Canadian Nature Photographer Newsletter March 2020


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Dear Friends and new subscribers welcome, those interested in the free online Photoshop tutorials can get access to them here: - password for Photoshop I is rdc1 and for Photoshop II is rdc2. They are becoming out dated but the basics are still the same in Photoshop 2020.

I was not able to send out a newsletter in December, January, or February because I was busy with a variety of photography projects. There is a growing interest in Macrophotography and Photomicrography. The Calgary Science Centre hired me in December to produce 12 large images of plant and tree sections which they are putting on some of their windows. As a result I had to prepare wood sections, stain them and sample various trees from my yard. I posted on article on this below for those might be interested in the microscopic beauty of plants. I also include some photomicrographs of Cannabis sativa and I plan to post an article about the biology of this plant in the next few months.

In January and February I took out several photographers to see snowy owls again this year and had wonderful success. I had a couple from Colorado and three fellows from Florida visit Calgary to photograph primarily snowy owls. We spotted dozens of snowy owls, 2 great Gray owls, coyotes, half a dozen moose and even obtained some closeups of a deer mouse - the owls favourite food. An average day we would photograph 8-10 owls. The snowy owls begin migrating north to the arctic in March though I sometimes see still see a few of them in the middle of March east of Calgary.

Snowy owl and full moon focus stack Robert Berdan ©

Full Moon and snowy owl on fence post - Focus stack DM

A researcher from the US, Dr. Terry Snell sent me some rotifer samples requesting some pictures. Rotifers live in fresh and salt water and are about 0.25 mm in length. These organisms are used to feed young fish in aquaculture (extraneousness) and the rototillers are also used in toxicology testing.

Brachionus manjavas rotifer fluorescence microscopy Robert Berdan ©

Brachionus manjavas rotifer fluorescence microscopy Robert Berdan ©

Brachionus manjavas rotifer fluorescence microscopy Robert Berdan ©

Above are three photomicrographs of Brachionus manjavacas a rotifer found in Euryhaline waters and used to feed fish larvae. The micrographs were made after staining the organisms with Acridine orange and fluorescence microscopy. I will post an article about them later in March.

A Chinese brand microscope company in Vancouver, Motic contracted me to supply them with 200 photomicrographs for use in their social media campaigns. I also might have an opportunity to test some of their affordable light microscopes which they sell in North America.

Black Feather Canoe Trip French River.

In August I will be taking a canoe trip with Black Feather down the French River in Northern Ontario with my Father and wife and will present pictures from our trip in September. I won a free trip in the Canadian Nature Conservancy Photo Contest in 2019.


Please Click on the thumbnails or links to read the Latest Photography Articles or visit the home page of Canadian Nature Photographer.

Wood frog by Robert Berdan ©  

The Microscopic Beauty of Plants and Trees by Dr. Robert Berdan I am attracted to living things especially those coloured green like lichens, moss, bryophytes and trees - read more.



I am available this spring and summer for photography instruction, tours to the parks, badlands, prairies and into BC. Day trips are $299\person + GST and I am taking a maximum of three people at a time in my Jeep. I am also available for Photoshop instruction, HDR, Focus stacking, Panoramas and 360 VR, and macrophotogaphy etc year round by the hour ($65\hr) or by the day ($299 for 8 hours). Those of you that have Gift certificates please contact me to set up a time to go out and give me at least one week notice if possible.


I offer this presentations to groups in Calgary that might be interested please contact me if you would like see this 60 minute presentation.

If you have children between the age of 10-15 that might be interested in Microscopy I offer 1-2 hours FREE Instruction in my studio. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. I have microscopes for sale and I can recommend one that is appropriate for the persons interest and budget (see below). I am happy to provide microscopy instruction to adults for $65\hr including photomicrography, Fluorescence, Polarizing, Phase contrast, Darkfield and other microscopy techniques.

FOR SALE - 10% discount for subscribers of this newsletter

I have acquired several extra light microscopes and one stereo microscope that I am selling . I have cleaned, refurbished and tested all the scopes. I have a professional quality Russian microscope (C) for $179 ideal for a young science student 12+ years old, a Leitz ortholux microscope with 5 objectives suitable for university biology or medical student $950 (B) , a Tiyoda light microscope $650 with 4 objectives (D) , and a new stereo microscope 4-40X with a trinocular head for photography (A). If interested in viewing or purchasing one of these scopes contact me. Each scope includes a free 2 hour lesson on how to use it and how to prepare specimens. I also have 2 fiber optic light sources with a goose neck or ring light (E, F) for sale $350 and one Zeiss microscope light source (G) for $350 - see pictures below.

microscopes for sale and fiber optic lights

A) AM stereo microscope with trinocular head $850 camera not included B) Letiz Ortholux light microscopy 5 objectives $950 C) Russian monocular microscope 5 objectives $179 D) Tiyoda Japanese microscope $650 E & F) Fiber Optic light sources $350 G) Wild microscope Lam and transformer $300 H) Zeiss Axiocam 5M dedicated microscope camera with software $300. .If interested please contact me for further details.. Shipping is extra but if you are in Alberta you can test the equipment and I will provide 2 hours of free instruction on its use. Mention you saw this in my newsletter and receive 10% off my asking price.

I am interested in starting a Microscopy club in Calgary, I have heard from a few interested folks - once I have a dozen or so interested I will consider offering meetings once a month. If you are interested let me know.

I will be continuing to present articles on Nature, Wildlife, Macrophotography and Photomicrography for those interested and also welcome photographers to submit an article. Those interested please read my submission guidelines. first.

Spring wildflowers will be coming out soon though I am sure we will still have a few more opportunities to photograph winter scenes and snowflakes.

Best wishes

Robert Berdan

Calgary, AB
403 247-2457