Posted on June 30, 2020
A few images of a female Common Whitetail Dragonfly taken along a walk at the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve in NJ. I was using a Canon 300mm f/4 lens on a Canon 7D, mainly because it was lighter to carry for a long walk. The background is a little busy with the sandy & pebble path. But it cooperated by not flying off!
Posted on April 18, 2020
Since we are following stay at home guidelines these were taken on a photo walk at Plainsboro Preserve last year to look for dragonflies. We only saw a few dragonflies and most were very worn looking. But then we saw quite a few Red-Spotted Purple Butterflies. I was shooting @ 600mm and for closeups I did a series of different focus points and then let Photoshop align and combine the sharpest areas into the final image. The featured image was 3 shots, the one below was only 2 before it flew off.
Posted on September 27, 2019
5 image Panorama of 50-acre McCormack Lake at Plainsboro Preserve. The Plainsboro Preserve is a collaboration with the Township of Plainsboro, the County of Middlesex,
and New Jersey Audubon. Close to 1,000 acres of lands were preserved by the County of Middlesex and the Township of Plainsboro that supports a diversity of habitats and wildlife, with one of the largest lakes in the area. The featured image is a 5 image panorama, each section shot @ 14mm on a m43 Olympus Camera. Then assembled in Photoshop. When doing panoramas with a m43 Camera, I tend to overlap each image more because of the smaller format. It just seems to lineup better and give better “blending” of the individual frames. On full frame cameras I do not have to shoot as many sections to get a “Smooth” overlap.
Posted on September 5, 2019
While we were looking for photo subjects at Plainsboro Preserve, I spotted this Buckeye Butterfly working this flower. The Butterflies and Dragonflies all seem to have a look of wear & tear now this time of year. But it is still fun to get some photos. I was using a Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens with an extension tube for closer focusing. This Buckeye had quite a bit of wing damage.
Posted on August 31, 2019
While we were looking for Dragonflies at Plainsboro Preserve I noticed this Red-Spotted Purple butterfly warming on the ground. I was using a close focusing 300mm f/4 lens with a 2X teleconverter so I could get closer images of distant insect subjects (usually Dragonflies) so I manually focused on 3 different areas to blend them into 1 sharp image in Photoshop. Using f/4 for my f/stop (with a 2X teleconverter it is actually f/8 then with the 2X teleconverter giving a 600mm focal length) and focused on middle body, then antennas and lastly rear wing edge. I used to mainly use a 1.4X teleconverter for this type of shooting but the Canon R files are extremely clean even at much higher ISO’s so the 2X gives me more working distance. Then used Photoshop to blend the sharpest areas automatically into 1 merged image. Photoshop usually does a good job on this, but here in there I might also do some manual editing to what Photoshop does. To bad it is getting late in the season for butterflies & insects. They are beginning to show signs of wear. Especially the Dragonflies!
Category: Blog, Favorite Locations, Insects, Panorama & Stacked Images, Plainsboro Preserve, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Audubon Plainsboro Preserve, Butterfly, Butterflys, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R camera, Canon Series 2X teleconverter, image blending, image focus stacking, Image Stacking, image stacking wit photoshop cc, Plainsboro Preserve, Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly
Posted on August 28, 2019
We were photographing at Plainsboro Preserve, looking for Dragonflies and birds a couple of days ago. Plainsboro Preserve includes over 1,000 acres of undisturbed open space with nature trails and 50-acre McCormack Lake. The New Jersey Audubon Society manages the preserve on behalf of Plainsboro and Middlesex County. We did find a few Birds & Dragonflies, but there were quite a few Deer grazing in the fields. This is the first time we saw Male Deer there. I was shooting @ 600mm so closeup images were 2 or 3 image panos. The featured Doe and the images of the fawn, I photographed next to the road on our drive out. For the featured image I shot 3 images @ 600mm because she was so close to the road. The Fawn images were also 2 or 3 multi-image panoramas to get the whole Fawn in. Because they were moving I had to manually blend the panoramas with soft edge masks. Since we were going to a local park, mainly looking for Dragonflies, I only had the one lens with me so I had to make do with what I had.
Posted on July 29, 2019
I have not photographed as many Dragonflies this year as I have in other years. Maybe because I have been working on a few personal projects. I found these female Great Blue Skimmers at Plainsboro Preserve which is a Preserve and Nature Center along with an Audubon Center. It is about 1,000 acres, with a 50 acre lake and miles of nature trails. So it is a fun place to wander around and look for photo subjects, especially Dragonflies! On this day we mostly saw Great Blue Skimmers. Lately I use a 300mm f/4 Canon lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter for photographing Dragonflies. It allows me to get close images and seems to work well @ f/11 for getting detail, but still have a somewhat soft background. Sometimes I will go to f/8 for the series if the background is busier and shoot a series with more focus points. I then blend the images in Photoshop, to keep a softer background for my Dragonfly images but still get more of the dragonfly in focus.
Category: Blog, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Insects, Plainsboro Preserve, Tips & Techniques, Uncategorized Tagged: Audubon Plainsboro Preserve, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Dragonflys, Female Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Plainsboro Preserve
Posted on November 4, 2018
We went to Plainsboro Preserve to see what we could find for photo subjects. I had a 400mm lens hoping to find some Wildlife on Lake McCormack. There were lots of Canada Geese and a few ducks. But nothing to get excited about. So I switched to shooting the colorful landscapes and colorful leaves. With the 400mm lens I had to shoot my subjects with multiple images to combine them later for my final images in Photoshop. My multi-image pano images are from 2 images up to 35 images for a very long panorama of Lake McCormack with the colorful trees on the far shore with about 100 Canada Geese in the water. For this post it is a 2 Image pano through the trees looking across the lake on the far end of Lake McCormack.
Posted on July 21, 2018
We went to Plainsboro Preserve to look for Dragonflies, or whatever else we could find. The New Jersey Audubon Society manages the Preserve on behalf of Plainsboro and Middlesex County. The Preserve is over 1,000 acres of undistrubed open space with nature trails and 50 acre McCormack Lake. It was supposed to start to rain so I decided to travel light and just took a m43 Camera with a 14-140mm lens (Full Frame DSLR FOV equivalent ~28-280mm). There were lots of dragonfly’s along the paths and off to the sides but were mostly buzzing around so with the m43 camera it was tough to get shots of them. When they did land it was only for a few seconds. We are going back when it is not going to rain and have more time to explore for Dragonflies. It is interesting how different places, but still close in proximity attract different types of dragonflies. I guess it depends on water conditions. They say Skimmers are attracted to still waters or slow streams.
Posted on May 13, 2018
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.