Female Anhingas On Branches

Along the Wildlife Drive at Ding Darling NWR, we found 2 different female Anhingas sunning on branches. The featured image and the first image below were on one side of the Wildlife Drive. The other female Anhinga, shown below were directly across the Wildlife Dive from the first Anhinga. All images taken with a 400mm DO lens with on a Canon 7D . I actually had to back up from both birds to fit them in the frame.Anhinga_FM_DD_400mm_1_4X_7D_v3_MG_3959

Anhinga_Fm_v2_dd_400mm_1_4x_7D_MG_5944_MG_5952Anhinga_Fm_v2_dd_400mm_1_4x_7D_MG_5939Anhinga_Fm_v1_dd_400mm_1_4x_7D_MG_5937Anhinga_Fm_v2_dd_400mm_1_4x_7D_MG_5942

Roseate Spoonbill Flyby

Roseate Spoonbills are one of my favorite Florida birds to photograph! Plus they are a large colorful bird that fills the frame & stands out in photos. In this image I really liked the outstretched wings showing the feather detail and the size of the wingspan. Their wingspan on average is 47 to 52 inches. Image taken at J.N. Ding Darling NWR in Florida a few years ago with a 300mm lens, 1.4X teleconverter on a Canon 7D.

Preening Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron

This Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron image is from a previous trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery in Florida. It is an interesting place to photograph Florida birds. Many types of birds nest here because their nests are protected from predators because of the Alligators below the Boardwalk. Image taken with a 400mm DO lens on a Canon 7D.

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

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.

Male Calico Pennant Dragonfly

Another Dragonfly image from our walk at the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve. The featured image is made from 2 images shot with a 300mm lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/8. I usually shoot my series of images starting at the head and work my way back down the body. I would have shot 1 more image for the tail but it flew off before I could get that shot.

Male Calico Pennant Dragonfly, 300mm lens, 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/8, Canon 7D. This is the 1st image in series showing forewing & hindwing tips are a little soft.

Common Whitetail Dragonflies From Davidsons Mill Pond Park

We went to the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve looking for dragonflies and any other interesting subjects we could find to photograph. We found a male & female Common Whitetail Dragonfly in 2 different locations along our walk. The Featured Image is a Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly 2 shot focus stack @ f/8. I focused first on the head & then focused on the tail. Then blended the 2 images in Photoshop for the final image. By shooting 2 images @ f/8 and combining the 2 images I had the depth of field to get the head & tail in focus and still have a somewhat smoother background I wanted without getting a more cluttered looking background. Usually I would use f/5.6 instead of f/8 but I only wanted to use 2 images in case the dragonfly flew off. All images in this post were taken with a Canon 7D with a 300mm f/4 lens & 1.4X Teleconverter.

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly, f/ 5.6. Showing smoother uncluttered background but the tail sharpness is softer than the 2 image stacked image.

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly @ f/11, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter. Showing even at f/11 the tail sharpness is softer than the 2 image focus stacked image.

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Immature Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter, @ f/8, Canon 7D, showing smoother, uncluttered background.

Immature Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter, @ f/16, Canon 7D, showing a more cluttered distracting background.

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

Redbelly Turtle Panorama From Davidsons Mill Pond Park

We went to Davidsons Mill Pond Park looking for Dragonflies, but I only saw a few off in the distance out in the water on some plants. But by the small pond near the entrance to the park I saw this Redbelly Turtle basking on the edge of the water. It was at the bottom of the incline with tall grasses before & around it. I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter so if I backed up to get the whole turtle in the shot the grasses in front of it would be in the way. So I got very close and shot 15 images, 3 rows of 5 overlapping shots to get the whole Turtle in. Working on the files when I got back I loaded all 15 images into 1 layered Photoshop file. Then I used the Edit >Auto Align, then >Auto Blend to automatically align & blend the 15 images for the final layered image. After that I cropped the image because hand holding the camera I had uneven border edges around the image.

Headshot – One of the 15 images in the series for the 5 images in 3 rows pano
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