Great Spreadwing Damselfly

I am still going through backup drives for images to post here. But at the same time I am also editing out images I do not need on my backup drives. Which is freeing a lot of room on these drives for more recent work. This is an image of a Great Spreadwing Damselfly. I was using a Canon 70-300mm DO lens (Diffractive Optics) at 300mm on a Canon 7D. I was surprised that lens worked so well on this subject. It is not the “sharpest” Canon zoom lens for fine detail, but is convenient, stabilized & lightweight to carry. Also much shorter, but wider than a “normal” 70-300mm lens because of the Diffractive Optics. It really helps to shoot “raw” files with this lens & use Adobe Camera Raw to pull out more detail and smooth out the nasties.
Great_Spreadwing_v2_300mm_7D_MG_5968

 

 

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.

mating-damselflies-v2_43g3802

damselflies-mating-v1-lg-2016_43g3921

damselflies-v1-lg-2016_43g3934

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.

 

damsel stack v6_9 img stack f8 43G5888

9 image stack shot at f/5.6.

Damselfly v2 f56_43G6047

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.

damselfly cu yard v1 f16

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

damselfly cu yard v1_43G5903

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

damselfly cu yard v2 f22_43G5870

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.

damselfly cu yard v2_43G5871

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

damselfly cu yard v2_43G5872

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

damselfly cu yard v2_43G5903

Damselfly @ f/22.

damselfly cu yard_v1 43G5863

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.

 

 

_MG_8695 pond daselfly v3

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.

Pond Bubbles

With the coming of Spring, I cannot wait to get our pond cleaned out from Winter’s leaves and debris, to ready it for the flowers, bugs, Dragonflies & Damselflies. It is my outdoor macro and small critter studio and is amazing what shows up during Spring, Summer and Fall to Photograph. Here are some images from last year.

_MG_0273 v3

Closeup Dragonfly Wing – Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro @f/14, 1/13 sec, +0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

_MG_0295 v2

Closeup Dragonfly Wing – Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro @f/14, 1/50 sec, ISO 640

_43G5395 v3

Common Green Darner, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, 30mm Extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm Extension Tube, f/8, 1/125 sec, -0.33 exp. comp, ISO 1250

 

_43G5554 v3

Common Green Darner, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, 30mm Extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm Extension Tube, f/8, 1/100 sec, -0.67 exp. comp, ISO 1250

 

_43G9553 v4

Blue Dasher, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, 30mm Extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm Extension Tube, f/8, 1/250 sec, -0.67 exp. comp, ISO 1250

 

_MG_048 v24

Hemlock Cones, Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm Macro f/2.8, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter Series III, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO 400

 

_MG_0240 v4

Bug on Leaf, Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm Macro f/2.8, f/7.1, 1/320 sec, -0.33 exp. comp, ISO 320

_MG_0393 v8

Canon 7D, Sigma 150mm Macro f/2.8, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/320 sec, +0.33 exposure compensation

 

_MG_0426 v3

Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm Macro f/2.8, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO 400

 

_MG_5968 v3

Canon EOS 7D, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO lens, f/11, 1/320 sec, +0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 320

 

_MG_8509 crp v3

Blue Dasher, Female, Canon EOS 7D, Canon 400mm DO f/4, Extension Tubes, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/200 sec., -1.33 exposure compensation, ISO 1250

 

Blue Dasher Flying_43G9506

Flying Blue Dasher, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, 30mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm extension tube, On Camera Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, – 2.67 exp compensation, f/10, 1/125 sec, ISO 640

 

Blue_Dasher_43G9333 a

Blue Dasher, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, 30mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm extension tube, On Camera Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, – 0.67 exp compensation, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO 400

 

Blue Dasher_80I9925 v3

Blue Dasher, Canon EOS 1D MkIII, Canon 400mm DO f/4, 30mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm extension tube, On Camera Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, -1 exp compensation, f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO 400

_43G2780 v2

Big Red Skimmer, Canon EOS 1D MkIII, Canon 400mm DO f/4, 30mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm extension tube, On Camera Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, – 1 exp compensation, f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO 400

Skimmer wing_MG_0251 v2

Closeup Dragonfly Wing – Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro @f/8, 1/30 sec, -1 exp. comp., ISO 400

Water Droplets

A lot of photographers do not like it when it rains, cuts down on their photography. I like a rain showers, when it ends or just drizzles a little, it gives you an opportunity to go and add water droplets to your photos. It adds interest and dimension to leaves and other subjects. It is like a Treasure hunt and you can do it in your own yard or a local park. When shooting wet leaves, sometimes it helps to use a polarizing filter to cut down on the glare if the sun comes out. Most of the photos shown here were shot using the Panasonic GH2 m43 camera with an older manual focus Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro lens. I like using this combination for macro. With this combo it is like using an f/4  400mm macro that goes to 2X without extension tubes. Your depth of field is also extended because it is a 200 mm lens, but with the 2X crop factor of m43 giving you 400mm. Plus you are not right on top of your subjects, gives you a nice working distance. You just press in the exposure compensation and the image in your viewfinder zooms in for critical focus. Then you just touch the shutter button and it zooms out for the full image on the viewfinder. Also as you stop down, the image remains bright in the electronic viewfinder, but you also see the full depth of field of the  aperture you set.  After you shoot your shot you also instantly see a preview of what you just shot for a second and will give you “blinkies” on a bright area that might have gotten blown out so you can instantly compensate and reshoot a darker exposure. So enjoy and go out and look after a rain shower to see what you can find.

_1220548

_1200469 good

_1200358

_1200144

_1110507

_1110484

_1110386

_1110365

_1110362

_1110337

_1110309

_1110163

_1110124

_1110120

_1110104

_1110100

_1110071

_1110066

_1110062

_1110038  pano

_1110034 cu

_1110020 cu

_1100991

_1100977

_1100942

_43G8549 v2

_43G8493

%d bloggers like this: