I was looking in our gardens for Praying Mantises to photograph. I found 2 fairly large ones on two different plants. The featured image is 7 images, focus stacked in Photoshop. I was using a 300mm lens with a 2x teleconverter. When doing focus stacking with live subjects you have to photograph your series of images quickly, because you can touch-up slight movement of your subject, but if there is a lot of movement it makes the blending of images much harder.
When I was walking outside my home I saw this dragonfly in our gardens. So I got a camera to take some images. At first I thought it was a female Common Whitetail Dragonfly, but the dark spots on the wings were wrong. So I realized it was an immature male Common Whitetail Dragonfly. Image taken with a Canon 300mm lens with a 1.4x with a Canon 7D.
We were walking around the fields at Davidsons Mill Pond Park looking for interesting images besides Dragonflies. Most of the gardens are still closed, but we could shoot through the fencing here & there. Davidsons Mill Pond is a County Park comprising over 417 acres that features grassland meadows, upland forests, open water, streams and wetlands, in addition to cultivated fields used by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension office. Their Butterfly House was not used this year because of the Covid closing most things. These are a series of images of subjects I thought were interesting as we were walking through the fields. Again, I was using an Olympus OM-D E-M1 with a Panasonic 100-300mm zoom lens. Which gives me a Full Frame Camera Field of View equivalent of 200mm – 600mm in a very lightweight camera to walk around with. I was mostly shooting aperture priority @ f/8, giving me enough depth of field on my subjects, but still have a smoother background.
It is a lacewing larva or sometimes just called a “junk bug” because of the junk it carries around on its back. The tiny larvae come up with all sorts of creative disguises to confuse predators. Other larvae may use bits and pieces of leaves, dead insects or whatever debris is available. I have seen these in other gardens, but never tried to find out what they were.
We had gone to Longwood Gardens for their massive Tulip display. There were over 240,000 Tulips in displays around the gardens. We went on the peak weekend and there were plenty of flowers to photograph. I was trying to travel light in the morning so decided to use a close focusing 300mm lens for smoother backgrounds instead of one of macro lenses.
Here are a few from the start of my walk through the Gardens. Some of the close-ups are 2 or 3 Image stacks, shot at f/4, handheld, for more detail of individual flowers but keeping a softer background. The featured image is a 3 image stack, handheld.