Landscape Photograph – Jonathan’s Woods in Autumn

This image is one of my favorite recent photographs.  It was taken on November 4th 2017 mid-morning on a bright overcast day.  This Autumn was not a colorful foliage season in my area but I was fortunate to come across a picket of golden hued Beech Trees whilst walking a wooded trail.  The trail is situated within Jonathan’s Woods in Rockaway NJ.

New Jersey Fine Art Landscape Photography by Dave Blinder

Jonathan’s Woods in Autumn. A wooded trail meanders through a pocket of vivid American Beech trees in November. New Jersey Fine Art Landscape Photograph from Rockaway Township by Dave Blinder.

My goal with this image was to capture a frame which a viewer could easily place themselves into.  I had quite an immersive nature experience on this pleasant walk with the fragrant smells of the deciduous forest, the earthy palette of the woodlands, and the slightest breeze on my face.  If this image is successful the viewer should also have an engaging exploration within the frame with no coaxing of words or other cues.  We shall find out when I print and exhibit the piece!

I should easily be able to make a 20″ x 30″ print from this full frame capture.  This wide angle perspective is brought to you by the Tamron USA SP 15-30mm VC lens.  A lens this wide gives an extremely broad perspective and will also make objects nearer to the camera appear larger.  This characteristic can be utilized by the landscape photographer to simulate three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional capture.  It helps the the Tamron 15-30mm is also exceedingly sharp.  Camera utilized was the Sony A7R which produces highly detailed and vivid images of my treks.

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to get out and appreciate your local nature.  Purchase the lens through my Amazon Affiliate link helps support my art.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about the image?  Leave a comment on this post or send me an email to


Swamp Walkers at Jonathan’s Woods in Rockaway NJ

Yesterday in Rockaway Township NJ, I was outdoors photographing wildlife and scenery when I came across this scene.  Something I have never seen before, a recreational club whose soul mission is to walk up bodies of water.  Two club members mentioned to me that this is just a precursor to the club visiting a pub.

Whenever I feel like I’ve seen it all, I am reminded otherwise.  I was glad I had my tripod and Tamron wildlife lens ready to go to add credibility to my sighting.

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This area is a quite scenic section of the Beaver Brook.  POWWW has a small kiosk and parking for two cars right on Old Beach Glen Road for Beaver Brook access.


Purchase camera equipment below from my Amazon Affiliate links to help support my blog.

Tamron SP 150-600mm VC Telephoto Lens

Canon SL2 Digital SLR Camera

Video: Fall Beekeeping at Denville Community Gardens

When my friend and fellow POWWW board member Mike Leone (actually POWWW’s VP) asked for my help in producing a short beekeeping video I took little hesitation in saying yes.  We created this short info video on behalf on Denville Community Gardens.  The purpose of the film is to explain the great benefits of pollinators while discussing some trials and tribulations that may stump beginning beekeepers.

Initial filming took place at the Denville Community Gardens which is located on Diamond Spring Road just outside of Downtown Denville.  I chose to film with my Canon SL2 DSLR which is a great compact and simple camera for clean 1080p video.  For filming optics, I chose my Tamron 16-300mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro Lens for the ability to film both broad scenes as well as close-up shots of the honeybees.  Voice Over audio was recorded after-the-fact by wiring my R0DE VideoMic GO directly into my SL2.

Camera information aside, I was very pleased to help web-publish the invaluable information about the ecological important of honeybees.  More pollinators = more fresh local food = less processed food with preservatives and refined sugar.  Many green and sustainable practices do require a time investment, however the health benefits and feelings of self-gratification make for any easy offset.  I also greatly enjoy creating outdoor education content as I can use my multimedia background while both teaching and learning.

If you have any beekeeping questions or video production questions please leave them in the comments and I will route them to the appropriate individual.


Purchasing any of the equipment below through my Amazon Affiliate Links will help support my blog.
Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO Lens for Canon Cameras
Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO Lens for Nikon Cameras
Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Digital SLR Camera Body – WiFi Enabled
Rode VideoMic GO Lightweight On-Camera Mic

Yucatan Wildlife Photography with the Tamron 18-400mm 

I hope this post is helpful for others looking to photograph wildlife near Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Tulum. I also want to thank Tamron USA for lending me the jacknife of all travel lenses, the new 18-400mm. The broad range of this ultra telephoto All-In-One helped me image everything that moved (and a few things like ruins which did not move). I would sincerely recommend this lens to anyone looking for a versatile travel lens especially for nature which is one of my niches (addictions?).

Yucatan birding

Tropical Mockingbird in Cozumel Mexico

Tropical Mockingbird
Cozumel, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority +2/3 exposure compensation
1/320th F/9 ISO 3200, 400mm

My first time observing this species. I could easily have mistaken this bird for the Northern Mockingbirds I often see at home. Body dimensions and wingtips do stand out to me as differing slightly between the two species.

Tamron 18-400mm bif

Turkey Vulture in flight and Caribbean Sea

Turkey Vulture in flight
Cozumel, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority +2/3 exposure compensation
1/4000th F/9 ISO 6400, 400mm

The same vulture species we commonly see cleaning the roads in New Jersey. I like the small breaking wave of the Caribbean Sea in the background. I also like sharpness of the flight feathers now suspended in the frame. The Tamron 18-400mm VC did a very good job at tracking the action and also resolving the fine detail. Kudos to the Canon SL2 Rebel also for a clean enough shot at ISO 6400.

Tulum Mexico Nature Photography

Partially Leucistic Yucatan Jay in Tulum Mexico

Yucatan Jay – partially leucistic
Tulum, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority +2/3 exposure compensation
1/1250th F/8 ISO 25600, 300mm

The genetic condition of leucism in birds will often cause a loss of pigment. I am not a scientist but I do know this condition varies from albininism as an albino animal should have discolored or pink eyes. Anyhow, this was quite a challenging photograph to capture as I was in the deep shade in a grove of trees, shooting almost vertically, and dealing with extreme heat. ISO 25600 is never a desirable as fine detail is sacrificed for a brighter exposure in low light.

Note that the shaded walk to the ruins of Tulum (approaching from the public beach side) has diverse trees including fruit trees making it a decent patch for birding.

Mexico Sandpiper Picture

Sanderling sandpiper in Tulum Mexico

Tulum, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority +1 2/3 exposure compensation
1/250th F/9 ISO 400

A raised natural rock perch, overcast light, and uncluttered background brought this scene together for me. Sunrise Beach in Tulum is a very pleasant yet small public area. Lisa and I both enjoyed taking photographs here and you can walk on the scenic exposed rocks at low tide. It would be hard to take a bad picture in such a place.

Mexico Amphibian

Gulf Coast Toad in Coba Mexico

Gulf Coast Toad
Coba, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority + 1/3 exposure compensation
1/25th F/10 ISO 1600, 100mm

An obliging subject at the base of a tree near ruins at Coba. Possibly my first time observing a Gulf Coast Toad, it’s dark lateral markings remind me a bit of a Wood Frog. An aperture of F/10 was selected to offer more depth of field than my typical walk-around setting of F/8. This is an uncropped image, the Tamron’s 1:2.9 (check this) macro ability is very useful for photographing small wildlife.

Yucatan Wildlife Photography

Striped Basilisk lizard at Coba Mexico

Striped Basilisk Lizard
Coba, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority + 1/3 exposure compensation
1/320th F/9 ISO 800, 400mm

I did crop in on this, I played hide and seek with this lizard for several minutes but it was not going to sit still for me. A male Basilisk would like similar but have a large angular crest atop its head. I would have preferred a cleaner setting for the shot but my goal when I travel is to document as much wildlife diversity as I can.

Macro Insect Photography

Carmine Skimmer dragonfly in Cancun Mexico

Carmine Skimmer Dragonfly
Cancun, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority + 0 exposure compensation
1/200th F/8 ISO 400, 400mm

I took this on a golf course during a morning walk from my resort. The Tamron 18-400mm looks like a good choice to me for dragonfly shooting. 400mm of telephoto reach, a short minimum focusing distance, and reputable Vibration Compensation (in lens anti-shake stabilization) are all very useful in the field.

Isla Mujeres birds

Cormorant and Gulls silhouette in Isla Mujeres Mexico

Cormorant and Gulls silhouette
Tortugranja, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority + 0 exposure compensation
1/2000th F/8 ISO 200, 227mm

I chose not to use my lens at its furthest zoom for this image to show more context. Compositionally this is a pretty basic rule-of-thirds layout. The muted scene looks rather postcard to me which is neither good nor bad, “it is what it is”. This might print well for a dentist’s office.

Ctenosaur Iguana picture

Ctenosaur (spiny-tailed iguana) in Mexico

El Ray Ruins, Cancun, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority + 0 exposure compensation
1/250th F/10 ISO 400, 400mm

This large adult iguana is either surveying his territory, enjoying the breeze, or doing whatever else iguanas do. They are actually quite territorial and will confront other iguanas invading their turf. A good number of the iguanas we saw had tails in various stages of regeneration which is a nice evolutionary trick to have.

Fringe-toed Foamfrog

Sabinal Frog (aka Fringe-toed Foamfrog)

Sabinal Frog
El Ray Ruins, Cancun, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority + 1 exposure compensation
1/160th F/9 ISO 800, 400mm

A very diminutive frog and hard to locate at first. I chose to show its flooded grassy environment to provide context and scale.  A big thank you to Bill McGighan for identifying my photo for me.

Cancun Crocodile Picture

American Crocodile in Cancun

American Crocodile
Cancun, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Aperture Priority + 1 exposure compensation
1/500th F/10 ISO 400, 200mm

A small individual, this one was on the edge of the lagoon just behind a gift shop in Cancun. I had seen another tourist couple looking down in the lagoon and had a hunch of what they were looking at. After a couple of photographs and a quick conversation with the couple from Manchester UK we bid the reptile and the humans good day.

Mexico butterfly picture

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly in Cancun Mexico

Gulf Fritillary
Coral Beach, Cancun, Mexico
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD lens + Canon SL2
Manual Exposure
1/100th F/8 ISO 1600, 227mm

The wildlife habitat at Coral Beach was less than overwhelming, however it did have more vegetation than most other parts of the tourist city. Coral Beach (also called Mirador) is a very pleasant place to walk around and a good way to avoid the crowds on the rest of the boulevard. Vibration Compensation saved the day on this shot, with a low handheld shutter speed of 1/100th at ISO 1600 I did not want to raise the ISO at the expense of fine detail.


Let me know if you have any questions or comments about the photographs, locations, or lens/camera setup I will do my best to help.


Purchase the Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC HLD All-In-One Zoom through my affiliate link to help support my blog

Tamron 18-400mm for Canon APS-C

Tamron 18-400mm for Nikon

Canon EOS Canon EOS Rebel SL2 24 Megapixel Digital SLR Camera Body Only

Tamron SP 15-30mm lens, first impressions

It has only been a couple of weeks now since I purchased the new Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC  wide angle lens for full frame.  I bought the lens to further invest in my real estate / architectural photography work, but naturally I will still give the SP 15-30mm a workout with my outdoor shooting.  I am pairing the lens to both my Canon 6D and also my Sony A7R (via Fotodiox Pro adaptor).

As expected the lens was ready to go as soon as I opened the packaging.  The frontmost element is bulbous, which is just a fact of the matter when using such an extremely wide POV with a fast F/2.8 aperture.  The finely crafted incorporated lens hood and also the slide-on lens cap do well to protect the front element.  There is also no threading for filters on the SP 15-30mm, although after market adapters seem to be springing up.  I have not tried any filters with the lens yet.

So what do I really think of the SP 15-30mm VC?

It is wide on full-frame, very wide.  When effectively composing a landscape photo at the lens’s broadest field of view we get a grandiose amount of scenery captured in a single frame. Knowing how to use an ultra wide lens to its full potential will be a challenge to new comers.

The SP 15-30mm VC is also extremely sharp.  Fine detail is recorded throughout the entire frame.  I am confident that my landscape photography will come to life in large prints after reviewing my camera raws. Expectedly, there is an acceptable level of distortion in the corner of the frames. I actually enjoy the slight “cathedral-effect” on my nature photographs but distortion is easily corrected in all camera raw converters.

Tamron’s SP 15-30mm VC is a sleek and attractive full frame lens capable of creating sleek and attractive photos.  I look forward to using the lens for future low-light and night sky shooting.  With the current retail price-point near $1200 Tamron has provided a great deal of value at a nice price point.

To view my most recent uploads:

Flickr or Instagram

For Fine Art prints or updates on my upcoming gallery showings contact me at

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Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Sony A7R.  1/15th F/14 ISO 80.  Buttermilk Falls in New Jersey


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Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Canon 6D. 1/50th F/11 ISO 320.  Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey


Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Sony A7R. 15mm F/14 ISO 50. Black River Park in New Jersey

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Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Canon 6D. 15mm F/14 ISO 100. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey.

My Winter Photography Article with Tamron USA

Hi everyone – I have just completed a new Q&A article with some of my thoughts on taking photographs throughout the winter season and detailed information on how I take the pictures and also how to prepare for them.

My Q&A interview was conducted by the very talented author, Jenn Gidman.  The article is an easy read and the entire e-newsletter is very informative and packed with recent photos taken with Tamron USA’s extensive digital lens line-up.  Check it out if you get a chance.

Click here to read Tamron’s February 2016 e-news

New Tamron Lens Samples

I’ve created a new Flickr album for sample from my Tamron 16-300mm VC All-In-One lens for Canon APS-C cameras –

Other albums for recent Tamron lenses –
Tamron 14-150mm All-In-One for micro four thirds –

Tamron SP 150-600mm VC lens for Canon (Full frame or Crop sensor) –

I get asked my opinion on these lenses from time to time, and am always glad to share a candid review.  However, as the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding.

New Jersey Art Photo

An angled trail weaves through some of the last colorful foliage of Autumn. A long exposure renders the leaves as essences of color. Photographed with the Tamron 16-300mm VC lens + Canon 60D.

Above photo was taken yesterday with the Tamron 16-300mm VC All-In-One lens + Canon 60D.  Exposure settings: 30s F/8 ISO 200