Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘dragonflies in flight’

Eastern Amberwings (Perithemis tenera) are very small dragonflies, with an overall length of no more than one inch (25 mm). Males of this species are easy to identify because of their amber-colored wings. Males are quite common and I ofter see them buzzing around the edges of the ponds that I visit. Females have brown patches on their clearer wings and often hunt far from the water, so I do not see them very often.

Despite their small size, Eastern Amberwings are one of the easiest dragonflies to photograph in flight. They often hover low, close to the water surface near the shore, which gives me a fighting chance to focus on them. It requires a steady hand and quick reactions, but the first two images show the kind of results you can get. The second shot is a little quirky, but I like the way that it shows two male Amberwings passing each other, flying in opposite directions.

The final shot is an “artsy” shot of a perched Amberwing. The dragonfly was flying among the lotus flowers last Wednesday at Green Spring Gardens and perched for a moment on a lotus leaf that had not yet unfurled. I tried to compose the image so that the viewer gets a sense of the habitat, which gives the shot a completely different feel from the first two photos in which the subjects are completely separated from their environment.

Eastern Amberwing

Eastern Amberwing

Eastern Amberwing

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

It is fairly uncommon for me to see a Cyrano Darner dragonfly (Nasiaeschna pentacantha), so when I do, I try my best to get a shot of it. The problem, though, is that they always seem to be patrolling over the water far from the shore and rarely seem to perch.

Last Wednesday I spotted this Cyrano Darner flying around a heavily vegetated area, which made it even tougher to focus on the dragonfly. I was thrilled to be able to get a recognizable shot of the dragonfly, though the background is so cluttered that you may have to look hard to see it in the first image. The second image is a little less sharp, but gives you a clearer view of the dragonfly.

In case you are curious, the species is named for its long, protruding, greenish forehead that is somewhat reminiscent of the long nose of literary character Cyrano de Bergerac. This is the only species that I have encountered where the “nose” helps me to identify it—most of the time I focus on other parts of a dragonfly’s anatomy.

Cyrano Darner

Cyrano Darner

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

Read Full Post »

It was hard to miss the bright red body and distinctive brown patches on the wings of this Carolina Saddlebags dragonfly (Tramea carolina) on Friday at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge. Unlike many of the dragonflies that I try to photograph in flight, the Carolina Saddlebags did not follow any predictable patrolling pattern. Sometimes it would fly in the air above my head; sometimes it would zoom down and fly low over the water; and sometimes it would fly at about waist level near one of the fishing platforms at the edge of the pond.

Carolina Saddlebags are strong fliers—they are one of the dragonfly species that migrate—and I rarely see one perch, so I had lots of chances to attempt to get shots. Carolina Saddlebags are only about 2 inches (50 mm) in length, which makes it a bit of a challenge to keep one in the viewfinder as I track it through the air.

I was not able to capture any close-up shots of the flying dragonfly, but I am particularly happy with the blurred backgrounds in this images that serve as a nice contrast to the dragonfly. The dragonfly itself is sufficiently in focus that you can see the patches on the wings and other wonderful details, such as the way the dragonfly folds up its legs while flying.

As I have noted before, it is a fun challenge to try to capture images of a dragonfly in flight, a good test of both my skills and my patience.

Carolina Saddlebags

Carolina Saddlebags

Carolina Saddlebags

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

Read Full Post »

Male dragonflies are often territorial and spend a lot of their time chasing off intruders, like these rival male Eastern Amberwing dragonflies (Perithemis tenera) that I spotted earlier this month at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge. Although Eastern Amberwing dragonflies are quite small (one inch (25 mm) or less in length), they tend to hover a bit when they are flying, which makes them a little easier to photograph in flight than most other dragonfly species.

Eastern Amberwing

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Normally when I think of saddlebags, I think of cowboys and the Pony Express, but there is also a species of skimmer dragonflies known as Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata). Someone obviously thought the dark patches on the hind wings looked like saddlebags.

Unlike many of the dragonflies that I often observe, Black Saddlebag dragonflies like to fly high in the air (and not low over the water) and some of them even migrate. I was alerted to their presence at my local marsh by a recent posting by a local dragonfly expert and fellow photographer Walter Sanford, so yesterday I kept one eye to the sky yesterday as I searched for subjects to photograph.

Black Saddlebags flew over me several times and I was fortunate to get some shots of one of them in flight. It might have been nice to have used a longer lens than the 100mm macro lens that I had on my camera at the time, but the shots turned out pretty well nonetheless. The first image is the sharpest image, but I like the entire sequence of the three images and the way in which they convey a sense of the environment in which I was shooting.

saddlebags1_blog The fi

saddlebags2_blogsaddlebags3_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: