Osprey Fishing In Early Morning

I am cleaning my backup hard drives to remove files to clean up space and to remove files I do not need or duplicates. I found this series of an Osprey fishing at the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale, NJ. These were taken at 7 am so there was not a lot of light so I was happy they came out as well as they did because the Canon 1D mkIII was a little “noisy” in low light. The refuge years ago was a Celery Farm and after that they raised carp here before it became a town Natural Area. So you can see a small splash of orange color in the featured image by the Ospreys talons. The Osprey was not able to hold on to the Carp and dropped it before the next image.

Blackwater NWR Bald Eagle Fly By

A couple of Bald Eagle images from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge Maryland in March of 2008. I was using a 400mm DO lens with a Canon 1D mkIII.

Bald Eagle FlyBy, Canon 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIII

Bald Eagles On Branches At Blackwater NWR

A few more Bald Eagle images taken in December 2008 from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. The Featured Image was taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens with a Canon 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1DmkIV.

Bald Eagle, Blackwater NWR, 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIII

Blackwater Bald Eagles

I am going through images from past trips to post here. These images were from a trip to Blackwater NWR in December of 2008. The featured image was taken with Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIII. On this trip it was a good day for Bald Eagle flight images!

Bald Eagle in Flight, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, 560mm, Canon 1D mkIII, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
Bald Eagle in Flight, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, 560mm, Canon 1D mkIII, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter

Mating Dragonflies

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.

2 image Pano, 300mm, f/11, blended in Photoshop.

Blue Dasher – 12 Image Focus Stack

When doing a multi-image focus stack for more depth of field on a dragonfly image, I usually set my f/stop to f/11 or f/16 when using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. This way I do not need as many shots for the full focus series of images. Many times a dragonfly will fly off or change position before I finish the series for a stack so I cannot use it and have to start over. This dragonfly seemed to be very still & cooperative. So I managed to do a focus stack from head to tail, including wingtip to wingtip. This series was 12 images, shot at f/8 for a smooth clean background. For a focus stack with a large number of images, I also use a tripod. After flattening the layered file, you might have a minor touch up here or there.

Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly In Yard

It was very hot outside to go to a park, so I was looking for subjects in our gardens. There were a few Eastern Amberwing Dragonflies but they seemed very wary of my camera. Finally, after a while, they seemed to tolerate my presence so I was able to get some interesting shots. They are some of the smallest dragonflies, only a little under an inch long. So you have to get pretty close to get detailed images.

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Eastern Amberwing, f/8, 1250 ISO, 300mm f4 lens, 1.4X teleconverter, Canon 7D

Eastern Amberwing_v3_1190_f8_1250iso_300mm f4_1_4X_7D 1250_ISO

Eastern Amberwing, f/8, 1250 ISO, 300mm f4 lens, 1.4X teleconverter, Canon 7D

Eastern Amberwing_v5_f16_1250iso_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_1247-2

Eastern Amberwing, Obelisk Position, f/16, 1250 ISO, 300mm w/ 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D

Eastern_Amberwing 4img stk_v2_f11_1250iso_300mm_1_4X_7D_

Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly, 4 Image focus stack for wingtips, 1250 ISO, handheld, 300mm with 1.4x teleconverter, Canon 7D

Finally A Blue Dasher In My Yard

Usually we have a few different types of Dragonflies in our yard. But this Summer we have only had Amberwing Dragonflies around. But they were very skittish and very small, so I did not get any good images of them. When I was out looking in our garden for other Praying Mantises  I noticed a female Blue Dasher on our Dogwood tree in the front yard. I finally had an interesting Dragonfly in our yard that was very tolerant of being photographed. It was on one of the Dogwood Bracts basically at almost eye level. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. It would take off, fly around then return to the same spot on the Dogwood. I was able to shift my position to get backgrounds in the shade and in the sun. I also was able to try different f/stops and a few image stacks. The featured shot I was at f/11 for more depth of field (so I did not have to do a focus stack) with a sunlit background.

4 Blue Dasher_FM_v2_300mm_f11_300mm_1_4X_7D_yard_MG_0868

Shifted my position angle for a shaded dark background for a more dramatic look. Same f/11 exposure.

11 Blue_Dasher_FM_300mm f11_1250_ISOD _MG_1031

Blue Dasher Female – 300mm f/11, 1250 ISO (busy background)

10 Blue_Dasher_FM_300mm_1_4X_1250_ISO_7D_MG_1127

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, angled for a cleaner background, 300mm, f11, Canon 7D

9 Blue_Dasher_FM_v1_f13_1250ISO_7D

Blue Dasher Female, f/13 – busy background version

7 Blue Dasher _FM_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_0939-2

6 Blue Dasher FM_CU Crop 9img_Pano_v11_300mm f5_6_300mm 1_4X _7D

Blue Dasher Female – Cropped from below image – 9 image focus stack, 300mm f5/6, 300mm With 1.4X teleconverter, Canon 7D

5 Blue Dasher FM_9img_Pano_v10_300mm f5_6_300mm 1_4X _7D

Blue Dasher Female, 9 Image focus stack, Handheld, f/5.6, (for a smoother background), 300mm with 1.4x teleconverter

5 Blue Dasher _FM_vf vert 3_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_0939-2

Female Blue Dasher, 300mm, f/ 5.6

4 Blue Dasher _FM_vf vert cu 3_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_0939-2

Cropped version of above image for face detail

3 Blue_Dasher_FM_v4a_300mm_1_4D_7d_f11

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, f/11 – 300mm w/ 1.4x teleconverter.

2 Blue_Dasher_FM_300mm crop_f5_6_f4_MG_0939

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly,  300mm, f/5.6

1 Blue_Dasher_FM_v1 300mm f11_MG_0882

Blue Dasher- female, 300mm f/11

Seaside Dragonlet Dragonflies

These Seaside Dragonlet dragonfly images were from a previous trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. It is a little over a 3 hour trip, but is fun to find a few different types of Dragonflies besides the usual ones by my home. A good spot to photograph dragonflies is around the main observation platform near the start of  the Wildlife Drive. It has a long ramp instead of stairs to the main platform. So there are many dragonflies all around the platform. Plus easy access to dragonflies in the plants along the ramp sides. Another spot is the wooded area along the Wildlife Drive that has some water on both sides of the Drive. But dragons along here seem to move around much more and do not stay in one place long. The featured image is a male Seaside Dragonlet. Because of the angle, I shot 4 handheld images at different focus points. When adjusting my files I loaded the 4 images into 1 layered Photoshop file. Then I aligned the layers and then blended the layers for the final base file. All images were taken with a Canon 300mm f/4 lens with a Canon 1.4x teleconverter & Canon 7D.

Screen Shot 2020-07-20 at 3.03.27 PM

Screen Grab showing the final finished merged Layer and below that what Photoshop chose as the sharpest areas on each layer. 

Seaside Dragonlet_300mm-1_4X_7D_MG_4862

Female Seaside Dragonlet Dragonfly

Seaside_Dragonlet_v1_4img_focus blend_BWR_8_18

Male Seaside Dragonlet Dragonfly

Seaside Dragonlet FM_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_5179

Female Seaside Dragonlet

Flying Great Blue Herons

It seems like Great Blue Herons just glide along in flight for being such a large bird. They do have quite a wide wingspan from ~ 5.5 to 6.6 ft. They can cruise @ 20-30 miles per hour. So they are fun photo subjects especially if they are flying around a small lake and you have long lenses!MG_2565GBH_CF_MG_2830GBH_v1_CFMG_2831MG_2833GBH_V1 CF_MG_2817fmGBH_FltBy_MG_2707

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