Mating Dragonflies

Over a week ago we went to Davidsons Mill Pond Park to see if we could find some dragonflies to photograph before the end of Dragonfly season here. I was surprised to see so many Slaty Skimmers along with a variety of others still here. As I was setting up on the back area of the first small pond these two flew in and landed right in front of me. I was surprised since it was so late in the season. Also they were in the “wheel” position for mating. After my first few shots I moved in a little closer to photograph a 2 image pano for a more square image. The featured image is a single shot. The image below are 2 images, stacked for the final closeup image. I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4X teleconverter. I was on the edge of the pond so could not get any closer.

2 image Pano, 300mm, f/11, blended in Photoshop.

Rain Drops On Evergreen Branch

After the a rain storm I noticed raindrops on evergreen branches above our sidewalk. I shot a few versions, then decided to shoot a panorama showing the new growth and the raindrops underneath. A 5 image panorama, shot with a Canon 7D with 300mm f/4 lens. It seems like Photoshop does better aligning the images in closeup panos with a longer lens, plus I get softer & cleaner backgrounds this way.

 

Cormorants In Early Morning Sunrise

I was going through & cleaning up some backup hard drives. I found these images of Cormorants that were taken at a local small Wildlife Area where we used to live. The featured image is a 2 shot panorama of a Cormorant taking flight in the early morning sunrise. Images taken with a Sigma 300-800mm lens @ 800mm.

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Green Darner Dragonfly Laying Eggs In Small Pond

I was photographing this female Green Darner dragonfly that was busy laying eggs in a small pond. It spent a large amount of time doing this so I had plenty of time to photograph the activity. It covered a very large area in this fairly small pond. The featured image is a 2 image panorama to get the reflection of the Darner in the image also. The Darner seemed to be spreading the eggs in a very wide area around the small pond. I was using a Canon 400mm DO lens & some images were shot with an extension tube to focus this close on the female Darner dragonfly when it came too close for my minimum focus distance.Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1_43G6528Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1_43G6351Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v2_43G6263Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1_43G6177Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1_43G6151Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1-400mm_43G5930

A Different Kind Of Panorama

A different kind of panorama taken at an airshow in Michigan many years ago.  I am going through old backup drives cleaning up files and getting rid of images not needed freeing up more storage space for more recent images. Here I was using a 100 – 400mm lens the entire day. When I came upon this P51D Mustang without a lot of people around it, I shot 4 shots @ 100mm. I aligned & assembled the 4 images in Photoshop for the final panorama.

Spring Clouds Panorama

A cloud panorama taken last year in the Spring at a local park. I liked the stacked clouds floating above the bare trees in the landscape and the small pop of red on the building in the background. I wanted the main center higher clouds to be in the center of the image. For this image, because of the area I wanted to capture, I would usually only need 2 rows of 2 images each if I was using a full frame camera. But because I was using a m43 camera with a smaller sensor, I used a 5th shot for the center area of the handheld panorama. I have found that if I shoot the 4 corners than 1 image for the center, the images align easier & looks better in the final panorama when using the m43 format cameras. Images taken @ 14mm with a Panasonic 14-140mm lens on a m43 Olympus Camera. I put each image in a layered Photoshop file & auto aligned the images in the layered Photoshop file. Then let Photoshop blend those layers for final image. I saw on the town web site notification that this park will be open again today! But only allowing ~ 10 cars in at a time and must use social distancing guidelines. Seems strange since it is a huge area and if one car leaves does that mean 1 car can go in?

Panorama of Cormorant Take-Off In Early Morning Sunrise

Still going through my Backup Hard Drives for interesting images to post because of the stay at home order in NJ. Also helps to clear images not needed anymore and makes it easier to find images I want. Supposedly they will be lessening the stay at home order soon! This is an early morning, quickly taken, 2 image Panorama of a Cormorant taking flight from some branches in the water. 2 images shot @ 800mm and assembled in Photoshop. I liked the Black Cormorant against the warm colors of the sunrise in the water. Below another Cormorant, different Snag & Day – The Celery Farm Natural Area, Allendale, NJ.

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Another Cormorant, Different Snag, 2 img Pano, 400mm f/4 DO w, 1.4x Teleconverter

 

7 Image iPhone Panorama

Another panorama from our trip to Florida in February. For this panorama I chose to shoot with the 1.5mm lens on my iPhone 11 Pro. This would be an equivalent field of view of 13mm on a full frame camera.  I shot 2 rows of images, top row 4 images and bottom row had 3 images.  Somehow I miscounted on the bottom row, but it worked out anyway. I selected the files and adjusted the phone jpegs in Adobe Camera Raw before opening them into one layered file in Photoshop. I have my Adobe Camera Raw setup to open jpegs as raw files with settings. I tried setting the iPhone to shoot HEIC raw files, but that just slowed down the camera and did not see much of a difference in quality only a much larger file size. The panorama images below are multiple images in one row, combined and blended in Photoshop.

LW_Landscape_IP11_pro_1_5mm

Another Multi-Image version of the same view. This time a one row, multi-image blend shot with the 1.5mm lens.       (Each Image in Series Full Frame Equivalent 13mm)

LW Landscape_2img iPhone 11_Pro_4_3mm lens 26mmFF

2 image iPhone panorama, shot with 4.3mm lens.                (Each Image in Series – Full Frame Equivalent 26mm)

Female Anhinga Reflection Panorama

We were photographing this female Anhinga at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and I really liked the Anhinga’s reflection and wanted to include it in the final image. So I shot 2 images to combine in Photoshop. I manually aligned the 2 images (300mm) and did a soft edge mask to blend the 2 images into the final image. Sometimes when you blend 2 images automatically in Photoshop, it distorts or greatly skews one of the layers so it looks strange. So manual alignment sometimes works best.

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Closer Image, Single Female Cormorant Image with 400mm Canon DO lens with 1.4x Teleconverter , Canon 7D

26 Cormorants Panorama

The Winter months give me an opportunity to go through images I have not worked on before. This is a multi-image panorama from a past trip to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. I thought it was interesting to see so many Cormorants lined up on these small pilings. Many times you see large groups even bigger than this group swimming in the channels here, but never saw this many in a group on pilings. 5 Images shot at 800mm, aligned and blended in Photoshop.

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