Common Buckeye Butterfly From Brigantine

I am going through images to post and found this image of a Common Buckeye Butterfly. This was from a trip to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Galloway, New Jersey. We were traveling light and I was using a Canon 300mm lens with a 1.4X Canon Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIV. The Canon 300mm f/4 lens has fairly close focusing especially with the 1.4X Teleconverter. But to get even closer I used a Canon 25mm extension tube behind the teleconverter. Image taken @ f/11, 1/400 sec, ISO 400.

More Blue Dasher Dragonflies

Another series of images of one of my favorite dragonflies, the Blue Dasher Dragonfly. These were taken over quite a few years and lots of locations. Almost all were taken with a Canon 1D mkIV with a 400mm DO lens. Some with 1.4x or 2X Teleconverters for added reach since they were out a ways in a pond or stream.

Male Blue Dasher, 400mm DO lens,f/11, 2x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV (15 ft away)
Female Blue Dasher, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Female Blue Dasher, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Male Blue Dasher, 400mm DO Lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher (Female), Canon 400mm DO lens, @f/11, Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, 1D mk IV
Blue Dasher (Male), Canon 400mm DO lens, f/9, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher (Male), Canon 1D mk IV, 400mm DO lens @ f/13
Blue Dasher, f9, 400mm DO lens, @ f/9, Canon 1D mk IV
Blue Dasher, 400mm DO lens @ f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Mating Blue Dashers, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens @ f/13, Canon 1D mkIV, with Fill Flash, FX-1B “Better Beamer” Flash Extender
Blue Dasher, Female, Canon 400mm DO lens w/Extension tubes for closer focusing, @ f/11, with Fill Flash, FX-1B “Better Beamer” Flash Extender, Canon 1d mkIV
Male Blue Dasher, 400mm DO lens,f/11, 2x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV

Blue Dasher Dragonflies

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.

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 1D mkIV, 400mm DO lens, 2X Teleconverter, @ f/11
Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens, Extension Tubes for closer minimum focusing, f/13 for more depth of field since I was using an extension tube between the camera body & lens

Distant Dragonfly Closeups

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.

Great Blue Skimmer, 2img Pano, 400mm DO lens, 1DmkIV, f11, Extension Tubes & Stacked Teleconverters
Great Blue Skimmer, 400mm DO lens, 1DmkIV, f11, Extension Tubes & Stacked Teleconverters
An iPhone image of the of 400mm DO lens with extension tube, teleconverter, another extension tube & another teleconverter

Unicorn Clubtail Dragonfly Warming On Rock

I found this Unicorn Clubtail dragonfly sunning on a warm rock. I usually never see Clubtail dragonflies in any of my places I go to photograph Dragons & Damsels. These images were taken with a Canon 400mm Canon DO lens with an extension tube and a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. The wings on the bottom of the image look like there are 2 sets of wings on that side because of the shadow of the wings on the rock. Unicorn Clubtail Dragonfly v2_1_4X 7D_MG_0651

Female Blue Dasher CloseUp Portraits

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.

BlueDasher_FM_400mmDO_ext Tubes_filFlash_43G3758 crp v2

Female Blue Dasher Closeup Image – 400mm Canon DO lens, Multiple Extension Tubes & 1.4x Teleconverters, Fill Flash because of light loss with multiple extension tubes & Teleconverters.

Female Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

I was photographing dragonflies at a local park when I noticed this female Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly off to the side. I quickly switched from the usual dragonfly subjects and got a few images of this one before it flew off. I was using a 400mm lens with an extension tube to be able to focus closer for Dragonflies. All images were taken @ f/11 giving a little more depth of field yet still have smoother cleaner backgrounds.Great Blue Skimmer_FM_DM_300_1_4X_v2_76A5733

Great Blue Skimmer_FM_V3_76A5723

Dragons & Damsels Panoramas

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.

Damselfly_3img_pano_1110038 pano

Eastern Forktail Damselfly, 4 image panorama, Panasonic GH2 with adapted Canon FD 200mm Manual Focus Macro lens, blended in Photoshop.

Blue_Dasher Pano_43G3758 crp v3

Blue Dasher, Female – 400mm DO lens with extension tubes, Canon 1D mkIV,  3 image panorama, f/11, 1/250 

Eastern Forktail FM_DAMSELFLY STACK V1_43G0245

Eastern Forktail Damselfly, 3 image panorama, Panasonic GH2 with adapted Canon FD 200mm Manual Focus Macro lens

 

Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly Detail Shots

One of my favorite subjects are Dragonflies & Damselflies. The trouble is l have a wide variety of favorite subjects! This series was shot a few years ago at a somewhat local tree covered stream in Mahwah NJ. I could not get real close because of the stream they were over so I used a Canon 400mm DO lens with extension tubes. This enabled me to get somewhat frame filling images with a very smooth background. With the extension tubes I lost quite a bit of light so I used a Canon flash for filling in the shadows somewhat. Also because of the extension tubes, I had a limited depth of field that gave me extremely soft smooth backgrounds.

The Featured image was shot at f/8, 1/200th second @ ISO 1250, 2 images for a focus stack to get detail in the left wing, with an exposure compensation of -1.33 because of the fill flash. This also made the background a little darker

Great Blue Skimmer_v1_400mmDO_Fill_flash_Ext_Tubes_43G5662

Image taken @ 1/60 th sec., f/11, -0.67 Exp. Compensation, ISO 1250

Great Blue Skimmer_v2_f8_1-60sec-400mm_Fil_Flash_43G5800 copy

Image taken @ 1/125 th sec., f/8, -1.33 Exp. Compensation, ISO 1250

Blue Dasher Dragonflies Showing Signs Of Wear

These Blue Dasher Dragonflies (males & females) are showing signs of wear already this season. Their wings have tears and missing areas.

Blue_Dasher_Female v1_worn_Wings_43G0015Blue_Dasher_v2_DM 7 18_43G0052BlueDasher_V1 DM 7 18_43G0041

 

 

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