Posted on August 10, 2020
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.
Category: Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Uncategorized Tagged: canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 lens IS, Canon 7D, common whitetail, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Image stack. image stacking, image stacking with photoshop, Immature Common Whitetail Dragonfly, Immature Common Whitetail Male Dragonfly
Posted on July 31, 2020
I was looking for dragonflies in our gardens when I found this praying mantis with it’s bug meal. I was setup for dragonflies with a Canon 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. So I shot a series of images, handheld, to do a stacked multi-row panorama. I ended up with 7 images for my pano. 2 rows of 3 images and an extra shot for the center. The centered shot sometimes helps for a smoother blended area in the center of the composite layered Photoshop file. I loaded all files into 1 layered PSD file and let Photoshop align the files. Then I use auto-blend to blend all the layers and combine elements for the final file which goes to the top layer. I also save the Master Layered file (just in case I need to go back for a tweak here or there). I then flatten the file for the final image. At this point if I wanted, I would run the flattened file through Nik’s Detail Extractor, then use dFine to smooth out any added noise from the Detail Extactor.
Posted on July 19, 2020
Here are two different Blue Dasher focus stacks. The featured image is made with 3 images. First image is focused on the head, then fore wings & then front of the hind wings. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens on a Canon 7D with a 1.4x teleconverter. I loaded each image into a layered Photoshop file and let a Photoshop align & blend the sharpest areas. The second image I wanted to mainly focus on the face but the plant was in the same focus plane as the face. I thought that might reinforce the roundness of the dragonfly head because of the roundness of the plant. I was shooting @ f/ 5.6 for a shallow depth of field. I then focused on the fore wing because I wanted a sharp edge on the fore wing and let the rest go softer into the darker background.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Insects, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, canon 300mm f/4 lens IS, Canon 7D, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Image Stacking, image stacking with photoshop
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 April 18, 2020
Since we are following stay at home guidelines these were taken on a photo walk at Plainsboro Preserve last year to look for dragonflies. We only saw a few dragonflies and most were very worn looking. But then we saw quite a few Red-Spotted Purple Butterflies. I was shooting @ 600mm and for closeups I did a series of different focus points and then let Photoshop align and combine the sharpest areas into the final image. The featured image was 3 shots, the one below was only 2 before it flew off.
Posted on April 11, 2020
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.
Category: Blog, Damselflies, Dragonflies, Equipment, Gardens, Insects, Macro Photography, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, spiders, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Bugs, Canon 50mm Macro, FD Canon 200mm f/4 macro lens, Flower, image focus stacking, Image stack. image stacking, image stacking with photoshop, m43 camera, Macro, Macro Photography, nature, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro, Yard Photo Subjects
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