Posing dragonflies

December 17, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Dragonflies love the use the same perches over and over. So we can just watch where they sit and then set up with that perch in frame. Then wait for them to come and pose for you. Soon enough it will come back and sit on "your" perch. When they pose, they tend to regularly do so for an extended period of time, thus giving you plenty of photographic opportunity. Yet, it may pay off to not pick the first perch you see a dragonfly on as "your" perch. There other things to consider:

  • Is the perch itself attractive?

  • Is is too bright in contrast to the background?

  • Is there glare?

  • Is the background far enough to blur?

  • Is the background pleasing?

  • Since we are shooting at ponds we should also ask whether there is water in the background or not.

Having water in the background is generally speaking not a good idea as it can cause glare and highlights. Static ponds don't often have pristine clear and beautiful water. Most of the time the water itself in such ponds do not make for a good background. Right, we have spent some time to find out on which perches the dragonflies sit. We have selected the best ones based upon our criteria. Now we just set up and wait.

We often think that polarizing filters are meant for landscape photography. However, it was used to great effect in this image. The green leave that the dragonfly is sitting on had bright glare on the surface leading to the dragonfly. A quick turn of the polarizer removed it. By all means, polarizer filter are excellent for this kind of image.

The sun popped out from behind the clouds a bit for this image. So I changed my position to shoot the same perch from the other way, against the sun. In this way, the perch now became a bit back lit. Rather than a dead-ish looking perch, the back lighting gave it a hint of color.

These little details can make a positive difference to our images.

The sun is still out and a bit harsh in this image. Yet I show it because the introduction of some color is always nice.

I like the symmetry in this image. The dragonfly balances out with the leaf. The sun is behind the clouds again, and I much prefer this softer light over the harsher light of before. The same goes for the next image.

Most places have the odd pond here or there. Where there are ponds there are usually also some dragonflies. They are easy to photograph perched, interesting looking, and can often be colorful. Try taking some dragonfly images.


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