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Dave Blinder Nature Photography Blog

  • Upcoming Library Presentation

    I am drafting NJ photography program descriptions for later in 2018. I always enjoy interacting with new photography or nature enthusiasts. Let me know if your camera club, library, or community center is interested in a presentation and I will try to accommodate.

    NJ Landscape Photographer

    Landscape photograph taken in 2018 by Dave Blinder in Parsippany, New Jersey.


     

    Landscapes of New Jersey presentation by Dave Blinder
    August 2018
    Warren Township Library

    Join us as local photographer Dave Blinder walks us through his images for his comprehensive “Landscapes of New Jersey” exhibit. Dave will present 1 nature photograph for each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. We will learn how, where, and why each image was captured and we will discuss the challenges of taking on a large state-wide project. Camera settings will be revealed, compositional techniques will be discussed, and personal anecdotes of Dave’s photographic journey will be provided.

    Dave Blinder is a career photographer with specializations in clinical imaging, architectural photography, and fine art sales and exhibitions. Dave volunteers in his spare time for outdoor education and land conservation purposes. He is a proud board member of the Denville-based 501(c)(3) Protect Our Wetlands, Water, and Woods organization. Find Dave’s photographs on the web at facebook.com/daveblinderphotography

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  • Ecotourism in SE Florida 2018; a visual essay
    Nike Missile picture

    A National Park Service volunteer provides information on the history of the Nike Missile at Everglades National park in Homestead Florida. February 2018, photo by Dave Blinder

    Crocodile viewing Everglades National Park

    Crocodile viewing at Flamingo Campground Marina. An NPS ranger gives information on American Crocodiles. Everglades National Park in Homestead Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Robert Moehling is Here picture

    Robert Moehling interacts with customers at Robert is Here. Homestead Florida, February 2018. Photo by Dave Blinder

    Robert is Here produce

    Cashier uncorks a coconut at Robert is Here Fruit Stand. February 2016 in Homestead Florida. Photo by Dave Blinder

    Robert is Here owner picture

    Robert Moehling attends the customers at Robert is Here Fruit Stand. Homestead Florida in February 2018. Photo by Dave Blinder.

    Florida Everglades tourism

    Tourists look for wildlife. Pa-hay-okee Overlook at Everglades National Park in Homestead Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Florida Key Deer photography

    A Florida Key Deer Buck approaches a woman. No Name Key in the Florida Keys. These volunteers were outdoors picking up litter and recyclables. February 2018, photograph by Dave Blinder.

    Picture of Old Bahia Honda Bridge. Summerland Key

    Fishing in front of Old Bahia Honda Bridge. Summerland Key in the Florida Keys. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Florida Keys Photography

    Kurt Hassleman snaps a scenic shot. Summerland Key at the base of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Girl on beach picture

    Girl picking up seashells on Florida Keys. Summerland Key at the base of the Old Bahia Honda Bridge. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Shark Valley Miami Picture

    Cyclists on bike trail at Shark Valley. Shark Valley. Visitor Center in Miami Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Biking at Shark Valley Florida

    Cyclists on bike trail at Shark Valley. Shark Valley. Visitor Center in Miami Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Wildlife Viewing

    Birders at the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in Naples Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Parking lot for Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk

    Photographers at the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in Naples Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk Naples photography

    Photographers at the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in Naples Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk picture

    Birders at the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve in Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018.

    Everglades Florida dog friendly

    Visitors at the H.P. Williams Roadside Park. Turner River Road, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018

    Big Cypress Florida photography

    Young Photographer at the H.P. Williams Roadside Park. Turner River Road, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018

    Big Cypress National Reserve picture

    Visitors at the H.P. Williams Roadside Park. Turner River Road, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida. Photograph by Dave Blinder, February 2018

    Informational links on Florida scenic points of interest:

    Nike Missile Base at Everglades National Park

    Robert is Here Fruit Stand in Homestead Florida

    Pa-hay-okee Overlook in Everglades National Park

    Old Bahia Honda Bridge in Summerland Key

    Shark Valley Visitor Center near Miami Florida

    Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk in Naples Florida

    H.P. Williams Roadside Park in Big Cypress National Preserve

    Please let me know if you have any questions on the images, places visited, or photography equipment.

    All images taken with the Tamron USA 18-400mm VC HLD zoom lens and Canon Rebel DSLRs.

    Purchasing equipment through my Amazon Affiliate links helps support my informational posts. Thank you!

    Purch

  • Common Lizards of the Florida Everglades

    Only 2 days until my return to Everglades National Park in Florida

    Here is a look at two common lizards I photographed at ENP in 2013. Main Park Road in Homestead is teeming with wildlife if you slow down to appreciate the biodiversity.

    The Green Anole is a native lizard to the area, whereas the Brown Anole is an introduced animal originating in Cuba.

    Photography equipment used for the pictures:

    Tamron Lenses USA SP 90mm Macro Lens + Canon T2i + Canon Speedlight 90EXII

     

    florida green lizard picture

    A common lizard of Everglades National Park. Green Anole photographed off of Main Park Road in Homestead by Dave Blinder in December of 2013. Tamron SP 90mm VC Macro Lens + Canon T2i

    small brown lizard florida picture

    A common non-native lizard of Everglades National Park. Brown Anole photographed off of Main Park Road in Homestead by Dave Blinder in December of 2013. Tamron SP 90mm VC Macro Lens + Canon T2i

     

    Two locations I have done well with for macro wildlife photography within Everglades National Park are Paurotis Pond and the parking area near Pa-Hay-Okee.

    Do you have any questions on the photography techniques or finding wildlife within Everglades National Park?  If so, leave a comment here on WordPress and I will gladly try to help.

     

  • First day out with the Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 lens

    Yesterday was my first spin out with Tamron USA’s updated G2 version of the acclaimed 150-600mm super telephoto lens.  Though I purchased the optional Tap-in Console for lens updating and fine tuning, I did not have time to initialize the device yet.  Hence, I unboxed the new birding lens, mounted it on my compact yet powerful Canon SL2 digital rebel, and took a drive to a nearby nature area, Great Swamp NWR.

    Interestingly, I do not recall photographing a Gull of any sort before at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in the past.  I have been doing bird photography there for years… go figure.  Anyhow this handsome Ring-billed Gull was photographed from my car yesterday.  I shut off the engine to take the shot (too many vibrations and who needs the extra CO2 emissions anyhow).  In the caption for the photograph I have included specific camera settings.

    Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 Birding Photography

    Ring-billed Gull photographed with the Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 super telephoto lens + Canon SL2. 600mm, 1/640 f/6.3 ISO 200. Great Swamp NWR in New Jersey.

    Below is a 100% crop from the above image.

    Tamron 150-600 G2 sample image detail

    100% crop of Ring-billed Gull Photograph. Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 + Canon SL2

    Here is a Flickr link to view the full sized original 24 megapixel image of the Ring-billed Gull.

    I find the results to be very good for keeping the aperture wide-open at F/6.3.  I find that most lenses get sharper when stopped down a couple of stops.  We might even see a bit more fine detail if I had taken this Gull image at F/8.0 versus F/6.3.  Below is a look at the G2 lens, I shot this in my home studio.

    Bird Photography DSLR Lens

    Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 Super Telephoto Lens which replaces my trusty G1 version which I have happily toted around for a few years.

     

    Any questions or comments on the article?  Leave them on WordPress or email me at dave@daveblinder.com

     

     

     

    Interested in spoiling yourself with this new lens?

    Purchasing any of the equipment below through my Amazon Affiliate Links will help support my blog.

    Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

    Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

    Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Digital SLR Camera Body – WiFi Enabled

  • 5th Annual New Jersey Highlands Juried Art Exhibit

    I have the great privilege of being among the finalists for the 5th Annual New Jersey Highlands Juried Art and Photography Exhibit at the Morris Museum

    Museum Entrance

    New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography Exhibit Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey January 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Blinder

    My finalist entry within the exhibit is titled “Summer at Kincaid Woods”.  Taken in Summer 2017, I was hiking back towards my car when I found myself bathed in warm late day light as I passed over wetlands and through woodlands.

    I hoped to best capture the mood of that moment.  My limited edition (1 of 25) piece is matted and framed to 16″x24″ on archival quality paper and materials.

    Dave Blinder picture

    Kincaid Woods in Summer by Dave Blinder New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography Exhibit Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey January 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Landry

    Opening reception took place the night of January 11th 2018.  The artwork remains on display at the museum in Morristown until February 18th.  Please let me know if you visited and would like to provide feedback on your experience.

    Museum Attendees

    Crowd View New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography Exhibit Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey January 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Blinder

    I would especially like to thank my friends Jim, Geoff, Len, Pauline, Ellen, and Douglas for coming out in support. Great mingling with the other artists and outstanding organizing by Morris Museum Staff and the Highlands Coalition.

    NJ Highlands Coalition Directors

    Elliott Ruga and Julia Somers New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography Exhibit Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey January 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Blinder

    Dave Landry picture

    David Landry Photographer, Denville Resident, POWWW Boardmember New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography Exhibit Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey January 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Blinder

    NJ Highlands Painting

    New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography Exhibit Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey January 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Blinder

    Morris Museum Visitors

    Crowd View New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography Exhibit Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey January 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Blinder

    Morris Museum Exhibit

    New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography ExhibitMorris Museum Morristown, New JerseyJanuary 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Blinder

    Morris Museum in Morristown NJ

    New Jersey Highlands Coalition Juried Art & Photography Exhibit Morris Museum Morristown, New Jersey January 11, 2018 Photo by Dave Blinder

     

    Morris Museum visitors information:

    Morris Museum
    6 Normandy Heights Road
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    PHONE: (973) 971-3700
    EMAIL: info@morrismuseum.org

    Museum Hours:
    Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00am to 5:00pm
    Sunday, 12:00pm to 5:00pm
    The Museum is Pay as You Wish on the second and third Thursday of each month from 4:00pm to 8:00pm.

     

    If you have any questions or feedback on my article or artwork please contact me at dave@daveblinder.com

  • Winter Hiking at Former Greystone Psychiatric Park / Central Park of Morris

    I felt ambitious in today’s 8°F temperatures and took a short drive in search of winter birds and outdoors adventure.  After some internal debate, I settled on the Central Park of Morris County vicinity as I thought the diversity of trees and grounds might yield cold weather wildlife sightings.

    Central Park of Morris

    Upland meadow in Winter.  Former Greystone Pyschiatric Park now incorporated into Central Park of Morris and falling under the jurisdiction of Morris County Park Commission. 1/6/2018 photo by Dave Blinder.

    The last time I visited this area, the final remnants of the Kirkbride building of the former Greystone Psychiatric Park was still being cleared away.  No public access had been possible due to safety precautions.  Ironically I had been subdued by local police for illegal “urban decay exploration” a couple of years back, which I find humorous because all of my time is spent photographing and studying solely nature.  This incident is story for another time.

    Greystone Psychiatric Park nature walk photo

    Meadow and Wetlands in Winter.  Former Greystone Pyschiatric Park now incorporated into Central Park of Morris and falling under the jurisdiction of Morris County Park Commission. 1/6/2018 photo by Dave Blinder.

    As you can see from my mobile photographs, the former “No Trespassing” and “Keep Out” signage has been removed from the Kirkbride grounds as well as most adjacent lands.  I did observe newly posted signs by the Morris County Park Commission alerting hunters that hunting is by explicit permit only.

    Pileated Woodpecker damage hole picture

    Pileated Woodpecker cavities.  Former Greystone Pyschiatric Park now incorporated into Central Park of Morris and falling under the jurisdiction of Morris County Park Commission. 1/6/2018 photo by Dave Blinder.

    I only encountered a few species of wildlife on my walk which is fine with me.  Pursuing wildlife is mostly just a vehicle I drive to get me outdoors.  Today’s sightings included: Red-tailed Hawk, Dark-eyed Junco, Song Sparrow, Gray Squirrel, White-tailed Deer (big bucks).  I also saw a good deal of Red Fox and Cotton-tailed Rabbit tracks dotting the frozen landscapes.

    New Jersey hiking nature picture

    Uphill meadow in Winter.  Former Greystone Pyschiatric Park now incorporated into Central Park of Morris and falling under the jurisdiction of Morris County Park Commission. 1/6/2018 photo by Dave Blinder.

    The former Greystone grounds could use some help combatting invasive plants such as Multiflora Rose and Barberry.  However, the wildlife habitat still looked very good to me with mature trees including Pines, Cedar, Spruce, Oaks, and other trees which I have to study up on.  Conifers in particular are of high value in our area as they make for great shelter for various hawks and owls.  Fox and deer also find good shelter and bedding at the bases of some Conifers.

    In my home area, central Morris County, we do not have much acreage of intact forest due to housing developments and extensive highways.  Hence, we should conserve each remaining stand of trees and acreage of meadow to provide homes for our native New Jersey wildlife.

    X-country skiing NJ

    Cross-country Ski Trail in Winter. Former Greystone Pyschiatric Park now incorporated into Central Park of Morris and falling under the jurisdiction of Morris County Park Commission. 1/6/2018 photo by Dave Blinder.

    After doing a bit of internet research, I found this 2017 press release by the Morris County Government. 

    “The (Morris County) Freeholders, in June 2016, subsequently approved a long-term management and use agreement with the state to manage the additional 126 Greystone acres for passive recreational, conservation, historic preservation or farmland use by the Park Commission…..”

    “Under terms of the management and use agreement, the state would deliver the property to the county in suitable condition for passive public outdoor recreation, such as walking, hiking, picnicking, nature watching, or for conservation purposes. The county could add active recreation uses in the future.”

    Active recreation most often means organized sports or playgrounds.  Ballfields and playgrounds mean the removal of wildlife habitat and potentially degrading nearby natural lands by way of herbicides, pesticides, and erosion.  For those of us who find great value, beauty, and of course the diverse health benefits of natural area it is important that we express our opinions to our voted representatives.

    Local governments have tough shoes to fill as they must balance the needs of large populations.  However, in the most respectful way possible, nature lovers should “remain voices for the voiceless” and speak up for our trees, waterways, wildlife, and health concerns.  It can never hurt to send your local elected officials an email on topics of concern.  I plan on forwarding this article to both the park commission and freeholders to congratulate them on the public opening of this land and to speak of the high value of wildlife habitat conservation.  Don’t be shy, speak up.

    New Jersey wetlands picture

    Watnong Brook in Winter. Former Greystone Psychiatric Park now incorporated into Central Park of Morris and falling under the jurisdiction of Morris County Park Commission. 1/6/2018 photo by Dave Blinder.

    If you would like to stretch your legs and walk these peaceful trails you use Google Maps to navigate to the nearest parking area.

     

    For any comments or questions on the photographs or concepts in my article please contact dave@daveblinder.com

  • ​Nature photography with a purpose
    New Jersey Lizard

    Five-lined Skinks are the only wild native lizard found in Northern New Jersey. I came across the large stunning male basking on a tree. Quite a peaceful moment we shared together in May of 2009. Photographed with the Tamron SP 180mm macro lens.

     

    I always strive to get beyond the “pretty picture” with my nature photography and videography. I feel that being outdoors with my camera has been a continuous adventure and I hope that many others will have the same outdoor opportunities I have had.

    When exhibiting a photograph in a gallery, be it brick & mortar or on the internet I provide as much context as I can. I hope to document natural history while doing my best to be a steward both to the visual arts and to the environment.

    I have shared many personal encounters with native wildlife and find immense value in all plant and animal life be it great or small in size. My view is that a nature photographer must be a voice for the voiceless. We should strive to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. Empower yourself to make a difference by planting trees, joining a non-profit, documenting illegal dumping, submitting wildlife observations to your state. Every person can make a difference.

    Not sure how you can contribute to the environmentalism movement? Send me an e-mail and I will give you more tips – dave@daveblinder.com

  • Upcoming Reception and Exhibit at Morris Museum

    If you are available, come join the fun and celebration of local art with us for the opening of the 2017 New Jersey Highlands Juried Art Exhibit in Morristown.

    NJ Fine Art Photography

    Thursday, January 11th 2018 5:30PM Morris Museum 6 Normandy Heights Road Morristown, NJ 07960 Light refreshments will be provided Please RSVP by January 8, 2018 to Julia Somers at Julia@njhighlandscoalition.org

    One of my favorite photos of 2017, “Kincaid Woods in Summer” will be shown along with other finalists including local paintings, photographs, and mixed media pieces.

    My limited edition artwork is matted and framed to 18″x24″. I have hand numbered both the mat and the print as #1 of 25 using an archival quality Micron fine art pen. The mat and print are also hand signed.

    NJ Fine Art Landscape Photography

    One of my favorite photos of 2017, “Kincaid Woods in Summer” will be shown along with other finalists including local paintings, photographs, and mixed media pieces. My limited edition artwork is matted and framed to 18″x24″. I have hand numbered both the mat and the print as 1/25 using an archival quality Micron fine art pen. The mat and print are also hand signed.

    Opening reception:

    Thursday, January 11th 2018 5:30PM
    Morris Museum
    6 Normandy Heights Road
    Morristown, NJ 07960

    Light refreshments will be provided

    Please RSVP by January 8, 2018 to Julia Somers at Julia@njhighlandscoalition.org

     

    Full details of the Juried Highlands Art and Photography below

    Public display dates:
    January 9, 2018- February 18, 2018

    Public Visiting Hours and Information

    The New Jersey Highlands Coalition hosts the Highlands Festival to raise awareness about the natural resources of the NJ Highlands region.  The 5th annual Juried Highlands Art and Photography Exhibit, which coincides with this festival, will feature a selection of works featuring the landscapes, flora, fauna, natural, cultural and/or historic resources of the Highlands of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

    Curated by New Jersey photographer and Coalition trustee Dwight Hiscano, juried by a panel of prominent local artists and gallery owners, and judged by Alexandra Willis, curator for the Morris Museum.

    About the New Jersey Highlands Coalition:

    The New Jersey Highlands Coalition hosts the Highlands Festival to raise awareness about the natural resources of the NJ Highlands region, to promote the missions of the NJ Highlands Coalition’s 80+ nonprofit member organizations, and to fund the Small Grants Program which supports local grassroots organizations.  As a nonprofit organization in Boonton, New Jersey, the New Jersey Highlands Coalition works to protect, restore, and enhance the water and other natural and cultural resources of New Jersey’s Highlands, now and for the future.

  • New Jersey Wildlife Photography: White-tailed Deer in Meadow

    IMG_8426 copy

    White-tailed Deer in Meadow
     
    Mercer Meadows, New Jersey
     
    Taken on a recent nature photography excursion, this frame is one of my favorite wildlife shots of the year. The soft light, swaying vegetation, and mostly concealed animal gave me an opportunity for a strong image. Photography and art are more about feel, emotion, and mood. Subject is not always paramount.
     
    How would you describe the feeling of this image?

    Purchasing any of the equipment below through my Amazon Affiliate Links will help support my blog.

     

  • Landscape Photograph – Jonathan’s Woods in Autumn

    This image is one of my favorite recent photographs.  It was taken on November 4th 2017 mid-morning on a bright overcast day.  This Autumn was not a colorful foliage season in my area but I was fortunate to come across a picket of golden hued Beech Trees whilst walking a wooded trail.  The trail is situated within Jonathan’s Woods in Rockaway NJ.

    New Jersey Fine Art Landscape Photography by Dave Blinder

    Jonathan’s Woods in Autumn. A wooded trail meanders through a pocket of vivid American Beech trees in November. New Jersey Fine Art Landscape Photograph from Rockaway Township by Dave Blinder.

    My goal with this image was to capture a frame which a viewer could easily place themselves into.  I had quite an immersive nature experience on this pleasant walk with the fragrant smells of the deciduous forest, the earthy palette of the woodlands, and the slightest breeze on my face.  If this image is successful the viewer should also have an engaging exploration within the frame with no coaxing of words or other cues.  We shall find out when I print and exhibit the piece!

    I should easily be able to make a 20″ x 30″ print from this full frame capture.  This wide angle perspective is brought to you by the Tamron USA SP 15-30mm VC lens.  A lens this wide gives an extremely broad perspective and will also make objects nearer to the camera appear larger.  This characteristic can be utilized by the landscape photographer to simulate three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional capture.  It helps the the Tamron 15-30mm is also exceedingly sharp.  Camera utilized was the Sony A7R which produces highly detailed and vivid images of my treks.

    Thank you for stopping by and be sure to get out and appreciate your local nature.  Purchase the lens through my Amazon Affiliate link helps support my art.

    Do you have any thoughts or questions about the image?  Leave a comment on this post or send me an email to dave@daveblinder.com