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.

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Damselfly – Single Image


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.

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Single Image @14mm, m43 

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

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

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

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Interesting Light Fixture

Small Leaf On Rain Dropped Leaf Background

This is a 2 image stacked photo, shot at f/4. It was a windy day, so I did not want to use a small f/stop because the leaves were blowing back & forth. It does not show here, but there was quite a bit of distance between the two main leaf subjects. So with the wind moving the leaves, I did not want a slower shutter speed that would show movement. I shot wide open at f/4 to minimize movement and focused the 2 shots for each main subject. Combined in Photoshop for the final image. I cropped the bottom leaf because there was too much open space in the bottom right corner.


Rain Drops on Leaves -8 Image Stack

After it rained again, I went out looking for rain drops. This time I used an old manual Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro with a m43 adapter on a Panasonic m43 camera body. The old FD lenses work well on the m43 cameras. Plus I have quite a few left from the film days. Makes it, sort of in easy terms, a 400mm f/4 macro in Full Frame Digital thinking on the m43 format, with the depth of field of a 200mm. There are more exacting ways to figure out the exact focal length, f/stop, and depth of field, but it is easier to just double the focal length and be close. Also unless you know the exact focal length of the lens, not what it is listed as, you are going to be wrong in the first place. Most lenses are not the focal length they are listed at, the true focal length is a little shorter usually from what they describe them as. Especially Telephoto Lenses. Also in the Electronic viewfinder, you see the depth of field you are achieving live. Stopping down the lens, you see your depth of field. There has been a lot of debates on lens conversions on m43 cameras, but it is not worth the effort to me.

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First of the 8 images, showing the distortion Photoshop did to help align all the layers in the stack. When Photoshop is compressing them into 1 blended file, it will automatically fill in blank areas with what it thinks it needs. Sometimes it works Great. Other times it needs a few touchups.

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Last Image (#8) in Series

The above aligned images are showing the manipulation of the areas of the start and last images using Auto-Align. Next when you choose Auto Blend, Photoshop will remove areas from each layer not used, usually the out of focus areas, selecting the areas more in focus and blending all into an image and placing it on the top layer above the other layers.

Sometimes it works very well, sometimes Photoshop just cannot handle it. Or they might need a little touchup here or there. There are other programs that might be better, but I am just doing these for fun and I am used to using PhotoShop.



A Walk At The Tubman Road Trail

These are from a walk at the Tubman Road Trail at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge Maryland a few weeks ago. Many times when we go to Blackwater NWR, we stay on the main drive through the Refuge. Last time we went to see what was happening at the Tubman Road Trail. Our previous trip around Christmas, we were surprised to see how large the trees have grown from their reforestation program from a tornado years ago, but it was very quiet for wildlife. The trail is about 2 miles long and goes through fields, forests & marsh areas, giving a wide variety of photo subjects. From birds, animals, reptiles, butterflies (+bugs), landscapes and nature still life images.

It was late Winter so it was a little quite for wildlife, but on previous visits we photographed Eagles, hawks and a variety of other birds. It is also nice for just the walk to see what you can find. We only went down to the first series of ponds to check things out and then returned to the Wildlife Drive for the Snow Geese.

The featured image is one of the ponds a little into the walk. It is three vertical shots, handheld, assembled in Photoshop, 14mm with a m43 camera.  The ponds are getting harder to photograph because the bushes are getting taller, obstructing part of the view.

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Pond next to parking area, 3 shots, 14mm, m43 camera

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Another pond on the other side of the path. 

Many times you can see Woodpeckers & Flickers along this area. One tree here used to have a Flicker nest.

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A wider view of the above pond 

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Another view of ponds


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A view down the path near the entrance

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You have to watch for exposed roots along the path, but they sometimes look interesting.

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Pond from further down path 

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Tree Root Still Life

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Pine Needle Still Life


Lone Treescape

We were walking around Davidson Mill Pond Park. I saw this tree in a field that I thought looked interesting. I liked the colors and that being still Winter,  it was bare of leaves. I was using a m43 camera with a 14-140mm lens. The featured image was at 48mm. Then I shot a 6 shot series at 14mm to combine in Photoshop. I liked the clouds and the farm look in the distance and the wider view of 3 images in 2 rows for the pano.

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Gull Pond Panorama

When I am shooting with a long lens, quite often I also carry a m43 Camera with a 14-140mm lens. It comes in handy for “grab” shots when the longer lens is too long, and is lighter to carry then 2 bigger cameras. With this lens I can go fairly wide to fairly long, 28mm to 280mm with close focus (35mm sort of equivalent) in a small light weight package. Also I do not like changing lenses on a windy day out in the field. This is a six shot (vertical framing) panorama, assembled in Photoshop.

Before we left the clouds really came in and “brightened up” the landscapes with more dimension. Just a plain blue or overcast sky is just boring.

Usually there are Gulls, Swans, a few Great Blue Herons or a variety of ducks, etc. here but it was a slow day for wildlife.

I have posted quite a few panoramas lately, but that was most of the opportunities I had on this visit.


3 image panorama, 17mm m43 camera


Mute Swan Portraits

I was at a local park looking for subjects to photograph. They have some trails through the woods and a large 2.5 acre pond. There is usually a pair of Mute Swans in the pond. I did not see any at first, but then one of them appeared on the far side of the pond and eventually came fairly close to where I was. These were shot with a m43 camera with a 100-300mm Panasonic lens. So in Full frame equivalence, that is equal to 200-600mm, quite a bit of reach in a small lightweight easy to carry setup. It is surprisingly sharp if you are careful. Still prefer my standard Canon gear, but sometimes I just do not want to carry it all!

Assorted portraits and views at various focal lengths up to 300mm, depending on the distance of the Swan from me.


Meeting House

I usually do not photograph buildings, except for my commercial work. But we moved to a Condo community a few months ago. It looks like an old New England Village. This is the Meeting House, which looks like a Church you would find in New England. During one of my walks, I liked the light on the building and even the bare tree limbs, which seemed to highlight the building more. I had wanted to photograph the building with all the fall leaves, but the leaves overpowered the building. I did like the blue sky and clouds showing through the leaves.


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