Wednesday (25-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

After the morning rain, a Monarch Butterfly and a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth showed up in my wildflower bed next to the house. There also were a lot of Bumble Bees working the flowers. Up on the patio, the Caterpillar was still eating my Dill herb. The Tomato Hornworm covered with the predatory wasp cocoons was still hanging on. A Stink Bug was feasting on a green tomato — I knew they were vegetarian, but don’t want them eating my vegetables. Finally,  a weird-looking spider (Darth Vader, or out of Aliens) was guarding its web.






Bumble Bee on a Red Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee on a Red Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Caterpiller Eating My Dill. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Caterpiller Eating My Dill. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tomato Hornworm covered by Parasitic Wasp Cocoons. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tomato Hornworm covered by Parasitic Wasp Cocoons. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Stink Bug eating My Tomatoes. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Stink Bug eating My Tomatoes. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


Individual images from the slide shows can be viewed here.

Friday (06-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime in New Jersey.

Focus Stacked Macro images of a Bumble Bee on a Pink Zinnia Flower.  Fuji recently released a firmware update for the Fuji X-T2 and X-H1 mirrorless cameras that allow the camera to take a series of focus bracketed images. The camera starts with a user selected near focus point, then for each subsequent image changes the focus point an increment further away (toward infinity). The bracketing settings are number of frames (2-999), step (1-10), and interval (seconds). Each of images below are focus stacked composites of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec) with a step of 10, and interval of 0 seconds. I used the Helicon Focus program to process the focus bracketed images to create the focus stacked composite. The result is an image with a depth of field much greater than could be obtained with a single image even with narrow aperture.  Note the tiny mites on the back of the bee.

Bumble Bee on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee with Mites on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee with Mites on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)

As noted above, I used a setting of 25 images, step size 10, and interval 0 seconds. I chose 25 images because that is about the number of images that can be taken (raw + jpg fine) in a burst before the buffer fills and the interval between images becomes longer. This allowed me to take the images hand-held (without using a tripod). I am not sure what the interval represents, and if it is different with each lens. The setting of 25 images and step size of 10 gives me a about half an inch of “in focus” range at a close focusing distance. Saving only jpg images would permit more images to be taken (deeper depth of field) and/or a smaller step size (greater resolution). I still have a lot to learn about using the focus stacking capability with this camera. Lots of trial and error. I am glade that digital memory is cheap, although processing lots of images takes time.

Ten-Years Ago (06-June-2007) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

Late afternoon/early evening walkabout. Wildflowers, bumblebees, house finch, and a deer trying to be invisible.

Pink clover wildflower. Late-spring backyard nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/11, 1/60 sec) (David J Mathre)
Pink clover wildflower. Late-spring backyard nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/11, 1/60 sec) (David J Mathre)
Doe trying to be invisible behind some overgrown grass and weeds. Late-spring backyard nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/11, 1/60 sec) (David J Mathre)
Doe trying to be invisible behind some overgrown grass and weeds. Late-spring backyard nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 100, 105 mm, f/11, 1/60 sec) (David J Mathre)


Thursday (28-August-2014) — New Jersey

Summertime Nature in New Jersey: Sourland Mountain Preserve.

Now that I am back from my Semester at Sea voyage, I went out to find some late summer butterflies. I didn’t see many butterflies, but did find more bumble bees.

Bumble Bee Working the Late Summer Flowers at the Sourland Mountain Preserve, in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 70-200 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 200 mm, f/4, 1/1600 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC 2014.

Bumblebee Working the Late Summer Flowers at the Sourland Mountain Preserve, in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 70-200 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 200 mm, f/4, 1/1600 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC 2014. (David J Mathre)
Bumble Bee Working the Late Summer Flowers at the Sourland Mountain Preserve, in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 70-200 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 200 mm, f/4, 1/1600 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC 2014. (David J Mathre)

Monday (25-August-2014) — New Jersey

Summertime Nature in New Jersey: Sourland Mountain Preserve.

Pair of Bumble Bees Working the Late Summer Flowers at the Sourland Mountain Preserve, in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 1400, 300 mm, f/8, 1/1250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC 2014.

Pair of Bumblebees Working the Late Summer Flowers at the Sourland Mountain Preserve, in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 1400, 300 mm, f/8, 1/1250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC 2014. (David J Mathre)
Pair of Bumblebees Working the Late Summer Flowers at the Sourland Mountain Preserve, in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon Df camera and 300 mm f/2.8 VR lens (ISO 1400, 300 mm, f/8, 1/1250 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC 2014. (David J Mathre)