Longwood Gardens Meadow Garden

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, has been known for wonderful formal gardens and water displays. This Spring they added a Meadow Garden consisting of 86 acres with 3.5 miles of walking & hiking trails through fields, wetlands and diverse habitats for flora and fauna. We finally got a chance to go and photograph this wonderful area. It is so large an area we only covered a small portion of the Meadows. It is wonderful for landscapes, macro, wildflowers and plants, insects and occasional wildlife. I was watching very large dragonflies whizz by, but did not get a chance to see any closeup, they were just cruising by. If we had stayed later we could probably have found them. There are many educational and information postings throughout the area, plus signs on bridges explaining what you are seeing. If you go through be sure to carry some water as it is quite a trek.

Opening Photo is a 3 frame panorama, Panasonic GH2, m43 body, 14-140mm Lens @ 14mm. Assembled in Photoshop CS6.

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Ding Darling NWR Sunset

A series of sunsets at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in December 2013. Here in New Jersey we have had a LOT of snow, so it nice to reflect back on the warm weather of our trip to Florida.

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Early Sunset @ 6:09
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens @ 90mm, f/8, 1/400 sec, ISO 400

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Sunset @ 6:26
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens @ 32mm, f/8, 1/400 sec, ISO 400

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Sunset @ 6:26
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens @ 47mm, f/8, 1/400 sec, ISO 400

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Sundown @ 6:40
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens @ 50mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, -0.67 exposure compensation, ISO 400

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Clouds at Sundown@ 6:41
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens @ 24mm, f/8, 1/320 sec, -0.67 exposure compensation, ISO 400

Sunset Sanibel Beach

Here is a colorful sunset from our trip to Sanibel, Florida. We spent 5 days on the island between J.N. Ding Darling NWR and the beaches. Even though I like the Colorful Sunset, I think I like the B&W versions more. The image was converted in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Color Image: Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 24-105 L f/4 lens @ 93mm, f/4.5, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, -0.33 Exposure Compensation to saturate the colors slightly.

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B&W Conversion in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
Full Dynamic Smooth with minor tweaks

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Above settings with Coffee Tint Added

Misty Morning at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

This is from a trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge, Maryland a few years ago. The morning was very misty with a heavy fog starting to lift along the Wildlife Drive. The sun was staring to shine through the loblolly pines and was glowing through the fog. The header photo is one capture. The following photo is a 2 shot vertical stack put together in photoshop. Canon EOS 1D MkIII with 400mm f/4 DO lens, 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 640, effective focal length 520mm.

2 image vertical stack

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Sunrise and Moonset at Blackwater NWR

Here are a few early morning images from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge Maryland. This series, taken between 5:30 and 6:00 am, was one day after a full moon in May. I liked seeing the detail in the moon, with the moon in a warm yellow color, lowering over the trees & water.  Opposite was the sunrise, coming over the trees and water. I was shooting handheld between 1/125 and 1/40 of a second @ ISO 800 with a Canon 1D MkIV and a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM at 24mm & 105mm. I did not shoot bracketed exposures to later merge with an HDR program because I was handholding the camera. Instead I used one image and used Nik’s HDR Effects Pro 2 on a single exposure to mimic an HDR Image. Then used Nik’s Define to remove some noise.

 

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Sun Reflection Peaking Through Clouds

This landscape was taken at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge Maryland in Dec. 2011. Heavy cloud coverage hid the sun, but the colors shone through the clouds and reflected in the water. Usually we photograph Wildlife at Blackwater NWR, but you can also get some great landscapes with water or wooded areas. I also especially like the colorful sunsets with birds flying through them. This image was taken with a Canon EOS 1D MkII with a Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5 – 5.6 @ 12mm, 1/1000 sec, f/16, effective focal length 15.6mm,  aperture priority -0.67 exposure compensation. Below are a series of B&W versions using Nik Silver Effects plug-in in Photoshop. The next to last one is using a Black & White adjustment layer in Photoshop. The last is just an adjustment of contrast. I usually do not think to use B&W images anymore for myself, (too many long hours, years ago, in the darkroom for commercial clients), but I thought this image might be interesting in Black &White.

Walk in the Woods

I took a leisurely walk around the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale, NJ on Sunday looking for Fall Still Life images. I found a few I liked and also a few general interest Fall images as I was walking along the path. Here are some of what I found. I used my 1D MkIV with the Canon 70-300mm DO lens for the longer zoom range which comes in handy for a wider range of images, especially if you do not know what you will come across while on your walk. It also works well with extension tubes for closeup images when you come across them. The 70-300mm DO makes a great walk around lens especially with the Image Stabilization. I usually carry a 12mm & 20mm extension tubes with me, along with 12″ silver/gold collapsable reflector & 12″ diffuser for either reflecting light into a subject or for diffusing harsh sunlight.

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Painted Turtle 
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Milkweed Two Image Panorama_43G2655 v4

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