08-October-2011

Praying Mantis — Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

I saw this Praying Mantis climbing a weed off my back deck. I initially tried to get some images with the camera & telephoto lens at hand, but the minimum focus distance for the 600 mm f/4 VR lens is ~ 17 feet. I switched to a 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens, with a minimum focus distance of 7 feet. When viewed close up, the Praying Mantis looks deadly. There was a black fly that kept landing on the back of the Praying Mantis. I guess the fly knew where the safe zone is. Ultimately, I think the Praying Mantis got tired of me, and moved further into the shrubs.

Fly Riding a Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)
Fly Riding a Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Fly Riding a Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)
Fly Riding a Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Brown Praying Mantis. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 100, 300 mm, f/8, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)

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08-October-2011

Early Early Morning Autumn Star Trails.

With the continuing clear skies, I set up two cameras to record star trails early this morning. I started at 3:00 AM after the moon set. I was still worried about condensation on the lens. I pointed a Nikon D3 with a 16 mm f/2.8 fish-eye lens north, and a Nikon D3x with a 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens at 14 mm pointed south.  I used some gaffer tape to prevent the focal length lens crepe on the 14-24 mm lens that ruined a previous star trails session. The Nikon D3 stopped recording after 2 hours. After the fact, I realized that I used a EN-EL4 rather than the higher capacity EN-EL4A battery. The D3x with a EN-EL4A battery ran until I went out to get the cameras at sunrise. Unfortunately, condensation on the lens started distorting images after about 5 AM. Both the North and South facing Star Trails ended up about 60 images (2 hours). The really bright trail in both the Norht and South image is Jupiter.

North View Star Trails. Autumn Early Morning in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/4, 1 min 59 sec). Composite of 56 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Autumn Early Morning in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/4, 1 min 59 sec). Composite of 56 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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South View Star Trails. Autumn Early Morning in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 mm lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/4, 1 min 59 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Autumn Early Morning in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 mm lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/4, 1 min 59 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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