Sunday (09-December-2007) — New Jersey

Backyard Late Autumn Nature in New Jersey

Birds and seeds and berries I found while waking around my yard. All of the images were taken with a Nikon D300 camera and 70-200 mm f/2.8 VR lens.

New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Bittersweet berries. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Bittersweet berries. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec).
White-throated Sparrow. New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
White-throated Sparrow. New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/400 sec).
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Holly berries. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/160 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Holly berries. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/160 sec).
Northern Mockingbird. New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Northern Mockingbird. New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/400 sec).
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Grass Seed. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/11, 1/160 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Grass Seed. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/11, 1/160 sec).
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Pine Cone. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 160 mm, f/3.5, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Pine Cone. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 160 mm, f/3.5, 1/125 sec).
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Tree Seeds. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 175 mm, f/4, 1/80 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Tree Seeds. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 175 mm, f/4, 1/80 sec).
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Yucca Seed Pod. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/11, 1/160 sec). (David J Mathre)
New Jersey Late Fall Backyard Nature. Yucca Seed Pod. Image taken with a Nikon D300 and 70-200 mm lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/11, 1/160 sec).

Sunday (02-December-2007) — Colorado

Winter in Rocky Mountain National Park

Although the season is officially still Autumn, at the higher elevations of Colorado it is winter. I drove to Rocky Mountain National Park on a sunny Sunday morning. It is only an hour from Boulder, Colorado. The first stop was to get a picture of the “Chapel on the Rock” with Mt. Meeker in the background. Then it was into the park to get more pictures. Winter view of the Big Thompson River in Moraine Park; Winter Trail to Storm Pass along road to Bear Lake; and a Winter Panorama of Longs Peak taken along Colorado Highway 7

Saint Catherine Chapel and Mt. Meeker, Rocky Mountain National Park. (David J Mathre)
Saint Catherine Chapel and Mt. Meeker, Rocky Mountain National Park. (David J Mathre)
Big Thompson River, Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image taken with Nikon D300 an 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 20 mm, f/22, 1/40 sec). (David J Mathre)
Big Thompson River, Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image taken with Nikon D300 an 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 20 mm, f/22, 1/40 sec). (David J Mathre)
Winter Trail to Storm Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image taken with Nikon D300 an 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 17 mm, f/22, 1/40 sec). (David J Mathre)
Winter Trail to Storm Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image taken with Nikon D300 an 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 17 mm, f/22, 1/40 sec). (David J Mathre)
Longs Peak Panorama from Colorado Highway 7 View Area, Rocky Mountain National Park. Composite of 4 horizontal images taken with a Nikon D300 and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/22, 1/60 sec) processed with AutoPano Giga Pro. (David J Mathre)
Longs Peak Panorama from Colorado Highway 7 View Area, Rocky Mountain National Park. Composite of 4 horizontal images taken with a Nikon D300 and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/22, 1/60 sec) processed with AutoPano Giga Pro. (David J Mathre)

Friday (23-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 6. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

We stopped at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens on our last day of the workshop. The Garden is located about 7 miles north of Hilo along the Old Mamalahoa Highway overlooking Onomea bay. This was a target rich environment. I do recommend mosquito repellent and possibly an umbrella. The hike down the trail from the gift center to Onomea bay takes a couple of hours, and is about a 500 foot elevation drop. Just remember you have to walk back up (although there is a golf cart for the physically challenged to take you back up). Thom spent some time helping me get the focus right for the image of the yellow orchid. I learned that Varilux glasses can be a problem when trying to get accurate/critical focus through the viewfinder.


Thursday (22-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 5. Volcano National Park.

Early Thanksgiving morning we went to see the sun rise over the Kilauea volcano crater. There was no activity in the caldera, but the black and orange clouds looked like lava. While returning to the lodge we noticed a Nene. A Hawaiian goose. It looks a lot like Canada geese, but it does not migrate. The Nene almost went extinct, and are now protected. You can see the tags on its legs. Before lunch we spent more time on composition. I worked on the clump of ferns. I then worked on some macro images of a stone with green Peridot Crystals (Pele’s Tears). The guests at the lodge were treated to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as well as a collection of local specialties.


Wednesday (21-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 4. Kona and Volcano National Park.

I woke up early, and walked to the harbor where I saw a group rowing a Hawaiian outrigger canoe with a cruise ship in the background.  I liked the juxtaposition of historical and modern. We then checked out of the hotel and traveled to Volcano National Park. After checking into the lodge, we went for a photo-walk down a tropical rain forest trail.  The lessons here included using a flash, how to manually focus a macro lens, how to adjust the focus for camera viewfinder, and always thinking about the composition.

Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe and Cruise Liner Early Morning on Kona Bay. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 12-24 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe and Cruise Liner Early Morning on Kona Bay. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 12-24 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)


Tuesday (20-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 3. Beach at Waipi’o Valley. 

Waipi’o Valley is located along the Hamakua Coast on the northeastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. We hiked down to the beach, and Thom spent time with each of us working on technique and composition. One lesson was that images with wide-angle lenses should have close, middle, and distant subject. Also, having a human figure in the image helps the viewer get an idea of scale.


Monday (19-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 2. Morning Session.

We were brought out to a lava field and told at mid-morning and told to find something interesting to photograph. The lighting was very bright and harsh. My initial subject was a spider on its spider web. There were many problems including a slight breeze moving the web in and out of focus (I was using a macro lens with a very narrow field in focus) and the background being too bright and distracting for the image. Thom helped by holding a space blanket to provide some shadow for the background. Unfortunately, by this time the spider got tired of being the subject and left. After the spider web, I took an image of a lava bomb and a Hawaiian flower. As we were walking back to the van, I saw this post along the parking lot where the rope or chain had been removed. To me it looked like a horse head with a green eye. This was my best image from the morning session.

 


Monday (19-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 2. Wildlife at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park.

We spent the afternoon through sunset at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park. There were some Hawaiian Green sea turtles resting on the beach at Keoneele Cove. When I was supposed to be working on a composition of one of the temples, I found this bright green gecko with blue eyes that kept posing for my macro lens.