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 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 19, 2020
Panoramas are not just for landscapes! I enjoy shooting panoramas for a variety of subjects. Plus they look interesting when you print them very large! Here are a series of multi-image Dragonfly & Damselfly Panoramas. I was using Canon & Panasonic Cameras, with a variety of lenses. The featured Blue Dasher Dragonfly image was 5 handheld images taken with a Canon 300mm lens, with extension tubes @ f/9, 1/250th sec. Then assembled and blended in Photoshop. When shooting panoramas handheld, I tend to overlap even more just to be safe & that I got enough overlap to blend nicely. I may not need them, but it helps if you do need more images when assembling them. The images below have some details on exposure & images shot per panorama.
Category: Damselflies, Dragonflies, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Panoramas, Uncategorized Tagged: Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, Canon extension tubes, Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro, Eastern Forktail Damsefly, Panasonic GH2, panoramas, photoshop panoramas
Posted on May 30, 2020
I was surprised to see so many water mites on this Blue Dasher Dragonfly! Usually you only see a few mites, but this one was really loaded with them! The water mites get onto late stage nymphs, then emerge with the nymph. As the dragonfly emerges from the nymph stage, the mites transfer to the adult dragonfly.
Posted on May 28, 2020
This is a series of some Blue Dasher & other Dragonfly images I shot over a few years using a technique for getting softer smoother backgrounds for dragonflies that you can not get close to photograph. Depth of field is limited with this technique, but I like the softer backgrounds which makes the detail in the dragonfly stand out. The subject Dragonflies are about about 5 to 9 feet away. Usually they are on a plant or branch in or over the water. Plus I get closer up images not needing a large or any cropping. I was using a Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x teleconverter(s) and extension tubes to get closer focus on the small (about 1.5 inches long) Dragonflies. Basically converting the lens to only closer focusing capability. Sometimes I would setup the equipment with the lens, then extension tubes, the teleconverter and then camera. Or have the lens, teleconverter, extension tubes, then camera body. Different arrangements of extension tube(s) & teleconverters gives different “focus zones”. Depending on the width & position of the extension tubes used is how close you can focus on your subject. With all the added converter(s) & extension tubes you may loose autoexposure so I mainly set exposure by looking at a preview shot or histogram and adjust exposure from there. It takes a while to get consistent results because there are so many variables. But it works well once you get used to it. Many times I use fill flash to help light the subject because I loose so much light with certain combinations of teleconverter(s) and extension tubes.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Brigantine NWR, Oceanville NJ, Dragonflies, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Insects, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Better Beamer Flash Extender, Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon Teleconverters Canon Extension Tubes, closeup photography, extension tubes, fill flash, Male Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Posted on July 10, 2019
Some Dragonflies from a recent walk at Davidsons Mill Pond Park. Featured image is a Blue Dasher (male). All images captured with a Canon 1D MkIV with a 300mm f/4 lens & 1.4X Teleconverter.
Category: Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Insects, Nature Still Lifes Tagged: Blue Dasher, Calico Pennant, Canon, Canon 1D MkIV, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, common whitetail, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Pondhawk, slaty skimmer, Widow Skimmer, widow skimmer dragonfly
Posted on June 14, 2019
Some of my favorite photo subjects are Dragonflies and Damselflies. Here are a few Dragonflies to start with. The featured image is a photo of a female Calico Pennant. I was using a 300mm lens that has a close focusing capability, with a 1.4X Teleconverter for a combined focal length of 420mm.
Category: Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Insects, Nature Still Lifes Tagged: Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Calico Pennant, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, dragonfly, dragonfly photography, Eastern Pondhawk, Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Posted on July 6, 2018
For some reason Blue Dasher Dragonflies seem to look like they are smiling when you see them head on, giving an impression of a Happy Dragonfly. This Blue Dasher was out in a pond at a public county park, probably 6 to 8 feet from the shoreline. The featured image is a 4 shot Image Stack, manually focused and assembled in Photoshop. I used a combination of a 400mm lens, an extension tube, then a 1.4x teleconverter to actually enlarge the image on the sensor with the extension tube added. Sometimes I add another extension tube between the teleconverter and the camera body which enlargens the image on the sensor even more. But narrows your focus range even more and you tend to need a fill flash because of loss of light reaching the sensor to get a usable exposure for a subject that is somewhat moving its head or wings or its perch is moving in a breeze. Plus the added extension tubes also takes away light reaching the sensor. Sort of like the “Old” days when you were using a 4×5 or 8×10 view camera when you had the bellows racked out and had to adjust your exposure because of light loss from the distance of the lens and the film plane. By moving teleconverter and extension tubes you can get a variety of focus windows and enlargement of your final image on the sensor.
Category: Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Insects, Skies and Clouds, Slideshow, Studio, Tips & Techniques, Uncategorized Tagged: Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, extension tubes, Image Stacking, panoramas, Stacking Teleconverters, teleconverters
Posted on July 17, 2017
I found this female Blue Dasher in the yard. It was bouncing back and forth on the flowers. I stood watching for a few minutes and then it seemed to not fly off when I got closer. I guess it got used to me being there. I was using a 150mm macro lens with a 1.4x teleconverter so it allowed me to get pretty close. It is interesting that the female dragonflies are usually a different color scheme than the males. Sometimes makes it harder to ID.