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.
Posted on July 12, 2017
Some of the time, when photographing Dragonflies, I need to get closer, but water or something is in the way. Or I just want more working distance and do not want to use a macro lens with skidish subjects. After photographing them for over 10 or 12 years I have come up with different solutions. And I want a really soft looking backgrounds! Or I am at a National Wildlife Refuge where you can’t go off the Drive, so you need more reach for the different dragons you see there. So I have come up with different combinations to solve that problem. The more you experiment, the more combinations you come up with. I sometimes use a telephoto lens, usually 400mm f/4, an extension tube, a 1.4x teleconverter, and then a longer extension tube. Sometimes I add another 1.4x teleconverter at the camera. Than add a flash with a Better Beamer Flash extender because with the extension tubes I loose a lot of light, so I need more power to light my subject Dragonfly. This gives me a working distance, depending on which extension tubes and combinations of teleconverters I use, from 2 to 8 ft or even more, but filling the frame with my subject small Dragonfly. The Blue Dashers are about 1.5″ long. Some ot the others are a little larger and the Damselflies are smaller. The extension tube spacing actually enlarges the Dragonfly image on the sensor. But you do loose a lot of light. It seems awkward, but once you get used to the combination you use, it gets easier to use in the field. Many times I actually shoot a stack series of focus point images along a dragonfly to get a sharp final image from head to tail, wingtip to wingtip or specific areas I want in Photoshop. I probably posted too many images, but it shows the effects and details I was going for. They are such fascinating photo subjects! Sorry for such a long Post!
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Damselflies, Dragonflies, Equipment, Insects, Macro Photography, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher, canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 400mm f/4 DO, closeups, Dragonflies, dragonfly, extension tubes, long distance closeups, Stacking Teleconverters
Posted on August 6, 2016
This Blue Dasher Dragonfly is not actually smiling, but it looked like it to me with the face markings and head-on shot. Multi-shot image stacked photo for more depth of field/focus It helped that it did not move during the exposures. 400mm f/4 DO lens, extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III teleconverter, shorter extension tube, Camera body with flash and better beamer flash extender.