Male Anhinga At Lake Woodruff NWR

This is from a previous trip a couple of years ago to Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLand Florida. We saw quite a few female Anhingas, but we only saw this one male Anhinga preening on a branch and just hanging out there. Usually there are lots of them, but not on this visit.

Anhinga_Male_v2_LW_300mm 076A2559-2

Anhinga_v2_076A2544-2

Common Buckeye Butterfly From Brigantine

I am going through images to post and found this image of a Common Buckeye Butterfly. This was from a trip to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Galloway, New Jersey. We were traveling light and I was using a Canon 300mm lens with a 1.4X Canon Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIV. The Canon 300mm f/4 lens has fairly close focusing especially with the 1.4X Teleconverter. But to get even closer I used a Canon 25mm extension tube behind the teleconverter. Image taken @ f/11, 1/400 sec, ISO 400.

A Series Of Blue Dasher Dragonfly Images

Here in NJ Dragonfly season will be ending soon. I am seeing fewer Dragonflies & Damselflies at our local parks, Wildlife Refuges and even our yard. Here is a collection of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images from a variety of local Parks & Wildlife Refuges. The Featured Image was taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 2X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV @ f11 & with Fill Flash. Dragonfly distance from camera ~15 feet. Some images were also taken with Extension Tubes on the lens, but Extension Tubes do not show in the RAW Data in Adobe Bridge so I did not list them in the image info on each image.

Blue Dasher Male, 12.5 ft away, Canon 400mm DO lens, 2X Teleconverter, stacked 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/11 with Fill Flash (using 2 Stacked Teleconverters f/11 was shooting with the lens aperature wide open! Lost 3 stops of light with the stacked Teleconverters)
Blue Dasher Female, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV,@ f/8, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Female, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, f/8, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Male, 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, , f/8, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, teleconverters, f/11, w/ Fill Flash for detail
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/9
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/8
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400m DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/8
Mating Blue Dashers, Canon 400m DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, Fill Flash, @ f/13

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

Praying Mantis Portrait

I was looking for interesting bugs in our gardens to photograph and I found this Praying Mantis in the shade under some of the flowers. It was very dark but that made the Mantis stand out more. I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/11 with a Canon R. I wanted to make sure I got detail on the head and antennae only so I did a handheld 13 image focus stack to make sure I had detail on it’s head & 2 antennae or feelers. I purposely only wanted detail on the head and antennae and let the body go soft.

Painted Skimmer Dragonfly

I was going through my backup hard drives cleaning out unneeded files when I found this image of a male Painted Skimmer Dragonfly. This was taken at my pond years ago with a 300mm f/4 lens on a Canon 7D. Image taken @ f/11 to try to get a little more detail in the far wingtips.

Blue Dasher Dragonflies

A couple of images of Blue Dasher Dragonflies. The Featured Image of the male Blue Dasher was taken with a 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/8 on a Canon 1D mkIV. To get the smoother background I wanted I only stopped down 1 more f/stop to f/8 since I already lost 1 stop with the 1.4X Teleconverter attached. My usual workflow when (on bright days) using teleconverters for a little more sharpness is to stop down at least 1 additional stop when using a 1.4X and at least 2 stops when using a 2X teleconverter. If I am using a 3X Teleconverter I would stop down 1 or 2 more stops than when using a 2X Teleconverter if I could. But then again a 3X Teleconverter usually is so bad I would just stack a 1.4X & 2X teleconverter. If using an extension tube on Telephoto lenses to get closer focusing I would also stop down at least 1 or 2 more stops for more depth of field.

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 1D mkIV, 400mm DO lens, 2X Teleconverter, @ f/11
Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens, Extension Tubes for closer minimum focusing, f/13 for more depth of field since I was using an extension tube between the camera body & lens

Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

We had gone to the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve to see if we could find a few interesting dragonflies to photograph for the blog. The Preserve was still overloaded with Cicadas but there were quite a few Dragonflies flying around on the paths. It was fun to find this Immature Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly along the main path. The featured image was taken with a Canon 300mm lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter @ f/6.3 for a smoother background. Below are other views at various f/stops.

Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/5.6
Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/8
Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/8
Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/11
Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/7.1

New Jersey Brood X cicadas

We went to one of the local parks to see if we could find some dragonflies to photograph. As I was trying to get closer to one of the Dragonflies, I noticed a large insect on the plants along the path. I was surprised to see a very large Cicada with those big red eyes staring at me. I was very close so I used my iPhone 11 Pro with the 4.3mm lens to get a couple of images. The featured image is made from 2 iP11 images to get sharper focus on the Cicada eyes and then focused on the back wingtips. Apparently this is the year Cicadas will re-emerge in NJ from their 17 year life cycle. So I guess it will be getting really noisy soon! Thousands of Cicadas were seen on tree trunks, leaves and fence posts at the Updike Farm in Princeton, NJ.

Cicada, 2 image focus stack, iP11 Pro, 4.3mm lens

Cicadia, iP11 Pro, 4.3mm lens

Cicada, iP11 Pro, 4.3mm lens

Cicada, 2 image Focus Stack, iP11 Pro, 4.3mm lens

Cicada, m43 Olympus, 100-300mm lens @ 300mm

The audio in the iPhone videos below are actually less loud then the actual sound being there!

Sounds of Brood X Cicadas, iPhone 11 Pro
Sounds of Brood X Cicadas

Lancet Clubtail Dragonflies – Mating Wheel Formation

We were walking around Davidsons Mill Pond Park looking for Dragonflies to photograph. We did not see any by the small pond so we went down by the Lake. There the first ones I saw were a pair of Lancet Dragonflies mating. It was not in the usual “Heart” formation” but somewhat close. I was using a 300mm lens @ f/11 with a 1.4X Teleconverter on a Canon 7D. Using f/11 I got enough detail on my subjects but still had a smoother non-cluttered looking background. I also focused on each area of the Dragonflies I was shooting for the panorama instead of stopping down more for a cleaner looking background when the images are blended. The Featured Image is a 2 image Pano to get them both in the image.

Lancet Clubtail Dragonflies, 300mm, f/11, 3 image pano, Canon 7D
Lancet Clubtail Dragonflies, 300mm, f/11, Canon 7D – 2 Image handheld panorama
Lancet Clubtail Dragonflies, 300mm, f/11, Canon 7D – 4 Image handheld panorama
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