Tag Archives: Photographer

Red Checkers over Lake Rotorua

Kia Ora Fellow Gallopers,

The Red Checkers is the only aerobatic team of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Using Harvards, the RNZAF first flew display aerobatics in the immediate post-WWII years. In 1967, the Central Flying School (CFS) team was officially called the ‘Red Checkers’, the name being derived from the red and white checkered cowls on the five Harvards that made up this team. After being disbanded in 1973, the team reformed in 1980 but this time flying the CT-4B Airtrainer. The first Airtrainer team comprised four aircraft but this was soon increased to the current team size of five. In 1999, the team moved onto the aircraft that is currently used – the CT-4E Airtrainers. The aircrafts used by the team had a nose painted in a red and white checkered pattern but this has now been reduced to a small checkered stripe. Red Checker pilots are senior flying instructors from the RNZAF Central Flying School and the Pilot Training Squadron situated at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

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On 9th April, 2013, the Red Checkers performed a 15 minute flying display routine over Lake Rotorua as part of their tour of the North Island. The display comprised of the mirror maneuver (seen below) – a maneuver the team is well known for.

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You can see all the images from the 15 minute routine here. Enjoy!!!

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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Karearea – The New Zealand Falcon

Kia Ora Fellow Gallopers,

The Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre was established in Rotorua, NZ in 2002 and at Wingspan’s core is a commitment to the conservation of the threatened ‘Karearea’ New Zealand Falcon.  Being part of New Zealand’s unique natural heritage, falcons are a taonga (treasured) species to tangata whenua (Māori, people of the land).

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A few days ago I visited the Centre to see these magnificent birds. In addition to getting up close with the falcon, the pièce de résistance of my visit was the one hour flying display – that’s held every single day – when one gets to see, first hand, the speed and agility with which these birds fly. The accompanying talk is highly informative and complements the flying display very well.

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If you live in Rotorua or happen to be passing through Rotorua and you’d like to see the New Zealand Falcon, then a visit to New Zealand’s first and only Bird of Prey centre is a must. In the meantime, feel free to click here to see all the images from my recent visit to Wingspan.

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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PS: If you’d like to see my latest images including the birds I’ve been studying and photographing of late, why not follow Black Stallion Photography’s Facebook Page…

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Chance Encounter with a Sparrowhawk

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

A Wildlife photographer learns something new every day – be it about the behaviour of the subjects one photographs or the technique one uses to capture that unique image.

Wildlife photography, for most part, involves investing a large amount of time and energy – both on and off the field – in studying about the subject you want to photograph, identifying the best habitats to photograph your subject in and then waiting and waiting and waiting…

But then again, once in a while, your subject may just present itself right in front of you when you least expect it. A case in point is this Sparrowhawk that I managed to photograph the other day. There was a thunderstorm brewing and I was standing in my living room looking up into the sky hoping to capture a lightning bolt. I had the Canon 70-200mm lens mounted on my Canon 50D and was expectantly waiting for a lightning bolt to strike when, out of the blue, I see a bird of prey land on a fence right in front of me. At first I was not sure of what species the bird was except that it was a bird of prey. It was only after I locked focus on it did I realise that it was a Sparrowhawk. A good friend of mine, and photography buddy, had told me that there was a Sparrowhawk in the area and I’d kept an eye out for it but never managed to spot it and here it was sitting right in front of me, when I least expected it. I fired off a few shots, one of which can be seen below:

She looked like she was not going anywhere and so I took a calculated chance of changing my lens to the Sigma 50-500mm to try to capture a few close up images (as can be seen below). I could not have asked for a more willing subject.

The one thing I have learnt in my very short time as a Wildlife photographer, and from this particular incident, is the fact that one’s got to be ready to capture a shot at any time. When an opportunity presents itself, one’s got to grasp it tight with both hands.

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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Dispersion

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

I have always found the Dandelion pod to be a very interesting photography subject. Though the fluffy nature of a full pod does make for an attractive image, I personally find the partially blown pods to make for more artistic and visually appealing images. As is the case in nature, the beauty is in the detail and hence one gets to see the intricate beauty, pattern and symmetry only when one gets up close and personal with the pod. By its very nature, the pod allows in a lot of light and using natural light effectively and creatively can reward the photographer with some unique images.

Here are a few images I managed to capture the other day when I came across a few pods:

Hope these images have inspired you enough to make you want to go out with your camera and create your very own amazing dandelion pod images 🙂

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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Amateur Photographer

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

Black Stallion Photography has finally seen the light of day and this week a milestone has been reached.

Amateur Photographer (AP), the world’s oldest consumer weekly photographic magazine, published four Black Stallion Photography images this week under the Reader Spotlight Section. I am delighted that a magazine such as AP, one that is widely read by amateur and professional photo-enthusiasts around the world, showcased my work and I wanted to share this moment with all of you.

The images can be seen below:

One of the images was also selected as the ‘Editor’s Choice’.

It has been seven months since the journey began and what a journey it’s been so far!! Your continued support of the work I do has been a great motivation to me and motivates me to do better and go farther. Thank you all.

Please do continue to ride with me and keep visiting Black Stallion country. You are always welcome 🙂

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

PS: Feel free to drop by your local newsagent and pick up a copy of the Amateur Photographer to see and read about the images featured.

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