Nature Notes

August 30, 2009

Cascais, Portugal

Filed under: Cityscape,Lighthouse,Portugal — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Cascais, Portugal

Cascais, Portugal

About30 kilometers west of Lisbon is the town of Cascais, a popular tourist destination on the cost. The whole coastal area is well worth exploring.

It gained fame in the 1800s when it was used as a resort by the Royal family of Portugal.

Cascais2

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August 29, 2009

The Temperate Rain Forest

Filed under: British Columbia,Scenic — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

Rainforest

When we hear about Rain Forests, most of us probably think of hot climates, and places like Ecuador and Costa Rica. However, the Northwest Pacific coast of North America also has a Rain Forest. This includes parts of British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon, as well as parts of Alaska and northern California, places which can have a generally cool climate.

What gives these places a Rain Forest is the coastal mountain ranges which create a high level of rainfall. This climate produces an incredible diversity of life, just like the Tropical Rain Forest does.

Rainforest2 Rainforest3


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August 27, 2009

Along the Jersey Shore

Filed under: New Jersey,Scenic — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
New Jersey Shore

New Jersey Shore

After a seabirding trip out of Belair, New Jersey a few years ago, I was able to spend a few early moring hours along the New Jersey shore.

JerseyShore4 JerseyShore5
JerseyShore1 JerseyShore2


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August 26, 2009

Purple Coneflower: Image Stacking

Filed under: Flowers,Photography Tips,Processing Tips — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea

1st of 4

1st of 4

4th of 4

4th of 4

I have been photographing wildflowers this year and my favorite lens for this is the Canon 180mm. It is extremely sharp and a great macro lens but it has a very shallow depth of field, so much so that it is usually not possible to get the close and far sides both in focus. An interesting solution to this is image stacking. This involves taking a series of shots with the focus changing from the front to the back and having at least one shot of each area in focus in one of the images.

The next step is to combine the images into a single image and this can be done in a number of specialist software programs. Among them are CombineZP (free program), Zerene Stacker ( free for now) and Helicon Focus ($30 but there is a 30 day free trail available). The image at the top is a stack of 4 images processed in Helicon Focus.

At this point I still have a lot to learn about this technique but it looks like a useful tool. Later this year I am planning on doing some extreme macros of insects and will probably need to use about 20+ images.

Here are a couple more results, both from stacks of 4 images.

PurpleConeflower3 PurpleConeflower


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August 24, 2009

Sunflowers

Filed under: Flowers — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Sunflower, Helianthus annuus

Sunflower, Helianthus annuus

Artists and photographers seem drawn to Sunflowers. I find them irresistible. When I saw a large field full of Sunflowers yesterday, I had to stop and take some pictures. They are a native annual plant here in North America but that is a smaller plant than this large cultivated variety known as Russian Giant, more often seen.

Sunflower, Helianthus annuus Sunflower, Helianthus annuus
Sunflower, Helianthus annuus Sunflower, Helianthus annuus


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August 17, 2009

Stanley Park, Vancouver

Filed under: British Columbia,Scenic — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Stanley Park, Vancouver

Stanley Park, Vancouver

Like New York and Central Park, Vancouver is blessed with a green area in the city which is very popular with its citizens. It is bounded on three sides by the harbor and there is a walkway and bicycle path along this portion. Gorgeous Western Cedar and Hemlock grow throughout and their is a long history of various uses made of the area.

If you visit, you will find the park shuttle is an excellent way to get around and see the park.

Stanley Park, Vancouver

Stanley Park, Vancouver


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August 15, 2009

Totem Poles, British Columbia

Filed under: British Columbia,Scenic — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Totem Poles, British Columbia

Totem Poles, British Columbia

These images were taken in a variety of place, The Capilano Suspension Bridge, Stanley Park, and the BC Museum in Victoria.

They are a cultural tradition of many indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest. They have traditionally been carved from Western Cedar which is subject to decay in that wet climate and there are, therefore, not many examples of old totems in good shape. The poles have many meanings and uses. One recent use of interest is a “shame’ pole carved in Cordova, Alaska. It is said to represent the shame of Exxon CEO, Lee Raymond’s face represented distorted and inverted, because Exxon has not paid for the damages caused by the Exxon Valdez.

Totem Poles, British Columbia Totem Poles, British Columbia Totem Poles, British Columbia
Totem Poles, British Columbia Totem Poles, British Columbia


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August 14, 2009

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Filed under: British Columbia,Lighthouse — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is located on a coatal strip of land on Vancouver Island’s west coast. Due to the areas high rainfall, it includes some magnificent stands of temperate rain forest. It also incluses some magnificent beaches like Long Beach, south of Tofino, which is where Captain Cook firsdt landed in the area.

Amphitrite Lighthouse

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

 

 

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