Lake Mc_Cormack Panorama

When we were photographing the trees with strong shadows at Plainsboro Preserve for the previous post, I also shot a series of 7 vertical images of Lake McCormack @17mm for a wide panorama. When shooting at wide @ 17mm, I overlap my series of images more than my usual overlapping if using a longer lens.

Bench By Waters Edge, 50 acre Lake McCormack, 17-40mm lens @40mm

Audubon Plainsboro Preserve Winter Landscapes With Strong Shadows

We decided to go for a walk at the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve and see what we could find to photograph. The sun was somewhat low but that made long shadows in the landscapes and great starbursts on the lower sun in the sky. I was using one of my lenses that I do not use much – the Canon 17-40 mm lens.

Audubon Plainsboro Preserve,3 image Panorama, Canon 17-40mm @ 19mm, Canon R
Audubon Plainsboro Preserve, 3 Horizontal Images @17mm, stacked vertically, Canon R
Plainsboro Preserve Landscape Panorama, 4 Horizontal Images @ 17mm, Canon R
Plainsboro Preserve 2 Image Panorama, Canon 17-40mm @17mm, Canon R
Beaver Felled Trees Panorama, 8 Image Panorama, 17-40mm lens @ 40mm, Canon R
Trees with Shadows & Lake McCormack In Background, 2 Image Panorama @ 17-40mm @ 17mm, Canon R
Low Sun Lighting Small Tree with Yellow Leaves – 17-40mm @ 17mm, Canon R

Assorted Birds From Magnolia Plantation Audubon Swamp

The Audubon Swamp Garden on the grounds of Magnolia Plantation near Charleston, South Carolina is a 60 acre cypress and tupelo swamp. In the past the swamp served as a reservoir for the plantation’s rice cultivation. Now it is an interesting and easy Swamp to walk through on the trails and raised boardwalks to get some interesting images. For Wildlife we mostly saw a variety of birds and quite a few alligators on this visit. Most of the birds we saw were quite far out so even shooting @ 600mm I had to crop the images some. But it was still a Great area to photograph and to just see as we were walking through the Swamp Garden. The landscapes & cloudscapes in the swamp were very interesting also, but that will be a different post.

Immature Little Blue Heron, 150-600mm Tamron lens @ 600mm, Canon R, cropped image
Little Green Heron, 150-600mm Tamron lens @ 600mm, Canon R, cropped image
Immature Little Blue Heron, 150-600mm Tamron lens @ 600mm, Canon R, cropped image
Great Blue Heron that was close by the trail, 2 horizontal stacked images panorama, @140mm, Olympus OMD
Immature Little Blue Heron, 150-600mm Tamron lens @ 600mm, Canon R, cropped image
Little Green Heron, 150-600mm Tamron lens @ 600mm, Canon R, cropped image
Little Green Heron, 150-600mm Tamron lens @ 600mm, Canon R, cropped image

Great Egret Nest With Chicks

A series of images of Great Egret chicks by & in the nest. The featured image was taken @ 500mm with a Tamron 150-600mm lens with a Canon R.

Great Egret Chicks in the nest. Taken with 150-600mm Tamron Lens @ 600mm, Canon R
Great Egret Chicks in the nest. Taken with 150-600mm Tamron Lens @ 500mm, Canon R
Great Egret Chicks in a different nest with adults. Taken with 150-600mm Tamron Lens @ 600mm, Canon R
Great Egret Chicks in the nest. Taken with 150-600mm Tamron Lens @ 500mm, Canon R

Wood Storks From St. Augustine Rookery

We found many Wood Storks at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery on our trip there last January. They seem to like nests more in the top of tall large trees and many times you see multiple nests in the same treetop. It is an interesting place to photograph a wide variety of birds, many nesting there. They are constantly coming & going and it can be quite noisy at times. For this post I am featuring some of the Wood Storks from the same general area around one treetop. Some think they are ugly birds, but I prefer to think of them as interesting photo subjects with character. They also seemed to interact with Spoonbills quite often. The featured image is a 2 image slight pano to not crop off it’s feet in the branches.

Wood Stork, 150-600mm @ 500mm, Canon R
Wood Stork TakeOff from Treetops, 150-600mm @ 500mm, Canon R. Multiple nests were in this area so there was a lot of activity here.
Wood Stork with Roseate Spoonbills in treetops, 150-600mm @ 400mm, Canon R
Wood Stork surrounded with Roseate Spoonbills in treetops, 150-600mm @ 400mm, Canon R
Wood Stork with Roseate Spoonbill in tree tops. 150-600mm @ 600mm

Great Egrets With Breeding Plumage

When we were photographing last year at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery we saw a lot of Great Egrets with their Breeding Plumage. Great Egrets are of breeding age when they about two years old. As they get into breeding plumage, they have long lacy and delicate plumes on their backs. The eye lores (featherless skin between the bill and eyes) turn from yellow to lime green, and the top of the upper bill turns dark. Also sometimes it seems their neck and other areas look “more feathery”. Below are a few examples of their Breeding Plumage.

Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 500mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm
Great Egret Breeding Plumage, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm

Snowy Egrets From St. Augustine Alligator Farm

Because of the Covid 19 restrictions we have not traveled from home. I was going through images from a trip last January to Florida. The images used here were taken at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Rookery. It was a Great photo destination and they seem to cater to photographers. With a membership, they offer early hours to photographers& it can get very crowded in some of the areas. The Rookery area has a boardwalk going through it above the water & the alligators. It attracts a lot of photographers because there are so many nesting birds in the trees in the Rookery. The alligators provide protection to the birds’ nests in the trees above the water & the gators. I also saw quite a few birds walking on the shoreline by the alligators. I guess they are well feed since they seemed to leave the birds alone. I was using a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Canon R which was a perfect combination to photograph there. I Since you are in a large gated boardwalk area it was nice to not lug too much gear around with all the photographers, tripods & other visitors. Usually I do not like photographing in commercial wildlife areas, but it was a nice area with nice people running the Alligator Farm. These are images I did not post before. The featured image was taken @ 600mm with the Canon R.

Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @6oomm, Canon R
Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @3oomm, Canon R
Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @375mm, Canon R
Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @550mm, Canon R
Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @550mm, Canon R
Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @550mm, Canon R
Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @3oomm, Canon R
Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @375mm, Canon R
Snowy Egret, Tamron 150-600mm @428mm, Canon R

Plainsboro Preserve Landscapes @ 12mm & 24mm

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.

Path Into Woods, 12mm, Canon R
Path Along Woods, 2 images stacked @12mm for Taller Image to get more of the clouds
On Path & Looking at Lake, 12mm Canon R
Far End Of Lake McCormack
4 images @ 12mm, 2 overlapping images top half, 2 images overlapping bottom half, Canon R
Path On The Way Out Of The Woods, Horizontal Image, 24mm, Canon R
Path On The Way Out Of The Woods, Vertical Image, 24mm, Canon R
Path On The Way Out The Woods, Horizontal Image, 12mm, Canon R
Plainsboro Preserve Path, 12mm, Canon R
Clouds Over Parking Lot, 12mm, Canon R

Bleeding Heart Panorama & Focus-Stacking For Smoother Backgrounds

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.

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 4.41.50 PM

Bleeding Heart_8img stk f11_v1

8 image handheld panorama focused stacked stopping down to  f/11  – giving a much busier looking background

Water_Drops_v2_2img stk_f16_ISO2000

18 image stack @ f/8

Water_Drops_v1_150mm_f16_ISO_2000_8img

8 image Focus Stack – f/16

RainDrops 12img_D_f8_12img_Stk_v5

12 Image Focus Stack @ f/8

RainDrops 9img D-18_9img Stk_v3a

9 Image Focus Stack f/5.6

RainDrops v2_150mm _7img pano f8_800ISO

7 Image Stack @ f/8

RainDrops_18img f_8_v2_150mm stack

18 image stack @ f/8 for a much wider focus range.

Meeting House Series In B&W Infrared

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.

Filter_IMG_2152_iP_1 v2 use

Image showing R72 filter used and small white paper you need to photograph out in the field for preparing proper white balance for adjusting your files

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.

IR Image Steps

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.

Meeting_House_v4 IR 1img 17mm076A2655

17mm,  f/14, 13 seconds

Meeting_House_v5_7img pano_17mm

7 image panorama, @ 17mm

Meeting_House_v3_2img 17mm copy

2 image panorama, @ 17mm, 14 seconds each

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.

Infinity focus mark v2

Infinity Focus mark B

Lens Manually Set for IR Focus @ infinity

Infinity Focus wText v2

 

 

 

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