Australia / Bird Photography / Wildlife

Far North Queensland or a Scubadiving trip in the Rainforest.

25 May ’13

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When it rains it pours. See no relation with the famous rap song. It was raining (bucketing down) the whole 5 days we had set aside for photographing wildlife in the rainforest of Northern Australia hence the feeling of a scuba diving trip through the forest. The rainforest, with its rich and diverse biodiversity could be called the coral reef of the land and make my title even more relevant… Anyway, we did not get to see what we wanted but we ended seing unexpected things. Below is a compilation of what I kept in terms of images. Shooting in rainforest is demanding enough in terms of light availability. But shooting in rainforest with rain and overcast days was a real challenge. I barely used anything lower than iso 3200 and even cranked it up to isos 6400 at some occasion to get a properly exposed shots. In my opinion 3200 is the upper limit to produce usable images with a EOS 7D, on a few occasion the 6400 did look okay and I kept them. I will not be blowing them up in A2 but an A4 print should look all right. Some of the images were taken south of Cairns and the rest in the Atherton Tablelands in places such as Lake Barrine, Malanda Falls, Yunguburra…

Quand il pleut, ca fait pas semblant. Pendant toute la durée des 5jours mis de coté pour photographier la faune du Nord Queensland, il a plu des trombes. La comparaison avec une plongée en foret tropicale est vite faite. On n’a pas pu voir la faune que l’on voulait mais des rencontres imprévues se sont présentées donc ca rattrape le tout. Photographier en foret tropicale c’est déja un challenge coté lumière, mais lorsqu’il pleut et qu’il fait gris toute la journée ca se corse vraiment. J’ai rarement fait d’images a moins de 3200 isos et j’ai memes gardées quelques images a 6400 isos… 3200 isos est la limite avec un EOS 7D selon mon expérience. Celle a 6400 isos ne seront pas imprimées en A2 mais ca devrait passer sur des A4, a tester…

male satin flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Male satin flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca)

This male satin flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca) was found on riparian vegetation along a creek. I had a quick glance at the female but she never came in closer. Ceci est un male Monarque satiné (Myiagra cyanoleuca), posé tranquillement le long d’une riviere.

spotted catbird (Ailuroedus melanotis) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Spotted catbird (Ailuroedus melanotis)

This spotted catbird (Ailuroedus melanotis) and his “meowing-like” call is one of the most distinctive rainforest sounds up there. This is one of the 6400isos images I was talking about. Although not too shy, focusing with the dense shrubs was a little bit difficult. Ce Jardinier oreillard (Ailuroedus melanotis) produit un des cris les plus distinctifs de la foret tropical du Nord Queensland. C’est une des images a 6400 isos dont je parlais plus haut.

Amethist python (Morelia amethistina) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Amethist python (Morelia amethistina)

Above is a amethist python (Morelia amethistina) also called scrub python, it is the largest snake found in Australia reaching an average 5m length when adult but some specimens over 7m have been reported. Below is a Jungle Python (Morelia spilota cheyniei), a subspecies of the Carpet python. L’image d’au dessus est un Python améthiste (Morelia amethistina), c’est le plusgrand des serpents présent en Australie avec une moyenne de 5m a l’age adulte. Le serpent en dessous est une sous espece du python tapis (Morelia spilota cheyniei).

Jungle Python (Morelia spilota cheyniei) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Jungle Python (Morelia spilota cheyniei)

saw-shelled turtle (Myuchelys latisternum) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Saw-shelled turtle (Myuchelys latisternum)

This saw-shelled turtle (Myuchelys latisternum) and many others kept on gathering around the platform whenever we passed by it. I think tourists might have been feeding them and now they associate us with dinner time…

spectacled monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Spectacled monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus)

spectacle monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Spectacle monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus)

Two images of a spectacle monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus), the first one taken at 3200isos, the next one 6400. A common bird in that habitat, always chasing each other or hunting in the dense understory. The first one has a slight softness on the eye, but it is the only clean frame i could get and therefore I kept it. Le monarque a lunette (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) du dessus a été pris a 6400 isos, l’image manque de piqué mais vu que c’est la seule dans un cadrage que j’apprécie, je l’ai gardée.

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) © Nicolas Rakotopare

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Above, if you hadn’t recognised it, is a Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). It is the second time I found individuals that isn’t so shy that I can’t approach him but this one was weary of looking into the camera and I rarely got a chance for a front side portrait. Always a great view though, they have a really peculiar way of moving around. If you are interested in platypus videos and the story of my trip to Eungella National Park to see them, click here: Expedition Platypus. I have shot a few more images of birds seen in the collage below. Rainy, but nonetheless a great time in Far North Queensland. // Au dessus, au cas ou vous ne l’auriez pas reconnu c’est un ornithorynque (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). C’est la deuxieme fois que j’en rencontre dans un contexte ou ils ne sont pas super méfiant mais il n’a tout de meme jamais voulu regarder directement dans l’objectif. J’ai photographier d’autres oiseaux comme le collage en dessous le montre. Pour conclure, malgres la pluie, ce fut un bon trip dans le Nord du Queensland.



I am a nature photographer specialising in wildlife photography. I have a special passion for this type of photography which comes from my background as an ecologist & conservation biologist.

Comments (2)

  • June 1, 2013 by Shawtima


    Lovely to see you getting a bit of time off to do the things that make you happy. Really love the first shot of the spectacled monarch, it’s breast colour contrast nicely with the greens in the background. You know how I love colour!

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