Posted on August 14, 2020
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.
Posted on August 3, 2020
I noticed a male Blue Dasher on the top of a Gladiola in our garden as I was looking out the window. So I went out to get some images to post. It has been unusually extra hot here in NJ, so we have not gone to any of the local parks lately. As I was inching closer to the Dasher, it flew off, but quickly returned to the same spot. After doing that multiple times it finally stayed on the tip of the tall plant. I guess it began to tolerate me as I was inching closer. I was hand holding my camera, but I shot a series of focus points along the dragonfly for image stacking. The Blue Dasher was close to the side of my home so I was shooting wide open to have a smoother background. This eliminated the shadows under the rows of siding that would have given confusing rows of darker stripes to the background. I was using a Canon R with a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro and a Sigma 2x teleconverter. So with the 2x teleconverter, my wide open f/stop was f/5.6. I manually focused a series of focus points from wingtip to wingtip plus close ups of the face. I was surprised the Blue Dasher did not fly off and allowed me to get right in it’s face, so to speak. So I tried many different focus stacks to see which might work better. Here are a few images from the series.
Category: Blog, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Gardens, Image Stacking, Insects, Panorama & Stacked Images, Photo Tips, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Blue Dasher Face, blue dasher image stackimg, canon R camera, image stacking wit photoshop cc, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro, Sigma 2X Teleconverter
Posted on July 29, 2020
Usually we have a few different types of Dragonflies in our yard. But this Summer we have only had Amberwing Dragonflies around. But they were very skittish and very small, so I did not get any good images of them. When I was out looking in our garden for other Praying Mantises I noticed a female Blue Dasher on our Dogwood tree in the front yard. I finally had an interesting Dragonfly in our yard that was very tolerant of being photographed. It was on one of the Dogwood Bracts basically at almost eye level. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. It would take off, fly around then return to the same spot on the Dogwood. I was able to shift my position to get backgrounds in the shade and in the sun. I also was able to try different f/stops and a few image stacks. The featured shot I was at f/11 for more depth of field (so I did not have to do a focus stack) with a sunlit background.
Category: Blog, Dragonflies, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Insects, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 7D, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Female Blue Dasher, Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Focus Stacking, image focus stacking
Posted on July 22, 2020
I use this technique quite often for my multi-image focus stacked Dragonfly (or other subjects) images. Shooting @ f/5.6 or even f/8 to get smoother looking backgrounds around the dragonfly it is hard to get the wings & tail sharp. So I tend to quickly photograph 3 to 8 images of different focus areas on the dragonfly. Or even more depending on the position of the dragonfly or the size of the subject. In the beginning to get used to doing this technique shoot more focus point areas. You may not need them all, but you have them just in case. These images were shot with a Canon 300mm f/4 lens on a Canon 7d, handheld.
Select images for the focus stack and Load the files into 1 layered Photoshop file-
My Final Steps are to save the layered file. Then Flatten the layers if you need to do minor touch-ups here or there. Sometimes you will need to do a very slight touch-up or cloning, but nothing major.
These are also similar to doing Multi-Image Panoramas. Or try a combination of Image Stacks & Panoramas in the same file. So you can experiment with different effects. Comes in handy quite often when out in the field photographing. Cuts down on lugging a lot of lenses or even a tripod with you. Try it and let me know how you do! But if you like shooting with a tripod you can use the same steps with a tripod!
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Photo Tips, Stacked Images, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, focus stackimg, focus stacking in Photoshop, handheld focus stacking images in Photoshop, Handheld focus stacks, handheld panorama, handheld panoramas, Panoramas in Photoshop, photoshop effects, photoshop focus stacking, photoshop tips
Posted on July 19, 2020
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.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Image Stacking, Insects, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, canon 300mm f/4 lens IS, Canon 7D, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Image Stacking, image stacking with photoshop
Posted on July 17, 2020
Two close-up images of female Blue Dasher Dragonflies. I use a variety of techniques to get very close to Dragonflies. The featured image was captured with a Sigma 150mm macro with a 1.4X teleconverter on a Canon 7D. Luckily they sometimes get used to me and allow me to get very close.
Category: Blog, Dragonflies, Equipment, Insects, Macro Photography, Photo Tips, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Closeups, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, blue dasher Female dragonfly, canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon extension tubes, closeup photography, extreme macro
Posted on July 14, 2020
It is starting to be the time of year when dragonflies start to show signs of wear & tear on their wings. It seems they must lead a rough life from the looks of wear on some of them. The featured image is a male Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Plainsboro Preserve, Uncategorized Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Eastern Pondhawk, Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly, slaty skimmer, Spangled Skimmer dragonflies, Spangled Skimmer Dragonfly, Spangled Skimmers
Posted on June 27, 2020
An assortment of Dragonfly closeups focusing on their eye & face details. Images taken with 300mm & 400mm lenses with extension tubes.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Celery Farm, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, blue dasher Female dragonfly, canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 400 f/4 DO lens, Eastern Pondhawk, extension tubes
Posted on June 26, 2020
This Blue Dasher focus stacked image is made with 2 images, blended. 1 focused on the head area & the other focused on the tail area. Both were shot, handheld with a 400mm DO lens, with an extension tube for closer focusing. This Dasher seemed to have a damaged hindwing on the right side. Images taken @ f/8 to to keep a smoother background so the Blue Dasher stands out. I used Photoshop to align and then blend the 2 images for the final focus stacked image. If I stopped down more to get everything in focus in 1 shot, the background would have been busier and the Dasher would not stand out as much. I tend to like smoother backgrounds in my Dragonfly images.
Posted on June 21, 2020
This is a series of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images taken with a 400mm DO lens, but I also used an on camera flash with a Better Beamer Flash extender to help fill in the shadow details on the dragonflies. Also for some I set the flash so I was slightly overexposing on the subject dragonfly. This way when I compensated for the correct exposure on the dragonfly, the background would be darker and a little more dramatic.
Category: Blog, Dragonflies, In Camera Photo Effects, Nature Still Lifes, Photo Tips, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Better Beamer Flash Extender, blue Dasher Dragonflies, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, camera techniques, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, canon on camera flash, Dragonflies, dragonfly, on Camera flash