Posts Tagged ‘Kestrel Haven Migration Observatory’

Pandora Sphinx moth

September 24, 2018

A Pandora Sphinx moth (Eumorpha pandorus) was spotted in the parking garage at The Beacon of Groveton, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

20 SEP 2018 | Fairfax County, VA | Pandora Sphinx moth

The BugGuide Info page for Pandora Sphinx remarks that it is “An extra-spectacular sphinx moth.” I agree. One look at the full-size version of the preceding photo and I think you will too.

The Backstory

I noticed the moth when I entered the parking garage for the building where I live. The moth was perched on a cinder block wall, near a large security light. I was completely exhausted after a long day of photowalking at Huntley Meadows Park — my camera and external flash unit were in a backpack for camera gear and I was reluctant to unpack and set up to shoot photos of the moth. I took a second, longer look at the moth and knew it would be worth the effort. As it turns out, I was right — this is the best photo I shot all day, and one of my Top 10 Photos for 2018.

Editor’s Notes

Eumorpha pandorus is a new species for my life list of butterflies and moths. Sincere thanks to Sue and John Gregoire, Kestrel Haven Migration Observatory, for help in identifying this spectacular beauty.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More Calico Pennant exuvia composite images

April 9, 2018

The Backstory

Calico Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis elisa) evuvia was collected by Sue and John Gregoire at Kestrel Haven Migration Observatory. For the last 13 years, Sue and John have closely monitored the annual emergence of a large population of C. elisa at their farm pond.

The preceding image is a composite of 12 photos; the following image is a composite of 10 photos. My goal is to shoot the fewest number of photos (using a relatively small aperture such as f/18) that will show the entire specimen in focus when the photo set is focus-stacked to create a composite image. The number of photos required for each composite image varies depending upon the f/stop and the subject, among other factors.

Tech Tips

The following equipment was used to shoot all of the photos for both composite images: Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera, in manual mode; Kenko 20mm macro automatic extension tubeCanon EF100mm f/2.8L Macro lens (set for manual focus); Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite set for “Master” mode; and Canon 580 EX- and Canon 580EX II Speedlites in “Slave” mode.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 was used to create the composite image by “round-tripping” with Apple Aperture.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Calico Pennant exuvia composite image

April 7, 2018

Sometime during the late 50s or early 60s, my father bought a new car. That was a big deal in our family. My family was poor, although I didn’t realize it when I was a young boy. We couldn’t afford a new car very often. Anyway, I don’t remember many details about the car other than it was a sky blue Plymouth with tail fins. Big tail fins! For some reason, the following odonate exuvia reminds me of the tail fins on my father’s Plymouth automobile. Go figure.

The Backstory

A Calico Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis elisa) evuvia was collected by Sue and John Gregoire at Kestrel Haven Migration Observatory. For the last 13 years, Sue and John have closely monitored the annual emergence of a large population of C. elisa at their farm pond.

Tech Tips

The preceding image is a composite of 11 photos taken using the following equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera, in manual mode; Kenko 20mm macro automatic extension tubeCanon EF100mm f/2.8L Macro lens (set for manual focus); Canon MT-26EX-RT Macro Twin Lite set for “Master” mode; and Canon 580 EX- and Canon 580EX II Speedlites in “Slave” mode.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 was used to create the composite image by “round-tripping” with Apple Aperture, including a few detours in my experimental workflow. I made a lot of mistakes along the way. For example, I was so focused on the technical side of the photoshoot that I never noticed the specimen isn’t posed well. (I wish there were some space between the front leg and the face mask.) Nonetheless, I think the final output turned out OK.

Copyright © 2018 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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