Common Whitetail Dragonflies From Davidsons Mill Pond Park

We went to the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve looking for dragonflies and any other interesting subjects we could find to photograph. We found a male & female Common Whitetail Dragonfly in 2 different locations along our walk. The Featured Image is a Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly 2 shot focus stack @ f/8. I focused first on the head & then focused on the tail. Then blended the 2 images in Photoshop for the final image. By shooting 2 images @ f/8 and combining the 2 images I had the depth of field to get the head & tail in focus and still have a somewhat smoother background I wanted without getting a more cluttered looking background. Usually I would use f/5.6 instead of f/8 but I only wanted to use 2 images in case the dragonfly flew off. All images in this post were taken with a Canon 7D with a 300mm f/4 lens & 1.4X Teleconverter.

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly, f/ 5.6. Showing smoother uncluttered background but the tail sharpness is softer than the 2 image stacked image.

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly @ f/11, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter. Showing even at f/11 the tail sharpness is softer than the 2 image focus stacked image.

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Immature Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter, @ f/8, Canon 7D, showing smoother, uncluttered background.

Immature Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter, @ f/16, Canon 7D, showing a more cluttered distracting background.

12 Comments on “Common Whitetail Dragonflies From Davidsons Mill Pond Park

  1. It’s quite interesting to see the difference between male and female dragonfly. But more important is that you the photos show very clear the differences in depth of field by using different focal lengths. Always enjoy reading your posts, Reed!

    • Thanks Greta! I had a commercial photo studio for 50 years so I tend to “see” things differently and try different ways to get the results I want.

  2. Nice that you can experiment and show us the results. Most dragons are rather skittish and often only one shot can be taken. Good work Reed.

    • Thanks! Quite often I start a series of images and before I am done they change position or fly off. But it is still fun to try!!

    • Thanks Tom! They are fun photo subjects. Especially when they do not fly off or change position when shooting a series of different “focus” images!

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