Archive for November, 2012

Osprey

November 30, 2012

The following photos show an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) spotted at Belle Haven Marina, Alexandria, Virginia USA. This individual is probably a male.

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Habitat: Belle Haven Marina, located along the tidal Potomac River in suburban Washington, D.C., south of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia USA.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

HDR composite image

November 28, 2012

The following photo shows the results of an experiment in which I used Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5 to create a 16-bit HDR composite image from three exposures of the George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia USA.

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Tech Tips: I used “More Saturated,” one of the Photoshop “Local Adaption” presets; no other adjustments were changed. I saved the resulting composite image to Lightroom, where I made lens corrections.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Pseudo-HDR composite image redux

November 26, 2012

I used Adobe Lightroom 4 to “redevelop” the photorealistic 32-bit pseudo-HDR composite image of the George Washington Masonic Memorial featured in my last post. In my opinion, the newer version looks much better than the older version.

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Tech Tips: I applied “Direct Positive,” one of the “Lightroom Color Presets”; no other adjustments were changed.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Pseudo-HDR composite image test results

November 24, 2012

The following photo shows the results of an experiment in which I used Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5 to create a photorealistic 32-bit pseudo-HDR composite image from three exposures of the George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia USA. I used Lightroom to make all of the adjustments to the composite image, including lens corrections. I’m not 100% satisfied with the results, but considering this is the first time I ever used Lightroom to edit a photo I say, “Not bad!”

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The following gallery shows the three original photos that were composited to create the HDR image (shown above): Photo 1 is exposed correctly (0 ev); Photo 2 is underexposed (-2 ev); Photo 3 is overexposed (+2 ev). I converted the original CR2 (raw) photo files to JPGs for online display; no adjustments were made to these photos.

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Tech Tips: How did I do it? See Lightroom Video: A New HDR Feature in Lightroom 4.1 for a five-minute video tutorial by Matt Kloskowski, Kelby Media Group. See also Tilt-Shift/perspective corrections in Lightroom 3, a three-minute YouTube video by “.”

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Theory into Practice: ISO Versus Noise

November 22, 2012

Phil Wherry, a good friend and experienced photographer, and I were corresponding about digital camera imaging sensor size versus image noise. In general, smaller sensors tend to be noisier than larger sensors. The message thread flowed to the topic of ISO versus noise, in relation to my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS150 superzoom camera. Phil wrote, “I think noise is more often objectionable above ISO 400 on the Panasonic.”

I used my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS150 to shoot the following photos of one or more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) at the Visitor Center, Huntley Meadows Park.

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The following camera settings were used for the preceding photo (above): Normal Program mode; ISO 400; focal length 108mm/600mm (35mm equivalent); 0 exposure value (ev); aperture f/5.2; shutter speed 1/50. The shutter speed was too slow to stop the motion of the bird’s wings, so I switched to shutter priority mode, set the shutter speed to 1/1300 second, and shot the photo shown below.

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The following settings were used for the preceding photo (above): Shutter Priority mode; ISO 800; 108mm/600mm; 0 ev; f/5.2; 1/1300. The camera automatically increased the ISO to 800 in order to compensate for less light reaching the camera sensor at a faster shutter speed. Although the faster shutter speed was able to “freeze” the bird’s wings, the resulting photo is noticeably noisier.

Bottom line: At an ISO of 400 the level of noise is acceptable; at an ISO of 800 the level of noise is unacceptable, consistent with Phil’s opinion.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Green Heron versus Blue Dasher dragonfly

November 20, 2012

A Green Heron (Butorides virescens), possibly an immature, spotted in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual was stalking a male Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis). The dragonfly narrowly escaped death, in case you’re wondering who won the face-off.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly (male) redux

November 18, 2012

An Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted on the dock at Meadowood Recreation Area. This individual is a male, as indicated by its red coloration and by the reddish “claspers” (terminal appendages) at the end of its abdomen.

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Habitat: Hidden Pond, a small lake located at Meadowood Recreation Area in Fairfax County, Virginia USA. Related Resource: Meadowood Recreation Area Trail Map (PDF).

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Rambur’s Forktail damselfly (female)

November 16, 2012

The following photos show a Rambur’s Forktail damselfly (Ischnura ramburii) spotted along the shore of Accotink Bay. This individual is the orange-red heteromorph female.

Females orange-red, olive green, or may look like males. Source Credit: Wikipedia.

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Habitat: Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge, a 1,200 acre preserve located at Army Garrison Fort Belvoir, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

Special thanks to Mr. Chris Hobson, Natural Areas Zoologist with the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, for kindly allowing Project Noah spotter “Louisa” and me to tag along on one of his wildlife surveys!

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Needham’s Skimmer dragonfly (female, oviposition, in flight)

November 14, 2012

A Needham’s Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula needhami) spotted at Paul Spring Park. This individual is an adult female, shown in flight, laying eggs in the stream by the process of oviposition.

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Habitat: “Paul Spring Park,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. Paul Spring is a small year-round stream that flows through Paul Spring Park.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Needham’s Skimmer dragonfly (male) redux 4

November 11, 2012

A Needham’s Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula needhami) perched on a branch of a small tree that fell in the Paul Spring stream bed. This individual is a male, as indicated by its coloration and the “claspers” (terminal appendages) at the end of its abdomen.

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Habitat: “Paul Spring Park,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. Paul Spring is a small year-round stream that flows through Paul Spring Park.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com


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