Female Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly

I was photographing dragonflies at a local park when I noticed this female Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly off to the side. I quickly switched from the usual dragonfly subjects and got a few images of this one before it flew off. I was using a 400mm lens with an extension tube to be able to focus closer for Dragonflies. All images were taken @ f/11 giving a little more depth of field yet still have smoother cleaner backgrounds.Great Blue Skimmer_FM_DM_300_1_4X_v2_76A5733

Great Blue Skimmer_FM_V3_76A5723

Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly Detail Shots

One of my favorite subjects are Dragonflies & Damselflies. The trouble is l have a wide variety of favorite subjects! This series was shot a few years ago at a somewhat local tree covered stream in Mahwah NJ. I could not get real close because of the stream they were over so I used a Canon 400mm DO lens with extension tubes. This enabled me to get somewhat frame filling images with a very smooth background. With the extension tubes I lost quite a bit of light so I used a Canon flash for filling in the shadows somewhat. Also because of the extension tubes, I had a limited depth of field that gave me extremely soft smooth backgrounds.

The Featured image was shot at f/8, 1/200th second @ ISO 1250, 2 images for a focus stack to get detail in the left wing, with an exposure compensation of -1.33 because of the fill flash. This also made the background a little darker

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Image taken @ 1/60 th sec., f/11, -0.67 Exp. Compensation, ISO 1250

Great Blue Skimmer_v2_f8_1-60sec-400mm_Fil_Flash_43G5800 copy

Image taken @ 1/125 th sec., f/8, -1.33 Exp. Compensation, ISO 1250

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.

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

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

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Female Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly – Side view, Single image

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