Last of the Slaty Skimmers for this year

Another Dragonfly season is pretty much over now so I will have to find other interesting subjects to photograph. Here are some Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly images from my last visit to Davidsons Mill Pond Park before they were gone.

4 Image Focus Stack, 300mm, f/6.3, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
Slaty Skimmer, 300mm, f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
Slaty Skimmer, 300mm, f/11, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D
4 Image Focus Stack, 300mm, f/16, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 7D

Slaty Skimmer @ Davidsons Mill Pond Park

It is nearing the end of the Dragonfly season so there are less opportunities of phot0graphing Dragonflies. We were walking at a local park and noticed this Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly by the pond. This is a 3 image focus stack, shot handheld, @ f/11. I focused on the far wing , then the head, and then the near wingtip. I loaded all 3 images into 1 layered Photoshop file to prepare the final blended image. I used Auto-Align Layers, then Auto-Blend Layers for the blending of the 3 images. I save the layered file, just in case I need to go back to adjust something, then flatten the layers for the final image. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens, with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D.

Slaty Skimmer – 3 Image Focus Stack

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.

 

Dragonfly Wing Damage

It is starting to be the time of year when dragonflies start to show signs of wear & tear on their wings. It seems they must lead a rough life from the looks of wear on some of them. The featured image is a male Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly.

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Blue Dasher, 300mm, 2x teleconverter, (600mm) 2 images – focus stacked

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Blue Dasher, 300mm, 2x teleconverter, (600mm) 5 images focus stacked

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Eastern Pondhawk Male – (600mm) 3 images focus stacked

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Blue Dasher, (960mm) Multi-image stack

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Blue Dasher, (600mm) multi-image focus stack

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2 Male Spangled Skimmers, (600mm) 2 image focus stack

Dragonflies From Davidsons Mill Pond Park

Some Dragonflies from a recent walk at Davidsons Mill Pond Park. Featured image is a Blue Dasher (male). All images captured with a Canon 1D MkIV with a 300mm f/4 lens & 1.4X Teleconverter.

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Another Blue dasher – Male

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Eastern Pondhawk – Female

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Eastern Pondhawk – Female

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Eastern Pondhawk – Male

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Slaty Skimmer Male

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Common Whitetail Male

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Widow Skimmer – Female

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Eastern Amberwing – Male

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Calico Pennant – Male

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Widow Skimmer – Female

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Widow Skimmer – Male

Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly From Davidson’s Mill Pond Park

I am going through my dragonfly images shot earlier this Summer at various locations. These are Slaty Skimmers photographed at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park in Monmouth County, New Jersey. For these I used a Canon 7D (1.6 crop sensor) 300mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter to get closer since my subjects did not want to cooperate and come closer to the edge of the pond.

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Slaty Skimmer – Side View @ 960mm (Field Of View)

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Slaty Skimmer Closeup Wing Detail

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Slaty Skimmer – Side View

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Slaty Skimmer – 3/4 rear view

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Slaty Skimmer – Side View

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Slaty Skimmer – Side View

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Slaty Skimmer Wing Detail

Slaty Skimmer Head-On View

I am always trying different ways to photograph Dragonflies and Damselflies. At one location most of the dragonflies are not where I can get close to get the detail I want. So I have to come up with different ways to photograph them. Here I was trying a 300mm lens with close focusing capability. I also added a 2X teleconverter, so using a Canon 1.6 crop sensor camera I had a FOV equivalent of 960mm of a full frame camera. Some shots I also added a short extension tube between the lens and the teleconverter which also enlarges the image on the sensor a little more. But doing this you cannot focus to infinity, but I did not need that ability to photograph Dragonflies.Slaty Skimmer v1 3img_960mm_DM 7 18Slaty_Skimmer_v8_DM 960mmSlaty_Skimmer_v9_DM_960mm_MG_3912Slaty_Skimmer_v1a_DM_7_18_MG_3920

Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly

We went to Davidson’s Mill Pond Park to look for Dragonflies and whatever else we could find to photograph. We found a lot flying around both the large pond and the small pond. There was a large variety but many of the larger dragonflies are constantly zooming by, so they are hard to get photos of. But we did find about 6 different types that were more cooperative for our photo interests. Along with quite a few damselflies. It is a hard location to get closeups because the ponds are lower than the surrounding grass areas with lots of vegetation and plants blocking the smaller plants on the shoreline where most of the Dragonflies were active. I was using a 300mm f/4 IS lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 1.6x crop body. The 300mm lens can focus very close without using an extension tube. So the whole combination gave me a field of view equivalent to a 672mm lens which helped fill the frame with my distant subject Dragonflies. This is a 3 Image focus stack assembled in Photoshop for more sharpness from the head to wings & wingtips and to the tip of the tail.

Slaty Skimmer Wing Detail

We saw many types of Dragonflies while we were at the Davidson Mill Pond Park. Here are images of a Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly. The featured image shows the wing detail where the 4 wings attach to the Thorax. These dragonflies are usually a little under 2 inches long. This is 2 stacked images, focused on the head and then on the thorax. Combined in Photoshop for more depth of field. 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.6x Canon cropped body and 1.4x teleconverter (approx 672mm in full frame equivalence).

SlatyBlue_Dragonfly_v1 4img_stk_DM_7_!&

Same Dragonfly as above, three images, photographed at three different focus points along the Dragonfly. Head, thorax and tip of tail. Assembled in Photoshop for more sharpness on the dragonfly, but trying to keep the background softer since it was quite close behind the dragon.

Now I have to find something with feathers to post!

Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly

This Slaty Skimmer Dragonfly was happily sitting in the sun on this plant. A Blue Dasher Dragonfly kept chasing it off. It would do a small arc and land back in the same spot. They kept doing this for quite a few minutes.

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Slaty blue mcfaul v2 2015_43G8857

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