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

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

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.

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

Golden-winged Skimmer Dragonflies

These Golden-winged Skimmer Images are from a previous trip to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. It is a great Refuge to photograph in, lots of photo subjects. Especially in the warmer weather – Bald Eagles, Ospreys and of course Dragonflies! There are many types of Dragonflies here and some we do not usually see in New Jersey. So it is fun to photograph some different types of dragonflies instead of the usual dragons. There are a lot of areas for dragonflies throughout the Refuge, but my favorite spots at Blackwater are the first Observation Platform along the Wildlife Drive and the Wildlife Drive area with standing water on both sides of the Drive. The Visitors Center has gardens behind the building which also is a good spot for dragonflies. At the Observation Platform there are lots of parking spaces there and dragonflies are prevalent all along here on the sides of the Drive. The platform has a long ramp to the main platform so there are lots of Dragonflies around the base and by the vegetation as you walk up.

Golden-winged Skimmer_v2_BWR_8 18

Golden-winged Skimmer, female 

Golden-winged Skimmer_V3_BWR_8_18_MG_4874

Golden-winged Skimmer, male

Golden-winged_Skimmer_v1_BWR_MG_4548

Golden-winged Skimmer, female

Golden-winged Skimmer_MaleBWR 8_18_MG_4892

Golden-winged Skimmer, male

Slaty Skimmer – 3 Image Focus Stack

I was looking for dragonflies and found this Slaty Skimmer at a local park for a photo subject. I wanted a colorful, softer & smoother background so I was using a 400mm f/4 Canon DO lens, with an extension tube on a Canon 1D mkIV. I shot 3 images at different focus points @ f/11. This gives me enough sharpness on the dragonfly (wingtips & tail) but still gives me a very smooth background. This makes my dragonfly stand out more from the soft background.

 

Blue Dasher Dragonflies – 400mm With Fill Flash

This is a series of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images taken with a 400mm DO lens, but I also used an on camera flash with a Better Beamer Flash extender to help fill in the shadow details on the dragonflies. Also for some I set the flash so I was slightly overexposing on the subject dragonfly. This way when I compensated for the correct exposure on the dragonfly, the background would be darker and a little more dramatic.

Blue_Dasher_400mm_FilFlsh_v1_MG_1731Blue_Dasher_400mm_Fil_Flsh_v1_MG_1677BlueDasher_v1_400mmDO_filFlsh_MG_1657 v3Blue Dasher_Male_400mmDO-f14_v1_MG_1314Blie_Dasher_400mmDO_f11_fill_Flash_MG_1322

Blue_Dasher_mating 400mmDO f11_MG_1317

Mating Blue Dashers

Blue_Dasher_v1_400mm_FilFlsh_v1_MG_1657 v3Blue_Dasher_400mm_FilFlsh_v1_MG_1333a_MG_1677

Green Darner Dragonfly Laying Eggs In Small Pond

I was photographing this female Green Darner dragonfly that was busy laying eggs in a small pond. It spent a large amount of time doing this so I had plenty of time to photograph the activity. It covered a very large area in this fairly small pond. The featured image is a 2 image panorama to get the reflection of the Darner in the image also. The Darner seemed to be spreading the eggs in a very wide area around the small pond. I was using a Canon 400mm DO lens & some images were shot with an extension tube to focus this close on the female Darner dragonfly when it came too close for my minimum focus distance.Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1_43G6528Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1_43G6351Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v2_43G6263Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1_43G6177Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1_43G6151Common_Green_Darner_lay_eggs_v1-400mm_43G5930

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