Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

We had gone to the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve to see if we could find a few interesting dragonflies to photograph for the blog. The Preserve was still overloaded with Cicadas but there were quite a few Dragonflies flying around on the paths. It was fun to find this Immature Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly along the main path. The featured image was taken with a Canon 300mm lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter @ f/6.3 for a smoother background. Below are other views at various f/stops.

Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/5.6
Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/8
Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/8
Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/11
Immature Male Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly, Canon R, 300mm with 1.4X Teleconverter, @ f/7.1

Common Whitetail Dragonflies From Davidsons Mill Pond Park

We went to the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve looking for dragonflies and any other interesting subjects we could find to photograph. We found a male & female Common Whitetail Dragonfly in 2 different locations along our walk. The Featured Image is a Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly 2 shot focus stack @ f/8. I focused first on the head & then focused on the tail. Then blended the 2 images in Photoshop for the final image. By shooting 2 images @ f/8 and combining the 2 images I had the depth of field to get the head & tail in focus and still have a somewhat smoother background I wanted without getting a more cluttered looking background. Usually I would use f/5.6 instead of f/8 but I only wanted to use 2 images in case the dragonfly flew off. All images in this post were taken with a Canon 7D with a 300mm f/4 lens & 1.4X Teleconverter.

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly, f/ 5.6. Showing smoother uncluttered background but the tail sharpness is softer than the 2 image stacked image.

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly @ f/11, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter. Showing even at f/11 the tail sharpness is softer than the 2 image focus stacked image.

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Immature Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter, @ f/8, Canon 7D, showing smoother, uncluttered background.

Immature Male Common Whitetail Dragonfly, 300mm, 1.4x teleconverter, @ f/16, Canon 7D, showing a more cluttered distracting background.

Lancet Clubtail Dragonflies – Mating Wheel Formation

We were walking around Davidsons Mill Pond Park looking for Dragonflies to photograph. We did not see any by the small pond so we went down by the Lake. There the first ones I saw were a pair of Lancet Dragonflies mating. It was not in the usual “Heart” formation” but somewhat close. I was using a 300mm lens @ f/11 with a 1.4X Teleconverter on a Canon 7D. Using f/11 I got enough detail on my subjects but still had a smoother non-cluttered looking background. I also focused on each area of the Dragonflies I was shooting for the panorama instead of stopping down more for a cleaner looking background when the images are blended. The Featured Image is a 2 image Pano to get them both in the image.

Lancet Clubtail Dragonflies, 300mm, f/11, 3 image pano, Canon 7D
Lancet Clubtail Dragonflies, 300mm, f/11, Canon 7D – 2 Image handheld panorama
Lancet Clubtail Dragonflies, 300mm, f/11, Canon 7D – 4 Image handheld panorama

Osprey Fishing In Early Morning

I am cleaning my backup hard drives to remove files to clean up space and to remove files I do not need or duplicates. I found this series of an Osprey fishing at the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale, NJ. These were taken at 7 am so there was not a lot of light so I was happy they came out as well as they did because the Canon 1D mkIII was a little “noisy” in low light. The refuge years ago was a Celery Farm and after that they raised carp here before it became a town Natural Area. So you can see a small splash of orange color in the featured image by the Ospreys talons. The Osprey was not able to hold on to the Carp and dropped it before the next image.

Blackwater NWR Bald Eagle Fly By

A couple of Bald Eagle images from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge Maryland in March of 2008. I was using a 400mm DO lens with a Canon 1D mkIII.

Bald Eagle FlyBy, Canon 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIII

Bald Eagles On Branches At Blackwater NWR

A few more Bald Eagle images taken in December 2008 from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. The Featured Image was taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens with a Canon 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1DmkIV.

Bald Eagle, Blackwater NWR, 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIII

Blackwater Bald Eagles

I am going through images from past trips to post here. These images were from a trip to Blackwater NWR in December of 2008. The featured image was taken with Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIII. On this trip it was a good day for Bald Eagle flight images!

Bald Eagle in Flight, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, 560mm, Canon 1D mkIII, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
Bald Eagle in Flight, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, 560mm, Canon 1D mkIII, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter

Mating Dragonflies

Over a week ago we went to Davidsons Mill Pond Park to see if we could find some dragonflies to photograph before the end of Dragonfly season here. I was surprised to see so many Slaty Skimmers along with a variety of others still here. As I was setting up on the back area of the first small pond these two flew in and landed right in front of me. I was surprised since it was so late in the season. Also they were in the “wheel” position for mating. After my first few shots I moved in a little closer to photograph a 2 image pano for a more square image. The featured image is a single shot. The image below are 2 images, stacked for the final closeup image. I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4X teleconverter. I was on the edge of the pond so could not get any closer.

2 image Pano, 300mm, f/11, blended in Photoshop.

Blue Dasher – 12 Image Focus Stack

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.

Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly In Yard

It was very hot outside to go to a park, so I was looking for subjects in our gardens. There were a few Eastern Amberwing Dragonflies but they seemed very wary of my camera. Finally, after a while, they seemed to tolerate my presence so I was able to get some interesting shots. They are some of the smallest dragonflies, only a little under an inch long. So you have to get pretty close to get detailed images.

Amberwing_v3_f16 1250_ISO 7D_1_4X_MG_1178

Eastern Amberwing, f/8, 1250 ISO, 300mm f4 lens, 1.4X teleconverter, Canon 7D

Eastern Amberwing_v3_1190_f8_1250iso_300mm f4_1_4X_7D 1250_ISO

Eastern Amberwing, f/8, 1250 ISO, 300mm f4 lens, 1.4X teleconverter, Canon 7D

Eastern Amberwing_v5_f16_1250iso_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_1247-2

Eastern Amberwing, Obelisk Position, f/16, 1250 ISO, 300mm w/ 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D

Eastern_Amberwing 4img stk_v2_f11_1250iso_300mm_1_4X_7D_

Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly, 4 Image focus stack for wingtips, 1250 ISO, handheld, 300mm with 1.4x teleconverter, Canon 7D

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