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)