Colour or Black and White?

I'm currently spending a lot of time changing some of my colour photos into black and white versions and finding that I'm liking the black and white versions.

Here are a couple of examples of an Australian Harrier :

Which do you think looks better?

What have i been up too!

Its been a little while since i did a blog post but i have been active. if you follow my facebook page you will see I've been out and about taking photos but haven't had a lot of time to do blog posts etc. 

I thought id post up some of my favorites from the last month.

Been a very busy couple of weeks.

As the title says it's been a very very busy couple of weeks. so sorry for a lack of updates.  if  your reading this you probably already follow me on facebook and have seen what I'm going to post. (if you don't you can find me @akiwitog)

Over the last 3 weeks, I've gone from about 15-20 followers to 101! - I'm really happy with that, i must be doing something right! It makes me very happy to know that so many of you enjoy looking at my photos.

So enough of that, on to some of my favourites.  As you can see a lot of different shots and not just animals.

Till next time have fun shooting.

Time to enter a Competition!!

Good morning everyone - It's a wonderful day in Auckland to be out and about and taking photos. I decided to enter the Auckland camera Centers 2016 Photo competition. First prize is a canon Powershot G9X camera which I think would make a great gift for someone in my family.

The picture has to be in Jpeg format and under 2meg in size which is pretty damn small for a good quality digital image these days.

I've decided to enter this picture as it's my favourite of all the pictures I've taken this year.

Wish me luck :)

WINGSPAN - National Birds of Prey Centre.

Hi everyone, i went down for a trip to Rotorua on the weekend just been. It was the perfect opportunity to test out my new lens.

Now if you follow my facebook page @akiwitog you will have seen some of these pictures before but i wanted to do a proper blog post for anyone who follows my page and likes to share my adventures. 

I visited Wingspan - National Bird of prey Centre. I got to see some of the amazing Falcons and Harriers that we have in New Zealand and even got a peak at a Barn Owl which was a real treat (unfortunately he didnt want his picture taken! :( - maybe next time.)  

What makes wingspan so cool is that they do live flight shows where you get to see the birds fly around and chase lures (as part of their training) and as an added bonus - if you're lucky you get to put on the glove and have one of the birds land on your hand.

Here's a few pictures of some of the people i took photos of having this experience.

ne of the things about being a photographer is that you never ever are in the photos and so never have any images of doing things yourself.  I was very lucky that i got a chance to Hold Hisan a 9 month old New Zealand Falcon and there was a lovely couple David and Pam that were celebrating there 50th wedding anniversary by seeing the birds. I thought that was so cool i took some photos of them and in return they took a shot of me when i was holding Hisan so for once i get to have an image of myself doing something i love.  I think david took an awesome shot - what do you think? 

This was a great moment for yours truly and a moment i will never forget. :)

This was a great moment for yours truly and a moment i will never forget. :)

I love this little guy, he came back to my hand 3 times and made me feel pretty special. I intend to visit him once a month if i can and am thinking of sponsoring him so that the money can go back into conservation for this endangered species.  

I met some lovely friendly people on my trip and it made my day to be able to send some pictures to some of these people so they have a little momento of a fantastic experience that i was able to share with them.

I also went to paradise valley whilst i was in Rotorua (as its just down the road from wingspan) but i'll save the pictures i took from there for another day.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this, ill catch you all next time.



New Piece of Equipment

Finally all my hard work has paid off and I have saved enough to place an order for this bad boy - The Canon EF 100 - 400 4.5 - 5.6 L is li usm.

Been wanting to get this to replace my trusty Tamron 150-600 vc which I've enjoyed using since I got it for Christmas 2015 but now it's time to upgrade to a faster sharper lense.

Paired with my 7dmk2 I will finally have what many consider for wildlife photography as the best value for money vs results pairing of Camera body and lens you can get.

I spent a long time trying to decide if the 70-200 f2.8 with a 2x teleconverter or a 300 or 400 f4 prime would be a better option but I've decided for the type of photography work I do the 100-400 is going to be my go to lens from now on.

So the new lens finally arrived. I was very excited and then I saw the box 😔 not exactly what I want to see. Box looked like the courier has used it for a game of soccer. Then I opened it up to find that the actual Canon packaging had taken a hit in the corner.... at this point my heart was beating a little faster as there is a lot of expensive glass in that box. 

WTF is What was going through my head at this point!!!

WTF is What was going through my head at this point!!!

Oh Shit, oh Shit was what i was thinking here!!!!

Oh Shit, oh Shit was what i was thinking here!!!!

Thankfully on first examination it appeared to be ok. Canon builds them tough! 

Straight after i got the Lens My Wife Paulette and I went for a road trip down to Rotorua. Thankfully the lens seemed to be working perfectly - Watch this Space!

Hamilton Zoo

So last weekend i decided to take a trip to Hamilton Zoo which is about an hour and a half south of where i live in Auckland City. (Roughly the same distance i have from the Auckland Zoo lol). I went there because they have some different Animals than the Auckland Zoo and also some of the biggest outdoor enclosures.

So here is a quick selection of shots from the day. It was rather challenging as the weather was rather overcast and the enclosures although good were often quite dark.  Was awesome to see Chimpanzees. I think their enclosure and the Tiger enclosure were fantastic. Both for taking photos as well as for the Animals - which is the most important thing.

Day at the Auckland Zoo.

Auckland finally produced a fantastic sunny (if not rather cold) day. So i was out of bed early and off to the zoo.

This was the first time using the 7Dmk2 at the zoo and i'd been waiting a while to see what i could capture.  Rather than spraying and praying i tried spending time composing my shots and ended up taking less than 2000 shots over the period of 6 hours of shooting.

Here's some of the results.

Always Loved the Sumatran Tiger, such a beautiful creature.

The majestic Ring Tailed Lemur, one minute totally zen the next totally crazy looking. 

The Hamadryas Baboon.  Just a very scary looking creature. 

The Meerkat. So Cute and such sad eyes. 

A bit of a mix of a few other shots. A New Zealand Dotterel, A spotted Cormorant, A baby Hamadryas Baboon and a Lioness.

Overall a fantastic day of taking photos and im pleased with the results. I still need a lot of practice with the 7dmk2's Autofocus system but im getting the hang of it. 

Until next time.

Mark :)


Fun at the Beach.

 So on saturday i decided to brave the bad weather and go to my local beach.  It was rather cold, windy and wet generally just not very nice at all for taking pictures.

 Just a few kilometres out of Waiuku in Auckland’s south, Karioitahi is a wide black sand beach. t's about an hour from Auckland central which makes it far enough away that on a day like yesterday meant it was almost deserted. 

I started off by take a couple of basic Landscape shots just to have a go and see what i could achieve.

There were some gulls around so i got a few shots of them as well just doing there thing.

 There was also a man training his horse. it was quite fascinating just watching him run it around in circles.

On the drive home i saw some cows near a fence line and one of them had stuck its head through the fence.  I thought it was a cute shot to end the day on.

A New and improved website

After my hassells with Blogger and fotomerchant ive decided to move to a squarespace page and brought a domain name to  add some legitimacy to my site. I also redesigned my Logo. Its Clean and simple and i think it stands out in the right way.

What do you think, too simple or just right?