Posted on March 4, 2022
On our trip years ago to the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLand Florida we were surprised to see a few Whooping Cranes flying and forging with the Sandhill Cranes. It was fun to see them interacting with the Sandhill Cranes. They were mostly far out in the fields but I managed to get a few images with them flying together in a flock. Image taken with a Canon 1D mk III with a Sigma 300-800mm lens @ 800mm with a Canon 1D mkIII.
Category: Birds, Birds, birdscapes, Blog, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Lake Woodruff NWR, Lake Woodruff, DeLand Fl, Sandhill Cranes, Whooping Cranes, Whooping Cranes in Flight, Wildlife Tagged: Lake Woodruff National Wildlif Refuge, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Woodruff NWR, Lake Woodruff NWR Florida, Sandhill Cranes, Sigma 300-800mm DG Lens, Whooping Cranes
Posted on December 29, 2021
I am still going through Sandhill Crane images that were shot for making panoramas since they were so close to me as I was photographing them. Usually it is a reverse problem where your subjects are too far away as you are photographing them. All images in this post are taken with a 300mm lens on a Canon R. The Featured Image is a 2 horizontal image panorama combined in Photoshop.
Category: Birds, Birds, birdscapes, Blog, canon R, Favorite Locations, Image Stacking, Lake Woodruff NWR, Lake Woodruff, DeLand Fl, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Sandhill Cranes, Stacked Images, Wildlife Tagged: canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R camera, Lake Woodruff National Wildlif Refuge, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Woodruff NWR, Lake Woodruff NWR Florida, Lake Woodruff NWR Panoramas, Sandhill Crane Panoramas, Sandhill Cranes
Posted on December 23, 2021
These are from a trip a couple of years ago to Lake Woodruff NWR. It is located in Volusia County, Florida near the community of DeLeon Springs. It is a very interesting NWR to visit and is surprisingly empty of visitors except for the Wildlife. If you see a few groups of visitors there it is not the norm. Many times you are there almost completely by yourself which because of the size it is a little strange feeling. The famed St Johns River forms the western boundary of the 22,000-acre refuge. The refuge contains a wide variety of habitats. Among them are marshes, swamps, creeks, hammocks and uplands. One of my favorite birds besides Bald Eagles are Sandhill Cranes which seem to really like this Refuge. On this day there were quite a few Sandhill Cranes roaming around the ponds close to the entrance. It is very strange to have a bird that large walk right up to you to check you out. Many times you are just a few feet from them. On previous visits they were more wary and did not get close. I was just using a Canon 7D with a 300mm lens for wildlife and my iP11 Pro for landscapes. The Featured Image is a 7 horizontal images panorama stacked vertically to get the whole Crane in. When shooting panoramas of slowly moving birds foraging you still have to shoot the sequence very quickly to have the images line up correctly without having to do a lot of touch-ups on the overlaps.
Category: Birds, Birds, Blog, Equipment, Favorite Locations, iPhone, iPhone photography, Lake Woodruff NWR, Lake Woodruff, DeLand Fl, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Sandhill Cranes, Uncategorized, Wildlife Tagged: bird panoramas, Handheld bird panoramas, iP11 Pro video, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone multi-image panoramas, Lake Woodruff National Wildlif Refuge, Lake Woodruff NWR, Sandhill Crane Panoramas, Sandhill Cranes
Posted on March 23, 2020
Usually you see the Sandhill Cranes foraging in the grasses for meals, but here they are foraging in the waters at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. It was fun to see them in a different setting!
Posted on February 19, 2020
As we were walking the trails at Lake Woodruff NWR we saw these Sandhill Cranes flying by. I wanted to get the whole group in one image. I was using a 300mm lens, so I shot 5 images in a quick series to combine into one Sandhill Crane flying panorama. I could not let Photoshop align and blend the panorama because of the movement of the wings confused Photoshop auto alignment of images. I used a series of soft masks to blend the images manually in the panorama and spaced them by the spaces between the Cranes.
Posted on February 18, 2020
On our visit to Lake Woodruff NWR in DeLand Florida, it was amazing how the Sandhill Cranes seemed to not be bothered by people. But then again there were not many people around. So maybe they were just curious. We did not try to get close to them, but they walked right up to us as to check us out. We were a little nervous at first but they just seemed to be checking us out and went on their way foraging in the grass. It is a little intimidating to have such a large bird get that close to check you out. They are about 4 ft tall and have about a 7 ft wingspan. The trouble was I had to shoot series of panoramas to get the entire Sandhill Cranes in. Usually you can never get close enough to fill the frame with birds! The featured image is made from 2 images, @ 300mm and assembled in Photoshop. The amount of images per pano is also a guide as to how close they were to us! The more images per panorama the closer they were!
Posted on February 8, 2020
It seemed the first pair of Sandhill Cranes were quite curious about us. They walked right up to us and sort of stared at us as if they were checking us out. We were a little nervous at first as they were that close and they were very large birds. But after that they sort of kept up with us as we were walking in that area and we welcomed their company as we walked. Then they went off on their own in a different direction.
Posted on February 7, 2020
I am still working on images from our trip to Lake Woodruff NWR in Deland Florida. But I thought it might be interesting to show how I am working on hand-held multi-image stacked panoramas of moving Sandhill Cranes or other moving subjects. This panorama of a foraging Sandhill Crane is made from 5 handheld images, assembled & aligned manually in Photoshop. Sometimes Photoshop does a good job aligning them automatically, but for handheld I tend to align the layers manually. Then edges are blended with soft edge masks in different layers to blend images to fit. On moving subjects you need to shoot more images than you normally use so you have a choice of areas to blend in for the final since the Crane is moving. Blank areas are filled in with the content-aware fill feature in Photoshop. Images were taken with a 300mm f/4 lens. Final image is 22″ x 26″ @300ppi. Once you do a few you get a better idea of sections you need to photograph and how much overlap you need. For the Cranes I concentrated on photographing the head, neck & legs for one main area and then a couple more shots for the bulk of the body. I let Photoshop align & combine the head and leg images, then the bulk of the body. After that I aligned those 2 main sections for combining into the basic full image. There were some blank areas in the background edges, so I used Photoshop’s “Content Aware Fill” to fill in the main blank areas. When first starting it is best to shoot more images than you need. This gives you more options for the panorama. It is better to have too many images than not enough. After practice you will see that you get a “feel” for how many images you need. On a moving “subject” I concentrate on leg areas and then head & body areas. On this example it is more legs & head, then body areas since the head was angled down.
Screen grab above showing area to be filled in using content aware fill. Below are images that made up the final Panorama. The first 3 are for the head & feet, the last 2 are for the bulk of the body and top background area.
Category: Birds, Blog, Favorite Locations, Lake Woodruff, DeLand Fl, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Tips & Techniques, Wildlife Tagged: Assembling Photoshop Panoramas, Canon 300mm f/4, Lake Woodruff NWR, Multi-image Photos., panoramas, Sandhill Crane Panoramas, Sandhill Cranes
Posted on February 6, 2020
Another panorama from Lake Woodruff NWR. This time is a 5 horizontal image panorama, stacked for a vertical image. I was using a 300mm Canon f/4 lens. It was strange on this trip that they seemed to not be wary of people. They would walk right near you as they were feeding in the grasses or walking by. It was definitely a fun trip!
Posted on February 5, 2020
On our trip to Lake Woodruff NWR in DeLand Florida we were hoping to see Sandhill Cranes. They did not disappoint us. The only problem was it was a spur of the moment trip so I traveled light and only chose the lenses I thought would be best. I did not want to load up the car with too many lenses to carry once we got there. So for long lenses I brought a 300mm with a close focusing capability and a Tamron 150-600mm zoom for versatility along with teleconverters. Usually the Sandhill Cranes are in large flocks or off in the distance. The first walk in to the trails, 2 Sandhills landed right by us within a couple of feet. They stuck with us for quite a while giving me the opportunity to get a lot of portraits. But to get the whole Sandhill Crane in, I resorted to shooting panoramas of them. All panos were shot handheld and assembled in Photoshop. The featured image is only 2 vertical images blended because the Crane was a little further away from me at this point.