Category Archives: Flora

Outdoor Photographer Excursion, May 2010

Since I was not able to get out with a camera last weekend, here are some of my shots from the Outdoor Photographers group excursion in May. I carried my Nikon 200mm macro lens (I think) mounted on the Fuji S5 Pro.

The Magic Minute

Along the Western side of the ridge that forms the Pittwater Peninsula, there are a few minutes at the close of the day when the leaf litter (eucalyptus, angophora, allocasuarina) turns a rich orange–leading to interesting opportunities as a background for macro/flora photography. As a macro (closeup) photographer I think I am less dependent on the light than (say) a landscape photographer, but this opportunity is too good to pass up… and very hard to take!! You have to be quick – there are only a few minutes available, and the orange light patches move while you are setting up the tripod! Never mind finding an interesting subject at just the right time…

So, this is still a work in progress for me – finding the right foreground subject that takes advantage of the ephemeral red-orange background of those few minutes. Here is my effort from earlier this evening. In this case, the background is the bark of a tree (allocasuarina torulosa, I believe), and the foreground subject is… well, it’s a fern…

The light at the "Magic Minute"

The light at the "Magic Minute"

According to the camera timestamp, this photo was taken at 6:56 PM, about ten minutes before the official sunset time for Sydney. I used my 200mm macro lens, set at an aperture of f/5.6.

Scribbly Gum

A photograph taken late this afternoon in McKay Reserve. The tracks are caused–as I understand it–by the larvae of certain insects. The specific tree known as “Scribbly Gum” varies according to which region of Australia you are in, but here it refers to Eucalyptus Haemostoma, a vital component of the Pittwater Spotted Gum Forest ecological community. The cool thing (I think) about this photo is how it shows how the bark peels off showing different colours and sets of tracks in the bark.


I’ve been fascinated with the flora of the Pittwater area since moving back here from overseas some 7 years ago. Did you know that Pittwater has it’s own ecological community, called the Pittwater Spotted Gum Forest? My aim with my photography is to try and capture some of the beauty of these native species, and perhaps even encourage others to plant and nurture them in place of the “exotic”  invaders! While the native species may not look as attractive at first glance, they have their own special charm. I am constantly amazed at how they change and surprise me throughout the year — you just need to take a closer look 😉

To kick this new blog off, here is a photograph I took on an outing to West Head with Bruce Usher a few months ago.

Xanthorrhoea media