01-March-2009

Snowy Day at the Sourland Mountain Preserve

I went for a walk at the local Sourland Mountain Preserve. It was snowing, a late winter storm. The long winding road is the right-of-way for a cross country high-pressure gas line. The other images are of cattails, a pair of Mallard ducks swimming in a pond, and tree bark coated with snow. Images from 4 years ago today.

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Long Winding Road. Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 26 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Long Winding Road. Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 26 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (David J. Mathre)

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Cattail in a Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 130 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Cattail in a Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 130 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J. Mathre)

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Cattail in a Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Cattail in a Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (David J. Mathre)

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Cattail in a Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 105 mm, f/5.3, 1/400 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Cattail in a Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 105 mm, f/5.3, 1/400 sec). (David J. Mathre)

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Mallard Pair Swimming in a Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Mallard Pair Swimming in a Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec). (David J. Mathre)

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Snow on Tree Bark During a Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Snow on Tree Bark During a Winter Snowstorm at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Nikon D300 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens (ISO 400, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec). (David J. Mathre)

12-December-2012

Nikon 1 V2 Camera

The mirror-less Nikon 1 V1 (N1V1) camera has been upgraded to the Nikon 1 V2 (N1V2). The first thing that I noticed about the N1V2 is that it is smaller than the N1V1. Ergonomically, it is easier to handle. The mode selector has been moved to the top — it was on the back of the N1V1 in a position that was too easy to accidently change modes. A couple of negatives – the battery is new, and lower capacity than the battery in the N1V1. Also, the interval timer mode has dissapeared. I won’t be able to take time-lapsed videos with this camera. I took the camera out for a walk at the Sourland Mountain Preserve this morning.

Male Mallard Duck Taking Off from a Pond in the Sourland Mountain Preserve in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera FT1 adapter and 70-200 mm f/2.8 VRII lens (ISO 160, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec). TIFF image process with Capture One Pro 7. (David J. Mathre)
Male Mallard Duck Taking Off from a Pond in the Sourland Mountain Preserve in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V2 camera FT1 adapter and 70-200 mm f/2.8 VRII lens (ISO 160, 200 mm, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec). TIFF image process with Capture One Pro 7. (David J. Mathre)

05-October-2012

Fall Nature at Sourland Mountain Preserve.

The sky finally cleared. I was wondering if the rain in Spain (which fell on more than the plains) followed me back home. I went to Sourland Mountain Preserve to see what changed since I left for the voyage in mid-August. September is usually the time to see the Monarch butterflies as they prepare for their trip to Mexico. The first thing I saw when I got out of the car was a Great White Heron working a pond. I watched it for a while, and managed to get some “grab” shots as it captured a frog for breakfast. I hiked up the gas pipeline trail and only saw one thistle plant still in bloom. All of the other thistle plants had already gone to seed. When I returned down the trail, I waited at the thistle in bloom and was rewarded by two late season Monarch butterflies. Then when I was going back to my car, I saw this Green Heron fishing in the pond. All in all a great day at the Sourland Mountain Preserve.

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Natural Selection. This Frog Will Not Be Reproducing. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens + TC-E 20 III teleconverter. (ISO 280, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)
Natural Selection. This Frog Will Not Be Reproducing. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens + TC-E 20 III teleconverter. (ISO 280, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Late Monarch Butterfly on a Thistle Bloom. Fall Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens. (ISO 110, 300 mm, f.2.8, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)
Late Monarch Butterfly on a Thistle Bloom. Fall Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens. (ISO 110, 300 mm, f.2.8, 1/320 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Green Heron Gone Fishing at a Pond in the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR len + TC-E III 20 teleconverter (ISO 800, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Green Heron Gone Fishing at a Pond in the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR len + TC-E III 20 teleconverter (ISO 800, 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

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15-August-2012

Bull Frog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Assignment One – Part Two.

This week Thom Hogan is posting some photography assignments. Assignment One: “Here’s your first shooting assignment: pick the absolutely worst lens you own and go out and take pictures using it. Not just any pictures, but the best possible pictures you can. Learn to use whatever liability that lens has to advantage.”

I decided to do a variation of this. Instead of going back to the Sourland Mountain Preserve with a big telephoto lens, tripod, and 36 MP camera, I decided to go light, but still wanting to take close-up images of butterflies and other wildlife. I took a Nikon 1 V1 camera with the FT1 adapter with the 70-300 mm VR lens. This kit is almost 20 pounds lighter than the high end kit I was going to take. The following five images are of a bull frog at 70 mm, 100 mm, 135 mm, 200 mm, 300 mm. The field of view equivalent for this camera vs. a 35 mm sensor camera is ~190 mm, ~270 mm, ~365 mm, 540 mm, 810 mm. These are the full images (not cropped) although reduced to the 600 pixel width of the photo blog.

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Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 70 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to 190 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 70 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to 190 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)

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Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 100 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 270 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 100 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 270 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)

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Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 135 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 365 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 135 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 365 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)

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Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 540 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 200 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 540 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)

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Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 810 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 200, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 810 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)

15-August-2012

Bumble Bee on Ragweed Bloom. Assignment One – Part One

This week Thom Hogan is posting some photography assignments. Assignment One: “Here’s your first shooting assignment: pick the absolutely worst lens you own and go out and take pictures using it. Not just any pictures, but the best possible pictures you can. Learn to use whatever liability that lens has to advantage.”

I decided to do a variation of this. Instead of going back to the Sourland Mountain Preserve with a big telephoto lens, tripod, and 36 MP camera, I decided to go light, but still wanting to take close-up images of butterflies and other wildlife. I took a Nikon 1 V1 camera with the FT1 adapter with the 70-300 mm VR lens. This kit is almost 20 pounds lighter than the high end kit I was going to take. The following is one of the first images I took — a Bumble Bee in a Ragweed bloom.

Bottom line, I did get some good images and was able to hike a lot farther from the trailhead. I was not able to get an image of a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth, although I saw at least four during the day. One problem with this light-weight kit is that it is not as fast to compose, focus, and then shoot the image. Another problem with this kit is that with the FT1 adapter, the VR is on continuously — draining the battery, and you can only focus with the center focus position. I will be adding more images in the near future.
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Bumble Bee on Ragweed Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 +  FT1 + 70-30 mm VR lens (ISO 220, 300 mm, f/10, 1/250 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 810 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)
Bumble Bee on Ragweed Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 + FT1 + 70-30 mm VR lens (ISO 220, 300 mm, f/10, 1/250 sec) and monopod. FOV Equivalent to ~ 810 mm on a 35 mm image sensor. (David J Mathre)

12-August-2012

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth.

I went for a walk at the Sourland Mountain Preserve today. I was looking to see if the thistles are now in bloom. I first noticed a Clearwing Hummingbird moth at a Joe Pye weed bloom. Further up the trail, I did find that the thistles are now in bloom. I saw many Monarch and Tiger Swallowtail butterflies — then more Clearwing Hummingbird Moths. If the weather is good, I will go back tomorrow with a bigger lens and full tripod.

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Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec). (David J Mathre)
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Thistle Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Thistle Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Thistle Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/4, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Thistle Bloom. Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/4, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

10-August-2012

Bullfrog at Sourland Mountain Preserve.

I took the same image of this bullfrog using a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens. The camera and lens was mounted on a gimbal tripod. This version of the 400 mm lens does not have vibration reduction, but the heavy weight of the lens plus good long lens techniques minimized the impact of vibration due to mirror and shutter motion. The aperture was changed from f/2.8 to f/8 to see the impact on depth of view. The following are significant crops of the original images.
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Bullfrog in a Pond. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 400 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 400 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Bullfrog in a Pond. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 160, 400 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 160, 400 mm, f/4, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Bullfrog in a Pond. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 280, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 280, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Bullfrog in a Pond. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 560, 400 mm, f/8, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)
Bullfrog in a Pond. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 560, 400 mm, f/8, 1/400 sec). (David J Mathre)

07-August-2012

The Lonely Goose.

I’ve been watching this goose at the Sourland Mountain Preserve for a while now. Unlike its siblings, it never left. I have a feeling that it can not fly. When ever threatened, it just moves into the pond. Some times other geese stop by to visit, but this one never leaves. It gets enough to eat as it is almost fully grown. I will continue to watch it, but not sure that it will be able to survive a cold winter.

This was my first outing with my new Nikon D4 camera. I had it connected to a 400 mm f/2.8 lens. I forgot how heavy this lens is, and had it mounted on a gimble tripod. This is a pre-VR version of the lens, but it is heavy enough to absorb much of the camera shutter & mirror vibration.

The Lonely Goose. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 360, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (David J Mathre)
The Lonely Goose. Summer Nature at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 400 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 360, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/800 sec). (David J Mathre)

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GPS: N40°28’24 W74°41’39
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05-August-2012

Monarch Butterfly Being Stalked by a Praying Mantis.

Today while hiking in the Sourland Mountain Preserve I had a Monarch Butterfly stay long enough to get some images. I then saw that there was a praying mantis stalking the butterfly. The praying mantis is well camouflaged. In this case the butterfly took off before it became breakfast. Last year I got some images of a praying mantis stalking and then eating a hummingbird moth.

Monarch Butterfly  on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Look Closely Below to See a Praying Mantis Staking the Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/400 sec). . (David J Mathre)
Monarch Butterfly on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Look Closely Below to See a Praying Mantis Staking the Butterfly. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/400 sec). . (David J Mathre)

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GPS: N40°28’19 W74°41’41
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03-August-2012

Insects at Sourland Mountain Preserve.

I went for a walk at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Lots of images of Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies and Dragonflies. Not that many wildflowers that butterflies are interested in at this time. I did see one Monarch butterfly, but it never stopped long enough to take an image. Same thing with a black swallowtail butterfly. I did see one Robberfly, but it didn’t have a meal.

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Dragonfly at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 450, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec) (David J Mathre)
Dragonfly at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 450, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/640 sec) (David J Mathre)

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GPS: N40°28’21 W74°41’39
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