Here be dragonsPosted: June 30, 2012
The hot, sunny weather has the dragonflies and damselflies dancing, skimming, hovering, and winging their way around the pond. I went out on Wednesday afternoon to see what I could capture. Dragonflies (and damselflies) are cold blooded creatures and as a result, they seek the sunny, warm spots. A hot, sunny day is guaranteed to bring me a decent shot or two of the dragonflies.
Capturing a dragonfly (with your camera, that is) requires the abilities to be patient, be aware, and be still.
As previously mentioned, they like hot and sunny days so that’s a good place to start. Water (a pond or lake) helps, but is not necessarily required as I find them in the woods and in the meadows. However, there is water nearby and I suppose (I’m not sure) that helps. On those sunny, hot days, the dragonfly sometimes has to cool itself. It does this by moving into the shade, changing its body position, or becoming less active. It’s the less active part that helps in capturing one with your camera. (By the way, some dragonflies change their wing position, holding them down, to deflect the sunlight when trying to cool themselves.)
If you take the time to watch the dragonflies, you’ll notice that they fly in patterns, landing on the same spot time after time. Some male dragonflies are territorial, chasing off other males. They will defend their territory for a few hours or a day, but usually not for much longer.
Once you’ve figured out where the dragonfly has decided it wants to sit and rest (usually a twig of some sort), all you have to do is stand and wait. Even if you frightened it off while you were observing and getting in position, it may still come back. You just have to wait and see, usually not more than a few minutes. Make sure you’re ready to snap that first photo because any movement right after it lands is likely to send it flying again. Go ahead and focus on the twig in the spot where you last saw the dragonfly. Not only do they usually return to the same twig, they usually return to the same spot on the twig.
Once a dragonfly lands within your range, and you’ve gotten that first photo, I’ve found that moving very slowly is allowed by the dragonfly so that you can get a little closer (this is necessary for me since I’m using a point and shoot camera and my zoom range is limited, but you may not need to get any closer). Often the dragonfly will sit and pose until I can’t stand there any longer and need to move. They are quite cooperative as long as there are no sudden moves on my part. I generally end up leaving before they do.
And that’s all there is to it. Be aware, be patient, be still.
Thanks for stopping by today. This is a scheduled post. I’m out east somewhere, probably recovering from a bike ride in what looks like an interesting spot with a mile-long railway tunnel and a short hike to a waterfall. I’m sure I’ll tell you all about it when I return. Or earlier if I’m so inclined and happen to have an internet connection. I hope all is well with you and yours. If you do go out to capture a dragonfly (with your camera!), let me know. I’d love to see your results.
- Dragonfly drop in (whitepinephoto.wordpress.com)
- Welcome Summer! – Autumn Meadowhawk Dragonfly (annefreemanimages.wordpress.com)
- NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Dragonfly (sillyfrogsusan.wordpress.com)
- Winged Jewels (eyeonnature.wordpress.com)