Blue Dasher Dragonfly In Our Garden

I was looking for a Praying Mantis in our gardens to photograph when this male Blue Dasher dragonfly landed on a branch by our carport. Not a great background but decided to photograph it anyway since I did not see any other interesting bugs. To minimize detail in the background carport siding I chose f/8 to minimize the carport detail. Since I was @ f/8 I shot a handheld series of images to retain detail on the dragonfly. I shot 3 images to focus stack on the dragonfly from wingtip to wingtip, then a 3 image series head to tail. After the main image stack, I moved in closer & closer for a few different closer versions since it seemed to be tolerating my being there.

A little closer view, Male Blue Dasher, Canon R, 300mm f/4 lens, 1.4x Canon Teleconverter, @ f/8
Closer view, Head Image, Wings Down, Canon R, 300mm, 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/8
Closer view, Head Image, Wings Up, Canon R, 300mm, 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/8

Tiny Spider – Large Web

I was looking for bugs or dragonflies in our garden and noticed this tiny spider in the middle of a very large web. The spider was only about 1/4 inch long so it was interesting it had such a large web. I shot a few images with my iPhone then went in to get my 150mm Macro with a Canon 1.4x Teleconverter. I should have also shot a wider shot showing the whole web. I did not confirm the type of spider but think it is an Orchard Orb-weaver.

Small Spider on web, Sigma 150mm macro lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter (~210mm with Teleconverter) Canon R

Redbelly Turtle Panorama From Davidsons Mill Pond Park

We went to Davidsons Mill Pond Park looking for Dragonflies, but I only saw a few off in the distance out in the water on some plants. But by the small pond near the entrance to the park I saw this Redbelly Turtle basking on the edge of the water. It was at the bottom of the incline with tall grasses before & around it. I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter so if I backed up to get the whole turtle in the shot the grasses in front of it would be in the way. So I got very close and shot 15 images, 3 rows of 5 overlapping shots to get the whole Turtle in. Working on the files when I got back I loaded all 15 images into 1 layered Photoshop file. Then I used the Edit >Auto Align, then >Auto Blend to automatically align & blend the 15 images for the final layered image. After that I cropped the image because hand holding the camera I had uneven border edges around the image.

Headshot – One of the 15 images in the series for the 5 images in 3 rows pano

Blackwater NWR Snow Geese 28 Image Panorama

These images are from a trip to the Blackwater NWR in February 2017. The original panorama image is made from 28 images, shot handheld from left to right. The final image @300 ppi is 248″long x 10.3″ high. I was using a Canon 1DmkIV with a 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Canon Teleconverter. The featured image is reduced so much to fit the featured image format that I broke them down below into 6 individual images so you can still see some of the the detail in the full 248″ image. Posting size in this blog really reduces the sharpness in the images but hopefully they hold up somewhat.

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Section 2
Section 3
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Section 5
Section 6

Osprey Defending Nest

On a visit years ago in the Spring to Blackwater NWR there was a lot of activity around the Osprey Nests along the Wildlife Drive. It was in mating season and the Ospreys were busy on the nests. This image was when an other osprey kept trying to get to the nest. On this pass the defending Osprey almost went upside down with claws out defending the nest. Plus there was a lot of screeching of the birds going on. This was the best image of the series because the more it was going up to defend the nest I cut off some of the Osprey in the image. Not sure if there were eggs in the nest or just wanted the nest. Image taken with a 400mm f/4 DO lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIII.

Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk From Brigantine

I am still going through backup drives for images to post here. These are from a trip to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in March of 2014. We were out of the car along the 2 way section of the Wildlife Drive when I noticed a hawk on one of the treetops. I am not great at ID’ing hawks, but I believe it is a juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk. Let me know if I am wrong! Anyway, it posed for me for quite a while. I slowly moved closer, little by little & did not want to bother it or scare it off. I was able to get some interesting images before others gathered to see what I was photographing and got to close to the tree it was on. Here are a few of the images taken as I was slowly getting closer until others noticed what I was photographing and scared the hawk off. All images were taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIII, handheld.

Snowy Egret Early AM

These images are from a previous trip years ago to J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida. It is one of our favorite places to visit when we are in Florida. We were walking early in the morning on the Indigo Trail which is off the Wildlife Drive. Usually there are quite a few Egrets & Herons there feeding in the am. The problem photographing in the early am there is it quite dark being in the shade from all the trees & vegetation above. After I took the featured image, I wanted to include the Snowy Egret’s reflection in the water. So I shot 2 vertical images to combine in Photoshop for a long vertical Panorama to include the reflection.

Snowy Egret – 2 vertical images Panorama,
400mm DO Lens with 1.4X Teleconverter, 1D mkIV, Blended in Photoshop

Last of the Slaty Skimmers for this year

Another Dragonfly season is pretty much over now so I will have to find other interesting subjects to photograph. Here are some Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly images from my last visit to Davidsons Mill Pond Park before they were gone.

4 Image Focus Stack, 300mm, f/6.3, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
Slaty Skimmer, 300mm, f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
Slaty Skimmer, 300mm, f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
4 Image Focus Stack, 300mm, f/16, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D

Slaty Skimmer @ Davidsons Mill Pond Park

It is nearing the end of the Dragonfly season so there are less opportunities of phot0graphing Dragonflies. We were walking at a local park and noticed this Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly by the pond. This is a 3 image focus stack, shot handheld, @ f/11. I focused on the far wing , then the head, and then the near wingtip. I loaded all 3 images into 1 layered Photoshop file to prepare the final blended image. I used Auto-Align Layers, then Auto-Blend Layers for the blending of the 3 images. I save the layered file, just in case I need to go back to adjust something, then flatten the layers for the final image. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens, with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D.

Immature Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly

When I was walking outside my home I saw this dragonfly in our gardens. So I got a camera to take some images. At first I thought it was a female Common Whitetail Dragonfly, but the dark spots on the wings were wrong. So I realized it was an immature male Common Whitetail Dragonfly. Image taken with a Canon 300mm lens with a 1.4x with a Canon 7D.

Common Whitetail_Immature_Male_v1_300mm_1_4X_7D

First image taken before moving a little closer

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