Posted on October 19, 2020
The featured image is a stacked multi-image, multi-row Praying Mantis panorama. This was the last Praying Mantis I photographed in our gardens this year. We had quite a few throughout the summer, but this was the largest Mantis I photographed this year. The featured image is 8 images, shot in 3-multi-rows of overlapping images. I managed getting 3 images for the top row, 3 images for middle row & only 2 images for the bottom row before it moved. I was shooting handheld with a 300mm lens @ f/5.6 for a softer, smoother background since I wanted a blurred background not showing details of the flowers & siding on the house. I concentrated my focus on the head and front legs and so the yellow flowers behind the Mantis gave a bright pop of interesting color.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Focus Stacking, Focus stacking for more depth of field, Focus stacking for smoother cleaner backgrounds, focus stacking in Photoshop, handheld panorama, Panorama tips, photoshop panoramas, Praying Mantis, Praying Mantis Paorama
Posted on September 22, 2020
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.
Category: Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Insects, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images Tagged: canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, slaty skimmer, slaty skimmer dragonfly
Posted on September 14, 2020
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.
Posted on September 8, 2020
On a visit to Davidsons Mill Pond Park, I found this Ladybug climbing on a Thistle. I liked the “Spot” of Color of the Ladybug against the green part of the Thistle. I thought it looked like it was pointing to the flowering colorful top on the thistle and added interest. Image taken with 300mm lens @ f/11 on a Canon 1D mkIV.
Posted on August 15, 2020
The featured image and the one below are male Widow Skimmers. Images taken with a 300mm f/4 canon lens with a 1.4X Canon teleconverter.
Below are images of female Widow Skimmer dragonflies. Female Widow Skimmers do not have white on the wings and have a different body coloring.
Posted on August 14, 2020
When doing a multi-image focus stack for more depth of field on a dragonfly image, I usually set my f/stop to f/11 or f/16 when using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. This way I do not need as many shots for the full focus series of images. Many times a dragonfly will fly off or change position before I finish the series for a stack so I cannot use it and have to start over. This dragonfly seemed to be very still & cooperative. So I managed to do a focus stack from head to tail, including wingtip to wingtip. This series was 12 images, shot at f/8 for a smooth clean background. For a focus stack with a large number of images, I also use a tripod. After flattening the layered file, you might have a minor touch up here or there.
Posted on August 13, 2020
I was looking for bugs in the garden and noticed this female Eastern Amberwing on a Hydrangea. It was a nice photo subject as it stayed in the general area giving me multiple opportunities to photograph it on multiple plants. All images were taken with a 300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIV.
Posted on August 12, 2020
It is a lacewing larva or sometimes just called a “junk bug” because of the junk it carries around on its back. The tiny larvae come up with all sorts of creative disguises to confuse predators. Other larvae may use bits and pieces of leaves, dead insects or whatever debris is available. I have seen these in other gardens, but never tried to find out what they were.
Posted on August 11, 2020
Here are a few images of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly from our visit to Davidsons Mill Pond Park. The featured image is a single image shot with a Canon 300mm f/4 lens with a 2x teleconverter on a Canon 7D @ f/11. Image below was a Blend of 2 stacked images, blended in Photoshop with a soft edge on the seam. Field of View equivalent with the Canon 7D (1.6x crop camera) 300mm f/4 lens, Canon 2x teleconverter ~ 960mm. When using a 2x teleconverter your lens wide open will be @ f/8, not f/4 because you loose 2 stops of light with the 2x teleconverter. So I usually stop down at least 1 additional f/stop to help with sharpness because of the added teleconverter.
Category: Blog, Butterflys, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Equipment, Panorama & Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques Tagged: 2 image pano, blending images, Butterflies, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Canon Series 2X teleconverter, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, image blending, Moon, nature, swallowtail butterfly
Posted on August 9, 2020
While I was photographing dragonflies at Davidsons Mill Pond Park this Monarch Butterfly flew in to these flowers right in front of me. I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter, so I had to backup some because it was too close to focus on. I was shooting almost wide open to get a smoother background so the Monarch & the flowers would standout more against a smooth background.