Infrared Nature Photography Trials

This Saturday was my first day trying infrared photography.  I had sent my Olympus PEN E-PL2 micro four thirds camera in for IR conversion and to eliminate the normal visible light.  Service was provided by ebay vendor image-laboratory and the conversion was very fast and well performed.  The below photos were taken using that camera and also with my Tamron 14-150mm Di III All-In-One lens.

New Jersey Infrared Nature Photo

An UV + IR capture of the Old Barney Lighthouse in Barnegat Light #NewJersey. Infrared #photo taken with the #Olympus PEN E-PL2 m43 camera and the #Tamron 14-150mm Di III All-In-One lens.

New Jersey Infrared Photography

An IR capture at sunrise in Ocean County #NewJersey. Infrared #photo taken with the #Olympus PEN E-PL2 m43 camera and the #Tamron 14-150mm Di III All-In-One lens.

I’m really enjoying the pronounced effects of capturing IR and/or UV spectrum light, however my techniques will require a bit of refinement.

– Dave

New Jersey Nature Photography: Water Falling on Leaf #1

Yesterday, while out doing local nature photography in Morris County, New Jersey, I decided to pair my Tamron 14-150mm Di III All-In-One lens with a set of Meike MK-P-AF3B extension tubes to my Olympus PEN EPL3 micro four thirds camera.  The purpose of the extension tubes was to allow the lens to focus closer than normal.  The main drawback of tubes is always the loss of infinity focus.

Below is my favorite shot from yesterday morning, and an uncropped one.  It always becomes a visual exploration for me to photographically capture little segments of nature, especially with moving elements like water.  The weathered Oak Leaf was a great secondary element, located just under the trickles of water.  The trickles were falling off a mossy rock in a slight bend in the stream.  Post-processing on the photo included a slight creative white balance shift, and also some reintroduction of contrast to the RAW file.

NJ Nature Art

A closeup photo of three small trails of water descending around an old Oak Leaf in #NewJersey. Picture taken with the #Tamron 14-150mm All-In-One Lens, Meike AF extension tubes for close focus, and the #Olympus PEN E-PL3 micro four thirds camera.

Exposure settings: 1s F/9 ISO 200, 132mm

Equipment used:
Tamron 14-150mm Di III All-In-One lens

Zeikos 52mm circular polarizing filter

Meike MK-P-AF3B extension tubes

Olympus PEN EPL3 m43 camera

Manfrotto 488RC2 ballhead

Benro carbon fiber tripod

For a quick look at the camera and lens setup, view on my Instagram account –

Poplar Leaf on Log

I get very caught up in trying to photograph the wildlife of New Jersey during our summer months.  However, now that the songbirds begin their southern migration out of the Mid-Atlantic and as many insects end their terrestrial lifecycles it is once again time to notice the various and vivid foliage colors brought about by the change of the season.

m43 NJ nature photo

An early Autumn nature photograph from New Jersey using Tamron’s all-in-one lens and an Olympus PEN compact camera.

Above photo was taken with Tamron’s first lens offering for compact Micro Four Thirds digital cameras.  The 14-150mm Di III provides a 28-300mm equivalency (35mm terms).  On the wide end, 28mm is great for drawing in scenery and the telephoto end with a short minimum focusing distance is very useful for honing in on details like individual leaves.  This photo of a Poplar Leaf in New Jersey was taken at focal length of 132mm in Aperture Priority Mode.  -1 stops of light was dialed in, with an aperture of F/9 and the ISO at 200.  My tripod-mounted Olympus PEN E-PL3 was triggered by a 2 second timer to allow for a 1/2 second exposure in this low-light situation.

Pandora Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

This photo was taken recently in Morris County, New Jersey.  I can’t identify many caterpillars “off the cuff”, and I was pretty sure this was one I had never seen before.  Whenever possible I put some effort into putting the proper common name to any insect, bird, or plant that I take pictures of.  The hardest IDs for me are moths and nondescript plants.  Often I will “throw in the towel”, and ask someone else for help in identifying the organism.  My Google Search for “brown caterpillar with green spots” eventually led me to a dead ringer for this one, a Pandora Sphinx Moth Caterpillar, luckily for me a distinctive larva.

Eumorpha pandorus photo

Micro Four-Thirds photograph of a large brown and green caterpillar feeding.

Photo taken with the Tamron 14-150mm f/3.5-5.8 Di III Lens and the Olympus PEN E-PL2 Micro Four-Thirds Digital Camera mounted on my Manfrotto 055xProB tripod.  Settings: 150mm focal length, 1/20th shutter, aperture at F/8, ISO 400.  One Shot focus with continuous motor drive, Image Stabilization Mode 1 (in camera), RAW image format.  Less than 5% of the image was cropped off because of a very distracting leaf hitting the frame of the image.

I prefocused the lens on some nearby leaves, which allowed the lens to find the caterpillar faster than going through its entire focal range.  My subject was pretty stationary and I felt confident that I had a few moments to spare so I bent down a couple of leaves in the background to eliminate a little clutter.  I’d still prefer better separation from the background and foreground, but such is the way of nature photography, you take what you can get and make the best of it.