: : wildlife photography through the lens of an animator : :

Monday, July 31, 2017

A spherical impression of Hobart's Constitution Dock as reflected in the crystal-clear water, bent by the nose of a seal

This is a pretty rare capture. That day, 10 March 2017, the water was very clear and the camera could actually focus through the surface. Taken at 1/500 it is a part of a sequence that followed the seal from about 1.5m deep till he popped out in a spray of water droplets, breathed noisily out and in and made some ripples and splashes.

Here the water tension keeps surface flexible to a point and just as a spherical mirror, it reflects and distorts the surrounding buildings of Constitution Dock and Mako fish punt. The water is bent from underneath by the local celebrity, Sammy.
New Zealand Fur Seal, Tasmania
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I had entered this photo into a local 'science photography' competition, but withdrew it today.
I have no other way to announce this withdrawal, but to publish a statement on my bloG.
The reason for withdrawal is that I believe the organisers (initially unintentionally) violated their own terms of participation, accepting an entry from another photographer, which did not qualify, but refused to act upon this violation when I pointed out the case to them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sammy - the beautiful, friendly seal who often visits Hobart's waterfront

I have been thinking of posting some photos of Sammy, just to fill a void. Although he is so popular with tourists and locals, Google image searches find only mediocre pictures and very few of them.

Sammy is a star. A very photogenic star who deserves better online presence.
So I decided to do a one off, break the silence and share some of my hundreds of photos of him with all the seal lovers, shooting with their smartphone cameras and then feeling frustrated that "It just looked so much better there!".

I've been photographing Sammy fairly regularly in the last 15 months, whenever I get a chance to spot him. Unfortunately don't have any photos of him from the time of my first Hobart period, 10 years ago. There was a whole year when I did not have any camera at the time and then when I bought my 30D, he was gone. Then I had to go too.

I always wonder if he is the same seal. And when I think about it, I always decide he is, because it is such a complicated route up the estuary and he is so incredibly relaxed and comfortable in the waters of Constitution Dock.
I love the huge range of facial expressions he has - the curiosity and intelligence in his eyes.

But make no mistake! Sammy is there for the free lunch and does not really care about anything else. I've tried to make noises to attract his attention. No chance. He is hypnotized by the guy with the long ginger beard who cleans fish and gives him treats. That's why most photos are in profile.

There is another thing that I am not quite certain about. After much reading and looking at images, I think that he is a New Zealand Fur Seal, rather than an Australian Fur Seal, but I can't be 100% sure. If anyone can help me with the ID, please post in the comments.
New Zealand Fur Seal, Tasmania
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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sea Shepherd's Ocean Warrior in Hobart

It is this time of the year again. The barbaric Japanese are on their way to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to butcher whales in breach of the ruling of the International Court of Justice.
The Sea Shepherd is the only organisation who is again willing to defend the whales standing between them and the harpoon ships.
This year their fast, modern and well-equipped Ocean Warrior will be a part of the campaign as well as the Steve Irwin.

As always I made a small donation and went to the docks to photograph the ship and wish the brave crew success and good luck.
MV Ocean Warrior in Hobart, 3 Dec 2016
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This bloG is dead

This bloG is dead.
It's amazing how things one has considered valuable can appear completely pointless after a few years. 
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Zoo photos

On 25 March my ex-wife, Maria, and I marked 10 years since we landed in Sydney with two backpacks and the money to buy one decent DSLR body with a couple of lenses.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Ibis were friendlier than the people and greeted us with 'Good morning'.

These 10 years were hard. There were many changes and huge disappointments.
The one thing that has not changed at all is our fascination with the Australian wildlife.

To celebrate our 10-th anniversary in this country we went to a small zoo which we once visited in 2003 – Koala Park Sanctuary in Pennant Hills, NSW.

Zoos always make me very sad... but this one is kind of OK.
I usually don't go to zoos and this is the first time when I'm publishing zoo photos on the pages of this bloG. I thought that the photos turned up quite nice and with the wild Koalas quickly losing habitat it is very likely that I'll never get a chance to photograph one in its natural environment.

Koalas and Easren Grey Kangaroo in Koala Park Sanctuary, NSW
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Sunday, December 23, 2012


I haven't photographed Koel chicks before, so this was kind of exciting. There were 3 of them in a couple of fig trees in a suburban park, fed by Little Wattlebird foster parents. The male Koel was calling from a nearby tree.
Asutralian Koel Chicks, NSW
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Monday, June 25, 2012

About the ruthless eviction of the Sydney Flying Foxes (again)

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While trying to find more information on the bat eviction, I came across a great article called The Peril and Beauty of Flying Fox Life in the Time of Extinction by Deborah Bird Rose.

The text casts light over the situation of the four Flying Fox species in Australia and is accompanied by great video footage.

I'm reposting the third segment of a documentary called Following Flying Foxes – the segment that features the now non-existent bat colony in Sydney Botanic gardens.

Video credits: Natasha Fijn & Deborah Bird Rose. Posted with permission. More information about the video is available here.

Recently Deborah has written another emotionally charged article on the topic which is definitely worth the time –
Night falls heavily in Sydney these days.

I have already lived long enough in this country to not be surprised by the atrocities done to the native and introduced animals.

It is very disappointing that the majority of people who consider themselves good are so incredibly passive and ready to accept without questioning everything that they are being fed with by authorities or commercial media.
Most of my friends' (they are my friends, because we share, more or less, similar values) reactions to the news about the dispersal were: "Oh well... This is a controversial issue..." and they repeated what they have heard on the radio or TV. Very disappointing.

In situations like this I can't chase away the feeling that Western democracies are getting weaker and weaker every year with citizens becoming numb, apathetic and brainwashed by consumerism. Isn't that sad?

As the issue is 'controversial' I'm leaving comments under this post open.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Purple Swamphen

Purple Wamphen, NSW
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