Posted on October 29, 2020
We went to Plainsboro Preserve to take a walk and to see what we could find to photograph. Looking outside before we left we saw the clouds were amazing. So I decided to travel light and only brought a 12-24mm lens on a Canon R, thinking I would concentrate on landscapes with the clouds. And if I saw something else interesting I also had my iPhone 11 Pro. The Plainsboro Preserve includes over 1,000 acres of undisturbed open space with nature trails and the 50-acre McCormack Lake. The New Jersey Audubon Society manages the preserve on behalf of Plainsboro and Middlesex County County, NJ.
Category: Blog, Cloudscapes, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Image Stacking, Landscapes, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Plainsboro Preserve, Skies and Clouds, Skyscapes & Clouds, Stacked Images Tagged: Audubon Plainsboro Preserve, canon R, canon R camera, Lake McCormack, Plainsboro Preserve, Sigma 12-24mm lens
Posted on May 12, 2020
After a heavy rain the other day I went out to see if I could find some interesting subjects with water drops to photograph. I wanted to use Image Stacking for more detail in the water drops and main subjects, but still have softer backgrounds. This is one of the first subjects I came upon. I was using a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens on a Canon R. These are all handheld because it was difficult to get the view I wanted using a tripod. The featured image is 13 images shot from left to right @ f/2.8. Each image in the panorama series is manually focused for the area needed in focus as I shot along the subject to keep a softer cleaner looking background.
Category: Blog, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Gardens, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: Bleeding Heart Flower, canon R, canon R camera, Focus Stacking, Focus stacking for more depth of field, Focus stacking for smoother cleaner backgrounds, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro, yard
Posted on April 23, 2020
I believe we have had a stay at home order in NJ now for 34 days! We can not even go to a park to walk. But we can walk outside in our Condo Community (with a mask). So I thought I would go to the Meeting House on the Commons in our community. It is used for meetings, concerts and various church services. It is an interesting building & Commons for photography, some of which I have posted before. So I thought I would practice some B&W Infrared Photography. I shot a mix of multi-image panoramas along with single shot images. For this I was using a Canon R camera with a Hoya R72 Infrared Filter on with a Canon 17-40mm lens. All images were shot with the lens at 17mm. With the Canon R Mirrorless Camera Body I can actually see what I am composing/framing in the viewfinder with the R72 Infrared filter attached on the lens. On a standard DSLR all you see is BLACK in the viewfinder. So you would compose/frame your shot, then put the filter back on. Then you would manually adjust your focus point to the IR focus mark on the lens. (See images detailing this procedure below in this post). Since with the lens set to 17mm and shooting buildings my focus for all was set manually at infinity focus on the IR Focus marker. Also for shooting with this R72 filter it is necessary to photograph a white piece of paper for adjusting the White Balance when Editing your IR images.
When you Open your IR Image it has a Reddish Orange Cast from the R72 Filter. Use the steps below to convert to B+W Grayscale Image.
Since you are using long exposures because of the R72 filter, clouds seem to get an even smoother feathery look. I chose an f/stop to get a ~14 second exposure. If you go too long the clouds have even less detail which looks a little bland and gray.
Below are a series of images showing the manual setting for infinity focus for InfraRed shooting. If shooting closer than infinity, take filter off, manual focus and adjust that spot to the IR Red line on focus area of your lens. Hopefully by seeing the 3 images below you will understand how to set the focus manually to the correct IR focus point.
Category: Blog, Landscapes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Photo Tips, Photography Ideas for Stay At Home Order, Skyscapes & Clouds, Tips & Techniques Tagged: 17-40mm Canon lens, Balancing infrared images, canon R, Hoya R72, hoya r72 InfraRed filter, Infrared Photography, Infrared Photography Tips, Using InfraRed Filers for Photography
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 March 7, 2020
It is always fun to photograph Belted Kingfishers. But they are very small birds that are usually very skittish. So it is hard to get closeups of them. But I noticed this Kingfisher way off in the distance when we were at J.N. Ding Darling NWR. I liked the large cloud background accenting the small Kingfisher. The featured image was captured with a 400mm DO lens on a Canon 7D (Full Frame FOV ~ 640mm)
Posted on February 23, 2020
When we were photographing the Otters at Lake Woodruff NWR, this Great Egret flew in by the Otters. I liked the sunlight highlighting the feathers in the wing as it was landing. I was using a Canon R with a 300mm lens. The Canon R holds the highlight details much better than my other Canon cameras and has better shadow detail also.
Posted on February 2, 2020
We saw quite a few Anhingas when we were at the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. Most were females and easy to identify with their brownish neck. After fishing in and under the water they like to dry their wings in the pose above and below. They will stay with their wings stretched out for quite a while. The featured image is a 2 image panorama taken with a Tamron 150-600mm lens @ 600mm. Anhingas swim with their bodies partly or mostly submerged and their long, snakelike neck held partially out of the water. After a swim they perch on branches or logs to dry out, holding their wings out and spreading their tails. They frequently soar high in the sky, riding on thermals much like raptors and vultures.
Posted on October 18, 2019
I am still going through images I photographed earlier in the Summer. The featured image is a panorama of a Praying Mantis in our garden at home. Using 3 images and assembled in Photoshop. It was a windy day so the flower it was on was blowing wildly in the wind. I had no way to stabilize the flower, so I was shooting bursts at a high shutter speed to hopefully get a sharp enough image and have the frames needed to blend together. I was shooting with a Sigma 150mm macro lens so the movement of the subject Mantis was all over in the frames. I was shooting bursts to hopefully get some in the frame and in focus and have enough to work with.
Posted on October 6, 2019
Sometimes it is fun to look for raindrops after a heavy rain storm. I tried during a light drizzle, but the camera was getting too wet. So I waited til the next morning after the heavy rain storm was over and the sun was out. I was using a Sigma 150mm macro lens for all images here. Also the images here are just single shots, except for two listed as a 2 image stacked panorama. It also helped there were webs in the bushes for the raindrops to land on.
Posted on October 3, 2019
Here are a series of landscape & cloudscape images from a recent visit to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. The featured image was shot @ 14mm along the Wildlife Drive.