Posted on August 12, 2020
It is a lacewing larva or sometimes just called a “junk bug” because of the junk it carries around on its back. The tiny larvae come up with all sorts of creative disguises to confuse predators. Other larvae may use bits and pieces of leaves, dead insects or whatever debris is available. I have seen these in other gardens, but never tried to find out what they were.
Posted on March 7, 2019
Some more images from our trip to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, NJ. We saw a large variety of Ducks on our visit there. Some were in large groups and others were either a pair or just single ducks swimming by. Most, as usual were farther out in the channel, but a few cooperated and swam closer by. All shot with a 400mm D.O. lens with a 1.4X teleconverter on a Canon R. The sky was very overcast when were photographing the ducks, so I did my best to brighten my Duck subjects. The featured image is a Male Northern Shoveler Duck. Always loved that green head with bright yellow eyes!
Category: Birds, Blog, Brigantine NWR, Oceanville NJ, Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Favorite Locations, Wildlife Tagged: American Black duck, birds, Brigantine Division, Bufflehead Ducks, canon 400mm f/4 DO, canon R, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Ducks, Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Hooded Mergansers, Mergansers, Northern Shoveler Ducks, photography, Pintail Ducks, Red-breasted Merganser Ducks
Posted on August 8, 2018
While I was photographing a Great Blue Heron off in the distance, this closer one took off and flew by right in front of me. I was using a slower shutter speed because I had my lens stopped down more than usual because of the distance and wanted more depth of field, so the wingtips of this Heron show some blurred movement. Thought it was still interesting and liked the movement of the wingtips.
Posted on July 31, 2018
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.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Favorite Locations, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Skyscapes & Clouds, Tips & Techniques Tagged: blackwater National Wildlife refuge, canon 24-105mm f/4 lens, clouds, Cloudscapes, landscapes, panoramas, photography, Sigma 12-24mm
Posted on July 6, 2018
When I was leaving to go to work, I noticed this tiny snail on the edge of the front door frame. It was smaller than a 1/4” long. I went back in and got a 100mm macro lens and shot a series of images at f/2.8 for a focus stack. I had to do this because I was using available light and did not want to push my ISO over 1250 ISO. Using a series of images for the focus stack letting Photoshop select the sharpest sections of each frame and merged them together for a final image. It was 5 am so it was pretty dark. I rested the front edge of the lens on the edge of the door frame and shot a series of focus points. Then let Photoshop do the rest.
Posted on April 27, 2018
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.
Posted on January 6, 2018
While I was photographing at Ding Darling NWR in Sanibel, FL, this Great Egret flew by where I was photographing White Pelicans. It flew in front of me from left to right. As I was adjusting my files I thought it would make an interesting image showing the different wing positions as it flew by. I did not have the camera set at a high frame rate, but I thought it was still interesting.
In Camera Raw I selected the whole series, made my adjustments and opened them in Photoshop, each on its own layer in the original file. I selected the blue background and inversed the selection to select the Egret on each one. I made a new file that would fit them all in horizontally. I selected a blue sky color from the first of the series and a blue sky color from the last of the series and graduated the color from left to right for the background sky. Then added a slight bit of noise into the sky.
Now that I had my sky background, I went back to each Egret image and selected the layer of each Egret and put that Egret image in a new layer, in sequence to show the wing position sequences. If I was at a higher frame rate I would have gotten more wing positions, but I still had fun putting it together.
Posted on June 21, 2017
After a rain, I went out looking for photo subjects. Our Dogwood tree had blooms on it so I started there. I found a bloom with water drops and a sun star on the drop. I was using a 200mm macro lens on a m43 body which also accented the sun star with the iris of the lens.
Posted on May 30, 2017
There are quite a few Osprey platforms for building nests along the Wildlife Drive in the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Oceanville, NJ. Usually for some reason there are one or two that do not get used each year. But this year they seem to all occupied. There are also other nests throughout the Refuge that you do not see, except for the large amounts of Ospreys flying in the Refuge. The platforms along the Drive are a good place to wait for interesting photos. Everything from the Ospreys defending their nests and young from other Ospreys, hawks & other intruders, to seeing them mating or bringing fish to feed the young Ospreys. Also early in the season you will see them bringing sticks and branches to build the nest. You can get great flight shots as they leave or return to the platforms. You need a long lens, since they are not real close to the road and it is forbidden to go off the road. (But I have seen a few do that which is not a smart thing to do) Quite often there are times of a lot of action you can get photos of right above you on the Drive. Most platforms have a post nearby where the mate waits near the nest, sometimes eating a fish. While you are waiting for action from the Ospreys, there is usually lots of other subjects flying or wading by. Egrets, Herons, Terns, Gulls, Shorebirds, Cormorants, Bald Eagles, Swans, the list is endless. Also while you are waiting the landscapes and Cloudscapes are great there. A usual day there I can easily have 5,000 shots or more to go through especially if you are tracking the flying birds, shooting bursts to get the best wing positions. Or if you come upon a bunch of shorebirds in a feeding frenzy, with hundreds of birds going at it.
Posted on September 9, 2013
Here I was trying to get as close as I could to this butterfly wing with a Canon 1D MkIV and a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens. This is a 1x to 5x macro zoom (on a full frame camera). On a Canon 1D MkIV with a 1.3 crop sensor it is more like a 1.3X to 6.5X macro zoom. The MP-E 65mm is definitely a special purpose lens and is a little funky to use. Sometimes it seems like your subject is right up against the front element. Here I backed the zoom down a little and moved the camera in on a rail until I achieved focus. I am guessing it was about 5X. Usually when I am done I photograph a small tape measure and compare it to the image of the sensor. I did not have an opportunity this time to do this. With this extreme close focus it is critical to get as parallel as possible to your subject to achieve focus as much as possible over the entire frame. The MP-E 65mm has a very limited depth of field so it is important. I had the lens set to f/16 and still had a very narrow depth of field. I used an off camera flash above and to the side and a small white reflector for fill flight. I also uploaded a closer crop of the same image.