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Who's Eating Whom?

Who's Eating Whom?
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-08-23
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma EX 105mm F2.8 DG Macro, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/250 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2013-08-23 5:45
Viewed: 3604
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Friends, I witnessed a hair-raising existential drama today afternoon for a few fleeting moments and tried to capture it as best as I could despite a number of limitations. I must tell the story in detail to convey my experience. It was about 3.15 in the afternoon when I was at a spot on my school campus where we have a small patch with a few yellow Cosmos flower plants on it. These days, it is the favourite haunt of butterflies and numerous other insects. Only yesterday, I shot a Lemon Pansy there and posted it here on TN.
It was sunny, muggy and extremely hot in the afternoon today and I was busy shooting butterflies and other insects on that spot and sweating profusely. Suddenly, these two dragonflies of totally different species shot into the clump of those Cosmos plants and alighted on a branch, making loud buzzing sound. At first, I thought it was a pair of mating dragonflies. In those short split seconds as I tried to ascertain what was happening, I clearly heard the crunching and munching sound emanating from the pair. Then I realized it was no love making at all; it was the real drama of life in which one of them was eating the other. Frankly speaking, I was rather shaken at the sight.
Anyway, since we nature photographers are basically opportunists, especially in matters that look like 'scoops' in journalistic jargon, I immediately set about capturing the scene. All odds were against me -- the insects were among foliage and clear image was out of the question; I had no time to check camera settings. So I clicked away in quick succession, first three shots without fill flash and the last two with fill flash. I was almost 100% sure that the orange one was the aggressor and was eating the green one. Then I tried to rearrange the vegetation around them in greed for a clear shot and that made the pair or rather the aggressor fly away into a tall tree with the kill. End of the shoot.

Out of 5 shots, this one taken with fill flash looked worth giving a try at the PP stage. First I made a standard image (800x600) and felt unhappy with it. Then I decided to go for LP and proceeded to make the set of two images -- one large and the other small. Let us see if I succeed in posting it in that format.

The green dragonfly in this picture is a Slender Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina). I have no clue about the ID of the orange one.

Hope I have been able to pass on the excitement I felt while shooting this drama from the annals of nature. Thanks for reading the story and looking at the picture.
BTW, can you decide who is eating whom? I will post a workshop also to show you a different view of the happening.

marius-secan, CeltickRanger, lousat has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

excellent shot with good details and colour. even though you had very little time but the shot is beautiful.

Hello Ram;
How lucky you are to catch such a scene, from close distance. Amazing details, perfect WB and exceptional focus. Both insects have wonderful natural colors. The details of the wings are outstanding.
Thanks for sharing!

Hello Ram

I prefer the photo of the WS, you was at the best
place the best time to witness this scenery of
death & life action from insects world, TFS


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-08-23 11:02]

Hi Ram,a great capture of this dramatic moment,really strange to see a battle between 2 dragonflies,i don't know who is the meat ad who is preparing its dinner,but the situation is very unusual,nice and interesting.Thanks for share this scene whit a special quality! Have a nice weekend,Luciano

  • Great 
  • Cobo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 236 W: 1 N: 535] (5799)
  • [2013-08-24 11:11]

Great picture and Amaizing moment Ram! Yes this is very tipical with these species! Thank you for sharing it and congratulation. Saludos.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-08-27 20:14]

Hello Ram,
I don't normally have a lot of time to spend on the computer, so I usually quickly scan the gallery for images that immediately capture my eye. I have to be honest and say the thumbnail image of this shot doesn't do it the justice it deserves.
The only reason I clicked on it was your intriguing title ("Who's Eating Who"). I clicked on the thumbnail and saw this very interesting photo. Too bad the tiny plant leaf hides most of the action. Your enlarged version shows us exactly what is taking place. Great shot!!

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