Great Egret Catching A Snack

Going through Backup Drives working on images that I did not have time to adjust or work on when I was still working. This is from a photo trip to the J.N. Ding Darling NWR in Florida 2 years ago. As we were walking along the Wildlife Drive I noticed this Great Egret working its way in the water channel along the Drive. It got to a sunlit section and I was able to get a couple of images before it flew off. Images taken with a Canon R with a Tamron 150-600mm with a 1.4X Teleconverter @ 840mm, f/16, 1/640 sec. Because it was in the bright sun I also set the Camera to a -2/3 exposure compensation to hold detail in the white Egret.

Great Egret With A Snack, 600mm @ f/16, -2/3rds Exposure Compensation with a 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon R

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

Great Blue Heron In The Grasses

As we were driving along the Brigantine Wildlife Drive looking for photo subjects we came upon this Great Blue Heron standing in the Grasses. It was quite far out so I put a 2X Teleconverter on my 150-600mm lens to get a closer image. It came out fairly well considering the Tamron 150-600mm lens @ 600mm with a 2X teleconverter (1200mm) is somewhat pushing the sharpness of the lens & image. Stopping down more to f/16 helped quite a bit plus using more Sharpening in Camera Raw when adjusting my images also helped. Usually when using a Teleconverter, I stop down more than I usually do when not using a Teleconverter. For example – when using a 1.4X teleconverter I stop down 1 more f/stop than usual. When using a 1.7X or 2X Teleconverter I stop down 2 stops more than usual. I flattened my layers & duplicated the final layer to have a duplicate layer above my final layer. Using Filter > Other>High Pass Sharpening I had a Grayscale duplicate image above my final color layer. The Grayscale layer was then changed from Normal to Overlay in the layers palette and I lowered the opacity of the High Pass layer to about 40 percent opacity. This just adds a little more Crispness or Sharpness (on the image edges) since I was using a 2X Teleconverter on the Tamron 150-600mm Lens. When using a Grayscale High Pass layer technique it is best to not go too “heavy” on the opacity of High Pass layer. Usually I only go to 20% or 30% opacity on the High Pass layer, but really depends on the image you are working on. This technique can also help sharpness when printing images on an Ink Jet Printer which is basically spraying the ink. But for Inkjet printing I would lower the High Pass layer even a little more. It takes some practice but helps. In my old commercial photo studio before I retired we also did a lot of Wide Format printing for our Corporate & Advertising Agency clients. I had 2- 60″ wide HP Printers for indoor display & fine art graphics & 44″ & 63″ Epson Printers for outdoor graphics or indoor specialty medias. Give this technique a try, but do not overdo the opacity of the High Pass layer. Again it takes some practice, but comes in handy.

Brigantine Feeding Gulls Panorama

Quite often you will find large groups of Gulls, with a few other birds in the mix, feeding in the water channels along the Wildlife Drive. The Featured Image is a handheld 7 image panorama of a group of mainly Gulls with a couple of Snowy Egrets in the mix. Because they are actually moving along as they are feeding I shot my 7 images as fast as I could to help with the blending & to minimize their movements on the overlapping edges of the 7 images. I also upped my ISO to 1250 to get an even faster shutter speed (1/2000 sec) to minimize the fast movement of the camera’s swinging arc & also because of the moving Gulls. It also helps to shoot in the same direction the group is moving. I was using a Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm @f/11 on a Canon R.

Cropped In Section of the Panorama to show detail

Ospreys At Brigantine

On our visit to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge I was hoping to get many images of the Ospreys in flight. And also Ospreys on nests on the Osprey Platforms along the Wildlife Drive. On this visit there was only one active Osprey Platform near the Wildlife Drive. The featured image is an Osprey near the nest on a post. I was using a Canon R with a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600mm with a Sigma 2x teleconverter for 1200mm to get closer to my subject.

Osprey Nest On Osprey Platform, Along Wildlife Drive, Tamron 150-600m @ 600mm, Canon R

Brigantine Cloudscapes & Landscapes

The cloudscapes were Great on our visit to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville New Jersey. For the Landscapes I was using 3 different setups depending on what I was trying to show in my images. For really wide views of clouds & landscapes I used an Olympus OMD-1 with a 7.5mm Fisheye lens (180 Degree FOV) or my iPhone 11 Pr0 with the 1.5mm (Full Frame Equivalent Field of view ~13mm) or the 4.3mm lens (Full Frame Equivalent ~26mm). I corrected the Fisheye lens Distortion of the 7.5mm Fisheye lens on the Olympus in Photoshop using the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter that is accessed under the main “Filter” listing on the top menu Pull Downs. For the far out or distant landscapes with flocks of birds I was using a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Canon R (Some with a 2X Teleconverter giving me a 300mm to 1200mm).

The Featured Image is a 3 image panorama taken with a 7.5mm Fisheye Lens on an Olympus OMD Camera.

Brigantine Landscape Panorama, 8 images, iP11 using 6mm lens (Full Frame Equivalent FOV ~ 52mm)
Brigantine 4 image Panorama, iP11 Pro, 1.5mm lens (Full Frame Equivalent FOV ~ 13mm) Assembled in Photoshop
Early Morning Skyscape , iP11 Pro, 1.5mm lens, (Full Frame Equiv. FOV ~ 13mm) 3 Horizontal Images, Stacked Vertically, Pano Assembled in Photoshop
Brigantine Landscape, 3 Image Panorama, 7.5mm Fisheye Lens, OMD-1
Brigantine Landscape, iP11 Pro 1.5mm lens (Full Frame Equivalent ~13mm)
Brigantine Cloudscape, 7.5mm Fisheye, Olympus OM-D, De-Fisheyed in Photoshop
Brigantine Landscape Panorama, 6 images @ 150mm, Canon R, 150-600mm Tamron

Great Egret At Brigantine

We finally got to go to one of our favorite National Wildlife Refuges, the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in Oceanville NJ. On this day the wildlife was few and far between but it was still fun to get out and photograph. The cloudscapes & landscapes were Great and the Green Headed Flies were not biting as much as other visits! So it was a Great Day to be out and photograph! For this post I am using images of a Great Egret that seemed like it was posing for me instead of flying off. We did see quite a few other Great Egrets but most were far off in the distance.

Great Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @600mm, Canon R, @f/11
Great Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @600mm, Canon R, @f/11

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

Tiny Spider – Large Web

I was looking for bugs or dragonflies in our garden and noticed this tiny spider in the middle of a very large web. The spider was only about 1/4 inch long so it was interesting it had such a large web. I shot a few images with my iPhone then went in to get my 150mm Macro with a Canon 1.4x Teleconverter. I should have also shot a wider shot showing the whole web. I did not confirm the type of spider but think it is an Orchard Orb-weaver.

Small Spider on web, Sigma 150mm macro lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter (~210mm with Teleconverter) Canon R

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.

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