Just Dragonflies...

Earlier images, not yet re-categorized. All subject types. Not for new images.

Moderators: rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S., Pau

twebster
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:02 am
Location: Phoenix "Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

Just Dragonflies...

Post by twebster »

Took a break from photographing birds. It's getting so darned hot here in Phoenix, Arizona, USA that the birds are going into
deep cover. It was a balmy 110°F, yesterday, when I photographed these dragonflies :D ...

Image

I was trying to get some landing images of this Blue Dasher. He kept leaving and coming back to the same perch. This isn't
quite as sharp as I would have liked but I had fun. :!: :D

Image

I just liked this perch this Flame Skimmer chose to rest on. :D

Image

I like using long telephoto lenses to photograph dragonflies. Long telephoto lenses allow me great control over the background. :D

All of these images were made with a Canon EOS 30D dSLR + Canon EF 500mm f 4L IS lens + Canon EF 2x II teleconverter with
a Canon 25mm extension tube attached between the lens and the teleconverter. The whole rig is mounted on a Jobu gimbal
head attached to a Gitzo 1325 tripod.

Normally, I use my 300mm lens for dragonflies but, with the high temps in Phoenix right now, the dragonflies are super-
charged and won't allow a close enough approach :!: :D

Best regards to all, as always :!: :D
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

The worst day photographing dragonflies is better than the best day working! :)

Ken Ramos
Posts: 7208
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:12 pm
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

Post by Ken Ramos »

Doesn't Arizona have dry heat there Tom? In the Philippines when it hits over 100°F in the shade isn't to uncommon to see folks out frolicking in the sun. I really like that fire orange one, really cool Tom. 8)

twebster
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:02 am
Location: Phoenix "Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

Post by twebster »

Ken Ramos wrote:Doesn't Arizona have dry heat there Tom? In the Philippines when it hits over 100°F in the shade isn't to uncommon to see folks out frolicking in the sun. I really like that fire orange one, really cool Tom. 8)
I've lived in Phoenix 40+ years, Ken and...It's just flat :twisted: :!: :!: HOT :!: :!: :twisted:[
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

The worst day photographing dragonflies is better than the best day working! :)

salden
Posts: 1363
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:40 pm
Location: Pennsylvania
Contact:

Post by salden »

Beautiful images Tom. I like to use the telephoto lens as well.
Sue Alden

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 22452
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Post by rjlittlefield »

These are all great! :D My favorite is #1 -- it's sharp enough, and the action is perfect.

--Rik

DaveW
Posts: 1702
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:29 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by DaveW »

The legs of these things seem all wrong for perching because the front ones have evolved to make a "basket" to catch insects I believe? They almost have to find an angled perch so their body is horizontal.

Great pictures, particularly the one in flight. I never thought of using a long telephoto for these things. I was put off that method when an English wildlife photographer told me a story about a woman at one of his talks asking how he got such resolution on his butterfly images because she was disappointed with hers. It turned out she was using a long telephoto lens and photographing them from across the street!

With a 500mm lens, plus tube, plus teleconverter I am surprised you got the quality you did Tom. I think a macro lens up close is still the way to go if possible, but then you probably would not get the shot. Plus you were also able to use a tripod, which shooting insects up close seldom allows and hand held camera shake probably degrades the image just as much as using a long telephoto from distance.

All the best,

DaveW

puzzledpaul
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 4:15 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by puzzledpaul »

Nice shots, but the first'd also get my vote :)

I think being ultra sharp in some situations is less preferable as a bit of (motion) blur - eg pix of prop driven aircraft with no prop blur.

<< able to use a tripod, which shooting insects up close seldom allows >>
I don't use my 200mm macro any other way, Dave :)

pp

DaveW
Posts: 1702
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:29 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by DaveW »

You obviously have to sit and wait for them to land in the right spot where you have already set up then Paul. Mine are not that cooperative!

DaveW

twebster
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:02 am
Location: Phoenix "Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

Post by twebster »

Hi ya' Dave and Paul, :D

I watched the flying dragonfly return to the same perch time after time. This is an often observed behavior of the Blue Dasher. So, yes, I pre-focused on the perch and fired short burst of images as the dragonfly approached the perch. It's not unusual for me to practically fill a 2 GB memory card doing this. Dragonflies are darned fast and you have to make many exposures to get the posture you want. Also, the depth of field is quite shallow and the slightest breeze can blow perch and dragonfly out of focus.

This is also why I like to use medium to long telephoto lenses for photographing dragonflies. These lenses allow me to stand back far enough so as to not disturb the dragonfly and prevent it form returning to the same perch. The Canon EF lenses I use are of very high quality and record details very well from a distance. Also, keep in mind, I am only shooting these images from 10 feet to 15 feet away. I just uploaded a short article to my web site on how I photograph dragonflies. If you are interested, it can be found at...

http://www.tomwebsterphoto.com/Essays/D ... yphoto.htm

Later today I will upload some images I have made of hovering dragonflies. These images are pretty cool, too :!: :D

Best regards to all as always :!: :D
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

The worst day photographing dragonflies is better than the best day working! :)

Planapo
Posts: 1533
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:33 am
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Post by Planapo »

Tom, I enjoy all three of your shots!

But #2 is my clear favourite: Look how he has grabbed that swaying liana ..., it just must be him: the famous Tarzan of the dragonflies!
Didn´t you hear that Johnny Weissmuller-like UAH UAH UAAAAHH AAAHH yell when you were photographing him?! :smt003 :wink:

Best wishes,
Betty

beetleman
Posts: 3578
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:19 am
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

Post by beetleman »

Incredible photos Tom. Both the red and orange ones look hot (as in red hot) and the blue one looks icy cool. :wink: Keep your hat on at all times in that heat.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic