Wells Mills County Park

NJ hiking

Wells Mills County Park in Waretown NJ can make for a great quick visit or even a lengthy nature hike.

New Jersey kayaking

Included are a few quick cell photos from today in Ocean County.

New Jersey nature

Only my 3rd visit, not sure why I haven’t been here more. Outstanding scenery in boggy and upland habitats. Also noteworthy that the park offers canoe rentals for $3 for 30 minutes which is a nice price.

NJ Pine Barrens hiking

We saw a few friendly people picnicking and barbecuing which are also good activities to enjoy at Wells Mills.

Visitor info here – http://www.oceancountyparks.org/ContentPage.aspx?ID=41fee2db-374d-49a2-a7ae-f17b5acc6c92

Ocean County NJ parkWildlife home


deCamp Wildlife Trail

deCamp Wildlife Trail, Brick Township, New Jersey

Brick NJ

A nice morning walk at this northern area of Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. Quick cell phone HDR photographs though I was #WithMyTamron 150-600mm wildlife photography setup.

Brick NJ nature

Very few insects and cool temps made for ideal nature exploration conditions in Ocean County NJ.

NJ hiking trail

Directions to deCamp Wildlife Trail here – https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-jersey/decamp-wildlife-trail

Ocean County NJ hiking

New Jersey wildlife habitat

USFWS sign

USFWS sign

Hilltop Reservation NJ

NJ Hiking

Verona, New Jersey

NJ native plant

Quick cell HDR photographs from a walk after work.

NJ nature picture

Hilltop is one of five reservations within the Essex County Park system. As indicated in the signs below, this is the former site of the Essex Mountain Sanatorium.

Hilltop Reservation now has accredation by the National Wildlife Refuge as a certified wildlife habitat.

Nature signageNJ historical signNWF sign

Two Sisters Wetland Preserve

Two Sisters Wetland Preserve Property, Wayne NJ

NJ nature

Cellphone HDR photos from location scouting I arbitrarily visit local open spaces that I see on Google Maps. This was my first time visiting this wetland and floodplain area adjacent to the Pompton River.

NJ nature

Nice yet small wetlands that gets a decent amount of sunlight. I can imagine this being a decent area for viewing wildlife such as marsh birds, turtles, salamanders, and nesting hawks and woodland warblers.

NJ hiking

Expect to encounter mud if you want to scan the ponds. Google Maps should get you into this small preserved open space.

NJ wildlife

Opteka 15mm f/4 vs Tamron 15-30mm

I picked up a Opteka 15mm lens online to use as a lightweight backup lens for Real Estate Photography and also landscapes.  Unfortunately the Opteka 15mm f/4 LD UNC AL 1:1 Macro Wide Angle Full Frame Lens comes nowhere near filling the shoes of my Tamron SP 15-30mm VC F/2.8 lens.  As such, I can’t rely on the Opteka for any serious work.

Comparison test images below.  All shots taken on my tripod mounted full-framed Sony A7R I (using the Fotodiox Pro Canon EF adapter).  2 second delay and manual focus techniques were employed for both shots.  Exposure information – ISO 400, F/16.  0.3 second shutter speed with the Tamron and 1/10th second shutter on the Opteka yielded a similar brightness to the frame.

The upper left corners of the Opteka 15mm lens are fairly soft.  The upper right corners of the Opteka 15mm are extremely soft.  Center sharpness is surprisingly not bad.

See below to reach your own conclusion:

Tamron 15-30mm + Sony A7R Landscape Photography

Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Sony A7R

Opteka 15mm + Sony A7R Landscape Photography

Opteka 15mm F/4 + Sony A7R


Tamron Upper Left Crop

Tamron SP 15-30mm Upper Left Crop

Opteka Upper Left

Opteka 15mm Upper Left Crop


Tamron Lower Left Crop

Tamron SP 15-30mm VC Lower Left Crop

Opteka Lower Left Crop

Opteka 15mm F/4 Lower Left Crop

Tamron Upper Right Crop 15mm

Tamron SP 15-30mm Upper Right Crop

Opteka Upper Right Crop

Opteka 15mm Upper Right Crop

Tamron Lower Right Crop

Tamron Lower Left Crop

Opteka Lower Right Crop

Opteka Lower Left Crop

Tamron Focal Point Crop 15mm

Tamron Focal Point Crop

Opteka Focal Point Crop 15mm

Opteka Focal Point Crop


Do you need digital photography lenses, cameras, or accessories reviewed and tested?  Send me an email at daveblinderphotography@gmail.com to get started


Landscapes of New Jersey at Morris County Library

It is a genuine honor to have my exhibit in such a prestigious building so well set up for art. “Landscapes of New Jersey” on display now through the end of June.


Featured Artist for the Month of June 2017 at Morris County Library

My newest finished piece, “Day’s End at Great Bay”, has just been matted and framed to 24″x36″ and is displayed nearest the front desk.

Dave Blinder's newest fine art landscape piece

Day’s End at Great Bay Boulevard

Morris County Library
30 East Hanover Ave
Whippany, NJ
(973) 285-6930

If you’ve gotten to see my exhibit I appreciate all constructive criticism – daveblinderphotography@gmail.com


New Jersey Fine Art Photography

Landscapes of New Jersey photo exhibit, looking right down hallway


Dave Blinder’s artist bio on display

Dave Blinder Photography Exhibit

Landscapes of New Jersey, looking left down hallway


On the topic of impossibility

A short anecdote from this afternoon:
I am preparing for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica and conceptualized a better way to support my small 360 camera (Samsung Gear 360). I thought that the lightweight camera might be secured for nature shoots by staking it into the ground in an upright manner.
I already purchased a selfie stick which easily mounts the Samsung Gear 360 and I also had some loose odds and ends such as tripod spikes (3/8″ thread) and camera thumbscrews. However, I had no hardware that could attach the tripod spike to the 1/4″ 20 thread below the selfie stick.
I decided to check out my local Home Depot in Parsippany NJ. A quick glance down the hardware aisle revealed no couplers that could pair my threadings together. I flagged down two Home Depot employees working near the loose hardware aisle and asked if they had a solution.
Employee #1 said “That’s impossible to do”. Employee #2 said “I used to run my own machine shop, let’s see what I can do”. He grabbed a few small items off of the shelf and left for an employee-only area that housed a drill press. 15 minutes later and after spending $2.00 at the checkout I had my solution in hand.
Moral of the story is very few things are impossible. Most tasks just require a “can do attitude” and a conceptual flow chart.
Selfie Stick Spike

A modified support stake for my selfie stick.  Thanks to The Home Depot in Parsippany NJ

Winter Solstice Hike by the Morris County Park Commission

Winter Solstice Hike. 12/21/2016 led by Morris County Park Commission‘s Senior Naturalist Douglas Vorolieff.

We met at the visitor center for Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area pre-dawn and ascended up Turkey Mountain to meet with a colorful sky on the official first day of Winter.

Thank you to everyone who attended, it was quite a fun outing and a great way to kick off the season.

Future Morris County Park Commission events can be found online here -http://m66.siteground.biz/~morrispa/index.php/calendar/


Bird Photography Program – Randolph NJ


Bird Photography Program at Randolph Township Free Library presented by Dave Blinder

On March 8th 2017, I will be giving a short presentation on local bird photography at the Randolph Township Free Library in Morris County, New Jersey.
I look forward to reviewing bird photography camera settings and also some insight into my favorite local locations for wildlife observation.
Non-residents of Randolph may register one week before the event.

Intro to Landscape Photography Course- Visual Arts Center of NJ

I am very excited to be offering a 5 week course, Introduction to Landscape Photography, this fall on Thursday nights at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit, New Jersey.

We will take a look at all of the building blocks in making a successful landscape image as well as the best camera settings and accessories. Given enough time, we will also broach on classic landscape compositions and modern digital landscape photography techniques. The goal is for participants to make consistently impactful photos and of course a greater appreciation for the arts.


Landscape Photography (16F-1109)
Instructor: David Blinder
Experience Level: All Levels
Thursdays, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
5 sessions: Oct 20, 2016 – Nov 17, 2016
Members: $ 160.00 – Non-Members: 190.00
Lab Fee: $ 35.00

Registration info in link below:


Visual Arts Center.jpg