Sunday in the Park with Sarah Roberts

A few weeks ago I went for a walk with a group of residents and Sarah Roberts from the Native Plant Society of New Jersey. The walk was one in series of nature walks called First Sunday in the Park, organised by the Montgomery Friends of Open Space. The walks are a fun way to explore the nature trails and natural beauty of Montgomery Township.

On this particular walk, I discovered that Montgomery has an Arboretum of Native Flora near the Galick Tract in Montgomery Park. I've lived in Montgomery for twelve years, and this was the first time I knew about this.

We strolled along the paved pathways as Sarah taught about the native trees that had been planted to restore the area. Some trees were native to New Jersey, and others are native to the United States. The park has many bridges and benches where one can sit and enjoy the quiet of nature and catch a few rays of sunlight. I'm having a great time discovering the local nature trails in Montgomery.
I look forward to the next Sunday in the Park event.








Sarah Roberts
Sarah Roberts


Montgomery at Sunset

The week started with cold, wet weather. I hated it. I love the sun. I love the warmth that Ra brings to my being. The sun started to peek out here and there during the week. For the weekend I planned to head out with the camera.

I stood out in the parking area near and the side of the Devon Road near Montgomery Park. I shot a large number of bracketed images as the sun went down. I had planned on using my Raspberry Pi and gPhoto, but I couldn't get my setup to work. Instead, I used my MacBook with Sofortbild to control my Nikon D40 via the USB port. I wonder what cars passing by must have thought to watch a man holding a laptop connected to a camera on a tripod?

To get the right set of bracketed shots, I used an app on my photo to decide the range of exposures for Sofortbild. My process was this:

  • Set the D40 to aperture priority and take note of exposure reading.
  • Use EV Calc app to get the range of exposure needed to get either a +1/-1EV or +2/-2EV change between captures.
  • Set the D40 to manual mode.
  • Set Sofortbild to capture bracketed images.

The process would have been much easier using the gPhoto. As I detailed in that project, the D40 is set to aperture priority, and my script uses gPhoto to capture the first image for analysis. That image is then tossed away, and then five images are then captured at a different exposure.

It's been a while since I've done any HDR so my skills are a bit rusty. For this shot, I combined seven exposure in Photomatix Pro. I tweaked the image a bit in Photomatix and then some more after pulling it back into Adobe Lightroom 4. My son got to choose the final image.

Khürt Williams