Tuesday (07-November-2017) — New Jersey

Just before the sun rose this morning, the clouds became bright orange with a beam of sunlight projecting up. I grabbed a camera and went out into my backyard. The display didn’t last long, but it was worth getting cold.

Sunbeam at dawn. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 18-56 mm zoom lens (ISO 100, 56 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)
Sunbeam at dawn. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 18-56 mm zoom lens (ISO 100, 56 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)

 


 

Later in the afternoon it got cloudy and the temperature kept dropping. I noticed this young buck (horns just barely showing) being lazy eating grass just behind my patio.

Lazy Deer in my backyard. Autumn nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens (ISO 1600, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec) (David J Mathre)
Lazy Deer in my backyard. Autumn nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 80-400 mm VRII lens (ISO 1600, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec) (David J Mathre)

One-Year Ago (04-November-2016) — New Jersey

Bright red autumn colors with some bokeh at sunrise. Japanese Maple leaves before they drop. Tree was almost killed by wild grape and poison ivy vines a few years ago, but since they were removed the tree has recovered. Image taken with a Nikon DF camera and 300 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec).

This was one of the first shots with my repaired Nikon DF camera. The shutter buckled when I was in Antarctica with less than 100K images. Unfortunately, the camera was out of warranty so I didn’t send it in for repair for a long time.

Bright red Japanese Maple leaves. Autumn backyard nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon DF camera and 300 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Bright red Japanese Maple leaves. Autumn backyard nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon DF camera and 300 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)

 

Composite of the waxing crescent moon (~20%). Images taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 400, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec). Images processed with Capture One Pro, and Photoshop CC.


 

Night sky with jet and star trails. Composite of 120 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec). Images processed with Capture One Pro, and Photoshop CC (scripts/statistics/maximum).

Night sky and star trails looking south. Composite of 120 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec) (David J Mathre)
Night sky and star trails looking south. Composite of 120 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec) (David J Mathre)

One-Year Ago (24-October-2016)

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey

One of the backyard Nisse found a new mushroom. I don’t often see him out during the day. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 60 mm, f/3, 1/640 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the image stack processed with Helicon Focus.

Backyard Nisse with a new autumn mushroom. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 60 mm, f/3, 1/640 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the image stack processed with Helicon Focus. (David J Mathre)
Backyard Nisse with a new autumn mushroom. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 60 mm, f/3, 1/640 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the image stack processed with Helicon Focus. (David J Mathre)

It was too windy to take wildflower pictures outside, and was about to freeze overnight. So I cut six of the remaining wildflowers (Coreopsis, Cosmos, and Black-eyed Susan) and took them inside to shoot. The images were taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens. Slide show with 6 images.


 

The wildflower garden was successful last year, so I expanded it significantly this year. Some areas worked, others didn’t. The deer and rabbits nibbled at the edges, but left me enough to take a lot of pictures of the wildflowers. I needed to add an electric fence this year. I think my favorites have been the poppies where I tried many times to do time-lapsed videos of them opening in the morning. It will be interesting to see what comes back next spring. I also cleared two more large sections that will be seeded once the ground gets colder.

One-Year Ago (22-October-2016) — New Jersey

Home Renovation Project – Wall Print Mounting System

I was testing some ideas for a wall system for mounting fine-art prints in my house. The goal was a system where prints could easily be exchanged and moved around. I first tried using flexible 3M magnetic tape. The magnetic strength for the tape was not enough to hold up 13″ x 19″ prints. I then tried strips of cold-rolled steel (1″ x 0.125″ x 72″). This is the prototype system that I installed in my laundry room worked. Since then I made some modifications, and have installed seven (2 to 4 meter) sections  in other rooms as part of the home renovation project.

Prototype wall system for mounting prints. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO , 14 mm, f/2.8, 1/ sec) (David J Mathre)
Prototype wall system for mounting prints. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO , 14 mm, f/2.8, 1/ sec) (David J Mathre)

Saturday (21-October-2017) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey

After finishing Saturday chores around the house I noticed a few Monarch butterflies in my wildflower meadow. I spent the rest of the afternoon out with a camera. They need to start migrating soon as it has been getting cold at night.

Pair of Monarch Butterflies sharing a late autumn wildflower. Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS telephoto zoom lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/350 sec). (David J Mathre)
Pair of Monarch Butterflies sharing a late autumn wildflower. Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Fuji X-T2 camera and 100-400 mm OIS telephoto zoom lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/350 sec). (David J Mathre)

One-Year Ago (18-October-2016) — New Jersey

Travel Souvenirs and Selfie

I saw this sand painting while visiting the temples in Bagan, Burma (Myanmar).  I am not often tempted to purchase souvenirs, but the birds on the tree reminded me of a Navajo “Tree of Life” wool rug. We were only part way through the Spring 2016 Semester at Sea voyage when I purchased the sand painting and I wasn’t sure it would make the trip without being damaged . Two months later when I finally got home, the painting  was still in good condition.  I had it framed  locally using non-reflective glass, and it is now next to the Navajo “Tree of Life” wool rug.

Birds on a tree. Sand painting from Burma. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens (ISO 200, 55 mm, f/2.8, 1/13 sec) (David J Mathre)
Birds on a tree. Sand painting from Burma. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens (ISO 200, 55 mm, f/2.8, 1/13 sec) (David J Mathre)
Troll and "Tree of Life". Composite of 72 stacked images using Helicon Focus. Images taken with a Nikon D800 and 200 mm f/2 VR lens (ISO 100, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec) with 3 SB700/800/900 flashes. (David J Mathre)
Troll and “Tree of Life”. Composite of 72 stacked images using Helicon Focus. Images taken with a Nikon D800 and 200 mm f/2 VR lens (ISO 100, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec) with 3 SB700/800/900 flashes. (David J Mathre)

Every Year or so, the Beard Falls Off

Self image without the beard. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens (ISO 200, 55 mm, f/8, 2.3 sec). (David J Mathre)
Self image without the beard. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens (ISO 200, 55 mm, f/8, 2.3 sec). (David J Mathre)

One-Year Ago (11-October-2016) — New Jersey

Indoor Abstract Art

While hand washing the dishes, I noticed a large number of bubbles in one pot. As I moved the colors kept changing. I assumed it was due to diffraction of a mono-molecular layer of soap. but wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to take an image that would capture the beauty of the colors, and the symmetry of the bubble packing. After a lot of trial and error, I was able to obtain some interesting images.

Soap bubbles and light diffraction. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 400, 60 mm, f/4, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)
Soap bubbles and light diffraction. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 400, 60 mm, f/4, 1/60 sec). (David J Mathre)

Backyard Autumn Night Sky in New Jersey — Star Trails

View looking south from my backyard. Night sky star and jet trails.  Composite of 173 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/8, 120 sec). Images processed with Capture One Pro (including conversion to B&W), then the composite generated using Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). If you look closely, there is at least one meteor trail.

Night Sky Star and Jet trails After Midnight. Composite of 173 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/8, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)
Night Sky Star and Jet trails After Midnight. Composite of 173 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 24 mm, f/8, 120 sec). (David J Mathre)