Immature Common Whitetail Male Dragonfly

On our photo walk at Davidsons Mill Pond Park, I noticed this Immature Common Whitetail male dragonfly warming on a rock. It had a cluttered background behind the dragonfly, so I shot 3 images wide open, f5.6, at different focus points. 1st on the left wing, 2nd on the body, then the right wing. When I was working on the files, I loaded the 3 images in one layered Photoshop file.  I selected all three layers and selected Auto-align, then auto-blend for the final merged image. When you do auto-blend Photoshop automatically blends what it thinks are the best areas to use for the final blended image. Sometimes you might need to do a tiny touch up here or there, but usually it does a pretty good job. Since I was using a tripod for these images they lined up nicely and I did not need much in the way of touch-ups on this image. I was using a 300mm f/4 with a 1.4x teleconverter. To keep the background smoother I was shooting wide open, but with a 1.4x teleconverter that would be @ f/5.6. Usually when I use a teleconverter, if there is enough light, I stop down a little more then I usually do to help with sharpness. On a 1.4x I stop down at least 1 f/stop, on a 2x teleconverter I stop down at least 2 stops (Again, if there is enough light). But on this series I wanted a smoother background so I did not stop down and left it @ f/5.6.

 

Macro Sampler

WARNING _ LONG POST!!

Being we are not supposed to be out and about, especially here in NJ, I thought these images would give some an inspiration to see what you can find interesting to photograph in their own yards or close to home. You can post yours so we can see what is happening in others areas. They closed all the Parks and other outdoor spaces here and limit travel basically only for food & essentials. They are even limiting the amount of people in the stores. So here are some macro images I have taken in my own yards over the years with different types of cameras and lenses. I tend to use a variety of cameras, lenses & different types of m43 and Canon Cameras. Many times for macro images I adapt older Canon FD manual focus lenses on my m43 Panasonic or Olympus Cameras. Doing this I get an approximate FOV of 2X on these manual focus lenses plus get a longer working distance to my subjects and with increased depth of field (in simple terms). It is fun to see what you can come up with. The featured Damselfly image is taken with a Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro lens on a m43 camera. My most used FD macro is the 200mm because it gives me a longer working distance to my subjects. The following sampler of macro images are with both m43 Cameras and Full Frame Canon Cameras for an interesting Macro Mix.

Blue Dasher v2 CU 2img stk

Blue Dasher Head Shot – 200mm Canon FD Macro on m43 Camera (Full Frame Equivalent View – FOV ~400mm)

Praying_Mantis_2img stk_v4_150mm_w1_4X_210mm_6400_ISO_76A4856

Praying Mantis Portrait – 150mm Macro Canon R

Eastern Pondhawk V3_MG_2625

Eastern Pondhawk – 200mm Canon FD lens on m43 Camera (Full Frame FOV ~400mm)

Blue Dasher_v2_f16_420mm_DM 6_19_76A0627 copy

Blue Dasher, Male – 300mm Canon EF lens with 1.4X Teleconverter

WaterDrop_web_2img blend

Water Drop Panorama – 2 images, 200mm Canon f/4 FD Lens, m43 Camera

Water_Drop_stk v4

Water Drops After Rain – 3 image Panorama, 200mm Canon FD lens – Panasonic m43 body

 

H Dandelion v1 6img 200mm

6 image Focus Stack & Pano –  200mm f/4 FD Canon Lens on Panasonic m43 Body

Dandelion Natures Fireworks v2 7img stk

Dandelion 7 image Pano & Image Stack, 200mm Canon FD lens, Panasonic m43 body

Dandelion stk 5 img a1

Dandelion 5 image Image Stack for more Depth of Field, 200mm Canon FD lens, Panasonic m43 body

Spider 6 img stk m43 200mmFD v2

6 image, 200mm Canon FD macro, Panasonic m43 Body

Water_drops_flower_v1_MG_7659

1 shot, Canon FD 200mm Macro, Water Drop, Panasonic m43 Body

water drops leaf_MG_7897

200mm, Single Image – Aligned camera so I was shooting straight in to subject eliminating the need for stacking multiple images.

_MG_7679 v2

Water Drops – Single Image

Blue Dasher FM v4 yd_MG_9828

Female Blue Dasher Head Shot – 100mm Canon FD macro lens

Damselfly v3 DM 7 17_MG_8691

Damselfly – 200mm FD Canon Macro lens

Lily 9img stk v2Lum 150macro + 1_4X f4

Flower detail – 200mm Macro lens, Panasonic m43 Camera

Day Lily aftr Rain 6 17 v2

Day Lily After Rain – FD 200mm, m43 Camera

Dandelion 4img stk v2

4-images stacked in CC Photoshop, 150mm macro @ f/8

 

bud Tree wat_dropYard 6 17 v2 m43_200FD_1400394

Starburst on bud, 200mm FD on m43 Panasonic Camera

Milkweed bug eggs_onleaf v2 6 17_43G4555

Milkweed bug eggs on leaf – Panasonic m43

Day Lily stamen v1 shrt stk

Day Lily Stamen v1 – Short Stack (2 images) for softer background

Rain dropstack 3_10img

Water Drops after the Rain – 10 images @200mm m43 Olympus Camera

Raindrops 21 3img v2

3 image Short Stack – @200mm m43 Olympus Camera

Feather v1 DM v2 2017_43G7187

Single Shot – 200mm @ f/4 for Softer Background

raindrop-v1_1080512

Water Drop On Leaf – 50mm, Panasonic m43 Camera

raindrops-v1_1080610

 

catepillar-v3-lg-2016

lady-bug-v4-davidsons-mill-2016_43g6456

Lady Bug – 100mm macro

Echinacea stk end_1370720 v3

Echinacea Multi-image Pano, 200mm FD Macro lens, Panasonic m43 Camera

_Korean dogwood v1 3X 1360782

Korean Dogwood – 200mm, m43 Camera

lg bug wings v4_HP 1360998

TreeHopper (?) 200mm, Panasonic m43 Camera

1 feather fish stack  v2

200mm macro, RainDrops on Feather (looks like a fish) Panasonic GH2

Zinnia stk v3

Multi-Image Zinnia Image, 200mm m43

Teneral Eastern Forktail Damsel v2_43G2829

Teneral Eastern Forktail Damselfly, 200mm Canon FD lens, Panasonic m43 Camera

Eastern Carp Bee v3 brig 2015_MG_0230

Eastern Carpenter Bee, 200mm FD Lens, Panasonic GH2

jagged ambush bug v3_43G7000

Jagged Ambush bug, 200mm FD lens on Panasonic GH2

RainDrops on Web v1_MG_7388

Rain Drops, Multi-Image Stack, 100mm, Panasonic m43

_1260344 lichen

Lichen on Wood, 200mm, Panasonic m43 Camera

_MG_8669 damselfly v3

Damselfly, 200mm FD Macro lens, Panasonic GH2

_MG_8695 pond daselfly v3

Closer View – Damselfly, 200mm Canon FD macro, Panasonic m43 body

_1260772 v3

Water Drops on Flower Stamen, 50mm FD macro, Panasonic m43

 

Damselfly Panorama

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.

Damselfly GH+200mmFD_1200727

Damselfly – Single Image

DAMSELFLY STACK V1_43G0245

Damselfly 4img (overlapping) Focus Stack

Longwood Gardens Conservatory

We did a quick go through at the Longwood Gardens Conservatory as we were concentrating on the Tulips outside. It was also quite crowded inside, so I mainly concentrated on Flower Closeups inside. Here I am showing some overall inside landscapes of a few of the interior rooms when there was a quick moment with fewer people around. Because it was darker on floor level, when I had the glass above showing, being much brighter, I made another layer in Photoshop and brought back the “Blue” of the sky in the glass.

LW Conservatory v1_1420746

Single Image @14mm, m43 

LW Connserv v1_2sht_pano

2 Image Handheld Stack, @14mm, m43, to give the image a little more foreground.

LW Conserv v3

2 image exposure stack for sky detail, m43 @14mm

LW Conserv v3 4 18_1420647

Multi-image stack @14mm for exposure and wider view.

LW Conserv v1_1420670

Interesting Light Fixture

Raindrops On Bush – 10 Image Focus Stack

While looking for a photo subject in the yard, I saw these tiny raindrops on a evergreen shrub. It looked like an interesting pattern of raindrops going back into the shrub. I liked the circular dark hole in the background as a distant destination point. Almost like a “black hole” in the distance. I shot a series of 10 images at f/8 in different focus points along a range from near to far for the range I wanted to shoot. Then I opened all the images in Layers in one Photoshop file. Selecting all the layers, I used Auto Align to line up all the drops in the layers. After aligning, I used Auto Blend to combine all the “in focus” sections into one flattened image.

Stacked Raindrops start

The First Near Focus Image in the Stack.

Stacked Raindrops end

The Tenth Final Image in the Stack

Black-crowned Night-heron 3 Image Shot Stack Panorama

I came across this Black-crowned Night-heron along the path as I was walking. It was too close for the lens I had (400mm). So I shot a handheld 3 shot, overlapping, sequence to fit all of the heron in my photo. I assembled them in Photoshop and cropped in somewhat. The Heron did not seem to mind me being there. Usually they fly off you stay too long.

Plant Panorama – Handheld Image Stack

Sometimes while I am waiting for a photo subject to come into view, I experiment with different techniques with what I see in front of me. Helps pass the time until a photo subject flies by. I saw this tall plant and wanted to see if a handheld series of horizontal shots for a vertical panorama would work. I have done this with birds, snakes, mammals and alligators but wondered if it would work with all the leaves and branches, much more varied detail and items to line up. I was surprised it worked well, not a great composition, but more of a test project, 5 horizontal shots for a vertical panorama, with the uneven sides cropped off. Shot with a Canon 400mm f/4 DO Lens, with a 2X Canon Teleconverter.

Damselfly With Raindrops – Stacked Images

Here are examples of stacked Damselfly images to show the difference between stopping down to f/22 or f/32 for depth of field and maximum focus of the subject Damselfly resulting in a busier background , or using f/5.6 or f/8 with stacked focus points giving depth of field and focus of the Damselfly and yet yielding a smoother looking background. All examples were aligned and stacked in Photoshop. One “BIG” challenge is hoping the damsel does not move or “flyoff” before you are done. The female Eastern Forktail stands out against the green soft background more than the bluish male. Focus Stacking is great for maximum depth of field and focus on your subject if that is what you are trying to convey. There are times when a narrower depth of field is more “Artsy” or “Softer” look and gives a different feeling for what you are trying to show.

damselfly cu yard v2 f32

Male Eastern Forktail shot @ f/32 for maximum depth of field in “one” shot. Showing “busier” distracting background around the damselfly.

Damselfly stack v5 f56

14 image “stack” shot at f/5.6.

 

Damselfly stack v2 f8 14 layers

Wider view of above subject using a shorter layered stack.

 

damsel stack v6_9 img stack f8 43G5888

9 image stack shot at f/5.6.

Damselfly v2 f56_43G6047

Non-Stacked Image shot at f/5.6 showing shallow depth of field on the Damselfly, but yielding an uncluttered background. But does give the main focus on face.

Damselfly short stack v1 pond f11_43G6011

Simple 2 image “short” stack. Subject was fairly flat to the camera sensor plane.

 

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