Posted on June 28, 2022
I was going through my some of my back-up drives to clear up space for newer images. I am trying not to add even more drives that I have to deal with! As I was clearing up space I was finding interesting images that I have not posted here. These 2 images are of a Twelve-Spotted Skimmer dragonfly that was visiting my pond at my old home years ago. Both images are a series of 5 images focused at different points along the wings, tail & head. I used to use this technique when I could not get closer to my subject Dragonflies because they were out in the middle of my pond. I lowered my camera to look a little more up and to get a more colorful background on the Featured Image. I was using a Canon 7D with a 400mm DO lens with a Canon Flash with a Better Beamer Flash Extender to fill in more details on the Dragonfly. I was also using stacked Teleconverters with extension tubes in between so I only had a limited in-focus window. Arranging the Teleconverters & Extension Tubes in different orders or different size Extension Tubes gives you different zones of focus. So it takes a little practice to get used to using this technique for predictable results! The Dragonfly was 15.4 feet away (according to the Raw Data). The focused-stacked images were loaded into a Photoshop file and auto-aligned & auto-blended for the final images. The images of the Camera Setup showing the Extension Tubes & Teleconverters placement were on a Canon 1D MkIV. I did not have an image showing the 7D with this setup!
Category: Blog, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 7D, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Focus Stacking, Focus Stacking Images, Image Stacking, Panorama & Stacked Images, Uncategorized, yard & pond Tagged: Better Beamer Flash Extender, Canon 1D MkIV, Canon Teleconverters Canon Extension Tubes, dragonfly, Dragonfly closeups, dragonfly photography, extension tubes, fill flash, image blending, image focus stacking, Image Stacking, image stacking with photoshop, Stacking Teleconverters, Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Posted on June 11, 2022
The Featured Image is a closeup image of a male Blue Dasher Dragonfly resting on a stem. Image taken with a 400mm Canon DO lens with extension tubes to get closer focusing on the small subject Blue Dasher dragonfly but taken from a distance away. I found that using longer lenses with extension tubes for close focusing works well on these skittish dragonflies instead of macro lenses. You have a much longer working distance so your subject dragonfly does not get nervous & fly off giving you more time for shooting a variety of angles & compositions of images. And a bonus of using a 400mm lens or 300mm lens with extension tubes is you get very clean smooth blurred backgrounds. You can also add a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter for more working distance and even smoother backgrounds.
Category: Blog, Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Bugs, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D MkIV, Dragonflies, dragonfly, Equipment, Insects, Tips & Techniques Tagged: 1.4x teleconverter, 2x Teleconverters, Canon 400 f/4 DO lens, canon 400mm f/4 DO, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Dragonflies, extension tubes, Photographing Dragonflies
Posted on July 9, 2021
A couple of images of Blue Dasher Dragonflies. The Featured Image of the male Blue Dasher was taken with a 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter @ f/8 on a Canon 1D mkIV. To get the smoother background I wanted I only stopped down 1 more f/stop to f/8 since I already lost 1 stop with the 1.4X Teleconverter attached. My usual workflow when (on bright days) using teleconverters for a little more sharpness is to stop down at least 1 additional stop when using a 1.4X and at least 2 stops when using a 2X teleconverter. If I am using a 3X Teleconverter I would stop down 1 or 2 more stops than when using a 2X Teleconverter if I could. But then again a 3X Teleconverter usually is so bad I would just stack a 1.4X & 2X teleconverter. If using an extension tube on Telephoto lenses to get closer focusing I would also stop down at least 1 or 2 more stops for more depth of field.
Category: Blog, Closeup Photography, Dragonflies, Equipment, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 2X teleconverter, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon extension tubes, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon Teleconverters Canon Extension Tubes, Closer up images with filters & extension tubes, extension tubes, Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Male Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Posted on July 18, 2020
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.
Posted on June 27, 2020
An assortment of Dragonfly closeups focusing on their eye & face details. Images taken with 300mm & 400mm lenses with extension tubes.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Celery Farm, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, yard & pond Tagged: Blue Dasher Dragonfly, blue dasher Female dragonfly, canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, Canon 400 f/4 DO lens, Eastern Pondhawk, extension tubes
Posted on June 26, 2020
This Blue Dasher focus stacked image is made with 2 images, blended. 1 focused on the head area & the other focused on the tail area. Both were shot, handheld with a 400mm DO lens, with an extension tube for closer focusing. This Dasher seemed to have a damaged hindwing on the right side. Images taken @ f/8 to to keep a smoother background so the Blue Dasher stands out. I used Photoshop to align and then blend the 2 images for the final focus stacked image. If I stopped down more to get everything in focus in 1 shot, the background would have been busier and the Dasher would not stand out as much. I tend to like smoother backgrounds in my Dragonfly images.
Posted on June 10, 2020
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.
Category: Blog, Brigantine NWR, Oceanville NJ, Closeup Photography, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Favorite Locations, Insects, Nature Still Lifes, Photo Tips, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: 1.4x teleconverter, 2X teleconverter, Canon 300mm, canon 300mm f/4 lens IS, Closer up images with filters & extension tubes, Closeup filters, Dragonflys, extension tubes, teleconverters, using extension tubes for close-up images
Posted on May 28, 2020
This is a series of some Blue Dasher & other Dragonfly images I shot over a few years using a technique for getting softer smoother backgrounds for dragonflies that you can not get close to photograph. Depth of field is limited with this technique, but I like the softer backgrounds which makes the detail in the dragonfly stand out. The subject Dragonflies are about about 5 to 9 feet away. Usually they are on a plant or branch in or over the water. Plus I get closer up images not needing a large or any cropping. I was using a Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x teleconverter(s) and extension tubes to get closer focus on the small (about 1.5 inches long) Dragonflies. Basically converting the lens to only closer focusing capability. Sometimes I would setup the equipment with the lens, then extension tubes, the teleconverter and then camera. Or have the lens, teleconverter, extension tubes, then camera body. Different arrangements of extension tube(s) & teleconverters gives different “focus zones”. Depending on the width & position of the extension tubes used is how close you can focus on your subject. With all the added converter(s) & extension tubes you may loose autoexposure so I mainly set exposure by looking at a preview shot or histogram and adjust exposure from there. It takes a while to get consistent results because there are so many variables. But it works well once you get used to it. Many times I use fill flash to help light the subject because I loose so much light with certain combinations of teleconverter(s) and extension tubes.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Brigantine NWR, Oceanville NJ, Dragonflies, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Insects, Tips & Techniques, yard & pond Tagged: Better Beamer Flash Extender, Blue Dasher, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon Teleconverters Canon Extension Tubes, closeup photography, extension tubes, fill flash, Male Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Posted on July 23, 2018
We went to Davidson’s Mill Pond Park to photograph Dragonflies. Here are a series of images of Widow Skimmers. Shot with a 400mm lens, extension tube and then a 1.4x teleconverter in that order. It allows for closer focusing plus enlarges the image some on the sensor, since my subjects are not by the shoreline. You try to get any advantage to get your subject closer or bigger in the frame.
Posted on July 9, 2018
I am still going through my images of dragonflies I photographed at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park in NJ. It has been extremely hot here in New Jersey. That seems to make the dragonflies even more active. But seems to have the reverse effect on me! Here are two images of 2 different Widow Skimmers. Images focus stacked and assembled in Photoshop. Shot with a 400mm f/4 lens, extension tube then a 1.4x teleconverter to achive closer focusing on the dragonfly. It is fun to hunt for Dragonflies here because I am finding some I have not found where I used to live.
Category: Blog, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, Equipment, Favorite Locations, Nature Still Lifes, Panorama & Stacked Images, Stacked Images Tagged: canon 1.4x teleconverter series III, Canon 400 f/4 DO lens, Davidsons Mill Pond Park, Dragonflies, dragonfly, extension tubes, Widow Skimmer