My favourite pics from 2013

I’ve had a fantastic year….

I turned 50, I realised a dream and went to the Antarctic, my clickwalklearn photography tours business has taken off (and hasn’t stopped) and I’ve had two really successful photography exhibitions.

I’ve taken LOTS of pics this year – I mean LOTS….

Thanks to everyone for all your support. I really enjoy your feedback and comments 🙂

Here are some of my favourites photos from 2013…

I hope each and everyone of you enjoy your new year celebrations and that 2014 brings you all you hope and dream for….

Follow your dreams…I do…

Don’t forget to click on the shots to enlarge them…

This is my absolute favourite shot from the Antarctic. We were in a zodiac right near Port Lockroy. This magnificent iceberg was backlit and begged to be photographed. It was exhibited as part of my exhibition ‘Frozen Lenses’ during the Head On Photo festival..I could look at it all day 🙂


This humpback whale was as huge as he looks in this pic…I look at this shot everyday (its hanging in my loungeroom) and marvel at the wonder of nature…


I watched this beautiful chinstrap penguin for a while….How majestic is he? I absolutely love this shot…another favourite 🙂

I bought myself a macro lens earlier this year and have LOVED it ever since!! This pic shows the detail you can get out of this lens. Everyone now go and buy a macro lens…you won’t be sorry 🙂


At Easter, we packed up with my family and went to Lake Eucumbene, down in the Snowy Mountains of NSW. It was a photographers paradise! Here are my favourite shots from this trip..I especially love the stars..




I’ve photographed so many babies this year…They were all beautiful and cuddly and gorgeous!! I love them all particularly this first one that really shows the love between Jodie and her beloved Jack….


This is Macey…She’s the daughter of very special friends of mine…isn’t she adorable?


How cute is Lachlan? A beautiful little boy..I love the expression on his face….


Benjamin is such a happy boy, he was SO tired after our photoshoot….how soft does he look here?


Here’s Emily. She was definitely the most photographic little girl with such a beautiful smile….


Mount Wilson is such a glorious town up in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. This garden was truly magnificent. It was really hard to choose my favourite shot, but the softness of the Wisteria and the blurred background makes this shot so easy on the eye….


I celebrated my 50th birthday in June. This is a shot of me, my hubby Ray and my two boys Ryan and Bryce….such a special family time..


Its such an icon in Sydney. The face of Luna Park…I’ve photographed it many times before. But I just love the angle and the colour of this one….


The gardens in the Blue Mountains are always spectacular in the spring and I loved visiting many homes during the ‘Garden Festival.’ I love the colour in this shot and the simplicity of the flower…


The moon….always a challenge to photograph…I spent lots of time with the camera to get this shot….You need a zoom lens, a tripod and lots of patience 🙂


Last, but not least, this is my favourite pic from 2013. It’s me…Alone in the Antarctic doing my favourite thing…I absolutely love it!!

© D. LEAL 04a

Happy New Year everyone 🙂 🙂 🙂

How to take great photographs of the moon….

This shot was taken on 21/7/13 in Sydney, Australia. ISO 100 Aperture F11, S/speed 1/125
This shot was taken on 21/7/13 in Sydney, Australia at 6.15pm.
ISO 100 Aperture F11, S/speed 1/125

The moon is such an easy object to photograph, but so many people find it really difficult and usually end up with a moon shot that looks like a ‘white blob’:)

In this tutorial, I’m gonna show you just how simple it is.

1. The first thing you need is a sturdy tripod. This will ensure that your camera keeps still and the image is SUPER sharp.

2. A DSLR with a zoom lens {minimum 200mm} or a point and shoot camera with an optical zoom.

3. A remote shutter release, or, if you don’t have one, you can use the camera’s self timer.

4. Put your camera onto the tripod and turn the image stabiliser OFF {if your lens has one.} The stabiliser can actually cause your camera to move when it’s on the tripod.

5. Set your ISO to 100. If you have a point and shoot camera, make sure the ‘Auto ISO’ is off.

6. Put your camera into M {manual mode.}

7. Switch the focus mode to ‘M’ {manual – it’s on the side of the lens.}

8. Set your metering mode to ‘spot’ – this means that your camera will ONLY take a reading off the moon and not the whole of the scene {including the surrounding dark sky.}

9. Now this is the bit that surprises most photographers; set the aperture to F11 and the shutter speed to 1/125 sec.…The moon is actually moving MUCH faster than you think 🙂
Remember, this is just a starting point for the aperture, shutter speed and ISO – adjustments can be made if necessary.

10. Focus on infinity, {by setting your lens to the centre of the infinity sign on the lens} if you are using your viewfinder.
If have the ‘live view’ function on your camera, it’s even easier to focus. Switch live view on, move the focus box so it’s over the moon, zoom in using the ‘magnifying tool’ on the rear of the camera and manually focus your image using the focusing ring on your lens.

11. Attach your remote shutter release to your camera and you’re good to go! Take a shot and examine the results carefully on the LCD screen for sharpness. The slightest bit of movement will blur the image.

If the moon is too BRIGHT, choose a smaller aperture {eg F14 or F16.} If the moon is too DARK, choose a larger aperture {eg F8} OR increase the ISO {I usually don’t go any higher than ISO 800.}

A couple of points here – I don’t change my shutter speed at all….I leave it at 1/125 sec. I adjust either the aperture or ISO to add or subtract light.

I don’t open up my aperture any more than F8…so I don’t use F5.6 or F4 etc – as I want a large depth of field to capture all the details of the moon.

Take lots of shots using different settings to get the result you want 🙂

Photographing the moon is lots of fun, so take lots of shots, experiment with different settings and most importantly practise, practise, practise:)

My images were cropped to enlarge the size of the moon in the frame.

Happy clicking,

Chris 🙂


If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them 🙂


This shot was taken a few months back on a cloudy night. ISO 100 Aperture F13 s/speed 1/125
This shot was taken a few months back on a cloudy night.
ISO 100 Aperture F13 s/speed 1/125