Blue Dasher Dragonflies

Dragonfly season will soon be ending but here are a series of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images from a series of different outings. The Featured Image was taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens on a Canon 1D mkIV, @f/8, 1/400 sec.

Blue Dasher Female, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/11, Fill Flash for Detail, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher Male, 300mm lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 7D, @ f/11
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/11, Fill Flash for Detail, Canon 1D mkIV @f/11
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 300mm lens, 1.4x Teleconverter for 420mm, @ f/16, Canon R

A Series Of Blue Dasher Dragonfly Images

A series of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images taken over a few years. The Featured Image was taken a few years ago and is a 2 image focus blend with a Canon 400mm DO lens on a Canon 7D and a small amount of Fill Flash to brighten the shadows. Subject Dragonfly was 16.7 ft away. When using Teleconverters I usually set my f/stop 2 stops down from wide open for a little more depth of field for sharpness but still have a smoother background. So using my 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter the lens wide open would be @ f/5.6 because of the teleconverter. So I would set my f/stop @ f/11. If I was using my 400mm f/4 lens with a teleconverter I would probably stop down even more but not always.

Blue Dasher Dragonfly -2 Image Focus Stack. Canon 7D, 300mm f/4 lens, 1.4X Teleconverter, 420mm, @f/11
Blue Dasher, Canon 1D mkIV, 300mm f/4 lens @f/11, 2X Teleconverter, 600mm
Blue Dasher, Male, Canon 1D mkIV, 400mm DO lens @ f/11 to hold more depth of field but still have a smooth background.
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 300mm lens @ f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, (420mm)
Blue Dasher, Female, Canon 1D mkIV, 300mm lens, 1.4X Teleconverter, (420mm) @ f/11
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens @f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, (560mm)
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens @f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, (560mm)
Blue Dasher, Male, 400mm DO lens, Canon 7d, Fill Flash with Better Beamer Flash Extender
Blue Dasher, Male, 400mm DO lens, Canon 7d, Fill Flash used to open shadows
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens with 1.4x Teleconverter @f/11 (560mm)
Blue Dasher, male, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens, Fill Flash, @f/11

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.


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.

Widow Skimmer Dragonflies – Male & Female

The featured image and the one below are male Widow Skimmers. Images taken with a 300mm f/4 canon lens with a 1.4X Canon teleconverter.
Widow_Skimmer_v1 DM_7_18_43G0552

Below are images of female Widow Skimmer dragonflies. Female Widow Skimmers do not have white on the wings and have a different body coloring.

Widow Skimmer_FM_43G6887Widow Skimmer_v1_43G6906

Blue Dasher Thorax & Wing Detail

I thought it was interesting to see the details of where the wings attach to the thorax on this Blue Dasher dragonfly’s body. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 2x teleconverter and an extension tube to get a closer view. I usually carry extension tubes or closeup filters with me in case I come upon an interesting closeup photo opportunity. But I usually use extension tubes more than closeup filters because you are adding another glass element that might degrade the image. You can also experiment with the placement of the extension tube. Placing the extension tube before or after the teleconverter gives you different “focus zones.” Also the width of the extension tube gives you different focus zones. So it is best to see what combination works best for you and the lenses you are using. But it is fun to try different ways to get the image you want. Plus you never know when it will come in handy. Images below are a series of images using extension tubes & teleconverters with 300mm & 400mm lenses.

Blue dasher yard 2015 v2_43G1052Blue Dasher v1_43G0999


Blue Dasher Dragonfly- 400mm f/4 DO Lens, extension tube, 1.4x teleconverter

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

Female Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

I have not photographed as many Dragonflies this year as I have in other years. Maybe because I have been working on a few personal projects. I found these female Great Blue Skimmers at Plainsboro Preserve which is a Preserve and Nature Center along with an Audubon Center. It is about 1,000 acres, with a 50 acre lake and miles of nature trails. So it is a fun place to wander around and look for photo subjects, especially Dragonflies! On this day we mostly saw Great Blue Skimmers. Lately I use a 300mm f/4 Canon lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter for photographing Dragonflies. It allows me to get close images and seems to work well @ f/11 for getting detail, but still have a somewhat soft background. Sometimes I will go to f/8 for the series if the background is busier and shoot a series with more focus points. I then blend the images in Photoshop, to keep a softer background for my Dragonfly images but still get more of the dragonfly in focus.

Great Blue Skimmer_FM_DM_300_1_4X_v2_76A5733

Head-On View, 300mm w/ 1.4X Teleconverter

Great Blue_Skimmer_V2_FM_DM400mm_1_4X_ v1

Female Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly – 3/4 view from behind

Great Blue Skimmer_FM_DM_300_1_4X_v3_5746

Female Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly – Side view, Single image

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