Photographer's Freedom

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Photo Of The Month August 2020

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The Photographer’s Freedom photo of the month August 2020 is here! It was a hard choice this month as I have a new lens and it’s kind of hard to take a bad photo with the thing. This month the photo is of something I haven’t photographed before too, and that’s the reason I chose it.

Photo Of The Month August 2020 – The Story

If you have read my Photographing Osprey At Woolgoolga Lake blog post, you will know that back in June of 2020 I discovered the nest of two Osprey. On the western side of Woolgoolga Lake in Woolgoolga, New South Wales, Australia high in a Gum tree; the Osprey have made their home.

the photo of the month August 2020 photographer's freedom - an osprey nest high in a gum tree.

At the time, I was using my Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm f4-5.6 lens. I have taken some good photos with that lens over the years, but recently it had started to let me down a little. I was also becoming a bit frustrated with 200mm focal length and not being able to zoom in as much as I would like. That being said, I did get some great shots of the Osprey that particular day.

A New Lens

Recently I purchased a Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G ED lens after reading a review from Ken Rockwell who does amazing reviews of all sorts of camera equipment. Before you make a purchase, I totally recommend checking out his site to see if he has reviewed the product you are wanting to buy.

If you are interest in buying one for yourself, you can get them on Amazon by clicking the picture below:

This lens is by far the best one I have ever owned. It is so sharp, focuses really quickly and quietly, and has not let me down since I first put it on my camera on the 21st of August. I have used it every day since!

I thought it would be a great idea to go out to that side of the lake again and see if I could find the Osprey. The thought of getting some shots of them with the new lens had me very excited.

Searching For The Osprey

I walked through the bush to where I had seen the Osprey before but they were not around. Looking at the nest, they were not there either. I decided to head back as it looked like I was getting no Osprey that day.

On the way back to my car, I stopped at a small wooden bridge that spans the creek that feeds into the lake. In the bush around the bridge, the sounds of small birds could be heard all around me. I hung around to see if I could get some shots of them.

I got a few good shots of a little Scarlet Honeyeater, which is a species I’ve never photographed before.

Just after this bird flew off, I was standing there listening and watching for other birds. Some movement caught my eye at the edge of a fallen tree log that spans the creek, just beyond the bridge. I could not believe my eyes when I saw this amazing creature crossing the log, right there in front of me?!

Photo Of The Month August 2020 – The Image

the photo of the month August 2020 from photographer's freedom - a lace monitor on a fallen tree sticking its tongue out
The Photo Of The Month August 2020 – A Bells Phase Lace Monitor

This glorious reptile is a Bells Phase Lace Monitor. The Bells Phase is a different colour form of the Lace Monitor and as I’m told, fairly rare; especially on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales.

The other form is a dark steel-grey above with pale yellow or cream bands or rows of spots. I have taken photos of the darker form of Lace Monitors before, as they used to frequent the bush near our home in Gembrook, Victoria.

The Bells Phase Lace Monitor was a first for me however, and I’m so glad that it chose that precise moment to cross that log.

Some Lace Monitor Facts

  • Lace Monitors are more commonly called Goannas here in Australia.
  • There are 27 species of Monitors in Australia and most of them are carnivores.
  • The smallest species of Monitor is the Short-Tailed Monitor, which grows to around 25cm in length.
  • The largest Monitor is the Komodo Dragon from Indonesia, which grows up to 3 meters!
  • Female Monitor Lizards will lay their eggs in Termite mounds. This is ideal as the Termites rebuild the mound around the eggs, keeping them protected and at a constant temperature. When they hatch, the female returns to dig them out.
  • There are even Water Monitors that are really good swimmers and can stay submerged for several minutes hunting for fish, crabs, frogs, or shrimps.

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