Blackwater NWR Clouds At Sunset

I was working on files from previous photo trips. Now that I am retired I can go through my backup drives to post images that I did not have time to post before. This is a Sunset taken at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland a few years ago. Dramatic or interesting sunsets are quite often seen at Blackwater NWR. Some have told me that dramatic sunsets at Blackwater are because it is somewhat close to the coast. I am not sure on that, but Blackwater NWR does deliver on interesting sunrises & sunsets! Image taken with a 14-140mm lens @ 48mm on an Olympus body. I was going retouch out the aircraft contrails, but decided to leave them in.

Blackwater NWR Sunrise Panoramas

These images are a series of multi-image panoramas of a Blackwater NWR Sunrise on a visit there in July 2018. Blackwater NWR is a great place to visit for sunrise & sunsets. We were trying to get there for the sunrise and we just made it before the sunrise started. Most images were taken with a Canon 1D mkIV with a 24-105mm lens at various focal lengths. The featured image is made from 12 horizontal images taken @ 85mm to show less foreground and more height to the distant tree line. The full final size pano is 118″ long x ~20″ high.

Pre-Sunrise when arriving at Wildlife Drive entrance, Little Blackwater River, Canon 1D mkIV, 12-24mm lens @ 24mm
Pre-Sunrise, Wildlife Drive entrance, Little Blackwater River, single image, @75mm, 24-105mm, 1D mkIV
Sunrise along Wildlife Drive entrance, Little Blackwater River, 24-105mm @ 24mm, 8 image pano, 1D mkIV
Sunrise along Wildlife Drive, Little Blackwater River, 24-105mm @ 24mm, 10 image pano, 1D mkIV
Sunrise along Wildlife Drive, Little Blackwater River, 24-105mm @ 24mm, 1D mkIV
Sunrise along Wildlife Drive, Little Blackwater River, 24-105mm @ 24mm, 8 image pano, 1D mkIV
Sunrise along Wildlife Drive, Little Blackwater River, 24-105mm @ 85mm, 12 image pano, 1D mkIV
Sunrise along Wildlife Drive, Little Blackwater River, 24-105mm @ 105mm, 2 horizontal images, stacked, 1D mkIV

Early Morning Blackwater NWR Landscape

Many times when you visit the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, you can see Eagles early in the morning on snags or on tree branches as the sun is rising. It is fun to see how many you can find to photograph.Eagles snag v4 BWR_43G0696Eagles on Snags am BWR v1_43G0573

Blackwater NWR Sunrise

This image is from a previous trip to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. We arrived as the sun was coming up, so I stopped near the entrance to take a few shots of the trees along the entrance with the warm glow of the rising sun behind the trees. This was my favorite of the series, shot with a Canon 17-40mm lens @ 17mm. This is a lens I hardly ever use and is not my favorite lens for landscapes, but it was in my bag so I gave it a try anyway. In the end I liked the image. I usually use a 24-105mm and shoot multiple images @24mm for a slight panorama view.

Blackwater NWR – Trees In Light Fog

On one of our trips to the Blackwater NWR, there was a light fog at the Refuge when we arrived. Along the Wildlife Drive in the wooded area, I thought the fog looked interesting. It seemed to make the trees near to us stand out more against the hazy softer trees in the distance. I was using a 24-105mm lens @ 90mm to concentrate on the closer trees near the Wildlife Drive, adding depth to the image.





Blackwater NWR Sunset

We got to where we wanted on the Wildlife Drive to photograph the setting sun, but it was not as dramatic as we had hoped for. It was still fun to photograph and got a few good images. Then we moved a little closer, around the bend towards the straightaway to the exit. These are combinations of exposure  blends for darks & lights for shadow detail and bright detail along with multi-images for size. I was using 2 cameras, one with a 24-105mm, the other with a 12-24mm. The featured image is at 105mm (5 images, blended). If you see any specks in the sky, they are birds flying through. After the sun went below the horizon we then headed back to the motel to rest up for sunrise the next day.


Series of 5 images blended in Photoshop, 24mm


Three image blend @105mm


Four image blend @24mm


4 img blend @88mm


3 image blend – Sundown @24mm

BWR Observation Platform – 24mm

While we were at the Wildlife Refuge, I was looking along the Observation Platform to see if I could find something interesting to photograph. As I was walking down, I looked back and thought the platform itself was interesting. Plus I had a fairly Dramatic Sky to work with. Then I tried a series of effects in Photoshop, blending color and monotone into 1 image. If nothing else it kept me amused for a while trying different colors, tones, masks & combinations together. Plus it was fun to see different effects and how they work together.









Blackwater Landscapes Along The Wildlife Drive

Usually we go to Blackwater NWR (Maryland) for photographing Eagles, Ospreys and other Birds & Wildlife. Or if we stay til dark, they have very colorful sunsets, being close to the coast. But lately I have been photographing more of the landscapes along the Wildlife Drive. Also gives some practice trying HDR techniques or Panoramas. The eagle population is still growing as many Eagles are returning to the Refuge for the Winter.  Next I have to try views along the trails. Usually when I am on the trails I have long lenses with me to capture birds in the trees. At this time of year the Ospreys have left and the Eagles are gaining numbers as many come down from Canada.

The featured image was a 5 shot panorama, over lapping images, shot at 24mm. The next image is a 6 image HDR bracketed panorama image assembled in Photoshop. 3 bracketed exposures for each of the 2 sections, combined in Photoshop. Still trying to get use to CC 2017 Photoshop, from my usual CS6 workflow.






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