Comet NEOWISE Visits the Lake

Today’s post features some astrophotographs that I captured at the Lake of the Ozarks, late last week. Comet NEOWISE was the target, as it flew above the Lake. Still being a bit unfamiliar with scenic landscapes (with a northern exposure, necessary to capture NEOWISE), I settled for shooting around the little town of Laurie, Missouri (I live about 3-4 miles from the locations I used). I first landed at the West Lake Christian Church (my Lake church I attend). Here are a few of my favorite images:

NEOWISE over some trees in the church parking lot:

Comet NEOWISE over West Lake Christian Church

And NEOWISE over the church:

Comet NEOWISE over West Lake Christian Church

A cropped and enlarged image of NEOWISE over the church:

Comet NEOWISE over West Lake Christian Church

Before leaving the church, I turned my camera southward and captured both Jupiter (the bright “star” on the right, between the trees) and Saturn (to the left of Saturn):

Jupiter and Saturn across the Southern skies

I then moved down O Highway a couple of miles and worked at capturing NEOWISE over a fountain at the O-Road Mall (small, but just above the left tree):

Comet NEOWISE over the O-Road Mall

As I get more familiar with the Lake, I’m sure I will find lots of scenic locations for future astrophotography (maybe the upcoming Perseids meteors?)!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Tamron 17-35mm Aspherical IF manual lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod
  • ISO 2500 and ISO 6400
  • Aperture f/2.8
  • Shutter Speed – Variable, from 1/6 second to 8.8 secs.
  • Extensive post-editing in Lightroom and Photoshop were required, mainly due to the strong lights around the church.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Astrophotography, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

My, What Long Legs You Have!

Today’s post features images of a wonderful little shore bird, the Black-necked Stilt, that I captured during my February photo trip to Florida. Myakka River State Park is a wonderful place to see/photograph birds. One of the unique birds I sometimes see here is the Black-necked Stilt. Standing tall with their skinny, long legs, they are fun to watch as they forage about the shallow waters of the Myakka River. Here are a few of my favorite images:

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt preening

Coming up … more images from Florida, plus some astrophotography images I’ve been capturing of the Comet NEOWISE.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/320 sec. to 1/500 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , ,
Leave a comment

The Iridescent Bird

Today’s post features the Glossy Ibis, a very colorful wading bird often found in Florida. This medium-sized bird has a glossy iridescent bronze-green body color, that seems to change colors as the bird moves about and as seen from different viewing angles.

In these images, this bird is foraging in the Myakka River (Myakka River State Park, Florida) and captures a small snail:

Glossy Ibis foraging

Glossy Ibis with snail

Glossy Ibis with snail

When in Florida, I typically see a few of these birds as I travel about. Not nearly as many as the White Ibis, but much more colorful.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/500 sec. and 1/640 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

A Shot in the Dark

Today’s post features an image I captured this past Monday evening, from the back yard at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. I first became interested in astrophotography a few years ago. Since then, I always try to find a unique place to shoot the annual Perseids meteor shower (August), as well as other opportunities, as they arise.

Additionally, I find making good astrophotographs to be very challenging and I love a good photographic challenge! My “Astrophotography To Do List” is constantly growing, as I think of new and different things to try!

Well, Jupiter came into “Opposition” this Tuesday night. Opposition occurs when the Earth comes directly between a planetary subject (Jupiter, in this case) and the sun.

I set up a telescope, with one of my DSLR cameras attached. However, this didn’t work out for me … it was pretty windy and telescopes are extremely susceptible to wind! So, I set up my 500mm f/4 lens onto another camera body and worked with that.  It was a bit difficult … I needed to move the camera around and find a place out of the wind. Even then, a 500mm lens, coupled with a 1.4x teleconvertor is still very motion sensitive! My remedy? Shoots tons of images and hope that at least a few are relatively stable and in focus!

Although not the best image, I did manage to capture a few “good” ones … here is my favorite:

Jupiter, at opposition

As you can see, Jupiter is very small in this photo … and this is even after cropping the original image by a large amount! If you look closely, you can actually see some of the cloud bands that are part of this interesting planet. I sure wish it was a bigger image! I tried cropping it to be even larger, but the resolution breaks down and the image becomes way too grainy.

So, what’s next? Well, Saturn comes into Opposition next week, so I will try again … if the weather is good! And hopefully, I will be able to use the telescope for greater magnification!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off”, and Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wimberly gimbal head
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Astrophotography, Blog, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

School is Back in Session

Today’s post features a couple of images I captured from our boat dock at the Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) a couple of days ago. While wandering around the dock, I saw multiple “hot spots”, where the water was “zig-zagging” around, in beautiful spirals. As one of these spirals approached the dock, I could see these were active, schools of shad. Here are a couple of images I captured:

School of Shad

School of Shad

I stayed on the dock for a period of time, hoping that one of our local Bald Eagles or Ospreys would show up for hors d’oeuvres … definitely not big enough for a meal! Or, even a small group of gulls would have been a welcome sight.  Alas, just me and the school … maybe next time!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens, shooting from 115mm to 140mm
  • Handheld, with ISO “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/4.5 and f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec. and 1/250 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Nature Photography | Tags: ,
Leave a comment

The Wild Side

Today’s post comes from Florida’s “Wild and Scenic” Myakka River and the Myakka River State Park that contains it. Here are 3 of my favorite landscape images I captured this past February, during a photo trip to Florida.

Spanish moss, air plants, and tons of tropical species of plants inhabit the park, everywhere you may wander:

Myakka River State Park landscape

The “Wild and Scenic” Myakka River winds gently throughout the park, into and out of both the Upper Myakka River and the Lower Myakka River. Sometimes full of wildlife … sometimes peaceful and sedate:

Myakka River State Park landscape

A birdwalk, tree-top canopy walk gives a great perspective as you look over the park from above the trees:

Myakka River State Park, view from the tree-top canopy walk

Coming up, more wildlife from Florida.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens, shooting from 28mm to 135mm
  • Handheld, with ISO “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter Speed 1/15 second to 1/90 second

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

A Bang-Up Good Time!

Today’s post features some of this year’s July 04th fireworks that I captured over out lakeside home at the Lake of the Ozarks, in south-central Missouri. This is my second July 04th firework display I’ve captured at the lake. All these fireworks were personal fireworks by lake residents and visitors … and not too shabby!

Photographs taken across our cove, from our butterfly garden:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

Photograph captured from our gardens, looking towards the end of our cove:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

Photographs captured from our boat dock, looking back at our lake home:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

Meanwhile, looking towards the lake’s main channel, a nice moon was brightly showing above all the action:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

And a look at fireworks over our boat dock, captured from our home:

July 04, 2020 Fireworks

Always fun to try capturing “new” things, like fireworks over our butterfly garden.  I always enjoy new challenges! Hope you had a wonderful 4th, also!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens, shooting from 28mm to 135mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod and ballhead
  • ISO 250 and ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8 to f/16
  • Shutter 3.1 seconds to 24 seconds

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography | Tags:
Leave a comment

Plumaria Update

“A Little Piece of Florida”Today, I’m featuring some updated photographs of our blooming Plumaria plant. I first featured this plant last Friday (“A Little Piece of Florida”). This morning, I took some new photos, with many more blooms! Enjoy the beauty we have growing on our back deck:

Plumaria

Plumaria

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800 (top image) and ISO 400 (bottom image)
  • Aperture f/5.6 (both images)
  • Shutter 1/160 sec. (top image) and 1/60 sec. (bottom image)

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Nature Photography | Tags: ,
Leave a comment

A Little Piece of Florida

Today’s post features images I captured this week from a new, Plumaria plant we have growing on our back deck at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

Plumaria are a tropical species of flowering plant/tree. When we visited a friend in Florida this past February, she broke off a piece of one of her Plumaria plants and told us to bring it home and see if we could get it to grow.  Well, results are in … it’s now blooming!  Hoping to be able to overwinter it inside! I hope you enjoy this beautiful plant as much as we are!

Plumaria

Plumaria

A macro photo of one of the plant’s leaves:

Plumaria leaf

Plumaria

And as of this morning, four flowers … and counting!

Plumaria

Plumaria

What will the upcoming days bring?  I’ll report any significant updates.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens and Canon 180mm f/3.5 macro lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On” and on Bogen 3221 tripod/ball head (for macros)
  • ISO 200 thru ISO 800
  • Aperture variable
  • Shutter variable

 

 

Posted in 2020, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography | Tags: ,
Leave a comment

White Ibis

Today’s post features an image of a White Ibis, a very common bird to Florida. This image was captured along the Myakka River, in Myakka River State Park, just outside Sarasota, one of my favorite places to visit when I go to Florida. As the sun began to set, nice lighting fell upon this foraging bird:

 

White Ibis

More Florida images coming up!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 800
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/640 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: ,
Leave a comment