It is a very good time for dragon and damselflies. High summer. This year I am hiding in the cool and struggling to walk up stairs. So I resort to the archives to take us away from the raspberry ripple skies of dawn. Many followers and visitors will not have seen some of my older “ode” shots. Here are my tips for a successful photo of a dragon or damselfly.
I use a 180mm F3.5 macro lens (which has now died on me), tripod mounted. The longer lens gives good working distance so as not to spook the insect. Occasionally I will use a little fill flash at around -1.66 to lift the shadows under the body. Typically I will need an F stop of at least F11 unless I can get perfectly parallel to the body or I am deliberately using a narrow plane of focus for effect. I frame my shots using Live View, so I can see the image on the back of the DSLR before I release the shutter. This also means no vibration from the mirror slap. I use a cable release. Shutter speed is often slow and it is important to wait for breezes to die down. Finding a clean background is often difficult where I shoot. I try to get down to dragonfly eye-level rather than shoot down at it. When all these come together the effect is quite pleasing to me but you can be the judge.