Thursday (17-September-2020) — New Jersey

Summertime Backyard Nature in New Jersey.

I noticed several articles on the net about scientists testing the 3,200 megapixel camera for the Vera Rubin Observatory’s telescope by taking an image of a Romanesco broccoli. It didn’t look like the Broccoli that I am familiar with but was fascinated by the Fractal pattern. Romanesco broccoli was available online at Whole Foods so I ordered one for my weekly grocery delivery. It looks more like a Cauliflower, but green with Fractal like towers. I used it to create my version of a high-resolution focus-stacked image. I set up a Leica SL2 camera with a 50 mm f/1.4 lens on a tripod with a 10 cm focusing rail. The SL2 camera has the capability to take 187 megapixel images using pixel shifting technology via a Multishot mode (available after a Firmware 2.0 update). I took 87 high-resolution images (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec) moving the camera forward in ~1 mm intervals. This resulted in 16,269 megapixels of data. The images were processed with Capture One Pro and then Helicon Focus to afford the following focus-stacked (12510 x 10008 pixel, 717 MB) images. The images is in focus for the full depth of the Romanesco broccoli. I love the natural Fractal patterns. You can see that there are some sections where black mold has started growing. Now to clean it up and figure out how to cook it for dinner.

High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli. (David J Mathre)
Romanesco broccoli. Composite of 87 focus-stacked images taken with a Leica SL2 camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec, multi-shot mode). Images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (Method A (contrast), Radius 8, Smoothing 4). (David J Mathre)
High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli. (David J Mathre)
Romanesco broccoli. Composite of 87 focus-stacked images taken with a Leica SL2 camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec, multi-shot mode). Images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (Method B (Depth Map), Radius 8, Smoothing 4). (David J Mathre)
High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli. (David J Mathre)
Romanesco broccoli. Composite of 87 focus-stacked images taken with a Leica SL2 camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec, multi-shot mode). Images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (Method C (Pyramid), Smoothing 4). (David J Mathre)


High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli cropped 1x, 2x, 4x, 16x, 32x. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Morning at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Gray Catbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.


Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Contact me if you are interested in a Time-lapse Video of this session at the Birdfeeders. My setup for the birdfeeder images is a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens set to take one image every 5 seconds over a 5 hour period (~3600 images). The new time-lapse video format is 720p (1080 x 720 pixels) and 1 frame/second. The length of the video is about 1 hour in a 1 GB MP4 file. The previous time-lapse videos of the birdfeeders were at 12 frames/second, and to be honest were too fast to identify the birds.

Daily Electric Energy Used (34.9 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (35.0 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and clouds. A surplus of 0.1 kWh.

Saturday (16-May-2020) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

The birds for the day are Brown-headed Cowbird, Mourning Dove, and Eastern Phoebe. The Eastern Phoebes are responsible for the bird nest above my front door. They also appear to be catching the Carpenter Bees that have been drilling holes in my Cedar siding. A good thing, so I will leave the bird nest alone. Yesterday it was very warm, and many California Poppy flowers opened. The California poppy flowers close at night and open again the next day when warmed by the sun. The first outdoor Red Poppy flower of the season bloomed. The poppies this year were self seeded from last year’s flowers.


Birds of the Day. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


California Poppies — Portrait. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.


California Poppies — Landscape. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.

Red Poppy. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 160, 224 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Red Poppy. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 160, 224 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Red Poppy. Composite of 35 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro OIS lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Red Poppy. Composite of 35 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro OIS lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
I need greens so I can make milk for my new baby. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 500, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
I need greens so I can make milk for my new baby. Image taken with a Nikon N1V3 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 500, 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (49.8 kWh) from meter readings the Sense Home Energy Monitor. The daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (78.1 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Lots of Sun and clouds. A surplus of 28.3 kWh.


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Friday (20-March-2020) — New Jersey

Indoor Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

I finally got the PhotoShelter plugin that allows me to upload images from my PhotoShelter Gallery to this photoblog working again. While we are all “sheltering in place” and “social distancing” I can catch up on my images and posts. Ambient Weather changed some things and I am trying to get the local weather conditions from my weather station to display at the end of the post again.

Today’s image is a focus-stacked Orange Gazania flower blooming in one of my AeroGarden indoor hydroponic farms. The flower closes at night and then reopens when the LED lights come on again.

Orange Gazania. Focus-stacked composite of 12 images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens and 2.0x teleconverter (ISO 100, 210 mm, f/6, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Orange Gazania. Focus-stacked composite of 12 images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens and 2.0x teleconverter (ISO 100, 210 mm, f/6, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (59.0 kWh) from Sense Home Energy Monitor and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (30.4 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Foggy and cloudy in the morning. A deficit of 28.6 kWh.

Current Weather Conditions


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Friday (28-February-2020) — New Jersey

Indoor Wintertime Nature in New Jersey.

Focus stacked image of a Red Poppy flower.

Red Poppy flower. Composite of 51 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens + 2.0x TCE-III (ISO 100, 210 mm, f/8, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus Pro. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Red Poppy flower. Composite of 51 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens + 2.0x TCE-III (ISO 100, 210 mm, f/8, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus Pro. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (81.0 kWh) from Sense Home Energy Monitor and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (39.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Clouds and sun. A deficit of 41.8 kWh.


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Thursday (13-February-2020) — New Jersey

Indoor Wintertime Nature in New Jersey.

Stink Bug on a Mustard leaf. One of the indoor pests that try to eat the greens I am growing in my AeroGarden hydroponic farm.  Focus stacked composite of fifty images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 640, 80 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus.

Stinkbug on a Mustard Leaf. Focus stacked composite of 50 images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 640, 80 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Stink Bug on a Mustard Leaf. Focus stacked composite of 50 images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 640, 80 mm, f/16, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (72.8 kWh) from Sense Home Energy Monitor and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (3.2 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Cloudy all day. A deficit of 69.6 kWh.

Current Weather Conditions


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