Posted on June 28, 2022
I was going through my some of my back-up drives to clear up space for newer images. I am trying not to add even more drives that I have to deal with! As I was clearing up space I was finding interesting images that I have not posted here. These 2 images are of a Twelve-Spotted Skimmer dragonfly that was visiting my pond at my old home years ago. Both images are a series of 5 images focused at different points along the wings, tail & head. I used to use this technique when I could not get closer to my subject Dragonflies because they were out in the middle of my pond. I lowered my camera to look a little more up and to get a more colorful background on the Featured Image. I was using a Canon 7D with a 400mm DO lens with a Canon Flash with a Better Beamer Flash Extender to fill in more details on the Dragonfly. I was also using stacked Teleconverters with extension tubes in between so I only had a limited in-focus window. Arranging the Teleconverters & Extension Tubes in different orders or different size Extension Tubes gives you different zones of focus. So it takes a little practice to get used to using this technique for predictable results! The Dragonfly was 15.4 feet away (according to the Raw Data). The focused-stacked images were loaded into a Photoshop file and auto-aligned & auto-blended for the final images. The images of the Camera Setup showing the Extension Tubes & Teleconverters placement were on a Canon 1D MkIV. I did not have an image showing the 7D with this setup!
Category: Blog, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 7D, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Focus Stacking Images, Image Stacking, Panorama & Stacked Images, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: Better Beamer Flash Extender, Canon 1D MkIV, Canon Teleconverters Canon Extension Tubes, dragonfly, Dragonfly closeups, dragonfly photography, extension tubes, fill flash, image blending, image focus stacking, Image Stacking, image stacking with photoshop, Stacking Teleconverters, Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Posted on August 14, 2020
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.
Posted on August 11, 2020
Here are a few images of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly from our visit to Davidsons Mill Pond Park. The featured image is a single image shot with a Canon 300mm f/4 lens with a 2x teleconverter on a Canon 7D @ f/11. Image below was a Blend of 2 stacked images, blended in Photoshop with a soft edge on the seam. Field of View equivalent with the Canon 7D (1.6x crop camera) 300mm f/4 lens, Canon 2x teleconverter ~ 960mm. When using a 2x teleconverter your lens wide open will be @ f/8, not f/4 because you loose 2 stops of light with the 2x teleconverter. So I usually stop down at least 1 additional f/stop to help with sharpness because of the added teleconverter.
Category: Blog, Butterflys, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Equipment, Panorama & Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques Tagged: 2 image pano, blending images, Butterflies, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Canon Series 2X teleconverter, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, image blending, Moon, nature, swallowtail butterfly
Posted on June 11, 2020
When I was photographing this Damselfly, I decided to shoot with the aperture wide open. I wanted a very smooth background to highlight the Damselfly and the water drops and keep a smooth background. So I shot a series of 8 images focusing on the Damselfly and the water drop covered stem. I shot a series focused on 8 different focus points, going from left to right. I was using a Sigma 150mm Macro with a 2x teleconverter. With the 2x teleconverter on my 150mm f/2.8 lens, my maximum (Aperture) f/stop was f/5.6 wide open. (With a 2x teleconverter you loose 2 stops). I loaded the 8 images into 1 Photoshop layered file and used Photoshop to automatically align the 8 layers in the file. Next I used Photoshop to automatically pick the the sharpest areas & soft background areas in each layer for the final image. I saved that file in case I need to make minor touch ups here or there. After that I flattened the layers for my final image.
Posted on September 6, 2019
I like using a few different camera systems depending on what I am shooting. Or more likely, what I want to carry & lug around. If I am at a location working near the car, that is not usually a problem. But sometimes I just like walking around, but still want to photograph some interesting subjects that I might come across. Here I am using one of my m43 camera bodies with an adapted old style Canon FD 200mm Macro lens. On m43 cameras it is sort of equivalent (in easy terms) of using a 400mm macro an a full frame body. Instead of going to 1X magnification, because of the crop factor of the m43 system the FOV (Field Of View) is ~2X. This is a 3 image panorama. Luckily the Damsel co-operated for me.
Category: Blog, Favorite Locations, Macro Photography, Panoramas, Photo Tips, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: adapting lenses, Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro, Damselfly, Dragonfly Panorama, Focus Stacking, image blending, Image stack. image stacking, m43 panasonic, yard, yard & pond
Posted on August 31, 2019
While we were looking for Dragonflies at Plainsboro Preserve I noticed this Red-Spotted Purple butterfly warming on the ground. I was using a close focusing 300mm f/4 lens with a 2X teleconverter so I could get closer images of distant insect subjects (usually Dragonflies) so I manually focused on 3 different areas to blend them into 1 sharp image in Photoshop. Using f/4 for my f/stop (with a 2X teleconverter it is actually f/8 then with the 2X teleconverter giving a 600mm focal length) and focused on middle body, then antennas and lastly rear wing edge. I used to mainly use a 1.4X teleconverter for this type of shooting but the Canon R files are extremely clean even at much higher ISO’s so the 2X gives me more working distance. Then used Photoshop to blend the sharpest areas automatically into 1 merged image. Photoshop usually does a good job on this, but here in there I might also do some manual editing to what Photoshop does. To bad it is getting late in the season for butterflies & insects. They are beginning to show signs of wear. Especially the Dragonflies!
Category: Blog, Favorite Locations, Insects, Panorama & Stacked Images, Plainsboro Preserve, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Audubon Plainsboro Preserve, Butterfly, Butterflys, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R camera, Canon Series 2X teleconverter, image blending, image focus stacking, Image Stacking, image stacking wit photoshop cc, Plainsboro Preserve, Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly
Posted on November 19, 2018
I finally got a chance to go through images I shot at Blackwater NWR a couple of months ago. Here are two Egrets preening in a tree along the Wildlife Drive. The featured image is a 3 image blend, shot with a 400mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. I purposely shot the top and the bottom image a little softer so the main center area stood out more when I blended the images in Photoshop.
After I photographed the featured image series another Egret flew by behind the two in the tree, giving me an opportunity to photograph something flying! We then mostly concentrated on Landscape Panoramas and dragonflies the rest of the day. The cloud formations were spectacular so it was still a wonderful day to photograph at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge!
Posted on August 14, 2018
We got to where we wanted on the Wildlife Drive to photograph the setting sun, but it was not as dramatic as we had hoped for. It was still fun to photograph and got a few good images. Then we moved a little closer, around the bend towards the straightaway to the exit. These are combinations of exposure blends for darks & lights for shadow detail and bright detail along with multi-images for size. I was using 2 cameras, one with a 24-105mm, the other with a 12-24mm. The featured image is at 105mm (5 images, blended). If you see any specks in the sky, they are birds flying through. After the sun went below the horizon we then headed back to the motel to rest up for sunrise the next day.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Favorite Locations, Nature Still Lifes, Skyscapes & Clouds Tagged: Blackwater landscapes, blackwater National Wildlife refuge, Blackwater sunset., canon 24-105mm f/4 lens, HDR Images, image blending, Image Stacking, image stacking with photoshop, photoshop effects, Sigma 12-24mm
Posted on July 24, 2018
I went outside after a rain to look for raindrops on flowers or leaves. On the evergreen by the sidewalk, I noticed this strand of a web with a large raindrop on it. There were a few smaller drops on the left part of the web strand to the left. This was 3 images shot with a close focusing 300mm lens. I like using the 300mm more for this type of shot than using a traditional macro. It gives me more working distance and a softer background than my typical macro lenses. Even my 150mm, 180mm or 200mm macros do not give me the same “look” that I wanted.
After the featured image I shot a series of 4 horizontal images along the top of the same branch. It seemed like there were a lot of water drops on the branches. It looked like the rain ran down the lower needles and ended on the tip of the needles.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Composites, Favorite Locations, Macro Photography, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, evergreen needles, evergreen trees, image blending, Image Stacking, panoramas, Water droplets, water drops
Posted on July 15, 2018
It was supposed to be a nice sunset so we took a walk on the Golf Course in our community. These are a series of panoramas / image blends combined in Photoshop from 2 to 7 images each. I used a Canon 24 – 105mm zoom lens, handheld, at various focal lengths. I also tend to try to overlap images more for panoramas. We also were in different areas for the series as we were walking and moving towards the sunset. The featured Image was 2 images @ 105mm. Being in NJ, you will also see a few with jet contrails in the clouds. It is tough in New Jersey to get a sky sometimes without them and I had a limited time to shoot the series so I left them in.