On our photo walk at Davidsons Mill Pond Park, I noticed this Immature Common Whitetail male dragonfly warming on a rock. It had a cluttered background behind the dragonfly, so I shot 3 images wide open, f5.6, at different focus points. 1st on the left wing, 2nd on the body, then the right wing. When I was working on the files, I loaded the 3 images in one layered Photoshop file. I selected all three layers and selected Auto-align, then auto-blend for the final merged image. When you do auto-blend Photoshop automatically blends what it thinks are the best areas to use for the final blended image. Sometimes you might need to do a tiny touch up here or there, but usually it does a pretty good job. Since I was using a tripod for these images they lined up nicely and I did not need much in the way of touch-ups on this image. I was using a 300mm f/4 with a 1.4x teleconverter. To keep the background smoother I was shooting wide open, but with a 1.4x teleconverter that would be @ f/5.6. Usually when I use a teleconverter, if there is enough light, I stop down a little more then I usually do to help with sharpness. On a 1.4x I stop down at least 1 f/stop, on a 2x teleconverter I stop down at least 2 stops (Again, if there is enough light). But on this series I wanted a smoother background so I did not stop down and left it @ f/5.6.
Nice job, Reed, in getting the shot you wanted. Thanks for sharing the detailed explanation of how you created it.
Thanks Mike! I tend to do things differently to get what I am thinking of for my final images. I guess it goes back to 50 years of commercial work trying to satisfy clients needs & wants! Glad I am finally retired to concentrate on my own images!
It really is cool and fascinating, Reed, to get insight into the process that someone else uses from the moment they see a subject and moving through the act of taking the shot(s) to creating a final image. I know what I am seeing and thinking and doing, but mostly I have to imagine how others do it. This gives me some ideas about how I might do things a little differently.
Wonderful colour and detail!
Thanks So Much Belinda! They are fun to photograph!
I wonder if he feels he is camouflaged there!
Maybe so! But I think it was just a warm rock to sit on.
Very nice, Reed!
Thanks Donna! It has been so hot here lately it is hard to go to any of the local spots to photograph.
Nice stacking work, Reed. It helps to have a subject that is a patient model.
Thanks Steve! It helped that it was on a nice warm rock so it was happy staying there!