Peter Frailey Photography: Blog en-us (C) Peter Frailey Photography [email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) Thu, 14 Jul 2022 12:04:00 GMT Thu, 14 Jul 2022 12:04:00 GMT Peter Frailey Photography: Blog 90 120 Acton Arboretum 2022.2 Here are a few more flower images which I've added to my 2022 collection of Acton Arboretum flowers. I was equipped with an Olympus E-M1 and 40-150mm F4 zoom.  All photos were taken at F4 and a focal range of 122-150mm (244-300 full frame equivalent). ISO ranged from base ISO 200 to ISO 800. 


Bee BalmBee Balm
Bee Balm


Flowering RaspberryFlowering Raspberry Flowering Raspberry

Lamb's Ear and Bumble BeeLamb's Ear and Bumble Bee
Bumble Bee on Lambs-Ear Plant

Lamb's Ear and Bumble BeeLamb's Ear and Bumble Bee
Bumble Bee in Flight

Wild Sweet William a.k.a. Soapwort

Round-headed garlicRound-headed garlic
Round-Headed Garlis

LathyrusLathyrusalso known as peavines or vetchlings.

Flowering RaspberryFlowering Raspberry
Flowering Raspberry and Buds





[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) acton arboretum flora flower Thu, 14 Jul 2022 12:03:34 GMT
Lamb's-Ear flowering plant and a photogenic Bumble Bee I spent an hour at the Arboretum this past weekend, seeing what I could do on an overcast day. It seems to me I am traveling lighter and lighter; just one camera (Olympus E-M1), one lens (Olympus 40-150 F4), one battery, and one SD card were with me on this outing.

I am especially pleased with the two bumble bee photos that start off the series below. The shot with the bee in mid-flight was hard to get with my "older" Olympus gear.  I use a single auto focus point with a manual override option (S-AF/MF).  The four-way controller allows me to move the point around, though sometimes I just do things the lazy way; that is, focus using the center focus point and then recompose. My guess is that if I had better continuous autofocus with tracking (like the newest Olympus, the OM-1), I'd have a better chance of tracking and focusing on a moving bee. In this case I was actually focusing on the plant and when the bee arrived it was (lucky for me) in the same focal plane as the plant.

Lamb's Ear and Bumble BeeLamb's Ear and Bumble Bee

Lamb's Ear and Bumble BeeLamb's Ear and Bumble Bee

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) fauna flora flower macro Tue, 05 Jul 2022 15:16:09 GMT
Yellow Jacket on Long Stem Buttercup Flower I went over to the Acton Arboretum with my camera, a 80-300mm full frame equivalent zoom lens, and a fold-up stool, hoping to get a nice photo or two.  I had been led to believe from my weather app that the sky would be overcast so as to provide lots of diffused light.  However, the sky remained blue and the light was harsh.  I did try to take photos in the shade where ever possible, but this one was in bright daylight. 

Buttercups are quite shiny.  You can see on the left side of the flower a few specular highlights. I'd prefer not to have the highlights, but you get what you get.

Normally I would try to focus on the eyes of an insect, but this honey bee never gave me the chance, and flew off while still revealing only its backside to me.  Nevertheless, I really like this composition.  The body of the bee is rather symetrical, as is the flower. And the bright yellow stripes match nicely the yellow color of the blossom.

Beyond that, I like the simplicity of the photo. Rather delicate and minimalistic.

I've added this image to my 2022 collection of photos taken at Acton Arboretum:


Honey Bee on Long Stem ButtercupHoney Bee on Long Stem ButtercupOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Sun, 12 Jun 2022 17:03:04 GMT
The Irises are blooming like crazy Our front yard irises all seemed to bloom en masse two days ago (April 26), which was one day before they bloomed the prior year. So hard to believe (but I do) that they can be so consistent even though the weather can be so different from year to year. I guess the one thing that doesn't change from year to year is the angle of the sun and the number of daylight hours.

I picked out this one iris to photograph.  Flowers are so much fun to process now that Lightroom has tools that will automatically select and mask the subject (or the sky if you are processing landscapes).

In this case I asked it to select the subject, and it accurately selected and masked the blossom. I then chose to invert the selection so I could darken the background to make it less distracting, as well as make the background a bit more blurry by reducing clarity, texture, and sharpening.  I then selected the subject a second time and played a bit with the exposure sliders to adjust the iris blossom to taste. 








[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) fauna flora Sat, 28 May 2022 16:24:28 GMT
Acton Arboretum 2022 The Acton Arboretum is within minutes of my house (by car). The last couple of years it has been quite crowded, even mid-week, due to the pandemic and the number of children and adults  "at home" and wanting to get out of the house.  Things are a bit better now and I finally feel like getting over there with my camera.

It seems most serious flower photographers use a tripod.  I do not.  A tripod just takes the fun away for me.  But I do carry with me a small fold-up stool that resides in the back of my van.  This helps me get low and to hold the camera steady. When I put my elbows on my knees I become a human tripod.  

Red TrilliumRed TrilliumOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Red Trillium

White TrilliumWhite TrilliumOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA White Trillium

Also helpful is that the Olympus camera I use gives me over 6 stops of image stabilization. In addition, I usually shoot at 1/250 second to reduce the liklihood of subject blur due to the small amount of flower movement I believe exists even on "calm" days. I typically shoot with an aperture of F4 and F8 and then choose the ones I like best when I am home and on the computer.  F8 of course gives more depth of field.  F4 gives better background blur. Less frequently I will use the in-camera photostacking feature with F4 ... this gives me the blurred background of F4 and the greater depth of field after stacking that I could otherwise only get with F8 or higher (i.e. narrower) F stops. I am happy with auto ISO; though if it gets too high (ISO 1600?) I will try dropping the shutter speed to 1/125.

My 2022 gallery of flowers photographed at Acton Arboretum is here:


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Wed, 25 May 2022 16:58:41 GMT
Sprague's Lobsters in Wiscasset, Maine On our several trips each summer driving north along the Maine coast, we often get to Wiscasset around lunch time.  Wiscasset is a lovely old town, though for through-travelers it does often create a bit of a bottle neck on old Maine Route 1, especially on summer weekends. A low speed limit through town, a long two-lane bridge over a huge expanse of the tidal Sheepscot River, a red light, and two lobster shack operations right there at the bridge are likely culprits. These are not complaints, merely observations.

It's amazing to me that a town of 3,732 (2010 census) was once the busiest seaport north of Boston (before 1807), and was a center for shipbuilding, fishing, and lumber. The name Wiscasset comes from the Abenaki word that means "coming out from the harbor but you don't see where."

Heading north, on the left just before crossing the bridge over the Sheepscot River is the famous Red’s Eats, where a long line starts early for its famous lobster rolls. One can expect a wait of over an hour on many days.  I’m not sure when they open, but I have seen the line starting at 10am.

We’ve been to Red’s, but only once, just to say we did.  Now, we drive past Red’s, and turn almost immediately right into a small parking lot next to a picturesque wharf on which is located Sprague’s Lobsters. The lobster rolls here are as good as any, in our opinion.  And the view is spectacular. 


Like Red’s, Sprague's advertises that each lobster roll holds more than one lobster. The line is shorter and you can finish off with an ice cream cone if you wish. The menu is extensive (you can view it on their Facebook page), but we’ve never done anything but order lobster rolls and fries.

All dining is outdoors on picnic tables.  Like most lobster shacks, you order at the window and are given a number.  When your number is called you go get your tray. After you finish eating, you bus your own tray. Simple.

No line at 11:30.  Perhaps a bit early for most for lunch,
but this was the time we rolled through Wiscasset.
ATM is framed as a bit of humor... the cost of a lobster roll has skyrocketed ($28!)

Line at 12:30. Lunch time!


Orders are taken at a window in the building barely seen in the middle of this pano photo.
Lobster dinners are boiled and prepared in the building on the right (see below too)
where also the ice cream is served. 


Sprague'sSprague's Sprague'sSprague's
Two lobster rolls, fries, and melted butter.

Old Pilings


This photo is all about the clouds.

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) lobster maine Fri, 08 Oct 2021 09:30:00 GMT
A June Week in Maine - Part 6: Lobster Rolls at McLoon's Lobster Shack, Spruce Head, Maine As I write this at the end of September, McLoon’s Lobster Shack is closed for the season. My guess is that it closes annually, after Labor Day.   In the photos below you will see the lobster shack with its outside seating.  The view is fabulous.  I tried to capture it with a three-shot panorama stitched in Lightroom.  By the way, I see now that all these photos were taken with an iPhone 12. Likely that was the only camera I had with me when we went there for dinner.


McLoon's Lobster Shack

The view from the picnic tables


McLoon's Wharf

McLoon’s Wharf is next door to the Lobster Shack. You can see a few of the buildings in the photo below. There are a few more buildings behind these. 

It’s a thriving wholesale lobster buying station. Lobstermen from all over the area bring their catch here. Lobsters are then delivered to McLoon's wholesale processing plant in Portland. From the Portland facility, lobsters and other fish are sold all over the country. 

The editors at Yankee Magazine declared McLoon’s “Best of New England” in 2015. The magazine touts the lobster, crab cakes, burgers, hot dogs, and homemade desserts. (Although unfortunately I did not see any desserts on the menu... I'll have to ask next summer.)

seal harborseal harbor


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) lobster maine Thu, 30 Sep 2021 16:05:21 GMT
A June Week in Maine - Part 5: A quick visit to Port Clyde A drive down the St. George peninsula took us to Port Clyde. The main attraction here is the boat service to Monhegan Island, some twelve miles away. As of the census in 2010, 69 people resided on the island. But traffic builds in the summer when tourists and artists arrive. 

Summer passengers depart and return three times a day on the Elizabeth Ann and supplies and cargo travel on the Laura B. Both ships are operated by the Monhegan Boat Line, which has provided ferry service since 1914. There are no car ferries to the island.

Port Clyde Maine
"Elizabeth Ann
Sony A6500 plus 18-135mm zoom @ 74mm
F5.6 - 1/350sec - ISO100

Port Clyde Maine
"Monhegan Boat Line"
Note: Laura B on the left
Sony A6500 plus 18-135mm zoom @39mm
F8 - 1/500sec - ISO100


Another attraction at Port Clyde is the Marshall Point Lighthouse. The first light station here was build in 1832.  It was 20 feet tall tower, and was lit by seven lard oil lamps with 14” reflectors.  The present lighthouse was built in 1857 and is a 31 foot tower made of white brick on a granite foundation. It was originally lit with a fifth-order Fresnel lens. This lens was replaced with a modern 12” optic in 1980 when the lighthouse was automated. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

Port Clyde Maine "Marshall Point Light"
Note: Elizabeth Ann on the right heading to Monhegan Island
Sony A6500 plus 18-135mm zoom @73mm
F8 - 1/350sec - ISO100


Port Clyde Maine
Sony A6500 + 18-135mm zoom @ 33mm
F8 - 1/350sec - ISO100


Incidentally, this lighthouse appeared in a scene in the movie Forrest Gump, when Tom Hanks’ character reaches the Atlantic Ocean to conclude his cross-country “for no particular reason” run.

If I had not already been over-caffeinated, a final attraction (for me) might have been “Squid Ink Coffee”, right next to the Port Clyde General Store. With a name like squid ink, it has to be good coffee! Plus it has 5 stars on TripAdvisor.

Port Clyde Maine
Sony A6500 + 18-135mm zoom @129mm
F8 - 1/250sec - ISO100

Port Clyde Maine
iPhone 12 @ 26mm-equiv
F1.6 - 1/2200sec - ISO32

sony A6500 _ 18-135mm zoom @ 135mm
F5.6 - 1/350sec - ISO100
Squid Ink Coffee is located to the right of the general store


Below are a few images taken from the fishing village side of Port Clyde:

Port Clyde Maine
A6500 + 18-135mm zoom @ 135mm
F8 - 1/250sec - ISO100

Port Clyde Maine
A6500 + 18-135mm zoom @ 18mm
F8 - 1/250sec - ISO100

Port Clyde Maine
A6500 + 18-135mm zoom @ 18mm
F8 - 1/200sec - ISO100
Port Clyde Maine
A6500 + 18-135mm zoom @ 116mm
F8 - 1/500sec - ISO100 


A6500 + 18-135mm @ 29mm
F8 - 1/500sec - ISO100


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) maine Thu, 23 Sep 2021 16:39:20 GMT
A June Week in Maine - Part 4: iPhone 12 mini v. Sony A6500 tested in the dark This seems like a crazy comparison.  The iPhone 12 is a phone after all ... and the A6500 is a real camera.  The Sony sensor (23.5mm x 15.6mm) is a whopping 16x larger (squared dimension) than the sensor (5.6mm x 4.2mm) behind the 26mm-equiv lens on the iPhone 12 mini. That should mean a BIG difference in image quality.  But the iPhone fights back with an amazing amount of artificial intelligence. And it just does wonderful things with color.

I was shocked at how good the iPhone 12 is in the dark. ... I was also shocked at how long I had to work on the Sony raw file to get it to look decent. It was at least a half-hour.


The pictures below of a lobstering operation were taken at about 4:30am on June 20th, just as the sun was peaking over the horizon. I tried to frame the photos identically. One difference I didn’t notice at the time, is that the iPhone image (immediately below) was captured after the lights on the second floor of the boat house were turned on.  That really adds something to the feel of the image, and is why this is the photo I chose to post on Instagram and Facebook.  I thought it would have greater appeal.


iPhone Image:

iPhone 12 - 26mm(equiv) - F1.6 - 1/50sec - ISO500
This is an OOC jpg cropped to 3:2 aspect ratio.
An 8 x 12" print was spectacular IMO.  Surprised, I will experiment with larger.
I'd like to see at what size this image starts to fall apart.



The Sony A6500 had the 18-135mm F4-F5.6 zoom attached set at 20mm (30mm-equiv). Settings were: F4, 1/60th, ISO2500. I am not thrilled with the settings.  Looking now I think I should have turned the control dial out of aperture priority and into manual mode, and adjusted the shutter speed to 1/30th second so as to drop ISO to 1250, or maybe even put my elbows on the railing around the deck where I was positioned and give 1/15th a try with the ISO at 625. This would have increased dynamic range (though perhaps not enough to really notice) and reduced noise (which I ultimately reduced in Topaz).

I'd like to point out that I had focusing problems with this Sony set up.  The lens wouldn’t focus, even in the bright areas of the composition! (That made me chuckle because the lowly iPhone locked focus and exposure immediately).  I am happy that the 18-135 lens at least has a MF/AF switch on the lens barrel, as switching to MF then made it easy to focus accurately.


A6500 Image:

Sony A6500
Lightroom default "Adobe Color" profile was applied to A6500 raw filec
These colors are terrible.


Sony A6500
Here I applied adjustments using the Basic panel in Lightroom.
At this point there was more I could do in Lightroom, but instead I exported the image to Luminar.



In Luminar, I used their basic filter for landscapes and played with the sliders. After all that, I didn’t like the noise, so I subsequently exported the file to Topaz DeNoise AI.
I am not sure the difference is noticable with the file compression on this blog,
but I preferred this rendition. The sky looks better to me.


Sony A6500
Once I brought the image back into Lightroom from Topaz I experimented
(first time!) with the new Color Grading sliders for midtones, highlights, and shadows.
I just played around with them and watched how the sliders effected the colors.
It's unlikely I could duplicate what I did.


I liked this final result.  It took about 30 minutes to get there and it was fun because it was a learning experience.  I printed this one and the iPhone image on 8 x 12" paper.  I  really can't tell the difference in the results, certainly not at a normal viewing distance, other than I already knew that there were slight color differences... and also the scene difference of the boat house lights in the iPhone image.  To me that visual difference makes all the difference in terms of which I like better. 


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) lobster boat lobstering maine Sun, 19 Sep 2021 13:40:03 GMT
A June Week in Maine - Part 3: Thomaston Grocery I've read that this brick building was built in 1890. 

Thomaston Grocery has 4.7 stars in Yelp

Thomaston Grocery is the grocery store closest (about 20 minutes) to where we were staying in Spruce Head, Maine for a week.  It would not have been too much further to drive to Rockland to shop in one of at least two large chain markets, but it was much more fun to simplify our lives by shopping at this little local corner store. By the way it has 4.7 stars in Yelp.

Really, it had everything we needed, with of course a few compromises here and there like not having our favorite chips, or when we stopped once and they were sold out of Amy's blueberry pies. Or when they ran out of New York and Boston daily newspapers, but heck, what's wrong with reading the Bangor Daily News?

Sometimes (all the time?) life can be much more enjoyable when things are kept simple and the choices are fewer.

Keeping things simple, all five of the images in this posting were taken with the iPhone 12 mini (i.e. pocketable model).


Amy Upham makes wonderful pies.

Thomaston Grocery seems to do a nice lunch business.
In the back of the store is a deli with a large sandwich menu.



[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) maine Sun, 12 Sep 2021 17:54:45 GMT
A June Week in Maine - Part 2: A few closeup photos mostly of old wood and rusted hardware. Though the views of water, sky, animal life (ex. eagle and seals), and lobstering activity (see previous post) were terrific from our week-long apartment in Spruce Head, I couldn't help but walk around the premises from time-to-time, inside and out, looking for smaller compositions. A few of which are included below.

Mostly these photos were taken with the Sony A6500 and "kit" 18-135mm zoom. This lens does a very nice job with closeup compositions, and can even get close enough for a 1:2 macro equivalent when needed. 



"Old Hinge"


Old plywood kitchen countertop and classic enamel camp mug holding by breakfast.

"Maine Blueberry Pie" 
iPhone 12 image.


"Oar Lock"


This lamp, with its repurposed electric meter, had me smiling. 


I think this rusted tool lying on a stone wall is for making adjustments on a chainsaw. 

Recharging a couple of devices and a few camera batteries. 


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) macro maine Mon, 30 Aug 2021 13:00:00 GMT
A June week in Maine with views of Lobster Boats - Part 1 We were anxious to get a visit to Maine under our belts.  Due to covid, we missed our planned Maine vacations the previous summer (2020).  As I recall, for a while there, folks from Massachusetts weren't exactly welcome in Maine, as our covid numbers were far worse than those in Maine. It seemed to us that driving around with Massachusetts vehicle plates would not have given us the relaxing visit we wanted.

This June was (I am writing this in August) different.  The numbers looked terrific (in June, that is) and we knew we were welcome, as there were no restrictions on non-resident travel.  Plus we'd both been fully vaccinated so we ourselves weren't worried.

We chose to rent for a week an apartment above a boathouse in the Spruce Head area, south of Thomaston.  Over the prior 10 years we'd done this twice before.  It is owned by a camp that I went to as a youngster. The interesting thing about this spot is that it is on a wharf that is shared with working lobstermen. Fortunately, we too like to get up early, as there was often very-early morning activity on the wharf.  On those days, it usually meant sitting on our deck with our morning coffee watching the sunrise and the lobstermen beginning their day.


Boat house on the first floor. Apartment with viewing deck on the second floor.
Obviously low tide.


5:22am as viewed from our deck.


For this post I selected some of the images taken from the apartment (usually the deck, though a favorite one is from inside the kitchen as viewed through a screen window) that have lobstering as a theme. Unfortunately, we had been asked to give the fisherman their privacy, so we stayed off their premises.  We waved back and forth occasionally, but sadly we never had a chance to meet any of them.

4:23am.  This is an iPhone 12 image! OOC jpeg. 
F1.6 - 1/30sec - ISO500

From the kitchen window. iPhone 12.
F1.6 - 1/2000sec - ISO32

iPhone 12 image with ultra wide lens (13mm-equiv)
F2.4 - 1/220sec - ISO25 



[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) lobster boat lobstering maine Wed, 25 Aug 2021 19:00:00 GMT
Nashoba Valley Photo Club opens for a new season. Here are my four images. Last week I received a reminder from the president of our photo club that it is time to get photos (digital images) submitted for the September "Salon".  Being indoors for the third day of our most recent heat wave, I thought today would be a good day to review images taken during the last 18 months. The club requirement is that all submitted images be no older than 18 months. The rules allow for up to four images in each monthly salon.

I was not optimistic about finding nice photos, let alone anything that would be "portfolio" quality.  I have done almost no traveling during the last 18 months, and last summer/fall we even cancelled a total of 3 separate weeks of vacation in Maine. That was sad for many reasons, but those trips to Maine have been a major source of images to feed into the monthly club salons.

I did nevertheless use Lightroom filtering today to pick out four photos that I like.  Not the best photos in the world, but the best I have from last summer... one from June, one from July, and two from August. I used the same camera for each one, but a different lens each time.

After picking these four images, I smiled when I realized all four were taken while standing in our front yard. I guess that isn't surprising to me when I think about it, because we were at home most of the time. But like all my photographer friends, I have the urge to "press the shutter" now and again. [Robin Wong calls it "Shutter Therapy" and I think he's right.... off topic, but I think that is one reason it's gratifying to have a camera with a sweet shutter sound.]



June 2, 2020
Olympus E-M1
90mm all-manual legacy Tamron F2.8 Macro
F? - 1/2000sec - ISO200
Stacked Images (4) in Photoshop


Storm Cloud Blocks SunStorm Cloud Blocks SunOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

"Storm Cloud Blocking Sun"
August 24, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm F4 @ 40mm-equiv
F5/6 - 1/2000sec - ISO200



August 8, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Panasonic 100-300mm F4-F5.6 zoom @ 437mm-equiv
F5.1 - 1/125sec - ISO2500


Daytime Quarter MoonDaytime Quarter MoonOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

"Daytime Quarter Moon"
July 12, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 + 1.4x teleconverter @ 421mm-equiv
F4 - 1/320sec - ISO320





[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) deer fauna flower moon Sat, 14 Aug 2021 14:12:26 GMT
Redoing an image from 2009 using Topaz DeNoise and Nik Viveza This image was taken with my first interchangeable lens digital camera, in the summer of 2009.  It was an Olympus E-520 with the kit 14-42mm lens. My wife and I were visiting a Maine camp I went to as a youngster on a lake near Waterville Maine.  I took this photo while walking around one morning at sunrise, 5:20am to be exact. The image is of an old wooden cat boat with a canvas tent-like cover over the boom.

I thought the original .jpg image was great.  (At the time I was just learning about .raw files.) It is one of my favorite photos, perhaps because of the great memories I have of that camp. But in addition to the memories, I think the soft colors are very appealing.  They remind me of sherbet. And I love the minimalist composition.

I thought that with some of the post processing knowledge I have slowly acquired over the years, plus a couple of handy Lightroom plug-ins, that I could "help" to colors a little.  For this I used Viveza 2.  But I have also acquired Topaz DeNoise AI and this was wonderful in reducing the noise of this 1600 ISO image. It is amazing how bad ISO 1600 was on this old camera.


Here is what I came  up with using Nik Viveza 2 and three control points, and Topaz DeNoise AI at standard auto setting, both set up as plugins to Lightroom Classic:

"Cat Boat"
August 16, 2009
Olympus E-520
14-42mm zoom lens @ 42mm
F5.6 - 1/60sec - ISO1600
Edited in Lightroom, Viveza 2, and Topaz AI DeNoise


Below is the .jpg file I started with. Even with these low resolution images, I think the noise difference is noticeable.

This file was processed in 2009 with the original version of Lightroom.

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) catboat sailboat sunrise Sat, 12 Jun 2021 20:51:46 GMT
I'm Happy with these eight images from Acton Arboretum It's been a year since I've taken any flower photos anywhere other than in our yard.  The Acton Arboretum was open last year but reports of out-sized crowds and with me also dealing with a shoulder injury (which ultimately resulted in surgery last October) that made holding a camera tiresome at best, and I had nothing to show but images of mostly wild and random flowers around the yard.

I made things real simple last week at the Arboretum.  I took an extra battery and one camera with lens.  It was the Olympus E-M1 and the 40-150mm F2.8 zoom.  It gets pretty close to a 1:2 (35mm equivalent) macro capability from a descent enough distance that I could stay on the trails and avoid brushing up against bushes and ticks.

These eight images were all processed in Lightroom and boosted a bit with Luminar. Two were the result of photo stacking 8 and 9 images, respectively.  I've indicated this in the description.

May 14, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 45-150mm F2.8 @67mm (134mm equiv)
F5.6 - 1/160sec - ISO200


May 14, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 45-150mm F2.8 @ 130mm (260mm equiv)
F5.6 - 1/250sec - ISO500

"Narcissus" (a.k.a. daffodil)
May 14, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 45-150mm F2.8 @ 150mm (300mm equiv)
F2.8 - 1/2,500sec - ISO200

"Opening Cone Flower"
May 14, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 45-150mm F2.8 @ 150mm (300mm equiv)
F5.6 - 1/400sec - ISO200

May 14, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 45-150mm F2.8 @ 150mm (300mm equiv)
F2.8 - 1/4,000sec - ISO200


May 14, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 45-150mm F2.8 @ 106mm (212mm equiv)
F2.8 - 1/500sec - ISO200
Focus stack of 9 images in Photoshop


May 14, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 45-150mm F2.8 @ 106mm (212mm equiv)
F2.8 - 1/500sec - ISO200
Focus stack of 8 images in Photoshop


May 14, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 45-150mm F2.8 @ 100mm (200mm equiv)
F5.6 - 1/200sec - ISO200


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Wed, 19 May 2021 20:18:04 GMT
Maple Seed Helicopters It is with great relief that we picked up 3 1/2" of rain this week.  While other parts of the country are being flooded, here in New England we are in drought conditions.

During the rain I took the camera out and walked around the yard looking for any new growth that might be popping out because of the rain. It seems that we have a bumper crop this year of maple seed helicopters.  I hope that is a good thing, but was told by an arborist once that it may be a sign of stress.

Before and after, below: There was a lot of editing going on here.  I started and ended with Lightroom, but also boosted colors in Luminar using one of the filters, and reduced the noise of ISO 1000 with DeNoise AI from Topaz Labs:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA "Maple Seed Helicopters"
April 29, 2021
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm zoom @ 100mm (200mm equiv.)
F5.6 - 1/200sec - ISO1000
Edited in Lightroom, Topaz Denoise, and Luminar




[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora maple Sun, 02 May 2021 16:25:17 GMT
Macros: Discoveries viewed on the monitor but not seen in the Field One reason I love macro images is that when they are viewed on a monitor they are larger than real-life.  (Though I suppose that may not be true when viewed on a cell phone... but it certainly is true when, say, a butterfly is viewed on my ipad or computer monitor.)

Landscapes are just to opposite.  You can have three mountain peaks (I'm thinking Grand Teton National Park) in one image, but I can view them no bigger than on my 24" computer screen or perhaps a 30" print.

Because macro images are seen bigger than life on the computer screen, you often see things you did not see with the naked eye or through the camera's viewfinder. The image below of a coneflower is such an example.

Do you see the partially hidden inch worm?  That made me smile. I had no idea it was there until I viewed the image, larger than real life, on my computer screen.

Coneflower with Inch WormConeflower with Inch WormOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA "Coneflower and Inchworm"
August 3, 2019
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm F4 @ 100mm (200mm equivalent)
F4 - 1/400sec - ISO200


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Wed, 16 Dec 2020 21:47:03 GMT
Have a Very Macro (er, Merry) Christmas During these days when we are spending so little time traveling and exploring, and so much time at home, it's hard to be motivated to take photos. But here's an idea. If you collect hand-made Christmas ornaments, they become nice subjects for macro photography. 

These were taken over a year ago, with the Olympus E-M1 and either the Panasonic 40-140mm zoom F3.5-5.6 or the Olympus 60m F2.8 macro lens. About half of the photos with each.  I see that those taken with the 14-140 (which has good close up capabilities as you can see) were taken wide open at the range of 40mm (F4.7) to 125mm (F5.5) depending on the size of the ornament. Those taken with the 60mm were at F2.8 or F4.

The ornaments were placed on our wooden coffee table, sometimes covered with fabric. Our Christmas tree, with lights turned on, is in the background, sufficiently distanced to provide some blur. 

I set the camera on a tripod and attached a flash to the hot shoe.  The flash was bounced off the ceiling and wall to the left of the ornaments. I don't remember exact exposure settings, but usually I will reduce camera exposure by one stop. One stop reduction results in reducing the light by half.  This of course would darken the photo if the flash were turned off. I then set the flash on manual mode, and use whatever fraction of full power (1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, ... 1/250) is needed to bring up the exposure and get it right. In this way I am balancing ambient light and flash light by about 50/50.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Holiday VikingsHoliday Vikings

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) macro Sat, 12 Dec 2020 20:31:04 GMT
Two Seascapes from Maine My wife and I really missed vacationing in Maine this summer.  Due to the pandemic, it just didn't work out for us.  

So these two "seascapes" were from the summer before last. The body of water is Penobscot Bay, Maine. Both are sunrise photos.

I'm posting them here today because they came to mind this week as I searched my Lightroom catalog for several digital images to submit to my photoclub for the monthly "salon" (a fancy word for competition, though I think it's healthier to think of it as an opportunity to get feedback from a skilled and experienced (usually) judge).

These were submitted to the club for the category of "scapes".


Schooner at DawnSchooner at DawnOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA "Schooner at Dawn"
July 13, 2019
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm F4 PRO zoom @17mm (35mm equivalent)
F4 - 1/30sec - ISO400
Edited in Lightroom CC and Photoshop


Waiting for the SunriseWaiting for the SunriseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA "Waiting for the Sunrise"
October 3, 2019
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm PRO zoom @ 14mm (28mm equivalent)
F4 - 1/40sec - ISO800
Edited in Lightroom CC and Photoshop

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) maine seascape sunrise Wed, 09 Dec 2020 21:09:22 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: #23: Frosty Oak Leaf Saturday night was cold, and gave us our first real frost of the season. The result was a rather beautiful Sunday morning of looking out over frosted grass and leaves, with the air temperature at 25F. But as the sun rose above the trees, the ground warmed and the leaves rapidly turning wet. Before everything melted I grabbed my camera and looked around for a decent composition in the areas still in the shade.

I wasn't too excited about any of the photos I took. The oak leaves and even the maple leaves were all brown, and I was hoping for something more colorful.  (Weeks earlier the red maples had dropped their leaves and they had already been gathered and dismissed to the woods, so there were no more colorful leaves on the ground.)

But a little with the Lightroom brush tool had me smiling.  Basically I used the brush to reduce the exposure on everything surrounding the hero oak leaf that is the main subject.  Because of the white outline of frost on the edges, by darkening the surrounding leaves I was able to make the subject leaf "pop".  This also kept the background from being (too) distracting.


After cropping and processing in Lightroom:

"Frost around the Edges"
November 15, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro
F5.6 - 1/125sec - ISO320
Processed in Lightroom Classic


Before Cropping and Editing:

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) fall flora leaf oak Mon, 16 Nov 2020 20:52:54 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photgraphy: #22: Dragonfly Backyard dragonflies are easy to capture with a photo.  In our yard they favor the dried up stalks of daylily blossoms, and they will sit there resting for minutes on end.

As I mentioned in the prior post, we actually never see daylily blossoms, though we have plenty of planted bulbs.  Our problem comes from the deer, all of them having created a worn highway through our yard.  And it's as if our property serves as a rest area where they can stop to snack on our bushes and planting, during their daily travels along this highway. With the daylilies, they eat the bud just before it is about to blossom, and they leave everything else; as if they know that by leaving the greenery they will have a supply of blossoms available to them next season.

The photo below is a fairly typical photo.  

Dragonflies are very compliant, so you can usually get quite close.  They will often rest like this for many minutes before flying off.

In this case I did not get too close, perhaps 3' away. That is because I was experimenting with a newly acquired (but used) 2x teleconverter for the 40-150mm F2.8. I was all the way zoomed in at 300mm (600mm equivalent).  Image stabilization worked great because I shot this hand-held with 10 stacked images, each image at 1/100 sec. shutter speed. 


August 1, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 40-150 F2.8 plus MC-20 (2x teleconverter) @ 300mm (600mm equivalent)
F8 - 1/100sec - ISO800
10 images focus stacked


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) dragonfly fauna Sun, 08 Nov 2020 19:03:04 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: #21: Water Droplets and Crane Fly and Butterfly Despite the title, the actual common theme in these four photos is the greenery.  These are the leaves (fronds?) of a bed of daylilies. Daylilies provide a great way to collect water droplets and insects.  The leaves are very waxy and water droplets from an overnight rainfall can linger all the next day.  

Daylilies are pretty too, but unfortunately all they have been able to collect in recent years are deer, and all the buds are eaten before they blossom.

Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro
F5.6 - 1/125sec - ISO500
21 images focus stacked 


Olympus E-M1
Tamron 90mm F2.8 Macro with adapter
F? - 1/1250sec - ISO500 

This may look like a moth, but note the proboscis for sucking nectar.
Moths do not have proboscuses.


Sony A6500
Tamron manual focus 90mm F2.8 Macro 
F? - 1/300sec - ISO250
Note the slightly redder color cast coming from the Sony A6500,
compared with the prior image of the same butterfly,
photographed with the Olympus E-M1

Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro
F5.6 - 1/125sec - ISO250
21 images focus stacked

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) fauna flora Tue, 03 Nov 2020 21:44:35 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: #20: Snowiest October on Record Yesterday Boston received 3.5" of snow.  That's a record for October, going back to the beginning of when records were kept.  That was 1872.

According to our local meteorologist Gary Fischer (CBS Local affiliate), records show that in years when a measurable October snowfall was received, the winter snowfall that followed was "lackluster". Not good news for we skiers.

Another interesting fact is that in 2020 we had the fewest days between snowfalls, with .7" on April 18 and 3.5" on October 30.  Because both those days had below freezing temperatures this also means we had the shortest growing season on record, at 193 days.

When I got close to this maple while walking in the yard yesterday, I imagined it asking me, "Hey Peter. What season is it?" That tree must be very confused: green summer leaves, yellow fall leaves, white winter snow.

"What season is it?
October 30, 2020
Sony A6500 
Sony 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 @ 27mm (40mm equivalent)
F4 - 1/60sec - ISO100
Lightroom Classic

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora maple Sat, 31 Oct 2020 17:54:51 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: #19: "October Fern" Many of our ferns have crumbled into dust as the fall has progressed, yet a few (different variety?) are working hard to hold onto their chlorophyll.

I liked the contrast between this fern and the brown oak and maple leaves that are covering the ground. The fern was bent over and about one foot above the leaf-covered background, though it does look like it is actually lying on the ground. Perhaps that is because so much of the scene is in focus.

I took this photo from directly above.  Because of the bend in the fern I focus stacked four images to get the entire fern in focus, the middle being closest to the lens and the bottom and top being farthest. Unfortunately, the stacking did bring the brown leaves into sharper focus than I wanted. But all-in-all I was pleased.

"October Fern"
October 27, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro
F5.6 - 1/30sec - ISO200
4 images focus stacked in Photoshop
Processed in Lightroom Classic

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) fall flora Fri, 30 Oct 2020 21:55:54 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: #18: Wabi-Sabi Oak Leaf Until a year ago I had never heard of wabi-sabi*, but it was chosen by my photoclub as one of our monthly assignments last year. A the time I came up with a photo of a dying fern, all brown and shriveled, lying on top of several living green ferns. I liked the composition as well as the detail seen in the brown blades. I definitely liked the assignment.

What I have posted here today is another wabi-sabi composition. It's a single oak leaf resting on two split oak billets. One doesn't ordinarily think of a fall oak leaf as gorgeous.  Perhaps that's because they lack color compared with maples, and are usually all brown.  And, to be honest, our lawn all covered (as we speak) with brown oak leaves is not pretty at all.

But having said that, there is one small oak sapling on our property that has this year put out these (relatively?) colorful leaves.  The reds and oranges and browns are subtle, but when viewed closely I just found it all so beautiful.  

*wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transcience and imperfection.  The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty in nature that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

"Wabi-Sabi Oak Leaf"
October 24, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro
F8 - 1/125sec - ISO1000
Edited in Lightroom, Nik Viveza, and Skylum Luminar

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) fall flora leaf Tue, 27 Oct 2020 18:35:46 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: #17: Fall Ferns When sitting outside and enjoying our yard, I spent the summer looking at this clump of ferns surrounding the double trunk of a hemlock.  Back then, the ferns were of course green. As they changed color to yellow the light seemed to make them "pop" against the green and darker background.

I further darkened and softened the background by surrounding the ferns with an oval, using the radial tool in Lightroom.  Then I darkened and softened (decreased sharpening and texture, and increased noise reduction) the area outside of the oval, to draw attention to the main subject.

Today, a week after I took this photo, the ferns are brown and shriveled up, having been beaten down by the season and the rain. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer to grab my camera and take a shot.

October 3, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm @ 100mm (200mm equivalent)
F5.6 - 1/200sec - ISO1000

Given another chance, I think I'd use F4 and 1/100sec.  This would
allow me to decrease the ISO to about 250. 
On the other hand ISO 1000 is not particularly objectionable to me.


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora Mon, 12 Oct 2020 00:10:46 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: #16: “Broomrape” flower – What a strange and off-putting name “Broomrape” – What a strange and off-putting name for this small group of flowers on the edge of our gravel driveway. I have never seen these before or anywhere else.  They are small flowers.  The stems are about 4" long. 

I was hoping it would turn out to be a rare and sought-after plant, only to find with a bit of research that it is considered a “weed pest” and a “parasite plant”!

It has no chlorophyll-producing leaves. It seems this means that it is getting its energy from a host plant. This is apparently done through the root system, with the broomrape’s modified roots penetrating the host plant. (FWIW, the host plant was not obvious or discernible, but these were growing at the edge of our bed of day lilies that abuts our gravel driveway.)

Like many of the flowers I have been posting I used in-camera focus stacking and photoshop to combine (into one) a series of identically composed images focused at different points (front to back) on the flowers. In this case I used 20 images to get everything sharp from front to back. Photoshop combined them all in one .tiff image which I then further processed in Lightroom Classic.

May 28, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro (120mm equivalent)
F4 - 1/400sec - ISO200
20 focus bracketed images stacked in Photoshop
and further processed in Lightroom Classic

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Mon, 07 Sep 2020 20:08:47 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: 15: Garlic Chive Flowers Not much of a story here.  But I liked the pretty flowers.

Laurie bought some seedlings in the spring to create a small garden of herbs on our deck.  She grew a few flowers on the deck too, and the Cosmos I featured in my prior post created some beautiful pink blossoms.  

What you see here are the flowers of a “garlic chive” plant. We are not sure what parts of the plant we will eat, but we understand that the entire plant is edible.  For example, both the stalk and leaves of this mild garlic flavored vegetable can be used as one would use onions, chives, or green onions. Regardless of what we will include in recipes, the flowers are pretty and I thought nice enough to photograph.

Here I stood on a stool because the stalk is about 3’ high, and I stacked 10 images to get (most) everything in focus. The background is blurred significantly but you can still make out the clay pot that holds this plant.


"Garlic Chive Flowers"
September 1, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Panasonic 30mm F2.8 Macro (60mm equivalent)
F2.8 - 1/100sec - ISO200
10 focus bracketed images aligned and combined in Photoshop
Additional processing in Lightroom Classic


For size and perspective 



[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Fri, 04 Sep 2020 20:46:49 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: 14: Cosmos Blossom with one Drop of Water Remaining I snapped this blossom on our deck after the rain stopped Saturday, but before the last drop of water fell from the petals. The colors of this flower are so rich, amd this is helped by the film of water over the petals. 

Further down is a "before and after" comparison to show the result of applying a vignette surrounding the flower. I think it really makes the blossom pop. But as always, YMMV.

August 29, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm F4 @ 100mm (200mm equivalent)
F4 - 1/200sec - ISO640
Processed in Lightroom Classic



Before and After Processing

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) cosmos flora flower Tue, 01 Sep 2020 22:00:00 GMT
Vignettes are a Nice Technique in Flower Photography. Here's and example A great use for a vignette is with flower photography.  It is a very effective way to focus attention on the flower(s) and to keep the viewer's eyes from migrating to the background, especially if the background is busy, in focus, and/or brightly exposed.

Applying a vignette is part of my workflow for flowers.  I will usually use the radial tool in Lightroom to darken the area around the flower, all the way to the edges and corners.  I will also back off on the sliders for sharpness, texture, and noise control, in an effort to soften the background.

If the vignette bleeds over onto the flower (it usually does), I will use the brush tool and the "erase" mode for the brush to erase the vignette effect from the outer edges of the flower, where the bleeding takes place.  This allows me to bring the vignette right up to the flower without actually affecting the flower itself.

As a final touch, I incorporated the brush tool again.  This time I set it at something like -.5 on the exposure slider to provide darkening by one-half stop wherever I applied the brush. I used this to brush over the lighter areas in the background so they are not distracting, but I didn't darken them fully as I wanted the flower to be viewed in the context of its environment.  In this case it meant darkening the brightest green areas.


The image above is an example from yesterday. This is the final version, after processing in Photoshop and Lightroom Classic. It's a hydrangea that has begun turning pink. This is not a technically good picture. It is not worth keeping, except for illustration purposes. I used focus stacking to combine 10 images. But there was some breeze, which moved the flower a bit in each subsequent frame. This created a nightmare for photoshop to align the images. If you look closely you will see some ghosting of edges (no you do not have double vision) where photoshop couldn't align the edges of some of the petals. Aside from that, to get to this final image I used the workflow suggestions outlined above.


Some of the processing steps

There's plenty of room to crop to taste
I find the leaves distracting. YMMV


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Vignette applied to darken and soften the areas outside of the flower


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Final cropping. Tighter and with a 5:4 aspect ratio.
Applied a brush to the brighter green areas to darken and further soften those areas.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Same as the image above this one, except that Content Aware in
Photoshop was used to eliminate a couple of blown out (white, no detail) areas.

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower technique Sun, 30 Aug 2020 18:30:00 GMT
I'm Using a Vignette more and more when Processing Images What I have below is a cell phone photo I took the other day at a local farm stand, I was picking up peaches for my wife who was planning to make a peach crisp.  (I posted the recipe on our cooking blog, here:

With regard to "vignetting" I've included here a screen shot showing the "before and after", so you can compare. It's subtle but I think it improves things. 

Because I wanted to emphasize the tables full of peaches, I used the Lightroom "brush" tool to darken the corners and edges of the photo and I brought this in toward the table. You can especially see the result in the gravel surface on the left, and the road and cardboard boxes on the right. I did not use the "auto mask" feature. I think of it as vignetting because I am darkening the outer areas of the photo... but this process certainly also fits the definition of dodging and burning.



I most often use the "radial" tool for making a circular or oval or oblong vignette, but in this case the brush tool let me darken a more defined (and not circular) area.  I darkened the areas outside the table by about .5 stops. 

That was all I had planned to do with the image before posting it on our cooking blog.  But then I thought: why not brighten the peaches a bit.  So I used the brush tool again to brush over the peaches, and I added about .5 stops of exposure. I did use the "auto mask" feature so that the brush would only apply a mask to the color of the peaches.

Vignettes are a great way to focus attention to the main subject of the photo. By darkening areas outside the main subject, it prevents (reduces) those areas from being a distraction.


"Springdell Farm Peaches"
August 25, 2020
iPhone 5S
4.15mm F2.2 lens (about 28-30mm equivalent)
F2.2 - 1/120sec - ISO32


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) technique Fri, 28 Aug 2020 04:45:00 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography #14: The Edge of the Storm Afternoon thunderstorms have been a bit frightening (i.e. noisy) the last few days.

We dodged a bullet yesterday as I watched this cloud from our yard.  It stayed to the south of us, and I heard from a friend in the neighboring town that she'd had a torrential downpour... while we had barely a drop.  

The cloud itself was beautiful, especially framed by a bright blue sky.  But I thought the shafts of light seen here were especially awesome... enough for me to run into the house and grab my camera.



"Edge of the Storm"
August 24, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm F4 zoom
F5.6 - 1/2000sec - ISO200
Raw file ​​​processed in Lightroom and Luminar



[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) clouds weather Wed, 26 Aug 2020 19:01:52 GMT
Stay-at-Home Photography: 13: Garden Geranium Our little geranium plants have been blooming all summer.  I wish we had more of them. 

The two blossoms in this photo are at different maturities, though I doubt I appreciated this until I viewed the image closer on my computer monitor:

On the right, the five-fingered stigma (this is the female part of the flower and it is in the very center of the blossom) is closed with the tips of the fingers touching each other, and the stamens (the male part of the plant) that surround the stigma have not yet opened to release pollen.

Compare this with the blossom on the left, where the five fingers have opened and look like a starfish. At this time the stigma is said to be "receptive" (to pollination). You will also notice that the pollen has begun to be released from the stamens... it's the powdery yellow substance which is likely to be carried from blossom to blossom by bees.

For this image I (likely) set the Panasonic GX80/85 for 10 focus bracket shots, though I see that I only used six. I'm guessing that the others were out of focus. I combined the six raw images in Photoshop which automatically aligned and stacked the images into 1 tiff file. I then brought the tiff file into Lightroom where I made some adjustments using the basic panel, in particular pulling back the highlights and opening the shadows. I also used the radial tool to create a vignette to darken the edges and corners of the image.

After stacking and processing

garden geraniumgarden geranium

"Garden Geranium"
June 6, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro (120mm equivalent)
F3.2 - 1/400sec - ISO800
(1/200sec at ISO400 would have been a better choice)
Stacked in Photoshop and further edited in Lightroom Classic



[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Mon, 24 Aug 2020 19:45:00 GMT
Stay-at-Home Photography: 12: Spirea On the line between our property and our neighbor is a beautiful Spirea bush.  I'd say it's 10 feet in diameter and 8 feet tall.  The flowers are small and white and easy to ignore.  But like most macro photos, when looking at the images on a computer screen or in print, the details are incredible. Most of us never see this.

For this image I set the Panasonic GX80/85 for 10 focus bracket shots.  My intention is usually to use the largest aperture which is F2.8 on this 60mm Olympus macro lens.  But I see somehow I nudged it to F3.2.  I combined the raw images in Photoshop which automatically aligned and stacked the 10 images into 1 tiff file.

Not much was done to tweak the resulting single tiff file.  I did increase the exposure slider in Lightroom by about one stop, and I further brightened the whites by moving the highlights slider to +30. The texture slider was moved to +20. I left sharpening at default

I used the radial tool to provide a darkened vignette of the areas (the green background mostly) outside the blossoms. 


After stacking and processing


May 23, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro (120mm equivalent)
F3.2 - 1/640sec - AutoISO400
Stacked in Photoshop and further edited in Lightroom Classic



[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Sat, 22 Aug 2020 19:45:00 GMT
Stay-at-Home Photography: 11: Perfect Dandelion Many of us are constantly battling with dandelions, trying to keep them out of our lawns. They are weeds and we don't like seeing their seeds flying across the lawn attached to little parachutes ready to drop down anywhere on the grass and start things afresh. Nevertheless when examined closely I find them to be things of beauty. And oh so intricate.

With this one, I went for maximum sharpness.  I set the aperture wide open at F2.8 to get a blurred background, and focus bracketed 10 raw images.  I combined the images in Photoshop which automatically aligned and stacked the 10 images into 1 tiff file.

All the images as well as the tiff file (see the "before" image at the bottom of this post) were washed out giving what appeared to be a nearly sold yellow flower with no depth nor any nooks and crannies. The histogram showed that the yellow channel was nearly blown out.

After stacking in Photoshop, and with a little work in Lightroom, I was able to bring out details. The sliders that received major use were those of contrast, texture, and dehaze. Not so obvious was the use of vignetting to darken the areas around the blossom. I used the radial tool for that.


After stacking and processing

"Perfect Dandelion"
May 17, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro (120mm equivalent)
F2.8 - 1/400sec - AutoISO200
Stacked in Photoshop and further edited in Lightroom Classic


After stacking but before cropping and processing in Lightroom

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower Thu, 20 Aug 2020 22:30:00 GMT
Stay-at-Home Photography: 10: Mini Oak Leaf I plucked this off a tiny oak sapling.  It couldn't have measured longer than one inch.  Held up to the light (with the green of bushes blurred in the background), I loved the beautiful red edges and rim lighting that resulted from backlighting the leaf. I do notice that one result of shooting wide open at F2.8 is that some of the little pointy tips, and a couple of the other areas, are out of focus due to the narrow depth of field. I wish I'd tried focus stacking.

"Little Oak Leaf"
May 17, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85

Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro (120mm equivalent)
F2.8 - 1/400sec - AutoISO200
Edited in Lightroom


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora leaf oak Tue, 18 Aug 2020 22:00:00 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: 9: Orange and Green Even before I saw a few of these downed leaves in the yard yesterday, I was saying it felt like fall.  High temperatures reached just 70F at 3pm, with just a touch of humidity.  It was overcast with a 10mph breeze out of the northeast.  I'm thinking it was the northeast breeze that made it feel like fall.

What was interesting to me is that I found a dozen or so of these leaves in about a 10 foot area, but was unable to spot the tree (bush?) from which they came.  All the leaves I could see in the bushes and trees surrounding our property were green.  And none of them were shaped like these.  Hmm.

Below are the before and after shots. Obviously I took some liberties, and all adjustments were completed in Lightroom Classic. I used the clone brush to eliminate some of the brown spots and other "imperfections" in the green leaf blades. And I used a vignette to darken the areas around the orange leaf. I think it improved the composition by eliminating a distraction, but your mileage may vary.







"Orange and Green"
August 15, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 12-100mm @ 100mm (200mm equivalent)
F4 - 1/200sec - AutoISO200


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) fall flora leaf orange Sun, 16 Aug 2020 19:24:26 GMT
Stay-at-Home Photography: 8: Blueberry Blossoms with Stacking It's hard to believe that I stacking 23 images to create this one image.  All images were stacked automatically in Photoshop and then processed further in Lightrooom.  Nevertheless the depth of field is still rather meager.  But I do like that the "skirts" on five of the blueberry flowers are sharp, and still the background is blurred out nicely.

"Blueberry Blossoms"
May 17, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro
F4 - 1/500sec - AutoISO400
23 stacked images taken hand held using in-camera focus bracketing.
Aligned and combined in Photoshop.  Further processing in Lightroom.

[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora Thu, 13 Aug 2020 21:15:00 GMT
Stay-at-Home Photography: 7: Our Fawn is getting Big A little background. My wife and I enjoy our first cup of coffee each morning while sitting outside, usually starting at 5:30am. It has only been since the beginning of the pandemic that we have done this, but under the circumstances it just feels "healthy" when we spend more time outdoors.  The enjoyment of our yard has been greatly enhanced by the arrangement we have with Mosquito Squad to come every few weeks to spray for mosquitos and ticks.  This has made our time outside so much more enjoyable.  I think the grand total of the mosquitoes that have bothered me this summer so far is three!

So anyway, for both of these images I was already outside enjoying the day when a fawn and doe emerged from the woods and began foraging along the edge of the lawn. I am not happy to say that deer seem to love eating anything that we have planted.

The first image below was taken July 13 and the second one was taken less than one month later, on August 8. Marks on the doe tell me that it is the same doe on both dates, so I believe this is the same fawn. The fawn is almost the size of the doe. 

July 13, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 + MC14 teleconverter
210mm - F5.6 - 1/15sec - AutoISO 400
I clearly got luck with this photo. At 1/15 sec this is photographer error.
1/125 or faster would have been more appropriate
though ISO would have been very high (3200).



August 8, 2020 (almost four weeks later)
Olympus E-M1
Panasonic 100-300mm F4-F5.6
218mm - F5.1 - 1/125sec - AutoISO 2500


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) deer fauna Tue, 11 Aug 2020 19:45:00 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: 6: "Maple Tree 'Helicopters'" Photographed in May, my notes tell me that this set of helicopters was lying on our driveway after a windy night, with the stem and branch attached.  I held it up with my left hand so it was backlit and positioned against a forest background.  And I took the photo with the camera held in my right hand.

I especially like the color combination of the pink/red/orange winged seeds against the blurred green of the forest in the background.

"Maple 'Helicopters"
May 10, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro
F2.8 - 1/125sec - AutoISO 500
Lightroom Processed. Note purposeful vignetting.


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora maple Sun, 09 Aug 2020 19:15:00 GMT
"The Morning After" Two days ago Hurricane Isaias came through New England (by then a "mere" tropical storm).  Where we live it was pretty much a non-event.  Wind gusts were around 50mph. The next morning there were many tree branches down in the yard, but no tree limbs, and thankfully no trees had fallen. We had also been lucky not to have lost electicity.  About 250,000 in Massachusetts had.  And even today, two days later, 100,000 are still in the dark.

But the morning after the storm was beautiful. I took my morning walk a bit earlier than usual. 45 minutes on the track of the local high school is my usual walking route.  This is a safe place to use earpods and listen to podcasts on my old iPhone 5s, which is also the camera I had with me at 6:45am when I was given this beautiful light.  

I have always enjoyed the blue color reproduced by my iPhone, and this image is no exception.  

 "The Morning After"
August 5, 2020 at 6:45am
iPhone 5S @ 4.15mm (about 28mm equivalent)
F2.2 - 1/2300sec - ISO32
I used the pano mode so I could caputure the light on the stadium as well
as to match the track with the clouds in the sky.


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) iphone Fri, 07 Aug 2020 20:10:39 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: 5: Backlit Maple Leaf This photo of a backlit maple leaf was taken as the sun was getting low, about 5:30pm in May. I find orange against green makes a great color combo.  Very pleasing and complementary. I love the simplicity of just the two colors, and I find the highlighting around the edges to be appealing.


"Backlit Maple Leaf"
May 17, 2020
Olympus E-M1
Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 @ 142mm


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora leaf maple Thu, 06 Aug 2020 20:15:00 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: 4: Baby Maples Leaves One of the nice things about plants, flowers, and trees in the spring is the new growth.  Walking around the backyard in May I was able to find these sets of tiny maple leaves. So cute! And so new and fresh, in perfectly healthy condition.


"New Growth Maple Leaves"
May 8, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm macro
F5.6 - 1/125sec -  ISO1600


"New Maple Leaf Cluster"
May 25, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm macro
F4 - 1/320 -  ISO400


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora leaf maple Tue, 04 Aug 2020 18:29:41 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photography: 3: Phlox A fresh blossom along the rock wall surrounding our house, using the small and lightweight package of a Panasonic GX80/85 with the Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro. It is always nice to photograph a flower before the bugs eat holes in the blossom.

[It is my experience that this is usually done from the underside where the bug is protected from view.  I think I remember from high school biology that there is more moisture on the underside of leaves (transporation?) so maybe the same is true of the blossom.... But don't quote me on that.]

"Phlox on the Rocks"
May 7, 2020
Panasonic GX80/85
Olympus 60mm F2.8 Macro
F4 - 1/1250sec - ISO200
9:30am light was a bit harsh, but I wanted to capture this fresh blossom before the insects found it.


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower phlox Mon, 20 Jul 2020 21:52:26 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photos: 2: Ferns One of the few things that the deer in our yard seem not to enjoy is our ferns. I am pleased that we have several beds of native variety ferns.  It is so interesting in the spring to watch them grow out of the earth and begin to unfold their fronds.  There are several below, all taken over a one week span, April to April.

My favorite is the first one, which I did feature on Instagram.  I like to composition and the detail.

"Unfolding Fern"
Olympus 40-150mm zoom at 150mm (300mm equivalent)
F2.8 - 1/800sec - ISO200
17 images stacked

I'm not sure why this one particular fern is brown while all the rest
are green.  But no question that it is healthy.



"Family Sticking Together" 
Is it just me? Or do you see it too?
Olympus 12-100 @ 92mm (184mm equivalent)
F4 - 1/250sec - ISO200

Single image, no stacking


[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) fern Mon, 20 Jul 2020 21:35:55 GMT
Stay-at-Home Backyard Photos: 1: Rhododendron It's now been three months with our state's "stay at home" and "safer at home" rules in play. My wife and I have done just that - stayed safe at home. Today is June 14 and the last time I filled my car with gas was March 10.  And except for a brief visit to the dermatologist, I have yet to be in a building other than our house, since March 14.

I am able to work from home, though I do miss the people at the office.  My wife and I feel so fortunate to have a home with privacy, surrounded by wetlands and woods, and we feel grateful to have an income and food on the table.

Our children are adults and each continue to have their jobs, though there can be the expected frustration for them of teaching their children (our grandchildren) at home.  All are healthy at this time, though I do especially worry about my younger son who is a firefighter and paramedic in Cambridge, MA. Bless his heart, he has been doing the grocery shopping for us; though recently we have added Whole Foods delivery via Amazon Prime and curb-side pickup at a local grocery chain store. I also found Amazon Pantry. Seems to me that packages from Amazon are being delivered nearly daily!

Being at home, I found myself after the snow was gone in late April, grabbing my camera and walking around the yard looking for things to photograph. Eventually (April 26) I found my first subject: a rhododendron with a few early buds.

12-100 Olympus zoom at 100mm (200mm equiv)
I wish I'd used F8 get the two buds in the lower left (perhaps) in focus.
A lot of what I will post for flowers will be the result of focus stacking.
Keeping at F4, stacking of perhaps 5 images might have done the trick here,
while keeping the background out of focus

Nature is amazing.  Spring of course is a great time to see new life "springing" up all around.  We lack cultivated flowering plants at home, except some irises and rhodondrons. The deer have made sure that everything else has disappeared. But I have been able to find a number of wild plants growing and blooming, and even find weeds of interest and beauty. I have photographed a few little creatures as well.

I have posted a number of backyard photos on Instagram and Facebook. Nevertheless, I thought I would go back through them and place a number of them (and some others) on this blog, perhaps with a bit of explanation. Anyway, it is a project I now have time for.



[email protected] (Peter Frailey Photography) flora flower rhododendron rhododendron buds Sun, 14 Jun 2020 21:31:05 GMT