Posted on August 14, 2018
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.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Favorite Locations, Nature Still Lifes, Skyscapes & Clouds Tagged: Blackwater landscapes, blackwater National Wildlife refuge, Blackwater sunset., canon 24-105mm f/4 lens, HDR Images, image blending, Image Stacking, image stacking with photoshop, photoshop effects, Sigma 12-24mm
Posted on August 12, 2018
When we were going to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, we planned for the first day to include the sunset and the second day to be there for the sunrise. Usually they are very dramatic and colorful at Blackwater NWR. Normall we go to the end of the Wildlife Drive for sunsets and the beginning of the Wildlife Drive for sunrise. The sunrises are better on the Little Blackwater River. While the sunsets are better by the Blackwater River. While we were on the Wildlife Drive heading for the far end, we noticed and liked the colorful clouds on the Blackwater River so we stopped and shot a few panoramas as the sun was getting lower. Even with 12mm or 24mm lenses, it still did not give me all I wanted in my shots. So I shot a series of images handheld, to blend together to get the view I wanted. The featured image was a series of shots in a vertical format to blend together. I wanted to include more sky and reflections in the water. The image below was a series of images shot horizontally to blend together. With 12mm or 24mm lenses it seems like you have to shoot the images with a lot more overlap on each image than with longer lenses. Also instead of using Photoshop to automatically align and blend the images, they come out better to manually align each image manually and make soft edge masks to blend together for the final image. Photoshop tends to really distort the few images on each end and distort the edges badly, especially the extreme images on each end. The clouds and reflections then look really distorted and warped.
Posted on July 31, 2018
We went to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge, Maryland to see what subjects we could find to photograph. These images were taken along the Wildlife Drive. The Eagles were scarce, only saw a few in the distance, but we kind of expected that. But in the Winter months Blackwater has one of the highest numbers of Eagles in the Northeast. So we were concentrating on Dragonflies, other birds, panoramas and sunrises & sunsets. The featured image was 4 Horizontal shots @24mm, assembled in Photoshop. With wide angle lenses for panoramas, I tend to overlap more than when using long telephoto lenses. The wider the focal length the more overlapping shots I do. These images were shot on or near the long Observation Platform along the 4 mile Wildlife Drive. The above featured image was 4 horizontal shots @ 24mm. On the right side of the featured image you can see part of the Observation Platform. These images were taken with the Canon 24-105mm lens or the Sigma 12-24mm lens. The Blackwater NWR includes more than 28,000 acres of tidal marsh, mixed hardwood and loblolly pine forests, managed freshwater wetlands and croplands. The Blackwater & Little Blackwater Rivers flow through the refuge so I guess that is where they got the name Blackwater NWR.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Favorite Locations, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Skyscapes & Clouds, Tips & Techniques Tagged: blackwater National Wildlife refuge, canon 24-105mm f/4 lens, clouds, Cloudscapes, landscapes, panoramas, photography, Sigma 12-24mm
Posted on June 18, 2018
I like going to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland for their colorful Sunrises and Sunsets. (Also for Eagles & Ospreys and…) On this day the clouds were very interesting so I was shooting a few different versions, compositions, focal lengths and Camera/lens combos. Then I noticed a thin long length of colorful clouds above the trees but below the main larger clouds. So I tried a 400mm with a 1.4X Teleconverter pano version. I shot 24 images with that combo, with large overlaps on each shot, all handheld. This is the Featured Image above. I used a lot of overlapping images because it usually lines up better, especially when the camera is handheld. If I do not need them I can just use a few instead. Below are more versions with different camera and lens combinations. Also some eagles that flew by in the colorful sky adding some interest and a subject in the colorful sky. In the featured image about 2/3rds over to the right there is a small dot below the clouds. That was another Bald Eagle flying through and I decided to leave it and not clone it out.
Category: Birds, Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Landscapes, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Skies and Clouds, Skyscapes & Clouds, Wildlife Tagged: Blackwater Colorful Clouds, Blackwater Colorful Sunrise, blackwater National Wildlife refuge, Blackwater Sunrise, Canon 17-40mm, canon 24-105mm f/4 lens, canon 400mm f/4 DO, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Clouds at Sunrise, Colorful Clouds, panoramas, panos, Pre-sunrise, presunrise