Monday, October 27, 2014

Shadow Witch Orchid

Between my boat tours Sunday morning, I photographed this 14-inch tall Shadow Witch Orchid next to the nature trail at Wakulla Springs.

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Details: I walked the trail to the location where Charlie Baisden told me where I could find the plants. I spread a sheet of Tyvek as a ground cloth to lie down on, then set up a tripod with the bottom section of the center column removed and the legs spread maximally to be able to mount the camera at a very low height above the ground. The camera (Canon 6D) and lens (Sigma 50mm macro) were mounted on the tripod and carefully positioned so that the plane of the camera sensor was parallel with the vertical stem of the plant. I activated live view and zoomed for maximum view magnification to increase focusing accuracy while manually focusing. Focusing on different flower parts from the nearest to the farthest, I took eight photos. At home this morning, I opened the photos as layers in Photoshop CS6 and manually blended the photos, creating masks to reveal the portions of the flower in each photo of the series in sharp focus. After several iterations of this "focus stacking", I flattened and saved the final image. Most all parts of the orchid are in focus in the final image, and the pleasant blur of the forest helps to isolate the plant from the background. Although a shutter speed of 1/25 second at an ISO of 800 was not quite fast enough to completely freeze movement of the plant by a gentle breeze, I am fairly pleased with the resulting image.

I discarded another image taken with a smaller aperture (F22), because the depth of field was too shallow to get all of the orchid in focus and the background was not sufficiently blurred.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Water Abstracts at Mashes Sands

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Color Images

Black and White Images

Line in the Sand
Vote Yes to reinstate the Wakulla Wetland Ordinance to
preserve our wetlands, waters, economy and quality of

Sandpipers at Mashes Sands

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wildlife on a River Boat Tour at Wakulla Springs

Jeff Hugo was the tour guide on the first river boat tour of the day, Saturday October 11. We got a super view of two baby alligators on mama's back.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Northern California and Southern Oregon Coastline

Last month Trudy and I flew to San Francisco and drove north to Aracata, California to visit with her sister, Linda. For two glorious weeks we explored northern California and the shoreline of southern Oregon.

Trudy and Linda experiencing a huge
spruce tree in the Cape Perpetua Scenic
Area south of Yachats, Oregon

REDWOOD TREES are ginormous and are a 'you-will-always-remember-it' experience!!!

Bob feeling very humbled next to a redwood in the Prairie
Creek Redwoods State Park south of Orick, CA

Arcata Community Forest

Some ferns grow head high.

Elk in the Priairie Creek Redwoods State Park

ROCKY SHORELINES of northern California and Oregon
We spent two days enjoying the Bandon, Oregon area. I could
have easily spent two months walking the sandy beaches,
marveling at the rock sea stacks in the Pacific.

Humbolt Lagoon State Park

Unnamed beach at the mouth of the Redwood Creek, Orick

Some beaches have huge collections of driftwood. This is one
of the more appealing 'houses' that will stand until the next
big storm.

Probably because I am a native Floridian, I am fascinated by
rocks. This very cool large chunk of stone has beautiful veins
of quartz.

The streaks of quarts mirrored the crashing waves of the Pacific.

Yep ... this is the same rock that I encountered on my return
walk  back up the beach. This is a Western Gull with a red 
streak on its thick yellow bill.

This nearby sandy beach is speckled with billions of polished
stones in a myriad of colors ranging in size from tiny pebbles
to silver dollars.

This little beauty was on a hard to find beach in the McVay 
Rock State Recreation Area near Brooking, Oregon.

McVay had the most amazing diversity of
seaweed along the shoreline!

At the beach adjacent to Stone Lagoon, Humbolt Lagoon State 
Park, waves splashed over ten feet high over the rocks.

This is the first of 5 images showing a wave surging up a
narrow channel in the rocky shoreline at Cape Perpetua.

2 of 5 series

3 of 5 series

4 of 5 series

5 of 5 series
A spray of white foam exited through 'Spouting Horn', 'a blow 
hole in the rocks at Cape Perpetua.

Driftwood formation at McVay Beach.

We visited Jesse, Linda's son at Slide Ranch, near the Muir
Woods National Monument. I call this 'Seal Rock', viewed
from the Muir Beach Overlook, just north of San Francisco.

Rocks smoothed by wave action, Slide Ranch.

This image, also at Slide Ranch  is the last of my Rocky 
shoreline series

SANDY BEACHES are the most common in California, even along most of the northern California coastline.
Early morning view from the Moonstone County Park, between
Aracata and Trinidad, California. 

Agate Beach in the Patrick's Point State Park, north of Trinidad

I returned several times to walk for miles along the sandy 
beaches and dunes of Mad River Beach, a short drive from 
Aracata, California. 

This Purple Sail Jellyfish is closely related to the Portuguese
man of war but has no stinging tentacles. Samoa Dunes 
Recreation Area, Aracta, California.

Dungeness crab shell

Morning sun over high dunes at Mad River Beach.

Gold Beach, Oregon

The last night of our Oregon road trip was spent at Gold Beach,
Oregon. We boarded a jet in San Francisco for the flight back to 
Tallahassee the next day.