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

Blue Dasher Dragonflies

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.

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 1D mkIV, 400mm DO lens, 2X Teleconverter, @ f/11
Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Canon 7D, 400mm DO lens, Extension Tubes for closer minimum focusing, f/13 for more depth of field since I was using an extension tube between the camera body & lens

Finally A Blue Dasher In My Yard

Usually we have a few different types of Dragonflies in our yard. But this Summer we have only had Amberwing Dragonflies around. But they were very skittish and very small, so I did not get any good images of them. When I was out looking in our garden for other Praying Mantises  I noticed a female Blue Dasher on our Dogwood tree in the front yard. I finally had an interesting Dragonfly in our yard that was very tolerant of being photographed. It was on one of the Dogwood Bracts basically at almost eye level. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. It would take off, fly around then return to the same spot on the Dogwood. I was able to shift my position to get backgrounds in the shade and in the sun. I also was able to try different f/stops and a few image stacks. The featured shot I was at f/11 for more depth of field (so I did not have to do a focus stack) with a sunlit background.

4 Blue Dasher_FM_v2_300mm_f11_300mm_1_4X_7D_yard_MG_0868

Shifted my position angle for a shaded dark background for a more dramatic look. Same f/11 exposure.

11 Blue_Dasher_FM_300mm f11_1250_ISOD _MG_1031

Blue Dasher Female – 300mm f/11, 1250 ISO (busy background)

10 Blue_Dasher_FM_300mm_1_4X_1250_ISO_7D_MG_1127

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, angled for a cleaner background, 300mm, f11, Canon 7D

9 Blue_Dasher_FM_v1_f13_1250ISO_7D

Blue Dasher Female, f/13 – busy background version

7 Blue Dasher _FM_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_0939-2

6 Blue Dasher FM_CU Crop 9img_Pano_v11_300mm f5_6_300mm 1_4X _7D

Blue Dasher Female – Cropped from below image – 9 image focus stack, 300mm f5/6, 300mm With 1.4X teleconverter, Canon 7D

5 Blue Dasher FM_9img_Pano_v10_300mm f5_6_300mm 1_4X _7D

Blue Dasher Female, 9 Image focus stack, Handheld, f/5.6, (for a smoother background), 300mm with 1.4x teleconverter

5 Blue Dasher _FM_vf vert 3_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_0939-2

Female Blue Dasher, 300mm, f/ 5.6

4 Blue Dasher _FM_vf vert cu 3_300mm_1_4X_7D_MG_0939-2

Cropped version of above image for face detail

3 Blue_Dasher_FM_v4a_300mm_1_4D_7d_f11

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly, f/11 – 300mm w/ 1.4x teleconverter.

2 Blue_Dasher_FM_300mm crop_f5_6_f4_MG_0939

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly,  300mm, f/5.6

1 Blue_Dasher_FM_v1 300mm f11_MG_0882

Blue Dasher- female, 300mm f/11

Male & Female Blue Dasher Dragonflies

We went to a local park to see what we could find. Found a few Blue Dashers by the ponds, but most were looking the worse for wear. Then I concentrated on Butterflies that were around. When photographing Dragonflies I usually shoot multiple images at different focus points. This is to keep a smoother background and still get more of the dragonflies body and wings in somewhat sharper focus. It also depends on if the dragonfly cooperates and does not change position or flies off. The featured image I only had time for 1 shot so the tail is softer. The others were 2 images, so somewhat more depth of field.


Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly – f/8, 1/80 sec., +0.33 Exposure Compensation

Blue_Dasher_Male_DM 2img_stk_v2

Male Blue Dasher Dragonfly – 2 image handheld stack to retain more image sharpness from head to tail and still keep a smoother background. Canon 300mm f/4 Close Focusing lens, with 1.4X Teleconverter shot @ f/11 – 1600 ISO

It Is Dragonfly Season

Some of my favorite photo subjects are Dragonflies and Damselflies. Here are a few Dragonflies to start with. The featured image is a photo of a female Calico Pennant. I was using a 300mm lens that has a close focusing capability, with a 1.4X Teleconverter for a combined focal length of 420mm.


Blue Dasher Dragonfly – Female


Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly – Female

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly Laying Eggs

While I was photographing the Dragonflies and Damselflies at my pond, this Female Blue Dasher flew in and started laying eggs in the pond. The male Blue Dashers kept chasing her and she would hide in the lily pads. She finally got a break and spent a few minutes out in the open laying eggs right where I was setup. I was using a fill flash with a better beamer which helped stop some of the motion blur, mainly on the body, but the wings were moving too quickly even with a flash to stop the wing movement.

Female Blue Dasher lay eggs v1_43G0389

Blue Dasher Female lay eggs v3 43G0388-2

Blue Dasher female lay eggs v1_43G0376

Blue Dasher female lay eggs v2_43G0374

Blue dasher female lay eggs v2_43G0371

blue dasher female lay eggs v2_43G0390

blue dasher female lay eggs v2_43G0389

Female Blue Dasher

This Blue Dasher female dragonfly had just finished mating and stopped to pose on this dried plant. Then she started flying close to the water before laying eggs. She stayed in this one area working over a 2 foot or so span, giving me a chance to get some flight photos.

_43G3960 pond blue dasher female eggs v2

_43G3962 pond blue dasher female eggs v2

_43G3968 pond blue dasher female v4

%d bloggers like this: