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Dancing the Dragon

Dancing the Dragon
Photo Information
Copyright: ernie leo (ernieleo) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 2 N: 55] (248)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-27
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Canon 100-400L IS f4-5.6
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1600 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dragonflies in flight [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-19 7:17
Viewed: 3240
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Sorry don't know the type of dragonfly....

Location: all my flying dragons were shot at Andree Clark Bird Refuge in Santa Barbara, there are reeds 6-7' tall along the lake, at this one spot there is an opening to get to a small viewing dock with a bench at the edge of the lake. The reeds form a wall on three sides of the dock and I can sit on the bench and have 8-10' of space around me on three sides to shoot. September is the best time of year, you can get some nice warm days with no fog. 9 to 11 am is the best time of day for activity and light.

Species: there are several species of dragons around the lake, this is the only one that will come visit. They will actually HOVER right in front of you, not perfectly still, but with enough shutter speed you can get some very sharp images.

Equipment: I used a Canon 400D & 100/400L IS lens, Aperture Priority, AV 5.6 to 7.1, EC -1/3, any lens in the 300 to 400mm range would work, you might get some shots with a macro lens but have more of a chance with the big lens. No tripod, although a mono pod would be needed for any lens bigger than the one I used. A tripod would be worthless in this location.
The minimum focal length on my lens is 5.5' which is perfect, most of the time they were 6-7' away, which gave me a wall of reeds 3-4' behind them. I used auto focus as manual focus would be too hard shooting hand held. If I missed the focus on the first try, instead of the lens going to infinity and losing the dragon altogether, it hit the reeds and I could sill see a blurry dragon and usually got it on the second try.....not really as hard as it looks

angybone, horia, Ena has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

What an amazing capture! Lovely inflight shot...well done! Amazing really....perfect timing!

Hi Ernie,
a good n-flight shot of a beautiful dragonfly, the pose is a bit unusual for a in-flight but it's nice.
You manage to get it pretty sharp with fine details.
The DF standout well from the nice BG.
Well done.

Have a nice weekend

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-01-19 8:11]

Hi Ernie and nice to meet you

I took a look over you gallery here and, being away from TN these past few weeks, i see that i've missed a lot of wonderful postings from you. Congratulations for them!

This is a stunning in-flight of a dragonfly here, presenting it in one interesting pose :)
The quality of the details is amazing and the sharpness of the focused textures is gorgeous.
The colors are also vibrant and stand very nicely out, even from the thumbnail. The light and exposure were well controlled, while the DOF is good, but perhaps a bit deeper one wouldn't hurt either (i know it would slow your shutter speed, so...)
In regards to the subject, i would dare to say it's a species from the Aeshna genus, but being taken quite far away from my country, i'm not bold enough to be 100% sure :( Sorry.
Anyway, i appreciate you contribution here - both your pictures and your very interesting and informative notes.

Bravo and thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2008-01-19 9:29]

hi ernie,
fantastic picture...all details are perfect..the colours are mesmerizing.

Ciao Ernie,
foto veramente unica e magnifica, sia per i colori, vividi e caldi che per l'incredibile posizione in volo di questa spelndida libellula.

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-01-20 2:41]

Hi Ernie,
Stunning capture! Good focus on the eye!
Beautiful colors!

  • cosmln Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 201 W: 12 N: 493] (1952)
  • [2008-09-22 15:46]

Hi Leo,

a WOW in fligh image.
the ID of this one i think is Blue-eyed Darner (Aeshna multicolor).

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