40 Image Brigantine Wildlife Drive Landscape

I am still going through images I shot on our visit to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge near Oceanville, NJ. The Featured Image is a small Center Section of a handheld series of a 40 image panorama for one of the panos I shot from the Wildlife Drive. The full landscape is below. When doing handheld large panoramas I try to shoot the series as quickly as possible because clouds, grasses and birds in the image may be moving so when blending the pano images it is easier to blend the scene. I have found that Photoshop does a very good job on automatically assembling my multi-image panoramas, even when they are very Long or even Multi-row, Multi-image panos. you just have to get used to setting them up. On this trip I was using a variety of cameras depending on what I was photographing. These are taken with a Canon R camera with a 150-600mm zoom @150mm @f/16.

Full view of the 40 Image, 126″ x 22″ @ 300 ppi Wildlife Drive Panorama
An additional 10 image pano to show detail on the area to the right (10 Image Full Size 68″ x 16″ @300ppi)

Tricolored Heron With Breeding Plumage On Nest

These images of a Tricolored Heron in Breeding Plumage on the nest were taken a couple of years ago on a photo trip to Florida. These were taken at the Rookery at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. I was using a Tamron 150-600mm lens on a Canon R. This combo worked great for getting images in the Rookery because there were so many photo opportunities, some were far off but many were extremely close, almost too close! I was fortunate to come upon this Tricolored Heron in High Breeding Plumage on a very close nest. It is only in High Breeding plumage for a few days. During the peak of the breeding these herons have the distinctive coloration of red eyes, purplish feathers, pinkish legs and bright blue bill. The Tricolored Heron is also known as the Louisiana Heron. The Featured image was taken @ 600mm & cropped slightly.

Tricolored heron on nest with eggs, Tamron 150-600mm @ 428mm, Canon R
Tricolored heron on nest, Tamron 150-600mm @ 515mm, Canon R
Tricolored heron on nest with eggs, Tamron 150-600mm @ 428mm, Canon R

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.

Canada Geese Panoramas Along Brigantine Wildlife Drive

Some additional images from our trip to the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville NJ. The main attraction here is the Wildlife Drive that circles around the main visitor areas. It is about 8 miles long, one way, circling the main active viewing areas. In the early Spring there are multiple Osprey platforms along the Drive for watching Ospreys building nests and see them feeding their young. They also have multiple trails for exploring and a Visitor Center.

Canada Geese Sleeping , 3 Image Panorama, 150-600mm lens @ 500mm, handheld
Sleeping Canada Geese, Single Image from panorama to show detail, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm, Canon 1D mkIV
Canada Geese Waking Up After Nap, 7 Image Panorama, Tamron 150-600mm @ 600mm, Canon 1D mkIV
Canada Geese, 7 image Panorama, Tamron 150-600mm @ 375mm, Canon 1D mkIV
Canada Geese Closer Up, 3 image panorama, 600mm

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.


Avocets @ 600mm


Avocets @ 1200mm


Avocets @ 1200mm


Avocets @ 1200mm

Avocet_v4_1200mm BH_9_19_76A9340

Avocets @ 1200mm


Avocets @ 1200mm

American_avocets_BH v2_9_19_76A9234

Avocets @ 600mm

Courting Wood Storks

Wood_Stork_Courting_v2_76A4385With all the nests at the rookery, it was probable you would find some birds mating. Did not think it would be Wood Storks though. These Storks were at the top of one of the tallest trees in the Rookery. Not sure if it was their nest or an existing abandoned nest. Images shot @ 600mm. The images below are why there are so many nests at the Rookery. The alligators are basically protecting the nests from predators that would climb up the trees to feed on the young birds. These are just a few of the 30 or more alligators below the walkway.





More Great Egret Nests

Among the wide variety of nesting birds at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s Rookery, there are many Great Egret nests in the trees. This blog post shows a few of these.  It is amazing to see so many nests in most of the trees. Some trees have a dozen or more nests in a single tree. Also the variety of birds nesting in the same tree.


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