Blue Dasher Dragonfly Focus Stacks

Here are two different Blue Dasher focus stacks. The featured image is made with 3 images. First image is focused on the head, then fore wings & then front of the hind wings. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens on a Canon 7D with a 1.4x teleconverter. I loaded each image into a layered Photoshop file and let a Photoshop align & blend the sharpest areas. The second image I wanted to mainly focus on the face but the plant was in the same focus plane as the face. I thought that might reinforce the roundness of the dragonfly head because of the roundness of the plant. I was shooting @ f/ 5.6 for a shallow depth of field.  I then focused on the fore wing because I wanted a sharp edge on the fore wing and let the rest go softer into the darker background.

Blue Dasher_v6a_MG_2271_7D_f5_6_300mm_1_4X _7D

10 Comments on “Blue Dasher Dragonfly Focus Stacks

  1. It looks like it is giving the camera a cheesy grin. 😉 The seed head looks a bit like a famous virus that is currently wreaking havoc around the world. Not surprising that we see the similarity, eh?

  2. Love these shots, Reed. The dragonfly is cool-looking and the plant on which he is perched is fascinating. Were you using a tripod for these shots? When I am shooting dragonflies I am usually hand-holding and I wonder if it is feasible to attempt to do focus stacking while hand-holding.

    • Thanks Mike! In my old age😊 I am getting lazy! 95% of my shots are handheld. Just pick an f/stop you want for a smoother background, then shoot a series of manually focused areas. Load those files into a layered Photoshop file. Then select all the layers, auto align, then auto blend. That is a quick explanation so I will do a post today showing the steps. There are a few options so I will include screen grabs. I have used Photoshop since 1990 so I tend to automatically do certain steps without thinking about it.

    • Actually being retired now it gives me something more to do besides taking a nap! But I do like doing them for some reason!

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