Posted on April 19, 2022
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.
Category: Blog, Blue Dasher, Bugs, Canon 1D MkIV, Damselflies, Damselfly, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Insects, yard & pond Tagged: 200mm Canon FD macro lens, Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, canon 1D mk IV, canon 400mm f/4 DO, Canon extension tubes, Damselflies, Damselfly, dragonfly, dragonfly photography
Posted on September 27, 2021
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).
Category: Blog, Blue Dasher, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Image Stacking, Insects, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas Tagged: Better Beamer Flash Extender, Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Closeups, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 1D mkIV Camera, Canon 400 f/4 DO lens, Canon 550 Flash, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon Speedlight, Male Blue Dasher, Multi-image panoramas, MultiImage Panoramas
Posted on September 7, 2021
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.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Brigantine NWR, Oceanville NJ, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Oceanville NJ, Plainsboro Preserve Tagged: Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Closeups, blue Dasher Dragonflies, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Blue Dasher Face, Blue Dasher Female, blue dasher Female dragonfly, Blue Dashers, Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 2X teleconverter, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon 400mm f/4 DO, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon 7D, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter
Posted on August 7, 2021
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.
Category: Blog, canon R, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R camera, Focus Stacking, Focus stacking for more depth of field, Focus stacking for smoother cleaner backgrounds, Focus stacking for specific detail & sharpness, focus stacking in Photoshop, Male Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Posted on July 9, 2021
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.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, Equipment, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 2X teleconverter, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon extension tubes, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon Teleconverters Canon Extension Tubes, Closer up images with filters & extension tubes, extension tubes, Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Male Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Posted on June 30, 2021
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.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Nature Still Lifes, Photo Tips, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Better Beamer Flash Extender, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, blue dasher Female dragonfly, Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon extension tubes, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, closeup photography, Dragonfly closeups, Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly
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