<< Previous Next >>

Wandering Glider

Wandering Glider
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-03-12
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 100, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/11, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Insects and Spiders of Southern Africa, Odonata: Dragonflies and Damselflies 2, A study in Entomology (insects) 1, Macromania [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-16 13:29
Viewed: 5381
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Wandering Glider - Pantala flavescens

Photographed at the Thulasihleka Pan Bird Sanctuary outside of Richards Bay. This is my second attempt at critter macro photography and I must say that (in my opinion) it already went much better. I believe it is still long before I can say, "Iíve arrived", but applying the advice I received from Gert Ellstrom (ellis49) and Howard Cheek (marhowie) I can already see an improvement (hope you can too). At f/11 the depth of field improved greatly. The tripod remains a contentious issue and that will remain so until I can obtain a proper lightweight tripod designed for this kind of application. The normal tripod just does not work, as it is too large and cumbersome.

One other thing I learned during this trip is that you do not go 'insect hunting' during the mid-hours of a Zululand summer day. It was a scorcher and I felt like a piece of lard in a frying pan. A second learning was that even clothing is important. I had sandals on my feet and quickly realised the danger of snakes in the grass or bushes. Next time I will have my boots on and then the snakes can come, maybe I could even catch a good photo of one.

Taxonomic Classification

: Arthropoda (Invertebrates)
CLASS: Insecta (Insects)
ORDER: Odonata (Dragonflies & Damselflies)
SUPERFAMILY: Anisoptera (Dragonflies)
FAMILY: Libellulidae (Skimmers)

Family overview
Very widespread, common and familiar group of medium-sized dragonflies. Full colouration is often attained in mature males only, leading to identification problems. Skimmers bask on rocks or twigs, from which they make short forays to snatch passing insects. Mating occurs on the wing, and males are often seen leading females over the water, where the females whip their abdomens over the surface to lay eggs. Nymphs have a cupped labial mask, and occur mostly in stagnant waters. There are about 60 species in 26 genera known form the region.

Medium to large (wingspan 80mm), orange-yellow, with long clear wings, often with faint yellow patches at base of hind wings and occasionally an amber patch at the tip of each wing. Nymphs are large and hairless, with oval abdomen bearing large and characteristic curved spines at the end. The only species in the genus.

Frequently migrates, flying erratically in front of advancing storms with characteristic gliding flight. Patrols long flight paths in search of a mate or in the quest for food. Females attracted to temporary pools in which to lay eggs. The voracious nymph feed on almost anything, including their own kind, and develops very rapidly.

Common in most water bodies in all parts of Africa. Extremely widespread. Range extends to Asia, the Americas and Australia.

Source: "Field Guide to Insects of South Africa" by Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths & Alan Weaving, Struik Publishers.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

AndyB, Fisher, phlr, chiliu, ALIRIZA, Janice, scottevers7, Luc, SkyF, coasties, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To pauljk: Steap curveloot 1 03-18 09:53
To Janice: Kia Oraloot 1 03-18 09:43
To marhowie: Sound adviceloot 1 03-17 23:32
To phlr: Happy smileyloot 1 03-17 03:48
To AndyB: Dragonloot 1 03-17 01:31
To carper: Gliderloot 1 03-17 01:27
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-03-16 13:50]

Hello Loot ,It's a beautiful photo, but there is tomuch lihgt
you can use a mono pot , this is a one lech ,my husband hes
also ,but i like the picture , Greeting s Teunie .

I have must say I have better one of yours, this is more mean as a critique becuase the quality is not so good here, it overlighting and thats a shame. I know that you have a lot of quality in you to do this much better. I know the problems with a canon 350d camera with handheld macro shots. Before I made my shots with the compact camera's those macro shot where very good, and now I must learn to made shots with a tripod, or with a monopod. It is good possible with this camera's good handheld shots to make with a high F but then you must have luck. And that's something we not always have. Thanks for showing us.
gr. jaap

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2006-03-16 14:01]

Hi Loot,

You did well with the capture.
I have to agree with Jaap, this is abit overexposed. Not bad, though, well done on the effort.


  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2006-03-16 14:04]
  • [+]

Hello Loot,
Its a very nice dragon you've captured.
Very good composition and POV and good DOF.Just the tail end is a little soft so maybe you could have pushed to f/13 or so
The light looks strong but you've managed that okay here.
As for sandals,I learnt the hard way when I was on holiday last year.I got bit by something when I was taking bug macros and it ended up being an expensive visit at the hospital!
A great shot and I look forward to seeing more of your South African dragons.


Hi Loot,
it's beautiful, I love the glittering in the wings and the excellent sharpness. Very well done, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-03-16 15:15]

Hi Loot,
Very nice macro shot!
Great POV and excellent composition,
very nice colour, very good details.
Well done!

Hi Loot,
Excellent close up. Beautiful image with good colors, POV, sharpness, clear details, composition and framing you have caught. TFS. Have nice days...
Ali Rıza

Love the shot of this glider.
Incredible the color in this animal.
Great composition and the POV and BG are excellent.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-03-16 22:46]
  • [+]

For your first, I say BRAVO! I can't shoot them, so anyone who does, I think is very clever! Reading the helpful tips and comments already said, I too will learn from them. That is how we improve.
Anyhow, from me, I like it, those wings are so amazing seeing all the patterns on them. Well done.
Evena light tripod is a pain to me!

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-03-17 3:35]
  • [+]

Excellent photo of this odonata!
Very good POV and DOF!
Very good on details!
Beautiful colour!

Hi Loot,
Good effort. I like the colour and composition with strong diagonals centering the eye on the insect. I had a go at macro last weekend and found it very demanding. I'm not sure chasing down shots like this with a tripod is practical...I read a very good book by John Shaw called Nature Photogahpy Field Guide (ISBN 0-8174-4059-3) which has a great section on macro photography and especially the use of flash in order to control lighting and DOF. See my second Mantid photo for further information. Like you I'm still on the steep path of that learning curve....nice to try something new though.

Hi Loot,
I think the composition and framing of the shot are excellent. The light was very harsh here which is the biggest problem.This robbed the colors and detail from the shot. Welcome to the macro world.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-03-17 11:09]

Hi Loot,
I love the shiny gold on the body, and the glistening wings.
It looks like a shimmering jewel, and it is beautiful. : )
The details are super sharp, and I particularly enjoy the intricate designs on the transparent wings.
I also find that the diagonal blades of grass add to the composition.
Because of the transparency of the wings, it is so important to find a non-busy background, which is pretty impossible with insects that like to perch on grass and various vegetation.
Sounds like you are having fun experimenting. : )
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-03-17 22:46]

Hello Loot,
beautiful close up. Great lines and POV.
You had difficult light to work with, but managed well.

Hello Loot,
Nice capture of this glider. Good detail and sharpness, well composed. Remember, no matter how much you close down your aperture, try to get the best angle or POV to maximize your DOF.
You spoke of the tripod issue. It's like anything else, once you become familar with stalking the insect, when using a smaller lightweight tripod, you become more proficient at it. I use a slik sprint pro 3-way.. Only about $80.00 as I remember. Easy to move about, quickly adjusts. I use Wired remote & Mirror lock. Usually manual focus..
Looking forward to more dragons from your neck of the woods. Well done.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2006-03-17 23:20]

Hi Loot!
I am rather miserly of comment lately.
But when I note all the efforts that you deployed I cannot prevent myself from writing few words of encouragement.
You are in good hands with Howard and Gert as advisers.
If I could add a small additional remark, I would say to you that the background is rather important in macro photography. Less there are elements distracting behind our principal subjects, better is the visual impact. When the circumstances allow it, I try to photograph the subjects when they are isolated, with backgrounds the most distant possible. Some times, it are simply enough to change point of view.

Fortunately, here in Quebec, we do not have to pay attention to the snakes. It is the cold which still bites us for a few days...

Thank you for this Pantala and I look forward to see your progress in this world completely different of the macro photography.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-03-20 21:43]

Hi Loot

What a wonderful shot.Excellent close up. Beautiful image with good colors.
Well done.

Hi Loot

Wow... What a wonderful shot. You have captured the transparency of the wings perfectly. The light has shimmered across the top of the wing creating lovely glitter spots. Nice work my friend!

Hello Loot

'n Mooi helikopter met sterk lig en pragtige kleure. Al die gras blare en stingels maak dit egter so 'n bietjie besig lyk, maar die insek self is puik. Ek weet mens kan nie altyd kies hoe die agtergrond moet lyk nie en dit is seker wat fotografie so moeilik maak. Dit kos harde werk, uithouvermoŽ en groot geduld om daardie volmaakte skoot te kry.


Hi Loot
Kleure op hierdie Naaldekoker is ongelooflik mooi vasgevang. Lyk kompleet of jy die foto met glitter bestrooi het. Baie mooi.

Calibration Check