Posted on March 9, 2020
We were photographing this female Anhinga at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and I really liked the Anhinga’s reflection and wanted to include it in the final image. So I shot 2 images to combine in Photoshop. I manually aligned the 2 images (300mm) and did a soft edge mask to blend the 2 images into the final image. Sometimes when you blend 2 images automatically in Photoshop, it distorts or greatly skews one of the layers so it looks strange. So manual alignment sometimes works best.
Posted on February 23, 2020
When we were photographing the Otters at Lake Woodruff NWR, this Great Egret flew in by the Otters. I liked the sunlight highlighting the feathers in the wing as it was landing. I was using a Canon R with a 300mm lens. The Canon R holds the highlight details much better than my other Canon cameras and has better shadow detail also.
Posted on February 16, 2020
We saw quite a few Anhingas at Lake Woodruff_NWR and got quite a few images of them for the couple of days we were there. This one had been fishing in the water and you can see it is shaking off some water drops above the beak on the featured image. It seems amazing they can hold on to branches with those large webbed feet. When they look right at you they seem to have a small head for such a large body. When fishing they use that sharp beak to spear their pray. Most of these images are of the female Anhinga.
Posted on February 6, 2020
Another panorama from Lake Woodruff NWR. This time is a 5 horizontal image panorama, stacked for a vertical image. I was using a 300mm Canon f/4 lens. It was strange on this trip that they seemed to not be wary of people. They would walk right near you as they were feeding in the grasses or walking by. It was definitely a fun trip!
Posted on January 29, 2020
We decided to go on a quick trip to Florida to one of our favorite NWRs, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLeon Springs, Florida. We were only there for a few days, but it was an amazing spot for photos of wildlife and landscapes. The Sandhill Cranes and River Otters were not disappointing! As we were walking the trails, Sandhill Cranes would land right in front of us giving us fantastic photo opportunities. Sometimes it was strange to have them land & walk right up to you. They would just stare at you checking you out! We were traveling light and most of the time I was using a 300mm or a 150-600mm lens. For detail or landscapes I used my iPhone 11Pro. Since I was traveling light, a lot of my images of Sandhill Cranes I had to shoot a series of images for a panorama to get the whole Crane in. Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is not one of the NWRs that gets a lot of visitors or attention. You are pretty much on your own except for a few locals walking or birding there. But for us it is one of our favorite NWRs to visit. It does not have a visitor center and has a small parking lot down a small road that is only wide enough for 1 car. So if you meet someone going the other way you have to pull over so 1 can pass. The 22,000-acre refuge contains a myriad habitats: among them are marshes, swamps, creeks, hammocks and uplands. We only found it years ago because there was an accident on Route 95 that closed the highway overnight. So we had to stay at a motel and at breakfast the waitress asked where we were going. We said we were going to Ding Darling NWR for photography and she said we should go to Lake Woodruff NWR and might like it better. She was right! Sometimes you really feel quite alone when walking the trails, except for the wildlife.
Posted on January 7, 2020
I was walking along the Wildlife Drive at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge when I came upon this Anhinga. We tend to like walking along the Drive because you see more wildlife and have more opportunities for getting interesting photos. Plus you are not in the middle of large groups of photographers photographing the same subject at some of the main photo hotspots there.
Posted on January 6, 2020
I saw this Reddish Egret looking for a meal as it was strolling along in the water in front of me. Usually you see them darting around with their wings raised casting a shadow for the fish to swarm to. Images taken with 300mm lens with 1.4X Teleconverter.