Categories: "Locations" or "Annapolis" or "Chicago" or "Maryland" or "Maryland's Eastern Shore" or "Michigan" or "Allegan State Game Area" or "Allegan Forest" or "Jordan River Valley" or "Washington, DC"
Another small park in Maryland. Mallows Bay is home to a scuttled fleet of WWI vessels that were sunk in shallow waters to create a wildlife refuge. Here is the road leading into the park (click on the image for a larger file):
Here is one of the scuttled ships, as seen from the shore:
Infrared converted Pentax K10D with DA 17-70 lens.
Here is a shot of one of the sunken vessels found a little closer to shore:
And here a decrepit dock right near that sunken boat:
The latter two non-infrared color photos taken with Pentax K3 and DA 17-70 lens.
Another photo from Maryland - this is a replica of a Bay Lighthouse that is at the Marina in Cambridge, MD. This would have been a screw-pile lighthouse, built upon piles that were literally screwed into the soft bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. Unlike this one, they would have been out in the water, typically accessible only by boat. Click on the image for a larger file.
Infrared converted Pentax K10D with DA 17-70 f4 lens.
Another shot from the beach at Ferry Point Park in Chester, Maryland (click on the image for a larger file):
Ferry Point is a small park on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but provided some great photo opportunities.
Another digital infrared image - I left the color intact in this one. IR converted Pentax K10D with DA 17-70mm lens.
Pam and I spent the last week touring some of the rural historical sites in Maryland. It was a fun trip and I have a few photos to sort through. Here is a snapshot taken yesterday of the Dahlgren chapel, located just off the Appalachian Trail in western MD. Click on the image for a larger file.
IR converted Pentax K10D with DA 17-70 lens.
It’s July so I am out trying to get insect shots… Last week’s cool snap - oh wait, we call those Polar Vortex’s now - (everything is bigger than life in the XXI Century) - well, the cool snap put a damper on things and the weather is still cool now. So I haven’t seen many dragonflies at all.
Today was humid but cool, cloudy and dark. I wandered for an hour through familiar fields in the Allegan Forest, down to a hidden pond, up through the oak savannah. Everything is lush and green and the
iron weedbergamot is in bloom, big time:
(Click the image for a larger file.)
Walking down to the pond I saw only a few green darners and no other dragonflies. The air over the pond itself was still - not a dragonfly to be found - it should be swarming with them!
I trudged back to the car. Taking a shortcut through the woods I stumbled into three meadowhawks. Here is the one that was the most cooperative with regards to photos:
Here is one that allowed a good dorsal shot - maybe a red meadowhawk jsut now adopting mature coloration? Maybe, but there is no telling:
I said I saw three meadowhawks and of course, one got away. It was the best of the three.
And lastly, here is a robberfly from last Saturday. I felt that the trip to the woods was such a wasted effort that I did not ever bother to remove the memory card from the K-3 and review the photos I took (all 15 of them.) Turns out that this closeup of an ugly fly came out rather well, technically at least:
That image is an extreme crop…
The Ricoh /Pentax K-3 paired with the A* 200 macro continues to perform well.
I’ve been experimenting more with stack focusing… One of the challenges that frequently comes up in photographing insects is that they perch just a few inches (or less) above the ground. This makes getting a nice, smooth, out-of-focus background almost impossible. If you stop down enough to have enough depth of field to cover the subject, then the background starts to coming into focus and looks distracting…
So… stack focus to the rescue! While dealing with this problem last weekend and again today, I realized that by opening the lens up and working with an extremely shallow depth of field, and then stacking only the shots that cover the subject, you can have both the out of focus background and a nice sharp subject. Here are a few test shots…click on the images for a larger file.
From last weekend - a Dot Tailed Whiteface dragonfly that was perching on a stick about 3 inches over the soil. Taken with a the Pentax K-3 and A* 200mm macro at f 4.5, 8 exposures stack focused:
And here is a male and female Calico Pennant. These were perching on grass stalks earlier today, probably sensing the rain that was heading our way. Both were shot with the K3 and A*200 macro wide open at f4. Fourteen and eight stacked images, respectively. In the shot of the male (top shot, the more orange insect) the blade of grass beneath his lower left wing shows how shallow the depth of field was and how quickly it drops off - but by stacking enough shots to cover the dragonflies’ bodies and wings, they come out sharp and to some extent the background is less distracting. In the shots of the male he was scarcely an inch above most of the grass blades in the background, and stopping down to even f5.6 would have made them much more distracting.
The first meadowhawks of 2014 have appeared over the last week or so - still in immature colors but I am hoping to see some of the summer’s red dragons soon…