Last of the Slaty Skimmers for this year

Another Dragonfly season is pretty much over now so I will have to find other interesting subjects to photograph. Here are some Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly images from my last visit to Davidsons Mill Pond Park before they were gone.

4 Image Focus Stack, 300mm, f/6.3, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
Slaty Skimmer, 300mm, f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
Slaty Skimmer, 300mm, f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
4 Image Focus Stack, 300mm, f/16, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D

Slaty Skimmer @ Davidsons Mill Pond Park

It is nearing the end of the Dragonfly season so there are less opportunities of phot0graphing Dragonflies. We were walking at a local park and noticed this Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly by the pond. This is a 3 image focus stack, shot handheld, @ f/11. I focused on the far wing , then the head, and then the near wingtip. I loaded all 3 images into 1 layered Photoshop file to prepare the final blended image. I used Auto-Align Layers, then Auto-Blend Layers for the blending of the 3 images. I save the layered file, just in case I need to go back to adjust something, then flatten the layers for the final image. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens, with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D.

Immature Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly

When I was walking outside my home I saw this dragonfly in our gardens. So I got a camera to take some images. At first I thought it was a female Common Whitetail Dragonfly, but the dark spots on the wings were wrong. So I realized it was an immature male Common Whitetail Dragonfly. Image taken with a Canon 300mm lens with a 1.4x with a Canon 7D.

Common Whitetail_Immature_Male_v1_300mm_1_4X_7D

First image taken before moving a little closer

Widow Skimmer Dragonflies – Male & Female

The featured image and the one below are male Widow Skimmers. Images taken with a 300mm f/4 canon lens with a 1.4X Canon teleconverter.
Widow_Skimmer_v1 DM_7_18_43G0552

Below are images of female Widow Skimmer dragonflies. Female Widow Skimmers do not have white on the wings and have a different body coloring.

Widow Skimmer_FM_43G6887Widow Skimmer_v1_43G6906

Eastern Amberwing In Garden

I was looking for bugs in the garden and noticed this female Eastern Amberwing on a Hydrangea.  It was a nice photo subject as it stayed in the general area giving me multiple opportunities to photograph it on multiple plants. All images were taken with a 300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIV.Eastern _Amberwing_FM_300mm_v3_1_4X_f16_1DmkIV_43G0358Eastern _Amberwing_FM_300mm_v4_1_4X_f16_1DmkIV_43G0358Eastern_Amberwing_FM_300mm_v3_1_4X_1DmkIV_43G0379

Junk Bug On Zinnia

It is a lacewing larva or sometimes just called a “junk bug” because of the junk it carries around on its back. The tiny larvae come up with all sorts of creative disguises to confuse predators. Other larvae may use bits and pieces of leaves, dead insects or whatever debris is available. I have seen these in other gardens, but never tried to find out what they were.

Junk_Bug v2 feat_300mm_1_4x_1DmkIV_43G0692Junk Bug_300mm_1_4X_1Dmk_IV_43G0632Junk Bug_zinniz_v1_300mm _1_4X_1DmkIV f22__43G0625-2

Immature Common Whitetail Male Dragonfly

On our photo walk at Davidsons Mill Pond Park, I noticed this Immature Common Whitetail male dragonfly warming on a rock. It had a cluttered background behind the dragonfly, so I shot 3 images wide open, f5.6, at different focus points. 1st on the left wing, 2nd on the body, then the right wing. When I was working on the files, I loaded the 3 images in one layered Photoshop file.  I selected all three layers and selected Auto-align, then auto-blend for the final merged image. When you do auto-blend Photoshop automatically blends what it thinks are the best areas to use for the final blended image. Sometimes you might need to do a tiny touch up here or there, but usually it does a pretty good job. Since I was using a tripod for these images they lined up nicely and I did not need much in the way of touch-ups on this image. I was using a 300mm f/4 with a 1.4x teleconverter. To keep the background smoother I was shooting wide open, but with a 1.4x teleconverter that would be @ f/5.6. Usually when I use a teleconverter, if there is enough light, I stop down a little more then I usually do to help with sharpness. On a 1.4x I stop down at least 1 f/stop, on a 2x teleconverter I stop down at least 2 stops (Again, if there is enough light). But on this series I wanted a smoother background so I did not stop down and left it @ f/5.6.

 

Monarch Butterfly At Davidsons Mill Pond

While I was photographing dragonflies at Davidsons Mill Pond Park this Monarch Butterfly flew in to these flowers right in front of me. I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter, so I had to backup some because it was too close to focus on. I was shooting almost wide open to get a smoother background so the Monarch & the flowers would standout more against a smooth background._Monarch_v2 Feature 1600iso_300mm_1_4X_7D_300mm_1_4X_7D__MG_1885Monarch_v1 stk_300mm_1_4X_7D__MG_1933

Monarch_v1_2img stk_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_1942

2 image limited focus stack to get a little more detail on the Monarch head & flowers right in front of the Monarch and still have a smooth background

Common Whitetail Male Dragonfly At Davidsons Mill Pond Park

It finally started to get back to normal here after the storm went though. Power in the area seems back to normal, traffic lights are working so we could finally drive to a local park to see what we could find to photograph. I was mostly looking for dragonflies or butterflies. I was surprised that there were only a few people in this usually busy park.

As I was walking to the first pond I found this Common Whitetail Dragonfly on a fallen tree limb. It was warming in the sun and allowed me to get very close without flying off. I started from a distance and then worked getting gradually closer, taking a series of images along the way.

Common Whitetail v3 Male_300mm_1_4X_7D 8_20MG_1793Common Whitetail v3a_Male_300mm_1_4X_7D 8_20MG_1793Common Whitetail v3 Male_300mm_1_4X_7D 8_20_MG_1816Common Whitetail v3 Male_300mm_1_4X_7D 8_20_v1_MG_1839

Snowy Egret Fishing

I liked this graceful pose of this Snowy Egret. I was shooting bursts as this Snowy was fishing, dancing around in the shallow water. When I was adjusting files this one was my favorite pose from the series.

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