Wednesday (06-November-2019) – New Jersey

Indoor Hydroponic Updates.

AeroGarden Farm 04 – Left Unit at 42 Days. F04L01 Plug; F04L02 Cosmos Dwarf; F04L03 Cosmos Early Dwarf; F04L04 Pug; F04L05 Zinnia Thumbelina; F04L06 Zinnia Lilliput; F04L07 Blue Cornflower; F04L08 Plug; F04L09 Plug; F04L10 Marigold; F04L11 Marigold; F04L12 Plains Coreopsis. The plants in this tray were moved from another garden two weeks ago. The Cornflower continues to grow very fast, but has not bloomed. The two Cosmos plants have not grown much. The Thumbelina Zinnia has one small flower beginning to open, and two more buds about to open. The Lilliput Zinnia is almost completely open, and has two more buds about to open. The Marigold is small, and has one small flower open, and two buds about to open. The Plains Coreopsis is growing, and seems to have a rouge Coreopsis plant that has a couple of buds?  I tested the pH (4.89) and TDS (121 ppm). The rapidly growing plants need more food. I should also note that I have been adding more than a liter of water into the bath every day. Added 10 mL of Root Farm Base (4-0-1) and 10 mL Root Farm Bloom (1-4-7). After one hour tested the pH (5.24) and TDS (621 ppm).  I hope this helps to get the Cornflower to bloom, and the Coreopsis plants to grow faster. I will test the pH and TDS on a weekly basis going forward.

Farm 04 - Left (Day 42). F04L01 Plug; F04L02 Cosmos Dwarf; F04L03 Cosmos Early Dwarf; F04L04 Pug; F04L05 Zinnia Thumbelina; F04L06 Zinnia Lilliput; F04L07 Blue Cornflower; F04L08 Plug; F04L09 Plug; F04L10 Marigold; F04L11 Marigold; F04L12 Plains Coreopsis. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 640, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Farm 04 – Left (Day 42). F04L01 Plug; F04L02 Cosmos Dwarf; F04L03 Cosmos Early Dwarf; F04L04 Pug; F04L05 Zinnia Thumbelina; F04L06 Zinnia Lilliput; F04L07 Blue Cornflower; F04L08 Plug; F04L09 Plug; F04L10 Marigold; F04L11 Marigold; F04L12 Plains Coreopsis. Image taken with a Leica TL-2 camera and 35 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 640, 35 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

It has been four days since I first took a focus-stacked image of the Zinnia flower. Now there are about four levels of petals, and at least one more level to open. So as I plan for a time-lapse sequence for the opening of Zinnia flowers, it takes several days or even a week to open completely. I also noticed an Asian Lady Beetle Harmonia axyridis hiding in the flower. In the fall a number of these non-native Ladybug look alikes invade the house to hibernate. They were imported to eat aphids. I hope that doesn’t mean I have aphids invading my hydroponic gardens.

Zinnia Flower. Composite of 23 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (DAVID J MATHRE)
Zinnia Flower. Composite of 23 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (DAVID J MATHRE)
Asian Ladybeetle hiding in a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens and popup flash (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/16, 1/30 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Asian Ladybeetle hiding in a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-T3 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens and popup flash (ISO 160, 80 mm, f/16, 1/30 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (70.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (31.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More sun. Overall a net deficit of 38.7 kWh.

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Thursday (05-September-2019) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Even though it has been relatively dry, I noticed one of the outdoor trolls happy to find a mushroom that popped up overnight. While set up with the Nikon D850 camera with a 105 mm f/1.4 lens on a tripod to a focus-stacked portrait session, two garter snakes passed by next to my feet. I needed another camera, but didn’t have one with me. ARRG! The troll did jump up on top of the mushroom when it saw the snakes.

Happy Troll guarding his Mushroom. Composite of 50 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/1.8, 1/2500 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll guarding his Mushroom. Composite of 50 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/1.8, 1/2500 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll guarding his Mushroom. Composite of 70 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll guarding his Mushroom. Composite of 70 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll standing on his Mushroom. Composite of 70 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Happy Troll standing on his Mushroom. Composite of 70 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/2.8, 1/500 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro Helicon Focus (method C, smoothing, 4). (DAVID J MATHRE)

Daily Electric Energy Used (37.4 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (41.8 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. More clouds, and cooler for a net surplus of 4.4 kWh.

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Saturday (07-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Flowers – more experiments with focus bracketing and focus stacking. Yellow Moth Mullen, Dianthus (Pink, Telstar, Picotee?), Pale Purple (unknown), and a large Yellow Zucchini flower. This time I used a tripod for the camera, but the flowers still moved with a slight breeze. I can see that I did not go for a deep enough bracket as there are some artifacts in some of the images. Helicon Focus does a good job of aligning the stack of images even with some motion due to the slight breeze.

Verbascum blattaria - Moth Mullein. Composite of 24 focus stacked 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). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Verbascum blattaria – Moth Mullein. Composite of 24 focus stacked 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). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Dianthus flower cluster. Composite of 50 focus stacked Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Dianthus flower cluster. Composite of 50 focus stacked Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Light Purple Widflower. Composite of 25 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Light Purple Widflower. Composite of 25 focus stacked images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Zucchini Flower. Composite of 11 focus bracketed images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Zucchini Flower. Composite of 11 focus bracketed images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)

 

Nine-Years Ago (10-January-2009) — New Jersey

Troll Family Portrait.

It can be hard to get a large group to stand still for a family portrait. This time they had to freeze for 47 focus stacked images in order to get a full depth of field.

Troll Family Portrait. Composite of 47 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (method C). (David J Mathre)
Troll Family Portrait. Composite of 47 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Helicon Focus (method C). (David J Mathre)

One-Year Ago (24-October-2016)

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey

One of the backyard Nisse found a new mushroom. I don’t often see him out during the day. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 60 mm, f/3, 1/640 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the image stack processed with Helicon Focus.

Backyard Nisse with a new autumn mushroom. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 60 mm, f/3, 1/640 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the image stack processed with Helicon Focus. (David J Mathre)
Backyard Nisse with a new autumn mushroom. Composite of 24 focus stacked images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 60 mm, f/3, 1/640 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the image stack processed with Helicon Focus. (David J Mathre)

It was too windy to take wildflower pictures outside, and was about to freeze overnight. So I cut six of the remaining wildflowers (Coreopsis, Cosmos, and Black-eyed Susan) and took them inside to shoot. The images were taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens. Slide show with 6 images.


 

The wildflower garden was successful last year, so I expanded it significantly this year. Some areas worked, others didn’t. The deer and rabbits nibbled at the edges, but left me enough to take a lot of pictures of the wildflowers. I needed to add an electric fence this year. I think my favorites have been the poppies where I tried many times to do time-lapsed videos of them opening in the morning. It will be interesting to see what comes back next spring. I also cleared two more large sections that will be seeded once the ground gets colder.