Blue Dasher Dragonflies

Dragonfly season will soon be ending but here are a series of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images from a series of different outings. The Featured Image was taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens on a Canon 1D mkIV, @f/8, 1/400 sec.

Blue Dasher Female, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/11, Fill Flash for Detail, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher Male, 300mm lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 7D, @ f/11
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/11, Fill Flash for Detail, Canon 1D mkIV @f/11
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 300mm lens, 1.4x Teleconverter for 420mm, @ f/16, Canon R

A Series Of Blue Dasher Dragonfly Images

A series of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images taken over a few years. The Featured Image was taken a few years ago and is a 2 image focus blend with a Canon 400mm DO lens on a Canon 7D and a small amount of Fill Flash to brighten the shadows. Subject Dragonfly was 16.7 ft away. When using Teleconverters I usually set my f/stop 2 stops down from wide open for a little more depth of field for sharpness but still have a smoother background. So using my 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter the lens wide open would be @ f/5.6 because of the teleconverter. So I would set my f/stop @ f/11. If I was using my 400mm f/4 lens with a teleconverter I would probably stop down even more but not always.

Blue Dasher Dragonfly -2 Image Focus Stack. Canon 7D, 300mm f/4 lens, 1.4X Teleconverter, 420mm, @f/11
Blue Dasher, Canon 1D mkIV, 300mm f/4 lens @f/11, 2X Teleconverter, 600mm
Blue Dasher, Male, Canon 1D mkIV, 400mm DO lens @ f/11 to hold more depth of field but still have a smooth background.
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 300mm lens @ f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, (420mm)
Blue Dasher, Female, Canon 1D mkIV, 300mm lens, 1.4X Teleconverter, (420mm) @ f/11
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens @f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, (560mm)
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens @f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, (560mm)
Blue Dasher, Male, 400mm DO lens, Canon 7d, Fill Flash with Better Beamer Flash Extender
Blue Dasher, Male, 400mm DO lens, Canon 7d, Fill Flash used to open shadows
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens with 1.4x Teleconverter @f/11 (560mm)
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens, Fill Flash, @f/11

Blue Dasher Dragonflies @ Davidsons Mill Pond Park

On our visit to Davidsons Mill Pond Park the dragonflies were flying far out in the small pond. And almost none were flying by the large Lake. After searching the shorelines I was able to get a few Dragonfly images to post here. For this post I am showing images of a Blue Dasher (male) dragonfly. Some of the dragonflies looked a little worse for wear already in the season with wing damage.

Blue Dasher Dragonfly showing wing damage already in the season. Panasonic 100-300mm lens @ 300mm, Olympus OM D-1
Davidsons Mill Pond, iP11 Pro, 4.3mm lens (Full Frame Equiv. 26mm)

Damselfly & Dragonfly Season is Starting Soon

It will not be long before we start seeing Dragonflies & Damselflies here in NJ. These are some of my favorite photo subjects. The images here were taken years ago at my pond at my old home. These were taken with an old 200mm Canon FD Manual focus macro lens adapted to a m43 Panasonic GH2 Camera or a Canon 400mm DO Lens with extension tubes for closer focusing. FOV of the Canon FD lens on a m43 body gave me the equivalent of a 400mm Macro lens. The Featured Image is a Damselfly with a raindrop on it’s head.

Damselfly Side View, 200mm FD Canon Lens, Panasonic GH2
Blue Dasher Dragonfly, 400mm Canon DO lens with an Extension Tube for Closer Focusing, Canon 1D mkIV

Blue Dasher 3 Image Panorama

I found this male Blue Dasher Dragonfly on a small branch at a local park. I was using a 400mm DO lens on a Canon 1D mkIV thinking I would be photographing birds. But I had a set of extension tubes in my photo vest which enabled me to get a series of very closeup images to make a 3 horizontal image pano Portrait of the Blue Dasher. Images taken @ f/13 with fill flash (Canon 550 EX with a Better Beamer Flash Extender).

Cropped Closeup Image from Featured Image

A Series Of Blue Dasher Dragonfly Images

Here in NJ Dragonfly season will be ending soon. I am seeing fewer Dragonflies & Damselflies at our local parks, Wildlife Refuges and even our yard. Here is a collection of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images from a variety of local Parks & Wildlife Refuges. The Featured Image was taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 2X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV @ f11 & with Fill Flash. Dragonfly distance from camera ~15 feet. Some images were also taken with Extension Tubes on the lens, but Extension Tubes do not show in the RAW Data in Adobe Bridge so I did not list them in the image info on each image.

Blue Dasher Male, 12.5 ft away, Canon 400mm DO lens, 2X Teleconverter, stacked 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/11 with Fill Flash (using 2 Stacked Teleconverters f/11 was shooting with the lens aperature wide open! Lost 3 stops of light with the stacked Teleconverters)
Blue Dasher Female, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV,@ f/8, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Female, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, f/8, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Male, 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, , f/8, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, teleconverters, f/11, w/ Fill Flash for detail
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/9
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/8
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400m DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/8
Mating Blue Dashers, Canon 400m DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, Fill Flash, @ f/13

Blue Dasher Dragonfly In Our Garden

I was looking for a Praying Mantis in our gardens to photograph when this male Blue Dasher dragonfly landed on a branch by our carport. Not a great background but decided to photograph it anyway since I did not see any other interesting bugs. To minimize detail in the background carport siding I chose f/8 to minimize the carport detail. Since I was @ f/8 I shot a handheld series of images to retain detail on the dragonfly. I shot 3 images to focus stack on the dragonfly from wingtip to wingtip, then a 3 image series head to tail. After the main image stack, I moved in closer & closer for a few different closer versions since it seemed to be tolerating my being there.

A little closer view, Male Blue Dasher, Canon R, 300mm f/4 lens, 1.4x Canon Teleconverter, @ f/8
Closer view, Head Image, Wings Down, Canon R, 300mm, 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/8
Closer view, Head Image, Wings Up, Canon R, 300mm, 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/8

Blue Dasher Dragonflies

A couple of images of Blue Dasher Dragonflies. The Featured Image of the male Blue Dasher was taken with a 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/8 on a Canon 1D mkIV. To get the smoother background I wanted I only stopped down 1 more f/stop to f/8 since I already lost 1 stop with the 1.4X Teleconverter attached. My usual workflow when (on bright days) using teleconverters for a little more sharpness is to stop down at least 1 additional stop when using a 1.4X and at least 2 stops when using a 2X teleconverter. If I am using a 3X Teleconverter I would stop down 1 or 2 more stops than when using a 2X Teleconverter if I could. But then again a 3X Teleconverter usually is so bad I would just stack a 1.4X & 2X teleconverter. If using an extension tube on Telephoto lenses to get closer focusing I would also stop down at least 1 or 2 more stops for more depth of field.

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 1D mkIV, 400mm DO lens, 2X Teleconverter, @ f/11
Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens, Extension Tubes for closer minimum focusing, f/13 for more depth of field since I was using an extension tube between the camera body & lens

Distant Dragonfly Closeups

A closeup uncropped image of a Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly. It was in a small pond but off in the distance in the middle of the pond. It was about 8 feet from the edge of the pond. To get this close to Dragonflies that I can not get close to I have come up with a method to get detail images of them. I was using a 400mm f/4 DO lens with multiple stacked extension tubes between multiple teleconverters. With this setup I had to use an on-camera flash with a “Better Beamer” Flash Extender to light the dragonfly because of all the light loss with multiple extension tubes & teleconverters . This dragonfly was about 8 ft out in the water. You can see the flash hotspot on the eye. Changing the order of the extension tubes and different sizes of the teleconverters gives you different zones of manual focus. Also you have to try different exposures because Auto Exposure does not work with all the extension tubes & teleconverters. After trying this for a while you can get nice closeups of distant Dragonflies. Also you usually get nice “clean” & smooth backgrounds. It takes some practice but you can get some interesting images of distant Dragonflies.

Great Blue Skimmer, 2img Pano, 400mm DO lens, 1DmkIV, f11, Extension Tubes & Stacked Teleconverters
Great Blue Skimmer, 400mm DO lens, 1DmkIV, f11, Extension Tubes & Stacked Teleconverters
An iPhone image of the of 400mm DO lens with extension tube, teleconverter, another extension tube & another teleconverter

Blue Dasher – 12 Image Focus Stack

When doing a multi-image focus stack for more depth of field on a dragonfly image, I usually set my f/stop to f/11 or f/16 when using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. This way I do not need as many shots for the full focus series of images. Many times a dragonfly will fly off or change position before I finish the series for a stack so I cannot use it and have to start over. This dragonfly seemed to be very still & cooperative. So I managed to do a focus stack from head to tail, including wingtip to wingtip. This series was 12 images, shot at f/8 for a smooth clean background. For a focus stack with a large number of images, I also use a tripod. After flattening the layered file, you might have a minor touch up here or there.

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