Dragonfly Closeups & Image Stacked Closeups

Some of the time, when photographing Dragonflies, I need to get closer, but water or something is in the way. Or I just want more working distance and do not want to use a macro lens with skidish subjects. After photographing them for over 10 or 12 years I have come up with different solutions. And I want a really soft looking backgrounds! Or I am at a National Wildlife Refuge where you can’t go off the Drive, so you need more reach for the different dragons you see there. So I have come up with different combinations to solve that problem. The more you experiment, the more combinations you come up with. I sometimes use a telephoto lens, usually 400mm f/4, an extension tube, a 1.4x teleconverter, and then a longer extension tube. Sometimes I add another 1.4x teleconverter at the camera. Than add a flash with a Better Beamer Flash extender because with the extension tubes I loose a lot of light, so I need more power to light my subject Dragonfly. This gives me a working distance, depending on which extension tubes and combinations of teleconverters I use, from 2 to 8 ft or even  more, but filling the frame with my subject small Dragonfly. The Blue Dashers are about 1.5″ long. Some ot the others are a little larger and the Damselflies are smaller. The extension tube spacing actually enlarges the Dragonfly image on the sensor. But you do loose a lot of light. It seems awkward, but once you get used to the combination you use, it gets easier to use in the field. Many times I actually shoot a stack series of focus point images along a dragonfly to get a sharp final image from head to tail, wingtip to wingtip or specific areas I want in Photoshop. I probably posted too many images, but it shows the effects and details I was going for. They are such fascinating photo subjects! Sorry for such a long Post!

Blue Dasher v1_MG_9455BlueDasher v2_MG_9904


Extreme setup with 2 teleconverters, for closer focusing and extreme magnification.



My Standard setup for closeup Dragonfly photos. The wider teleconverter next to the camera body magnifies the image a little more and you can get even more image filling frames.

blue-dasher-female-v34davidsons-mill-2016_43g4418eastern-pondhawk-dragonfly-v2-davis-millv1-davidsons-mill_43g4353blue dasher v1 cf 2015_MG_8886_43G1023_43G1020Blue Skimmer v1_43G7939Canon closeup IMG_1245_43G7343 v2

_43G8718 bwr dragon eat dragon v3

This Dragonfly was eating another dragonfly about 15 ft away

_80I9991 Blue Dasher dragonfly v4_MG_0273 v3Skimmer wing_MG_0251 v2_1110034 cuDragonfly 5Blue Dasher at my Pond

2 Comments on “Dragonfly Closeups & Image Stacked Closeups

  1. The photo results that you get are just splendid, and the equipment and use of same is fascinating! It’s interesting to see how you accomplish those magnificent images!

  2. Thanks! It is a little out of the ordinary setup, but it works! Takes some practice, but it is fun to see what you can come up with to get the images you want. Also on a slow day you tend to put stuff together and see what happens! Also after shooting commercial assignments for 47years helps,

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