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Who? Me?

Who?  Me?
Photo Information
Copyright: Bente Feldballe (milloup) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 482 W: 40 N: 619] (1716)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-09-10
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron 28-300XR
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/640 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dragonflies in flight [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-07-20 18:51
Viewed: 6942
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Well, the big guys are a bit slow in showing their faces around here, so I dug into the files from last year and found this chap which I haven't posted yet.
He's a male Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea, one of the big dragonflies. Body length about 71-74 mm and wingspan 97-110 mm. Quite a large cruiser compared to the small damselflies or darters of 40-50 mm.. The Southern Hawkers are pretty territorial, so you don't see many of them at the same spot. They keep rather big territories, and they defend their territories vigorously. The only time I've ever seen two at a time, I didn't get any shot of it, because every time one landed, the other came along immediately to chase him off again.
Unlike most other dragonflies the Southern Hawker will also fly rather late in the evening, and you may come across them in cloudy weather, too, and are even capable of hunting in rainy weather. It can catch and eat rather large prey like e.g. Pieris butterflies (garden whites) and they'll happily eat their smaller relatives the damselflies, should they get a chance. This species is a very good flier and sometimes hard to approach.
Although the photo was taken last year, I still remember the day vividly. This chap was cruising over our local brook, keeping "his" area free of competition - including a few Aeshna Mixtas which were driven away. Shooting this chap was a good deal more difficult than shooting a Mixta, I can assure you. The Mixtas often stand still in the air for quite a while at a time, allowing you the time to find them in the viewfinder and focussing. Not so this one, he was here, there and everywhere, seemingly at the same time. I spent a good deal more than one hour standing in full sun on the slippery bank trying to keep track of him and getting a focus - manually, I should add, as my AF is simply too slow to keep pace with one like him. A few times my feet were about to slip on the bank, which would have landed me on my bum either on the muddy edge of the brook or in the brook proper. At long last he allowed me this one in-focus shot, looking at me as if saying "Who? Me?".
Treatment: Crop, saturation +10, brightness +10, contrast +10, USM and resize.

PDP, marhowie, chiliu, odin, carper, AndyB, Phoki, Janice, christophe, JeanMichel, Robbrown, Luc, gerhardt, orme, TAZ, nixpix, Jeppe, firelord, Luciano75, bobair has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2005-07-20 20:18]

Great capture!
Very nice wings movement, excellent composition, great colour.

It alaways amazes me when you northern hemisphere people post these dragonflies in flight. I can only imagine how many missed shots you took before getting this one. I think its great and demonstrates that it can be done. I am very impressed Bente and TFS.

PS. I have created a theme depicting dragonflies in flight. Hopefully it will growinto a useful catalogue of such images.

Amazing shot, really great one and I know that is really a hard shot. You done a great job. well done and thanks for share.

This a great flight-in, Bente.
I know how hard it is to get one, alot of patience and some luck. You got a fantastic catch. Great details, well composed and very nice colours.
Excellent work.

fantastic shot Bente,
I have neve try it, a shot in flight. I have seen this specie last sunday but I had no luck at all. He was just chasing. Very good capture, great sharpnes, good colour, yes fantastic work,
gr. Jaap

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-07-21 2:35]

Hello Bente,
This is very nice indeed.
Lovely colours,excellent detail and very good composition.
I've tried and tried to get a dragon in-flight and got 3 near misses.One day maybe :-))
Excellent work,well done.


  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-07-21 4:07]

Hi Bente, wonderful capture, and I love the wing movement. Body nice and sharp and colourful. Well composed and very well done.

Hi bente
Congratulation for your shot, great details and background
In a friendly way Christophe

Hi Bente,
Another very good one to join the recent flying squadron, Bente. Wonderful eyes details and very good exposure. You couldn't have a better BG either. Just striking, with a great visual impact. Congratulations for such a difficult shot to achieve!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-07-21 4:40]

Great shot Bente! The lighting is great and the focus and details couldn't be much better. Beautiful colours. I failed miserably last year with the Southern Hawker. Hopefully I'll have more luck this year. Very well done!


Hello Bente! I must agree with Paul here, very well done..Alot of patience to get this one, I'm certain..And manual focus no less. If I ever do attempt this I will also have to use manual with my canon F4.5 lens I'm afraid, it's a bit of a clunker.. Thanx for sharing this gem!

Well worth you raiding the archive for this one Bente, its still a cracking capture the blank BG allows the dragon to stand-out well and clear.
I hope the large ones turn up soon. TFS Robert

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-07-22 4:35]

Hi Bente!
Personal assessment of the photo: excellent.
Very strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete and very interesting.

What a catch. I know how difficult this is. You have a lovely capture Bente.

Composition/placement: ****
Exposure: ****
Focus/sharpness: ****
DOF: *****
POV: *****
Impact: *****

Overall: ****

*Acceptable, **Average, ***Good, ****Great, *****Outstanding

  • Great 
  • orme Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 0 N: 56] (188)
  • [2005-07-24 9:42]

This is an amazing capture, Bente, with wonderful detail and clarity to match. The dark solid background really helps to make the dragonfly stand out. Very well done.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-07-25 14:08]

What a superb Aeshna that you have well captured in flight ! Colors, light, details and sharpness are very good ! Thanks for sharing Bente.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-07-29 11:30]

He should not have given up before your bum was in the mud :)

The expression on his face says a lot and you captured it with good detail and exposure.

Very well done and thanks for posting

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-08-06 12:19]

Bente, what a great capture! As usual, these guys seem to be smiling.

Excellent pov and composition; I do enjoy sharpness too.

These shots are not easy, but you did great.

Great image Bente, the flight action well captured with the light and sharpness retained. A wonderful photo, regards, Rob

  • Great 
  • Jeppe Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 36 W: 0 N: 33] (193)
  • [2005-12-13 12:38]

Hej Bente - En flot fangst - Jeg er imponeret og har nęsten opgivet at taget denne slags billeder - de flygter fra mig - tak for synet og god jul.


  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-02-03 17:41]

Great capture!
Very well done and well captured in flight.

Great shot Bente...nice colours...well done...TFS

Hi Bente,
you have taken an excellent shot of this dragonfly.The colour is spot on and the background doesn't distract,well done.I have tried to take pictures of these insects in flight but so far few have come out,they are sure hard to get. Bob

Witaj Bente!
Styles shot and what accurate! I congratulate reflex!
Excellent description!
I greet - Roma

Exactly like ones in India and nepal! This guy is great!!!! Evil face!

Great moment! A little blur on the background was needed to make the dragonfly stand out.

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