Brown Pelican FlyBy

A close flyby image of a Brown Pelican from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge  in Cambridge, Maryland. I was purging files from backup hard disks and thought this was an interesting image of the Brown Pelican to post here. Image taken with a 400mm Canon DO lens on a Canon 1D mkIV.

Golden-winged Skimmer Dragonflies

These Golden-winged Skimmer Images are from a previous trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. It is a great Refuge to photograph in, lots of photo subjects. Especially in the warmer weather – Bald Eagles, Ospreys and of course Dragonflies! There are many types of Dragonflies here and some we do not usually see in New Jersey. So it is fun to photograph some different types of dragonflies instead of the usual dragons. There are a lot of areas for dragonflies throughout the Refuge, but my favorite spots at Blackwater are the first Observation Platform along the Wildlife Drive and the Wildlife Drive area with standing water on both sides of the Drive. The Visitors Center has gardens behind the building which also is a good spot for dragonflies. At the Observation Platform there are lots of parking spaces there and dragonflies are prevalent all along here on the sides of the Drive. The platform has a long ramp to the main platform so there are lots of Dragonflies around the base and by the vegetation as you walk up.

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Golden-winged Skimmer, female 

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Golden-winged Skimmer, male

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Golden-winged Skimmer, female

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Golden-winged Skimmer, male

Seaside Dragonlet Dragonflies

These Seaside Dragonlet dragonfly images were from a previous trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. It is a little over a 3 hour trip, but is fun to find a few different types of Dragonflies besides the usual ones by my home. A good spot to photograph dragonflies is around the main observation platform near the start of  the Wildlife Drive. It has a long ramp instead of stairs to the main platform. So there are many dragonflies all around the platform. Plus easy access to dragonflies in the plants along the ramp sides. Another spot is the wooded area along the Wildlife Drive that has some water on both sides of the Drive. But dragons along here seem to move around much more and do not stay in one place long. The featured image is a male Seaside Dragonlet. Because of the angle, I shot 4 handheld images at different focus points. When adjusting my files I loaded the 4 images into 1 layered Photoshop file. Then I aligned the layers and then blended the layers for the final base file. All images were taken with a Canon 300mm f/4 lens with a Canon 1.4x teleconverter & Canon 7D.

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Screen Grab showing the final finished merged Layer and below that what Photoshop chose as the sharpest areas on each layer. 

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Female Seaside Dragonlet Dragonfly

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Male Seaside Dragonlet Dragonfly

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Female Seaside Dragonlet

Female Seaside Dragonlet

A couple of images from a trip to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Some of the dragonflies already seem to showing a lot of wear already. Missing wing parts and just looking a little worn. It is amazing that some with almost no wing on one side can still somewhat fly. This is a Female Seaside Dragonlet and has a bent and damaged Segmented Abdomen.It amazes me the males and female dragonflies are so different in coloring & markings.  Which also makes it difficult to ID sometimes. Then throw in immatures and it get more confusing! All images taken with a Canon 300mm lens with a 1/4X teleconverter on a Canon 7D.

Seaside Dragonlet??

Seaside Dragonlet – Male

Needham’s Skimmer Dragonflies From Blackwater NWR

Needham Skimmer Dragonfly images from a previous trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, outside Cambridge, Maryland. The featured image is a  Needham Skimmer Dragonfly made from 3 images, focused at 3 different focus areas on the dragonfly and blended in Photoshop. I focused on near wingtip, body, then far wingtip. Even at f/14 with a 300mm lens I only needed 3 focus areas to get a sharp dragonfly from wingtip to wingtip and still have a smoother background. If I stopped down more I would get a more distracting backgrounds, so focus stacking helps the dragonfly stand out more.

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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 In The Fog

One of my favorite places to photograph is the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge Maryland. From Eagles, Ospreys, other birds, Dragonflies, Delmarva Fox Squirrels, stunning sunrises and sunsets, it is a great place to explore and photograph. It is a place you need to come prepared with a wide range of lenses since you never know what photo subjects you will come across. Because there are plenty of opportunities for a variety of photo opportunities. From macro, to landscapes, to Wildlife near and far. I guess that is why I enjoy being there. The main section to photograph is on the Wildlife Drive. Then the trails off the Wildlife Drive. But also there are miles of roads winding through the Refuge, but you really should not stop and photograph on those roads. It is fun to see the many Eagle Nests along them. There are a few boat launching areas you can stop at to photograph. Also the Tubman Trail which is down the road from the main Wildlife Drive areas, is also good for landscapes, Eagles and other birds. On this trip it was quite foggy when we got there. It was supposed to burn off a little later so it was fun to find some views and subjects to photograph in the heavy fog. Plus the Refuge was almost empty of other visitors, so it was an errie feeling to be pretty much alone in this large Refuge. The fog was actually worse than these images show. But I wanted to be able to show what I was photographing, so I added some contrast and adjusted the midtone levels in Photoshop to bring out a little more detail.

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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.

Bald Eagle Soaring At Blackwater NWR

I am still going through my backup hard drives for images to post on the blog.  I think we will finally be able to go to some local parks tomorrow to get some recent images to post on the blog.  One in particular usually has Bluebirds this time of year. The images posted here are from a previous trip years ago to Blackwater NWR in Maryland. They were taken soon after we got there early in the morning as the sun was rising. To bad the Eagle was flying away from me, but I liked the colorful sky that helped make the images interesting.  All images were taken with a 400mm Canon DO lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a 1D series body.

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Snow Geese Fly By

This large group of Snow Geese was flying in a long & low to the water flock of birds. The white Snow Geese overlapping the bright sun lit water really blended in with the bright water, but I thought it was still an interesting image. Image from Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge a few years ago. Shot with a Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x teleconverter.

 

 

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