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 21, 2020
Over a week ago we went to Davidsons Mill Pond Park to see if we could find some dragonflies to photograph before the end of Dragonfly season here. I was surprised to see so many Slaty Skimmers along with a variety of others still here. As I was setting up on the back area of the first small pond these two flew in and landed right in front of me. I was surprised since it was so late in the season. Also they were in the “wheel” position for mating. After my first few shots I moved in a little closer to photograph a 2 image pano for a more square image. The featured image is a single shot. The image below are 2 images, stacked for the final closeup image. I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4X teleconverter. I was on the edge of the pond so could not get any closer.
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 August 23, 2020
When I was walking outside my home I saw this dragonfly in our gardens. So I got a camera to take some images. At first I thought it was a female Common Whitetail Dragonfly, but the dark spots on the wings were wrong. So I realized it was an immature male Common Whitetail Dragonfly. Image taken with a Canon 300mm lens with a 1.4x with a Canon 7D.
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 10, 2020
On our photo walk at Davidsons Mill Pond Park, I noticed this Immature Common Whitetail male dragonfly warming on a rock. It had a cluttered background behind the dragonfly, so I shot 3 images wide open, f5.6, at different focus points. 1st on the left wing, 2nd on the body, then the right wing. When I was working on the files, I loaded the 3 images in one layered Photoshop file. I selected all three layers and selected Auto-align, then auto-blend for the final merged image. When you do auto-blend Photoshop automatically blends what it thinks are the best areas to use for the final blended image. Sometimes you might need to do a tiny touch up here or there, but usually it does a pretty good job. Since I was using a tripod for these images they lined up nicely and I did not need much in the way of touch-ups on this image. I was using a 300mm f/4 with a 1.4x teleconverter. To keep the background smoother I was shooting wide open, but with a 1.4x teleconverter that would be @ f/5.6. Usually when I use a teleconverter, if there is enough light, I stop down a little more then I usually do to help with sharpness. On a 1.4x I stop down at least 1 f/stop, on a 2x teleconverter I stop down at least 2 stops (Again, if there is enough light). But on this series I wanted a smoother background so I did not stop down and left it @ f/5.6.
Category: Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Uncategorized Tagged: canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 lens IS, Canon 7D, common whitetail, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Image stack. image stacking, image stacking with photoshop, Immature Common Whitetail Dragonfly, Immature Common Whitetail Male Dragonfly
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.
Posted on August 8, 2020
It finally started to get back to normal here after the storm went though. Power in the area seems back to normal, traffic lights are working so we could finally drive to a local park to see what we could find to photograph. I was mostly looking for dragonflies or butterflies. I was surprised that there were only a few people in this usually busy park.
As I was walking to the first pond I found this Common Whitetail Dragonfly on a fallen tree limb. It was warming in the sun and allowed me to get very close without flying off. I started from a distance and then worked getting gradually closer, taking a series of images along the way.
Posted on August 6, 2020
I was out in the yard looking for macro subjects after the Tropical Storm Isaias. In our community we had a few large branches come down from the strong winds, but nothing too major from what we saw during an early morning walk. We did not loose power, but 40% of our town lost power and close by towns were without power. Apparently it will take days for all power to be up again. A lot of the roads are closed and takes hours to try to get anywhere. Even close by stores are probably without power also, from what neighbors said that tried.
In the yard we found a Banded Hairstreak Butterfly in a Dwarf Alberta Spruce by our front door. I was able to get a few images before it disappeared in the Alberta Spruce. I was using a Sigma 150mm macro with a Canon 2x teleconverter.