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

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Firefly Photography Workshop at Duke Farms

On July 1st, I will be leading a photography workshop at Duke Farms where we will be capturing the luminescence of fireflies.

Each participant will hang their best image in the Duke Gallery for the annual Firefly Festival that attracts over 3000 visitors annually.  I think this will be a great challenge for all participants, a way to create very unique nature art, and also a great excuse to chase glowing insects around at night.

Firefly Festival

A DSLR or camera with manual controls will be necessary, and don’t forget to bring your tripod.

Payment and registration info for the Firefly Photography Workshop at Duke Farms is in the link below.

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/firefly-photography-tickets-24807047547

Sony A7R for Wildlife Video

As Spring warms up our Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, wildlife activity in general does pick up.  I am mostly resuming where I left off last year with local wildlife videography in attempts to challenge myself, and also to entertain viewers.  My “new used” Sony A7R has been my primary camera of late, and for wildlife jaunts, I have my trusty Canon EF mount Tamron SP 150-600mm VC lens paired using a Fotodio Pro adapter.

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Below are three recent wildlife shorts that I have filmed and edited in various natural areas in New Jersey.

 

March Waterfowl at the Manasquan Reservoir

 

Wood Duck at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

 

Tree Swallows at the New Jersey Meadowlands

 

More recent wildlife photography and videography is viewable on Dave Blinder Nature Photography on Facebook

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 daveblinderphotography@gmail.com

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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

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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.

2016 Maple Sugar Fest photos

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I volunteered for a few hours of photography and also videography yesterday with the Morris County Park Commission at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center in Chatham New Jersey.  The event, 2016 Maple Sugar Fest, drew out hundreds of local families and got them involved in fun stories, hikes, and even tastings of local Maple products.  Maple Syrup use dates back to at least the Lenape natives and is an important part of our local heritage.

 

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My favorite part of the event?  Seeing so many happy faces of all ages and colors involved in high quality outdoor education.  I could see the faces of future conservationists and environmentalists in the children that attended.

 

 

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

“For The Love Of Wildlife” NJ Photo Contest

I am excited and honored to be one of the judges for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s 2016 wildlife photography exhibit.  As a longtime nature artist, I find it very important to support the local nonprofits and conservation groups that protect New Jersey’s natural resources.

I am quite sure that many inspirational wildlife images will be in the running.  Picking a winner is going to a challenge.

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Please visit http://www.conservewildlifenj.com/contest for info on how to participate.

 

Do you need assistance with your juried photography contest?  I can help, contact me at daveblinderphotography@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

The Best Weather for Nature Photography?

My favorite nature photos, especially landscapes are often taken in the most brutal weather conditions.  Often in snow, rain, or wind that makes being outdoors very uncomfortable.  On the contrary, I don’t find many of my “blue sky” shots to have much of a mood to them.  Why the correlation between extreme weather and dramatic photos?  I’m not entirely sure, but I think that the sunlight is often much softer during bad weather spells.  Also, precipitation and moisture in the air create a lot of mystery and drama.  Perhaps a great deal of effective nature photography lives in the surreal or sublime realms?  On the other hand, embracing and emphasizing the mundane is an effective technique too, especially for street photography.

As my photography years go on, I’ve come to embrace adverse weather conditions more and more.

What weather conditions have created your most dramatic photos?

Wooded Road in Winter

Infrared photo taken in the early stages of a snow storm in Chester, New Jersey. I had finished a quick walk at some local parks, but glanced down a residential road and couldn’t resist shooting a vanishing point in the snow.

Electric Brook Falls in Winter

Photo taken shortly after a snow storm. The walk down to this vantage point was treacherous to say the least. I did not enjoy the bitter cold or the fright from extremely icy rocks. I do enjoy looking at the photo from home now, though.

New Jersey Nature Photography

A very gloomy morning on the Atlantic Ocean. Photo taken in Ocean City, New Jersey. The wind was strong and actually a big unnerving. Even with a tripod-mounted camera, I will keep the camera’s strap around my neck to avoid accidents in this type of weather.

And here is a blue sky photo that I like:

New Jersey Nature Photography

A blue sky above the New Jersey Pinelands is dotted with Cumulus clouds, adding the illusion of depth to some two-dimensional pixels.

New Jersey Nature Photography: Tree Shadows on Snow

“Tree Shadows on Snow”, New Jersey nature photography from Morris County.

“The art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface.”  – Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Elusive wildlife and scenic vistas can make outstanding photos, I like to shoot them often.  Don’t forget to capture the small things either.

NJ snow photo

On a cold winter day, the long shadows of bare trees stretch across and empty canvas of snow. #Nature #photography #minimalism

New Jersey Nature Photography: Sunset over Frozen Pond

This afternoon I ventured out in the cold, dangerous, and remote tundra…. Okay okay, so I was actually only a few minutes from the big local shopping mall in New Jersey.  Anyhow, I was scouting the location as the sun slowly descended towards the horizon.  A photographic frame came together in my mind as I walked across a small frozen pond.  Why was I walking on the pond in the first place?   Bodies of water often offer a clean and uncluttered midground for scenic photos and quite often rocks or vegetation on the periphery can be used very effectively to anchor the foreground of an image.

Below I have uploaded my final output jpeg, compromised of a 3 exposure HDR blend.  Below that is a view of what the individual exposures looked like.  Last is a snapshot of my Canon T5 DSLR and Tamron 16-300mm VC PZD lens in position for the capture.

New Jersey Photograph of a Winter Sunset

Sun beams pierce the wooded fringe of a calm pond on a cold February evening. This is a three image #HDR blend and the #photos were taken with the #Tamron 16-300mm VC PZD lens and the Canon EOS T5 DSLR.

raw image previews

A quick look at my three unprocessed #raw exposures. The #dynamic range of the #Canon T5 sensor is approximately 12 stops of light, which is not quite enough to record details in the highlights and the shadows of the scene.

BTS nature photograph

A peek behind the scenes, my #DSLR is atop my tripod and positioned very close to the ground. The petal shaped #lens hood of the #Tamron 16-300mm VC PZD can greatly help reduce flare from shooting into the sun.