Posted on July 29, 2020
Usually we have a few different types of Dragonflies in our yard. But this Summer we have only had Amberwing Dragonflies around. But they were very skittish and very small, so I did not get any good images of them. When I was out looking in our garden for other Praying Mantises I noticed a female Blue Dasher on our Dogwood tree in the front yard. I finally had an interesting Dragonfly in our yard that was very tolerant of being photographed. It was on one of the Dogwood Bracts basically at almost eye level. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. It would take off, fly around then return to the same spot on the Dogwood. I was able to shift my position to get backgrounds in the shade and in the sun. I also was able to try different f/stops and a few image stacks. The featured shot I was at f/11 for more depth of field (so I did not have to do a focus stack) with a sunlit background.
Category: Blog, Dragonflies, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Insects, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Female Blue Dasher, Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Focus Stacking, image focus stacking
Posted on July 27, 2020
These Seaside Dragonlet dragonfly images were from a previous trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. It is a little over a 3 hour trip, but is fun to find a few different types of Dragonflies besides the usual ones by my home. A good spot to photograph dragonflies is around the main observation platform near the start of the Wildlife Drive. It has a long ramp instead of stairs to the main platform. So there are many dragonflies all around the platform. Plus easy access to dragonflies in the plants along the ramp sides. Another spot is the wooded area along the Wildlife Drive that has some water on both sides of the Drive. But dragons along here seem to move around much more and do not stay in one place long. The featured image is a male Seaside Dragonlet. Because of the angle, I shot 4 handheld images at different focus points. When adjusting my files I loaded the 4 images into 1 layered Photoshop file. Then I aligned the layers and then blended the layers for the final base file. All images were taken with a Canon 300mm f/4 lens with a Canon 1.4x teleconverter & Canon 7D.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Panorama & Stacked Images, Uncategorized Tagged: blackwater National Wildlife refuge, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Male Seaside Dragonet Dragonfly, Seaside Dragonet, Seaside Dragonet Dragonfly
Posted on July 13, 2020
A couple of images from a trip to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Some of the dragonflies already seem to showing a lot of wear already. Missing wing parts and just looking a little worn. It is amazing that some with almost no wing on one side can still somewhat fly. This is a Female Seaside Dragonlet and has a bent and damaged Segmented Abdomen.It amazes me the males and female dragonflies are so different in coloring & markings. Which also makes it difficult to ID sometimes. Then throw in immatures and it get more confusing! All images taken with a Canon 300mm lens with a 1/4X teleconverter on a Canon 7D.
Posted on July 13, 2020
Needham Skimmer Dragonfly images from a previous trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, outside Cambridge, Maryland. The featured image is a Needham Skimmer Dragonfly made from 3 images, focused at 3 different focus areas on the dragonfly and blended in Photoshop. I focused on near wingtip, body, then far wingtip. Even at f/14 with a 300mm lens I only needed 3 focus areas to get a sharp dragonfly from wingtip to wingtip and still have a smoother background. If I stopped down more I would get a more distracting backgrounds, so focus stacking helps the dragonfly stand out more.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Insects, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images Tagged: blackwater National Wildlife refuge, canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Needham Skimmer Dragonfly
Posted on June 30, 2020
A few images of a female Common Whitetail Dragonfly taken along a walk at the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve in NJ. I was using a Canon 300mm f/4 lens on a Canon 7D, mainly because it was lighter to carry for a long walk. The background is a little busy with the sandy & pebble path. But it cooperated by not flying off!
Posted on June 27, 2020
An assortment of Dragonfly closeups focusing on their eye & face details. Images taken with 300mm & 400mm lenses with extension tubes.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Celery Farm, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, blue dasher Female dragonfly, canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 400 f/4 DO lens, Eastern Pondhawk, extension tubes
Posted on June 24, 2020
When I was going to my car in the carport I noticed a Swallow flying in food to it’s chicks in a nest in the eaves of the carport. So I went to get a camera to photograph the chicks. The nest was in a very dark corner on the inside below the roof edge. Because of how dark it was and I was using a 300mm f/4 lens @ f/5.6, I upped my ISO to 3200 ISO to get a little higher shutter speed to get to sharper images in the dim light.
Posted on June 1, 2020
It is interesting to see Spring’s Bright Green new growth on the evergreen trees by our sidewalk. The bright growth really stands out from the older branches. Also our flowers in the garden are starting to bloom. It is nice to see new growth and a new beginning with all that has been going on in the country lately. We seem to also have a semi-permanent resident Garter Snake in our garden now.
Posted on March 10, 2020
An assortment of close-up images of Alligators from 2 Florida locations, along the paths at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s Rookery. Featured image taken at Ding Darling NWR with 300mm f/4 Lens, Canon R.
Following is information on Alligators from Ding Darling NWR’s website.
One of only two alligator species in the world, the American Alligator is a large reptile found in freshwater habitats throughout the southeastern United States. Adult male alligators can grow up to 4.6 meters long and weigh over 500 pounds while females are generally smaller and average only 3 meters long with a weight of 200 pounds. Commonly portrayed as green, the skin of an American alligator is actually a dark grey color with pale yellow on the underside, and the juveniles have bright yellow stripes along their backs until they mature and the striped fade. The dark coloration allows this predator to better blend into the swamps, marshes, and wetlands it inhabits and camouflages the animal while it hunts at night. Another adaptation that allows the alligator to better hunt within its watery habitat is a double set of eyelids. One set of eyelids is much like a humans, they close up and down and protect the eye from debris and light. A second set of translucent eyelids, called a nictitating membrane, close front to back and are used to protect the eyes while the alligator is underwater. Like other reptiles, American alligators are cold blooded and need heat from the sun or other sources such as warm water to be active or even to digest their food. Special bone plates called scutes grow between layers of skin along the back of the alligator, giving the animal an armored appearance and acting as a solar plate. The scutes collect heat from the sun when the alligator sunbathes and warms the blood that runs through the vessels of the skin, transferring the heat throughout the body. Despite their appearance as slow, lazy, or unresponsive which sunbathing as alligator is capable of running up to 11 miles per hour on land in short bursts. This species is much better built for water travel, where it is able to utilize its tail as a paddle and rudder to guide the torpedo-shaped body through the water at speeds up to 20 miles per hour.
Category: Blog, Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel FL, Favorite Locations, Nature Still Lifes, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Wildlife Tagged: Alligators, Canon 1D MkIV, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R, canon R camera, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Posted on February 19, 2020
As we were walking the trails at Lake Woodruff NWR we saw these Sandhill Cranes flying by. I wanted to get the whole group in one image. I was using a 300mm lens, so I shot 5 images in a quick series to combine into one Sandhill Crane flying panorama. I could not let Photoshop align and blend the panorama because of the movement of the wings confused Photoshop auto alignment of images. I used a series of soft masks to blend the images manually in the panorama and spaced them by the spaces between the Cranes.