Category Archives: Images

POTD: Ladybug Convention

Our weather has warmed up and the yuccas are starting to bloom. That means ladybugs are in abundance, preying upon the aphids which feed on the yuccas (and are often tended by ants).

For this photo, I used my OM System OM-1 Mark 2 body and the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro lens. This tiny lens is quite sharp, and incredibly lightweight (185 g / 0.4 lb), which makes it super-easy to manage in the field hand-held. A side benefit of Micro 4/3rds format for macro photography is the 2x effective DOF (meaning you can shoot at wider apertures to keep shutter speed up without sacrificing depth of field) and the 2x equivalent magnification factor (1:1 with this format actually frames like 2:1 on full-frame).

For this shot, I was set at 1/1000s f/6.3 ISO 1250, hand-held. The equivalent setting on full-frame (to get the same DOF) would have been 1/1000s f/13, ISO 5000. Sometimes it’s good to go small!

POTD: Mer-Dog in Infrared

Infrared Photography with my Olympus Micro 4/3 Camera

Earlier this week, I took a trip to Denver with my podcast partner, Rick Walker, where we visited the Denver Botanic Gardens. We shot exclusively in infrared, and the spring foliage made for excellent subjects. There are some really interesting and whimsical sculptures occupying the gardens right now, and this one in particular caught my eye.

You can hear about our experience shooting infrared at the Denver Botanic Garden on this week’s episode of The Image Doctors Photography Podcast.

POTD: Christmastime in Prague

Wishing you all a happy holiday season 2023

I just got back after nearly two weeks in Europe for a Christmastime photo tour. We started in Prague, and then continued to Vienna, where we boarded a Danube river cruise. Christmas markets in this part of the world are simply magical. I want to wish everyone here a joyous holiday season, and I’m looking forward to what 2024 will bring!

No filter? No tripod? No problem

Shooting hand-held long exposures with the OM-1

Cascades in New Brunswick, Canada. 1/2s f/5.0 ISO 160, hand-held at 35mm (equivalent to 70mm on 35mm format).

I’m back from a nice trip to New England and Canada, and while fall colors can be hit or miss, I did find some fun landscape subjects. We were driving along the Fundy Trail Parkway in New Brunswick, when we came across a trailhead to a waterfall. After a short walk down some trail stairs, we found ourselves on a viewing platform. Of course, I hadn’t brought my tripod, nor a set of ND filters on this trip.

I did, however, have a polarizer, and I was able to take advantage of the Live ND feature in the OM Systems (Olympus) OM-1 camera. Live ND is a computation feature that simulates a solid ND filter for extended exposure times without using a glass filter, up to 6-stops. This feature, combined with the tremendous image stabilization in the OM-1 allowed me to easily capture sharp shots hand-held at 1/2 second while not needing to stop down to f/22. I simply braced myself on the railing and captured images until I was happy.

The Live ND feature is so useful for casual long exposure shooting that I’ve taken the extra step to assign it to a function button on my camera for easy recall. Photography should be fun, and this situation certainly was.

Wildlife photography on Panama’s Isla Bastimentos

Photographing sloths, birds, and more at an upscale eco lodge

I’m flying home to Colorado after my third visit to Isla Bastimentos on Panama’s northwest Caribbean coast, and it was a fantastic visit. My journey started out in Panama City, where I checked in to a modern hotel downtown. As a side trip, I took a short Uber ride to the Metropolitan Nature Park in Panama City. I figured it would be an easy place to explore, and where I could check all the settings on my camera gear. 

On this trip my primary camera was the Nikon Z9 paired with the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Nikkor Z lens, and the Nikon 1.4x Z teleconverter. This camera and lens combination provides a focal length range from 140-560mm and a maximum aperture of f/8. I was also able to use the Nikon Z9’s DX crop mode, which narrowed the angle of view to effectively 840mm. Because the Nikon Z9 is a mirrorless camera, using DX crop mode magnifies the viewfinder image and improves autofocus accuracy. This comes at the expense of resolution, which drops from 45 to 19 megapixels in DX crop mode.

At the Nature Park, I photographed several bird species, including kingbirds, tanagers, and a squirrel cuckoo. I also encountered red-eared sliders (turtles), basilisk lizards (the fabled “Jesus Christ” lizard), and even a three-toed sloth. Of course, this particular sloth was basically just a ball of fur hunkered down at the top of a tall tree; hardly photogenic (more on this in a moment).

The next day, I greeted my photography clients as they checked in to our downtown hotel. After a brief welcome session, we enjoyed dinner and drinks at the hotel restaurant before retiring for the evening; we had a full day planned for tomorrow and needed to be ready for our morning tour to Monkey Island and the Gamboa Sloth Sanctuary.