Black And White Wildlife Photography

Black and white or monochromatic photography isn't something I normally indulge in, but recently I've been screwing around with the camera, getting my head around f-stops, ISO, shutter speed, WB etc etc a bit more. For me, it's a great deal of fun, more importantly - when I'm looking through the 'lens', I forget about whatever else is going on. The stresses and minor/major struggles we all face - they evaporate ... at least for a bit.

I usually suck at being present in the present.

So the great thing is that when I flick back through the blog or the hard drive, I can remember exactly what was going on. What the critter was doing and all the peripheral stuff around the photo that no camera can capture you know? ...

With that in mind, what follows is a collection of images shot over the last week or so:

The dragonfly's, with their veined wings and fine details, always make interesting subjects.

My favourite shot

click to enlarge

Mmmm a bit dark there eh?

Some colour!

So low ISO (100-200), fast shutter speed (1/100 - 1/125), an f-stop or aperture range of 5.6 - 8 and manual focus seems to be giving me some decent sorta shots ...

At this point, I really should say that having never taken a workshop, class or lessons on photography - (I simply experiment, and for the theory side I annoy Google until I've worked stuff out to the point that I can understand it) - I'm probably not much help to any budding snappers out there ...

I won't pretend to be - instead, here's a helpful article for your perusal: Understanding Exposure

And anyway, despite the header, this isn't a photography blog. I enjoy taking the pics, but I enjoy the wildlife more ... so let's get back to the critters with some photographyness along the way :).

Spiders!, North Queensland and the N.T has more species than anywhere else in Australia (perhaps - dare I say it - the world!).

However, without a microscope and a PhD your chances of identifying them all is pretty limited. Never mind, here are a few that are regular guests in the home and backyard here in Oz ...

Lynx Spider Oxyopes spp

Green Jumping Spider (f) Mopsus mormon

Green Jumping Spider (m) Mopsus mormon

St Andrews Cross Argiope keyserlingi 

As for the herps, some trusted friends have been knocking about - with one, a magnificent white-lipped tree frog being very obliging by taking up residence in a palm tree almost daily - a great opportunity to play with the camera :)

Over the week his colouration has changed a little - the red on his toes and legs means he's looking for love ... it may be autumn, but as this beautiful gravid graceful tree frog, (below) can attest to, that's no reason to stop doing ya do ...

Litoria gracilenta

The rainbow skinks are also still running around the joint, obsessively dashing here and there and squabbling between themselves - they make my day.

Carlia longipes (f)

Carlia longipes (m)

Unfortunately, the cane toads are doing well. But they are amazing little beasties - it's just a shame they're being amazing over here eh?

Rhinella marina

As for the random invertebrates, well we've been getting our fair share such as this resplendent grasshopper:

Orthoptera (for an exact species I.D you'd have to ask David) - here's a link: BunyipCo

And here's a groovy sort of critter. A very 'hairy' caterpillar - I wouldn't advise trifling with it mind, those hairs could very well be defensive rather than decoratively funky ... hey, they may not be, but I'll be buggered if I want to find out eh?

The second pic may be an Australian hornet - but I can't be sure, if it is - the caterpillar may well need every one of those spiky hairs ...


Abispa ephippium?

Sadly, there's been a tragedy in the garden. I'm not certain - but I suspect foul play. This is one of the last shots of my favourite femme fatale of the yard. The extraordinary flower spider - no doubt the other small critters have heaved a collective sigh of relief at her passing ... but I miss her. The queen is dead - long live the queen eh?.

Hypolimnas bolina (m) butterfly. A rather colourful last meal for our flower spider

Same species, a little less colourful - but alive at least

It's been a week of it eh? And in closing, I'd like to say hi to my Mum, who turned 70 last weekend - quite the achievement when I think of all she's been through (not least of all raising her sons - who frankly made the whole process as difficult as possible).

Thanks for everything Ma :)

Right, that's it - I'm off to annoy some critters ... cheers for stopping by, and as always - take care,

Paul :)

You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
~ Ansel Adams