Misty Morning @ The Celery Farm Nature Area

The Celery Farm is a small 107 acre freshwater wetland in Allendale, NJ. There is a small lake, Lake Appert, so there is a wide range of birds to photograph in a somewhat confined environment. There has been 240 bird species sighted here with 53 species breeding there. The best times for photos were early morning and early evening. I used to like photographing Ospreys fishing here in the afternoon. The most I had seen there was 6 at the same time circling above. With the small lake it was great for photographers to get Ospreys diving in the lake for fish. Years ago it was a carp farm, so it was strange to see them flying off many times with a bright orange fish! If you walk the trails you can also find a wide range of birds and mammals. So you have a lot of photo opportunities in a relatively small area. Especially for flying birds.

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Bombay Hook NWR Landscapes

Here are a series of landscape & cloudscape images from a recent visit to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. The featured image was shot @ 14mm along the Wildlife Drive.

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Bombay Hook Landscape along Wildlife Drive – Shearness Pool @ 12mm, Canon R

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Bombay Hook Landscape along Wildlife Drive @ 158mm, Canon R, Tamron 150-600mm

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Bombay Hook Landscape along Wildlife Drive – Shearness Pool @12mm, 2 img pano, Canon R

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Bombay Hook Landscape, Shearness Pool along Wildlife Drive @ 14mm, Olympus OM-D

 

Bailey Tract – J.N. Ding Darling NWR

Most people that go to J.N. Ding Darling NWR do not know of, or go to the Bailey Tract in Sanibels’ Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The tract is on Tarpon Bay Rd., not in the main Refuge and Wildlife Drive. The major feature of the Bailey Tract  is a series of impoundments and dikes built years ago to attract waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, coots and moorhens. It still does, but as part of the J.N. “Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge it also creates a perfect place for hikers and bikers to see them. It’s a great place to take a peaceful walk or hike on its 100 acre grounds. We just took a leisurely walk though one afternoon when we were in Sanibel. We did not see a lot of Wildlife, but that was probably because it was in the afternoon when things quiet down. It seems like it is not visited much like the main Refuge. So you can feel quite alone here. It was rare to see another person walking the trails as you walk through. Also there are no staff here. I was traveling light with just an Olympus OM1 with a 14 – 140mm lens. We were just enjoying the beautiful day and a nice walk.

Information Signs along the way to help visitors ID or give information for what they might see.

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2 image panorama @ 14mm, m43 format

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2 image panorama @ 14mm, m43 format  (very slight overlapping of images)

 

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3 horizontal images stacked @14mm – m43 Olympus

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Single Image @ 41mm

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Bailey Landscape – 2 image panorama @14mm

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2 image Panorama @ 14mm

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Single Image @ 28mm

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Lizard @ 140mm

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Small Pond with Alligator Submerged @ 48mm

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Same as above 14mm view

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Landscape w/ hidden Alligator @ 32mm  (2 img pano) –  above this plant in the water on left

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Another Lizard @ 140mm

 

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Is Open

We went to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge a few days ago. We were not sure if it would be open during the government shutdown but the Refuge & Wildlife Drive were open and we had a great 2 days there. The visitor center and gift shop were closed though. Lots of Snow Geese, Tundra Swans & Canada Geese, etc. We also saw quite a few Bald Eagles but not many close by. But the sunsets & clouds were amazing.

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Sunset near end of the Wildlife Drive. OMD E-M1, Mk I, With 14-140mm @14mm

 

Fall Landscape Panoramas At Davidson’s Mill Pond Park

These are a series of multi-image panorama landscapes @14mm with m43 format images. The featured image is a series of 4 images, blended and combined in Photoshop. It was a clear day, but the trees had already lost a lot of their leaves. But it was nice to see some with some bare spots. I thought it looked interesting to see spots of color here and there.

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3 image panorama version of the featured image,  14mm horizontal images, m43 format

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3 Image panorama, 14mm horizontal images, m43 Camera @ small pond

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Wider Panorama, 4 images, more overlap on each, 14mm, m43 Camera

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.

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3 Horizontal Images @ 24mm

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3 Vertical Images Combined For Horizontal Image @ 24mm

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4 Vertical Images Combined For Horizontal Final Image @24mm

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3 Vertical Images Combined for Horizontal Final Image @ 24mm

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4 Vertical Images Combined For Vertical Image @ 12mm

 

 

Early Morning Warm Sunrise

I liked this morning sunrise image because it accented the warm sun rising low on the right side with its warm glow going above the trees and reflecting in the lake water. And still has a cool bluish tone on the left side of the image as the sun was rising. The bluish tone only lasted for a few minutes allowing me to get a few images to work with. I really liked the night to day feel of the image with the colors and tones. I got there before sunrise to be ready for the rising sun and be setup for the shot. As I was waiting I enjoyed the tones I was starting to see develop. Image shot at 22mm with a Canon 17-40mm zoom lens.

Meeting House 4 Image Verical Panorama

This is a 4 Image vertical panorama of the Meeting House in the condo community we live in now. It is a multi-use building for the whole community and it reminds me of areas I used to like to photograph in New England when our children were small. They liked Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts among others. I tried a variety of ways to photograph this building to see which way I liked it best plus it gave me an opportunity to practice or try different effects and combinations.

For this image I shot 4 images, handheld, vertically at 24mm. I used a lot of overlap on each image because I was shooting at 24mm (vertically). It helps having a lot of overlap in the images when using a 24mm, it seems like Photoshop handles it better and you get less “distortion” in the combining of the separate images.

On this version the clouds were amazing, so I continued up to include a lot of clouds & sky.

It seems like the more you do of these panoramas the more you learn and have a higher success rate. Also if you are just walking around and traveling “light” with just one lens, it gives you more options for photo subjects.

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.

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

 

Early Morning Clouds At Blackwater NWR

This is from a previous visit to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge Maryland. We like photographing there for Bald Eagles and landscapes. Being close to the coast, you can get some amazing vibrant colors at sunrise and sunset. This is a little after sunrise and the clouds were fantastic. Shot multiple areas along the Wildlife Drive and this is one in a series. (Once I have a chance to get to the others!)

 

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