Great Blue Heron In The Grasses

As we were driving along the Brigantine Wildlife Drive looking for photo subjects we came upon this Great Blue Heron standing in the Grasses. It was quite far out so I put a 2X Teleconverter on my 150-600mm lens to get a closer image. It came out fairly well considering the Tamron 150-600mm lens @ 600mm with a 2X teleconverter (1200mm) is somewhat pushing the sharpness of the lens & image. Stopping down more to f/16 helped quite a bit plus using more Sharpening in Camera Raw when adjusting my images also helped. Usually when using a Teleconverter, I stop down more than I usually do when not using a Teleconverter. For example – when using a 1.4X teleconverter I stop down 1 more f/stop than usual. When using a 1.7X or 2X Teleconverter I stop down 2 stops more than usual. I flattened my layers & duplicated the final layer to have a duplicate layer above my final layer. Using Filter > Other>High Pass Sharpening I had a Grayscale duplicate image above my final color layer. The Grayscale layer was then changed from Normal to Overlay in the layers palette and I lowered the opacity of the High Pass layer to about 40 percent opacity. This just adds a little more Crispness or Sharpness (on the image edges) since I was using a 2X Teleconverter on the Tamron 150-600mm Lens. When using a Grayscale High Pass layer technique it is best to not go too “heavy” on the opacity of High Pass layer. Usually I only go to 20% or 30% opacity on the High Pass layer, but really depends on the image you are working on. This technique can also help sharpness when printing images on an Ink Jet Printer which is basically spraying the ink. But for Inkjet printing I would lower the High Pass layer even a little more. It takes some practice but helps. In my old commercial photo studio before I retired we also did a lot of Wide Format printing for our Corporate & Advertising Agency clients. I had 2- 60″ wide HP Printers for indoor display & fine art graphics & 44″ & 63″ Epson Printers for outdoor graphics or indoor specialty medias. Give this technique a try, but do not overdo the opacity of the High Pass layer. Again it takes some practice, but comes in handy.

Ospreys At Brigantine

On our visit to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge I was hoping to get many images of the Ospreys in flight. And also Ospreys on nests on the Osprey Platforms along the Wildlife Drive. On this visit there was only one active Osprey Platform near the Wildlife Drive. The featured image is an Osprey near the nest on a post. I was using a Canon R with a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600mm with a Sigma 2x teleconverter for 1200mm to get closer to my subject.

Osprey Nest On Osprey Platform, Along Wildlife Drive, Tamron 150-600m @ 600mm, Canon R

Tree Swallows From Davidsons Mill Pond Park

The Eastern Bluebirds and the Tree Swallows were really going at it to secure the nesting boxes that are scattered about the park. Quite a few are along one stretch of the main open area. A lot of activity, but they were all over the place so with the camera & lens I was using I did not get any of the action shots. I was using the Canon R with the 150-600mm Tamron lens with a Sigma 2X Teleconverter for a focal length of 1200mm. Here are a series of images of the Tree Swallows around some of the nesting boxes.

Tree Swallow, Tamron 150-600mm @600mm with a Sigma 2X Teleconverter, Canon R, for 1200mm focal length
Tree Swallow, Tamron 150-600mm @600mm with a Sigma 2X Teleconverter, Canon R, for 1200mm focal length
Tree Swallows, Tamron 150-600mm @600mm with a Sigma 2X Teleconverter, Canon R, for 1200mm
Tree Swallow, Tamron 150-600mm @600mm with a Sigma 2X Teleconverter, Canon R, for 1200mm

Eastern Bluebirds Return To Davidsons Mill Pond Park

Eastern Bluebirds have started returning to Davidsons Mill Pond Park. I wanted to go photograph them but decided to use a very long lens so as not to bother them as they are finding their homes in the BlueBird Boxes scattered around the park. There is a lot of activity around the nesting boxes because the Tree Swallows are also trying to take over the Bluebird boxes. So a lot of back & forth between them. I decided to use a 150-600mm Tamron lens @ 600mm with a 2X teleconverter with a Canon R giving me a focal length of 1200mm. The Canon R can still autofocus with that combination of the 150-600mm Tamron lens & the Sigma 2X Teleconverter which helps with my old eyes! It was a fun photo outing and hope that soon the Dragonflies are next to return! I also smoothed out out the backgrounds somewhat because of the flowering trees & branches in the background to give a smoother clean background with the Bluebirds.

Eastern Bluebird, Tamron 150-600mm Lens@ 600mm, w/Sigma 2X Teleconverter, for a total of 1200mm on a Canon R
Eastern Bluebird, Tamron 150-600mm Lens@ 600mm, w/Sigma 2X Teleconverter, for a total of 1200mm on a Canon R
Eastern Bluebird, Tamron 150-600mm Lens@ 600mm, w/Sigma 2X Teleconverter, for a total of 1200mm on a Canon R
Eastern Bluebird, Tamron 150-600mm Lens@ 600mm, w/Sigma 2X Teleconverter, for a total of 1200mm on a Canon R
Eastern Bluebird, Tamron 150-600mm Lens@ 600mm, w/Sigma 2X Teleconverter, for a total of 1200mm on a Canon R
Eastern Bluebird, Tamron 150-600mm Lens@ 600mm, w/Sigma 2X Teleconverter, for a total of 1200mm on a Canon R
Eastern Bluebird, Tamron 150-600mm Lens@ 600mm, w/Sigma 2X Teleconverter, for a total of 1200mm on a Canon R

Northern Cardinal Outside Our Front Door

For a while now we have been enjoying the visiting birds on the top of our neighbors tree across from our front door. Today it was a very colorful male Northern Cardinal. So I shot a series of images using a Tamron 150-600mm lens with a Sigma 2X teleconverter on a Canon R. This gave me a final focal length of 1200mm so I upped my ISO since I was handholding the camera. The Canon R autofocused fine with this combination. Images were taken @ 1/500 sec, f/11, 1000 ISO. As I was photographing him, he kept an eye on me in the first few minutes. After a while he just kept looking to the left & right.

49 Cormorant Panorama From BRIGANTine

I was cleaning up backup Hard Drives and I found this panorama of Cormorants. This was taken last June at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, NJ. I was using a Tamron 150-600mm lens @ 600mm with a Sigma 2X teleconverter for a focal length of 1200mm. The Panorama is made with 9 horizontal images, aligned & blended in Photoshop. Even with the Sigma 2X teleconverter I was using autofocus with the Canon R. For some reason the Canon R does not see the Sigma 2X Teleconverter and still thinks the lens with the teleconverter is a f/6.3 aperture. Even the Adobe Camera Raw info data states it is f/6.2 (not even the f/6.3) lens.

Cropped Detail Image from the left side of the panorama

Blue Dasher In Our Garden

I noticed a male Blue Dasher on the top of a Gladiola in our garden as I was looking out the window. So I went out to get some images to post. It has been unusually extra hot here in NJ, so we have not gone to any of the local parks lately. As I was inching closer to the Dasher, it flew off, but quickly returned to the same spot. After doing that multiple times it finally stayed on the tip of the tall plant. I guess it began to tolerate me as I was inching closer. I was hand holding my camera, but I shot a series of focus points along the dragonfly for image stacking. The Blue Dasher was close to the side of my home so I was shooting wide open to have a smoother background. This eliminated the shadows under the rows of siding that would have given confusing rows of darker stripes to the background. I was using a Canon R with a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro and a Sigma 2x teleconverter. So with the 2x teleconverter, my wide open f/stop was f/5.6. I manually focused a series of focus points from wingtip to wingtip plus close ups of the face. I was surprised the Blue Dasher did not fly off and allowed me to get right in it’s face, so to speak. So I tried many different focus stacks to see which might work better. Here are a few images from the series.

Blue Dasher v4

First focus stacked image, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro, with Sigma 2x teleconverter, 5 images, Canon R @ f/5.6.  With focus stacking shooting @ f/5.6, I eliminated the shadows under the rows of siding behind the dragonfly.

 

Blue_Dasher_v3_portrait vert 300mm f4_2X_Canon R_v2_ v1076A4672

Dasher Image (2 images) concentrating on face, legs, plant tip & front of wings.

Great Egret Catches Lunch

Outside our complex is a small pond along an access road. There usually are a lot of Canada Geese here, but scattered along the far shoreline in the pond are Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Cormorants. Also a few shore birds are working along the edge. It is down a slope from the road, so you are sort of shooting down at them from quite a distance so you need a long lens to photograph them. Because of the distance I was using a Tamron 150-600mm lens with a Sigma 2X teleconverter for a 1200mm field of view to fill the frame more with the birds. I am surprised the Canon R autofocuses quickly with the combination of a 2X Teleconverter on a f/6.3 zoom lens. With the 2X teleconverter on the Tamron 150-600mm f/6.3 lens, my wide open f/stop was f/13. So I stoped down to f/16 to help with shrapness.  My Canon 1D Series bodies would not autofocus past f/11 if you stacked teleconverters.

GE_w_Fish_v2_RP_1200mm_76A8862

Great Egret finally catches a fish for lunch – Canon R @ 1200mm

GE_v2_RP_9_19_76A8507

Great Egret Working Shoreline – Canon R @ 1200mm

GE_1200mm v3_RP_76A8524

Great Egret Working It’s way down the far Shoreline – Canon R @ 1200mm

Cormorants_v1_RP_76A8467

Cormorants Swimming By – Canon R 1200mm

Cormorants_RP_1200mm_9_19_76A8468

Cormorants Swimming By – Canon R – 1200mm

GE_v1_RP_1200mm_76A8521

Great Egret working the Far Shoreline – Canon R – 1200mm

American Avocets At Bombay Hook NWR

On our visit to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge we saw large flocks of American Avocets. The only problem was they were so far out in the Shearness Pool. Photographing large flocks was acceptable at 600mm, but I added a 2x teleconverter to get to 1200mm for individual Avocets. Even then I had to crop quite tightly for the individual Avocets. These are also handheld, so I upped my ISO to 1200 ISO and f/16 hoping for more sharpness with the 2X Teleconverter.

Avocet_v2_BH_9_19_1200mm_76A9099

Avocets @ 600mm

Avocet_v2_BH_9-19_1200mm_76A9283

Avocets @ 1200mm

Avocet_v3_BH_9_19_76A9344

Avocets @ 1200mm

Avocet_v3_BH_1200mm_9_10_76A9280

Avocets @ 1200mm

Avocet_v4_1200mm BH_9_19_76A9340

Avocets @ 1200mm

Avocet_v4_BH_9_19_1200mm_76A9336

Avocets @ 1200mm

American_avocets_BH v2_9_19_76A9234

Avocets @ 600mm

Night After Full Moon Camera Tests @ 1200mm & 1920mm

I wanted to try a few simple tests photographing the Full Moon with the Canon R Camera & the Tamron 150-600mm lens with a 2X Teleconverter. The Sigma 2X teleconverter fits on the Tamron where the Canon Teleconverters do not. I really like the Canon R compared to all my other Canon cameras because of the extremely clean image quality and low noise in the images. The 2X Teleconverter would give me the equivalent of 1200mm focal length. But on that night it was overcast and the moon was not visible. I did the tests the day after the Full Moon. So it was an almost Full Moon. I was very pleased with the test images from the Canon R. Very clean images compared with the other tests done with an older Canon 7D. In the past I usually used the 7D because of the 1.6X cropped sensor for photographing the moon. The 7D, with the 1.6X crop factor gave a FOV (Field of View) on a Full Frame camera of 1920mm, but had a lot more visible “noise” compared with the newer “R”. Even controlling “Noise” when opening the 7D file in Adobe Camera Raw and NIK Software’s Dfine noise reduction once opened, the image was quite “noisey”.

1200mm_R_cropped_9 19_v1A_76A7338

Cropped tighter image shot @1200mm with Canon R

 

 

The “Featured” Image is the Canon R, with Tamron 150-600mm lens with a 2X Teleconverter. The Canon R autofocused quickly even with the 2X Teleconverter. Next time I will try stacking 1.7x or 1.4x teleconverters with the 2X teleconverter.

Day after Full Moon_v2_7D 7D_1920mm_MG_6795

Moon Image, 7D, 150-600mm Tamron Lens, 2X Teleconverter, FOV 1920mm (Field Of View) compared with Full Frame Canon R

%d bloggers like this: