Mating Damselflies

In the Water Lily Gardens at Longwood Gardens there were a lot of Dragonflies and Damselflies. As I was photographing the lilies, I noticed quite a few mating damselflies. These two flew close by so I was able to get a couple of shots. Then I saw others mating on the Lily Pads.

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Mating Damselfies

There were quite a few damselflies buzzing around the pond, so I was waiting for them to come closer. Then I noticed these 2 mating on this plant close to where I was. They stayed for quite a while so I got a few images.

Damselfly v1_MG_9986

I like the movement in the wings on this one.

Damselfly with Water Drop

This Eastern Forktail Damselfly had a large drop of water on its mouth which acts like a magnifying glass, giving an interesting view.

Damselfly With Raindrops – Stacked Images

Here are examples of stacked Damselfly images to show the difference between stopping down to f/22 or f/32 for depth of field and maximum focus of the subject Damselfly resulting in a busier background , or using f/5.6 or f/8 with stacked focus points giving depth of field and focus of the Damselfly and yet yielding a smoother looking background. All examples were aligned and stacked in Photoshop. One “BIG” challenge is hoping the damsel does not move or “flyoff” before you are done. The female Eastern Forktail stands out against the green soft background more than the bluish male. Focus Stacking is great for maximum depth of field and focus on your subject if that is what you are trying to convey. There are times when a narrower depth of field is more “Artsy” or “Softer” look and gives a different feeling for what you are trying to show.

damselfly cu yard v2 f32

Male Eastern Forktail shot @ f/32 for maximum depth of field in “one” shot. Showing “busier” distracting background around the damselfly.

Damselfly stack v5 f56

14 image “stack” shot at f/5.6.

 

Damselfly stack v2 f8 14 layers

Wider view of above subject using a shorter layered stack.

 

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9 image stack shot at f/5.6.

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Non-Stacked Image shot at f/5.6 showing shallow depth of field on the Damselfly, but yielding an uncluttered background. But does give the main focus on face.

Damselfly short stack v1 pond f11_43G6011

Simple 2 image “short” stack. Subject was fairly flat to the camera sensor plane.

 

Damselfly After The Rain

I went out early after it rained during the night to see what I could find. I was looking for raindrops or maybe damselflies in the grasses with water drops. I found quite a few interesting subjects to photograph. I used a Sigma 150mm Macro with a Canon Series II 1.4X teleconverter so I did not have to get right on top of my subjects. I tried different f/stops to get a variety of backgrounds, more blurry wider open or a little more distracting when stopped down more. Wider open did not give me enough depth of field to get the whole damselfly, Stopped down gave me more depth of field on the damselfly and raindrops, but gave me a busier background. I also shot many series at a wider open f/stop with a series of focus points to combine in an image stack which will give me more depth of field with a nice smooth background. I will post those later.

The featured opening photo was shot at f/5.6 for a smooth non-distracting background, but not as much detail on the damsel, but you get the face and some water drops. You see the expression on the face stands out and a water drop.

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Damselfly @ f/16 – more depth of field but background gets more distracting.

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Damselfly at f/22. More depth of field, background more distracting.

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Damselfly @ f/13. Inbetween the first 2.

damselfly cu yard v2 f32

Damselfly @ f/32. More depth of field, more detail in damselfly, more raindrops in focus, but background gets more distracting.

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Damselfly @ f/13. Enough depth of field for interest. Enough detail in the Damsefly and raindrops with a not overly distracting background.

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Damselfly @ f/13. Again, enough depth of field for interest. Enough detail in the Damsefly and raindrops with a not overly distracting background.

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Damselfly @ f/22.

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Damselfly @ f/4. Very selective focus. Keeps your eye on the face and the expression on the face. Gives a “Dreamy” soft look.

Peek-A-Boo Damselfly

I was photographing by the pond when this Damselfy landed on a Black-eyed Susan Flower in front of me. It would pop up, then go down. I shot a 3 image focus stack and manually combined them in Photoshop with layered masks. I liked the yellows and the dark center of the Black-eyed Susan with the damselfly peeking over the top.

 

 

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Damselfly Closeup. Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro with Canon 1.4X Series II Telconverter, f/4, 1/8000 sec. ISO 800, handheld. Used f/4 for higher shutter speed because of extreme closeup, handheld.

_MG_8712 pond blue dasher dragonfly v2

Blue Dasher Dragonfly Stopped By. Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro with Canon 1.4X Series II Telconverter, f/8, 1/1000 sec. ISO 800, handheld

 

Mating Damselflies

I found these mating Damselflies at the pond. You can see the distinctive “Heart” shape of their mating. This lasted for about 30 minutes.

_43G5368 pond damselflies mating v3

Mating Bluet Damselflies showing “Heart” shape of their mating. Canon EOS 1D MkIV, 400mm f/4 DO IS lens, Kenko 35mm extension tube, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, f/11, 1/80 sec., -1.33 exp. comp. ISO 800, Canon 600 ex flash with Better Beamer Flash Extender w/ – 2 stops Ettl Flash compensation for just a slight fill in the shadows.

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