Vermont Cloudscape Panorama

This is a 4 image Cloudscape Panorama from a previous trip to Vermont. Images were shot @ 47mm with a Canon 24-105mm lens. I did not want to shoot wider because of buildings below & blank sky above which distracted from the main cloud formations.

Iridescent Cloud

This colorful cloud is called an iridescent cloud. When you see a cloud like this, you know there are tiny ice crystals or water droplets in the air. Larger ice crystals produce solar or lunar halos, but tiny ice crystals or water droplets cause light to be diffracted spread out creating this rainbow like effect in the clouds. We photographed these clouds when we were at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland.


CloudBurst At Blackwater

I liked these clouds by the lookout platform at Blackwater NWR. It reminded me of a starburst, but with clouds. I decided to leave the top of a small tree as a center point for a visual center to draw your eye. Three images @24mm, combined in Photoshop with layered masks for blending the three images.


Blackwater River Panorama Landscapes Near Sundown

When we were going to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, we planned for the first day to include the sunset and the second day to be there for the sunrise. Usually they are very dramatic and colorful at Blackwater NWR. Normall we go to the end of the Wildlife Drive for sunsets and the beginning of the Wildlife Drive for sunrise. The sunrises are better on the Little Blackwater River. While the sunsets are better by the Blackwater River. While we were on the Wildlife Drive heading for the far end, we noticed and liked the colorful clouds on the Blackwater River so we stopped and shot a few panoramas as the sun was getting lower. Even with 12mm or 24mm lenses, it still did not give me all I wanted in my shots. So I shot a series of images handheld, to blend together to get the view I wanted. The featured image was a series of shots in a vertical format to blend together. I wanted to include more sky and reflections in the water. The image below was a series of images shot horizontally to blend together.  With 12mm or 24mm lenses it seems like you have to shoot the images with a lot more overlap on each image than with longer lenses. Also instead of using Photoshop to automatically align and blend the images, they come out better to manually align each image manually and make soft edge masks to blend together for the final image. Photoshop tends to really distort the few images on each end and distort the edges badly, especially the extreme images on each end. The clouds and reflections then look really distorted and warped.


Cloud Panoramas From Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

We went to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge, Maryland to see what subjects we could find to photograph. These images were taken along the Wildlife Drive. The Eagles were scarce, only saw a few in the distance, but we kind of expected that. But in the Winter months Blackwater has one of the highest numbers of Eagles in the Northeast. So we were concentrating on Dragonflies, other birds, panoramas and sunrises & sunsets. The featured image was 4 Horizontal shots @24mm, assembled in Photoshop. With wide angle lenses for panoramas, I tend to overlap more than when using long telephoto lenses. The wider the focal length the more overlapping shots I do. These images were shot on or near the long Observation Platform along the 4 mile Wildlife Drive. The above featured image was 4 horizontal shots @ 24mm. On the right side of the featured image you can see part of the Observation Platform. These images were taken with the Canon 24-105mm lens or the Sigma 12-24mm lens. The Blackwater NWR includes more than 28,000 acres of tidal marsh, mixed hardwood and loblolly pine forests, managed freshwater wetlands and croplands. The Blackwater & Little Blackwater Rivers flow through the refuge so I guess that is where they got the name Blackwater NWR.

BWR_VW Lt_BlkWtr_Riv_v1_MAL5855

3 Horizontal Images @ 24mm

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3 Vertical Images Combined For Horizontal Image @ 24mm


4 Vertical Images Combined For Horizontal Final Image @24mm

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3 Vertical Images Combined for Horizontal Final Image @ 24mm


4 Vertical Images Combined For Vertical Image @ 12mm



Bird Shaped Clouds

This series of cloud images reminded me of birds in flight. They sort of looked like a bird’s body and outstretched wings floating by in the sky. I tried a few cropping and focused on a few different cloud formations.
Bird_Clouds v2_80I9575Bird_Clouds_80I9564Bird_Clouds v1_80I9568Bird_Clouds v1_80I9571

Smoking Tree?

During our walk at the Plainsboro Preserve, we noticed this tree with a cloud formation right above it. It looked like a column of smoke coming from the top of the tree. For some reason it just amused me. The feature image was 1 shot, while the one below is a two image panorama.

Tree Clouds v2

2 image vertical panorama shot @ 14mm (m43 format)


Sunbeam Through Opening In Clouds

While I was working on files from a previous visit to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland, I came across this image of a sunbeam shining through an opening in the cloud cover. I used a 400mm lens to isolate the beam so it was more prominent in the image. With a wider view, the sunbeam did not seem to stand out as much. I think the beam as is, is prominent enough against the clouds and I did not want to enhance the beam to make it stand out more, opting for a more natural look.

Early Morning Rays v1 BWR_43G0370

Double Sunbeams, 400mm f/4 with 1.4x Teleconverter 

Early Morning Reflections

I liked the early morning light and the reflections of the trees and sky in the water. I was traveling light and only had a long lens for birds, so I shot a series of images and combined them in Photoshop. In some ways it is confusing and busy looking, but I still liked it anyway and thought it was interesting.  Only needed a few touch ups to fine tune the image. It was a quiet day for the birds, but I enjoyed being out in the fresh air and seeing what else I could find.

More Firey Clouds At Sunset

These are more cloud images from the previous post. A couple are 2 shots combined, either stacked vertically or horizontally, combined in Photoshop. All shot with a 24-105mm at various focal lengths.

Firey_Clouds_Sunset_v1_MAL9354Firey_Clouds_Sunset_v1_MAL9351Firey_Clouds_Sunset_v1_MAL9359Firey_Clouds_Sunset_v1 2 sht panoFirey_Clouds_Sunset_2sht pano_v1_MAL9388Firey_Clouds_Sunset_v1_MAL9388Firey_Clouds_Sunset_v1_MAL9391Firey_Clouds_Sunset_v1 9375-2sht_h_PanoFirey_Clouds_Sunset_v1 2sht_Pan

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