Common Whitetail Dragonflies From Audubon Plainsboro Preserve

We went to get a walk at the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve so I just took a camera along in case I saw some interesting Dragonflies along the walking paths. I saw quite a few Damselflies along with many Dragonflies on this visit. The Cicadas were not as noisy as previous trips with many just laying on the ground along the paths. The Featured Image is a handheld 5 image Focus Stacked image of a Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly. As I was shooting my series of images it flew off before I could photograph the Near & Far wingtips but I thought it was still interesting. If the Dragonfly is horizontal to me I usually start my handheld multi-image Focus-Stacked Images with the main body and then the Far Wing Tips and then the Near Wing tips. Lately I am also shooting with an f/stop of f/5.6 or f/8 (Depending on the lens & Teleconverter I am using and the Camera Body) to get a smoother background. I used to just shoot @ f/16 or f/22 to get the whole Dragonfly in Focus, but then I usually had a busy distracting background to deal with.

Common Whitetail Dragonfly, immature male, 3 image Focus Stack, 300mm lens @ f/5.6 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly

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.

Female Common Whitetail Dragonfly

A few images of a female Common Whitetail Dragonfly taken along a walk at the Audubon Plainsboro Preserve in NJ. I was using a Canon 300mm f/4 lens on a Canon 7D, mainly because it was lighter to carry for a long walk. The background is a little busy with the sandy & pebble path. But it cooperated by not flying off!

Common Whitetail Female v2_MG_8077Common Whitetail Female v3_MG_8109Common Whitetail Female_MG_8064 v2Common Whitetail Female v2_MG_8103

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