The Start of Bluff Knoll

Bluff Knoll is the highest point in the south-west of Western Australia and is situated in the Stirling Range. It is 1,095 m above sea level,[citation needed] and is one of the very few places that snow has been reported in Western Australia, with snow falling usually once a year. The most recent ‘heavy’ snow was recorded on October 6, 1992 when 20 cm of snow was recorded and light snow was seen down to the car-park (450 m above sea level)

Nikkor 300mm AFS f/4..sweet sweet autofocus..

yeah baby, check this piece of glass out, this bad boy is to replace my very venerable 100-300mm manual focus f5.6, so besides being a whole stop faster it can also autofocus, which should result in alot more keepers…

A few test images from the other day..

  • High optical performance even with a teleconverter attached
  • ED glass elements for high-resolution and high-contrast images
  • 1.45m closest focusing
  • M/A mode allows rapid switching between autofocus and manual operation
  • Nine-blade rounded diaphragm achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements

Ticks

yep, i was a suitable host…

Once a suitable host is found, the larvae will blood feed for 4-6 days, drop from the host and moult to the eight-legged nymphal stage. Nymphs require a further blood meal for 4-8 days before moulting to the adult stage. Both female and male ticks quest for a host, but for different reasons; the female for a bloodmeal, the males to search the host for female ticks in order to mate and sometimes feed from them. Males may actually parasitise the female ticks by piercing their cuticle with their mouthparts to feed on her haemolymph (the tick’s blood) and up to 3-4 males have been found feeding on one female tick. Male ticks rarely bloodfeed on a host. The adult female Paralysis tick will feed for up to around 10 days, drop off the host and lay eggs over several weeks. The entire life cycle of the Paralysis tick, involving 4 stages and 3 hosts, will take around a year to complete. Each life stage can be present throughout the year, although for the Paralysis tick, adults are more abundant in the spring and the early summer months, larvae in mid to late-summer, and nymphs during winter.

Diamond Head – Crowdy Bay National Park Sunrise

Being that time of year where getting up when its dark is actually not that hard I took the opportunity to get out early to a location which I scoped out at Christmas, completely different conditions this time! no clouds and lots of clear sky!

One thing I did learn, which is probably bleeding obvious to most however…take some time to look over your shoulder in the opposite direction to where the sun is coming up! the colours and colour gradients were awesome! there is no way my camera was gonna convey the tonal range and colours but, hey I gave it a go!

HDR vs Non-HDR

HDR is great in my opinion, it gives us plebs with cameras that lack the dynamic range or without a set of graduated filters an alternative for getting those great shots with lots of dynamic range.

I have, however found myself moving away from the HDR option in some instances, there have also been a number of cases where I find a correctly exposed image and some NX2 PP really delivers results that i would prefer over the HDR version, I can also see whats going on behind the scenes so to speak.
I have found HDR images coming from Photomatix, for example, need quite an amount of noise reduction and increased sharpening not to mention that extra amount of tweaking to get that image looking sensible, which in the bigger scheme of things means quite a bit more time on each image and also the increased number of files sitting on my computer.

So for an example I worked hard on the following scene to try and see what image (HDR vs non-HDR) came out looking better and with the least amount of time.

Can you pick the HDR?