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Category : Photos of the Week

14 Feb 2016

Chasing the Cedar Waxwing

Greetings from southwest Florida, and “Happy Valentine’s Day”
This week’s images are from this past weekend where I was stopping by a local mall to pick up a few things. I noticed about 200-300 cedar waxwings in large flocks swarming the local holly trees to eat the ripe berries they had on them. It just so happened that I had my camera with me in the back of the car, so it became a chase following them around the parking lot as they raced from one tree to the other. Being so focused on feeding and traffic coming and going, they very rarely paid any attention to me standing outside the car photographing them. Once they ate all the berries on one particular tree, it was off to the next, sometimes stopping in some nearby pine trees to rest until they were ready to feed again. I have always liked this unique little bird, with its black mask and red tip on its wings looking like they were dipped in wax, thus giving them the name Cedar Waxwing.
I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.
Have a blessed week.
Mike
P.S. There are still a few spots left in my macro workshop next weekend at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Please see the link below on how to sign up. This will be the last chance to participate in this type workshop in Southwest Florida until next spring. Hunt’s Photo and Video is also offering special discounts on all macro flash accessories for this workshop and through the St Augustine Birding and Photo Fest April 29th and 30th. So don’t miss out on these great savings from Hunt’s Photo and Video they are my choice for all my Camera supplies.   Cedar Waxwing in pine tree email copy Cedar Waxwing posing email copy Cedar Waxwings email copy
07 Feb 2016

Outrageous Frogs

Greetings from southwest Florida,

This week’s images were taken at home today. I have been gearing up for my upcoming macro photography workshops and this past week I have added several new and outrageous colorful dart frogs, like the Nicaraguan Blue Jeans dart frog.  Also added is the Super Tiger Leg tree frog with his unique banding on the inside of his legs. Many of these workshops are already sold out, but there are still a few openings in my 1/2 day workshop coming up on Saturday, Feb 20th at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples Florida. If you are interested in this workshop, you can just click on the link below and register there on line. This will be the last one of these types of workshops in the area for a while, so please sign up by this Thursday if you would like to participate. If you need equipment, one thing that I am offering now is the use of 6 Light Benders by Expo Imaging, and Hunts Photo that I can loan out to use with your speed light flash in case you do not have a ring flash, and they work great!!
If you miss this workshop, I will be back at the St Augustine Birding and Photo festival in late April holding two days of macro workshops there and the link for that is also below. But for all of you that have signed up for my upcoming macro workshops, and the camera clubs that are going to host similar events, I say Thank You!! We are going to have a blast.
I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.
Have a blessed week.
Mike
(All images below were shot with the Canon 5D Mark III with the 50mm macro lens with ring flash.)
Nicaragua Blue Jean Pulilio Dart Frog email copy Nicaragua Blue Jean Pumilo email copy Painted Mantella dart frog email copy Super Blue Dart frog email copy
01 Feb 2016

Portraits from the Space Coast

Greetings from southwest Florida,

This week’s images are a conclusion from our trip to the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. As I mentioned last week, Jonathan Wood, a bird of prey expert / falconer brought his “Raptor Project” to this event and in between my macro workshops I had the chance to photograph many of his beautiful birds. Since his program was an indoor event, it made me decide to shoot portraits and close ups to give a more natural look to the photo. All of these images were shot with the Canon 7D Mark II and the new 100-400 telephoto lens at a distance of about 3-4 feet hand held at ISO 3200. Also by making sure that the background was greater than ten or more feet away and shooting at an F stop of 5.6, I was able to totally blur out the background. These are just a few tips for shooting indoors and showing the results of this technique.

I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.

Have a blessed week.
MikeBarn Owl email copy

Peregrin email copy

Eagle Owl email copy

24 Jan 2016

“Raptors at the Space Coast” 1/24/16

Greetings from southwest Florida,

This week’s images are from Titusville, Florida. This past week, I hosted six macro photography workshops in Titusville Florida, at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife festival. Michele & I had a great time and met a lot of wonderful people, including Jonathan Wood and his wonderful birds of prey. Being an active falconer myself for over 40 years it was like taking a trip down memory lane. Jonathan, also a falconer and active bird of prey speaker, led multiple days of seminars to a packed house every day. We hit it off right away and have become good friends. In between my macro seminars, I had the chance to photograph some of his beautiful birds and was able to get a quick photo of me with one of the most majestic birds of prey in the falconer’s arena: the Gyr falcon. This magnificent bird represents Falconry as the sport of kings. Many thanks to all those who attended my macro photography seminars and I hope you enjoyed this small but beautiful world. It’s off to St Augustine next, for the St Augustine Birding and Photo fest in late April for another round of exciting macro photography. I hope to see some of you there.

Have a blessed week.
MikeGyrfalcon email copy

Mike with Gyr Falcon

Eagle Owl email copy

Snowy Owl email copy

17 Jan 2016

“More Macro” 01/17/16

Greetings from southwest Florida,

This week’s images are from today when my good friend Adam Jones was over and we spent the afternoon photographing some of the new critters that I bought recently for my upcoming workshops. These will be just some of the new subjects that I will have at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife festival this coming week in Titusville Florida. It was great to have Adam back in town and he gave a fabulous presentation on Saturday for the DPI-SIG Camera Club sponsored by Canon here in Naples. This is the club that I belong to, and we had a great turnout of over 200 people in attendance from several different camera clubs, but mostly from DPI-SIG. This past week I also had the privilege to speak at the Del Ray Beach Camera Club on the East coast and met a lot of great photographers. I think that is one of the things that I enjoy most about photography. It is meeting other people who share the same passion to be the best they can be.

I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.

Have a blessed week.
MikePanther GeckoCollard lizard email copyCondro Python email copy

10 Jan 2016

“Macro at the Space Coast” 01/10/16

Panther GeckoBaby Condro Python email copyRed Eyed tree frog email copyGreetings from southwest Florida,

This week’s images are from this weekend taken at home as I get ready to take my “macro menagerie on a road trip to the Florida Space Coast Birding and Wildlife festival. Below are just a few of the types of photos you will be able to get in my macro workshops. The Red Eyed Tree frog is always a hit, and the most photographed. But there will be many other subjects like this baby Green Tree python, which starts out either red or yellow and changes to green as it becomes an adult. I have added a lot of new colorful subjects this year and it is sure to be a workshop you don’t want to miss. I hope to see you there, and please tell your friends to stop by and say hi at the vendor fair where I will have a booth along with some of these animals on display.
I am also very excited to let you know that I have launched my brand new web site this weekend. Please check it out and let me know how you like it. It has all the same galleries as before, but offers much more. It has the listings of all my macro workshops and photo tours for the first part of 2016 with more to be added in the days ahead. www.mikematthewsphotography.com
I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.
Have a blessed week.
Mike
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival
03 Jan 2016

“2016 Macro Series” 01/03/15

Greetings from southwest Florida, and Happy New Year!!

This week’s images are from this weekend taken here at home. As I begin to gear up for a very busy macro photography schedule in 2016, I recently added some new subjects that have I have never been able to offer before. The Amazon Milk frog is one these and is rarely available for purchase. I will have 2 of them for my upcoming macro workshops starting in just a couple of weeks. I have also added many other unique critters like the Tomato frog from Madagascar, and new colorful dart frogs from South America. This will be a one of a kind macro workshop in 2016. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing some of the other new animals that I will have recently purchased for these workshops making it the best year ever.
One really exciting event that is coming up this month is the Florida Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville Fl. that will run from Jan. 20th25th. I will be leading two macro workshops a day starting on the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.  At this event, I will have all of these new exciting animals, plus I will also be there with the regular Red Eyed tree frogs, blue tongue skink, and much more. So please forward this information on to your friends, and or local camera clubs and let them know about this great event. For those of you who are interested in learning more about all of my workshops in 2016 please email me, or call me for more details.
I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.

Amazon Milk Frog email copy copy

8T4A8665-2 copy

Patricia Dart Frog

Painted Mantella Dart Frog

Amazon Milg Frog

27 Dec 2015

“Back Home Again…” 12/27/15

Greetings from southwest Florida,

This week’s images are from our hometown in Louisville Ky. We were home last week for Christmas, and had a wonderful time visiting family and friends. The weather was extremely mild, so it was enjoyable to get out into the woods with my sons for a little hunting, and to do some photography. While we were there, my brother Brad and I took some time to visit “The Parklands”. This is a wonderful success story for Louisville, where the city bought up hundreds of acres that bordered Floyd’s Fork Creek that meanders through the outskirts of town. There are hundreds of acres of native plantings, and many wildflower meadows. Although it was winter, there were still some photo ops to be had within the winter landscape. Below are a few of the images I was able to take while we were there.
We are now back in Florida, and I am looking forward to many macro and birding workshops ahead.
I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.
Have a blessed week.
Mike

Foxtail grass email copy

Canadian Goose email copy

The Parklands email copy

20 Dec 2015

“The Everglades” 12/20/15

Greetings from southwest Florida,
This week’s images are the conclusion of our three day trip to the southeast coast of Florida in the southern part of the Everglades. One of our favorite trails was the Gumbo Limbo trail where there are several types of habitats coming together in one location. The canal that borders the sawgrass and mangrove flats is full of wading birds and all types of wildlife. To me, the Purple Gallinule is one of the most interesting birds to watch as they walk across the water lilies in search of food. This particular one was almost dancing on the water as the lily pads gave way from its weight as it walked. The Cormorants are fairly common there and are not that colorful. But their eyes are a total different story. This particular Cormorant kept looking back at me as I approached him, and his eye reminded me of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. While on another trail, we were fortunate enough to see a Red Shouldered hawk fly down and catch a Ribbon snake and bring him back to a tree branch for a quick lunch. The Everglades is a wonderful National Park, and a place we highly recommend visiting. I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.
Wising all of you a very “Merry and Blessed Christmas”
Mike

Purple Galinule walking on water email copy

Red Shouldered Hawk with Ribbon Snake copy

The Everglades

13 Dec 2015

“Polyphemus Moth” 12/13/15

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Greetings from Southwest Florida,
This week’s images are from this past weekend. While we were at Butterfly World a few weeks ago, I bought a couple of cocoons from them that were for sale at the sales counter. They had a variety of species, but I chose the Luna moth, and the Polyphemus. Both are in the larger silk worm category. Having collected these moths as a kid, I knew that there were some great photo ops awaiting as soon as they hatched out. So, this weekend the Polyphemus hatched out. As if on cue, it posed nicely on a hibiscus bloom making for some great photos. I used two different macro lens for these images. First, was my 50mm lens, and then for my close ups, the MPE65 macro lenses. I was pleased with the results and was able to get a couple different perspectives showing the beauty of the large moth.
I hope you enjoy this week’s photos.
Have a blessed week.
Mike