mm ISO 100, f25 @ 1/60 sec. Canon 500D Close-up Filter

Hurricane Crab
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 80mm
ISO 100, f25 @ 1/60 sec.
Canon 500D Close-up Filter

Cuban Treefrog Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 195mm ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60sec Canon 500D Close-up Filter

Cuban Treefrog
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 195mm
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60sec
Canon 500D Close-up Filter

The Bat Cave Nikon D800, Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fisheye Lens ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 sec.

The Bat Cave
Nikon D800, Sigma f2.8 EX DG 15mm Fisheye Lens
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 sec.

Octopus Sony RX100 @ 10.4mm (28mm equivlent) ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1000 sec

Octopus
Sony RX100 @ 10.4mm (28mm equivlent)
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1000 sec

Rock Iguana Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 390mm ISO 100, f8 @ 1/800 sec

Rock Iguana
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 390mm
ISO 100, f8 @ 1/800 sec

Stonefish Sony RX100 @ 10.4mm (28mm equivalent) ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Stonefish
Sony RX100 @ 10.4mm (28mm equivalent)
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

 

 

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