Sydney Naturally




Facts @ Questions


A photo of the photographer,

Don McNicol.


Why another website?


This website presents the special features of one of the worlds most diverse countries, Australia and especially the features of the bushland with its flora and fauna.


Who is the photographer?


Don McNicol lives with his family in Sydney.  Originally from country Victoria, he has a unique prospective on the diversity of his country and loves to share it with others.


What equipment is used to take the photos?


Don uses a variety of cameras, depending on the subject.


His favorite camera is his new Canon EOS-5D Mk II, a 21Megapixal camera.  He also uses a Canon 20D.  Film cameras owned and used include the Nikon F2 Photomic (pictured right) with a complete range of lenses including the famous 55mm micro-nikor lens (his first serious camera), a Hasselblad CM500 and a Mamiya RB67 (the hasselblad and the Mamiya are both large format film cameras).


How do you take your Panoramas?


"I either use a special fisheye lens and crop the photo to the needed dimension or I sometimes take a longer shot at 35mm and crop it.  Because the mega pixels are reasonably high, you can do that without losing definition.  Some people, like Ken Duncan, my favourite photographer at the moment, have a special camera just for doing panoramas.  They cost about $60,000 and can't be used for anything else, so I'll stick to creative ways of creating panoramas."


You sometimes call your photographs "Fine Art Photographs", why?


"Fine art photos are defined as photos that have been manipulated in some way by a computer.  Filters are added and colours changed to make a photo appear different from the original.  You can see from some of my photos that they have what looks like a crayon or painted background.  Sometimes backgrounds are changed and a subject can be placed in a totally different background.  This process is know as fine art photography."


Do you use a computer to edit all your photos?


"No not all of them.  Most film camera photos are natural and more time needs to be taken on site to make sure that you have the desired light and shadows to achieve the best result.  Most famous photographers these days use computers to enhance their photos, though, especially if they use digital cameras.  For instance, I take most of my shots in what is known as RAW format.  You need a computer to "finish" the taking of the photo.  taking a photo in RAW format means that none of the editing is done by the camera.  The camera merely takes the digital information and stores it in memory for me to edit it later on a computer."


"I use Photoshop CS with the RAW plugin.  I can change things like light and colour temperature, saturation of all or individual colours, exposure and white light balance.  All this is usually done by a camera as the photo is taken.  If this is done then it leaves little room for you to move later without depleting the quality of the end result."



It is far better to research a site before taking photos so that you know when the best lighting is. It is beeter to take the photo naturally than to manipulate it later.


Some of your photos seem to be higher definition than your camera can take?


"I have had to take photos for billboards that are 2 stories high and twice as long!  To get an image that will not pixilate (lose definition), I sometimes use a trick that a lot of digital photographers used when digital cameras were only 1 mega pixel!  If you have a camera that is only 5 or 6 mega pixel, you can still make a photo that ends up 22 mega pixel or higher."


"The method used is to take a series of shots, overlapping each shot and later on stitch them together with a special program.  For instance, to take a photo of Sydney Harbour to make a 22 mega pixel photo, mount your 4 mega pixel camera on a tripod and commence to take a photo as far left and high of your view as possible.  Move your camera horizontally until you have an overlap of the last photo of 20%.  Take another photo.  Do the same again moving your camera to the right and take a third photo."


Now move your camera back to the first position and vertically move your camera down so as to overlap the first shot by 20%.  Now take three more photos from left to right.  that means you have six shots.  Now stitch them together in a stitching program and you have a photograph that is approximately 22 mega pixels.  It's as simple as that!  Satellite imaging use this technique all the time to get giga and tera pixels.  They take thousands of shots and join them together.  Take a look at the GlobelExplorer site for instance."




 Sydney Naturally Home

 Sydney City

 Sydney Harbour

 Sydney's Northern Beaches

 Map of Sydney

 Taronga Zoo Animals

 Insects of the Sydney Basin

 Butterflies of the Sydney Basin

 Bobbin Head in Winter

 Lisgar Gardens - Hidden Secrets

 Hornsby-Sydney's North Shore

 Cumberland Forest

 Snowy Mountain Lakes

 Water & Water Effects

 Photography 101 - Tips & Tricks

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.


Ansel Adams

Photographer, 1902 - 1984


Cameras in the stable of this photographer!




Canon EOS 5D MkII

with Battery Pack



Canon 20D




Nikon F2 Photomic




My Hasselblad CM 500.

They don't make them tougher!