The View from My Window: A Little Red Dragon

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The View from My Window: A Little Red Dragon

A red dragonfly against the wood and wires of a bridge

A little difference in scale, sometimes to get close-up is always a good thing. Just an ordinary walk can be made better by the smallest of things.

Just crossing a footbridge over a stream, there was a blur hovering just over the surface of the water. A large red dragonfly just going about its business. These creatures are always hard to photograph as they seldom still long enough to get a good shot.

Dragonflies are most often found near water, still pools or lethargic, slow-moving streams, and especially favour shaded wooded areas. Normally I only get to see the smaller blue variety, this red example was unusual.

The best way to capture a photograph of a Dragonfly is to be patient and be prepared to wait. Dragonflies are by habit hoverers and you can get great in-flight shots. However, they do perch, and this provides an excellent opportunity for a few good shots. There are no rules for photographing dragonflies, but there are a few dos and don'ts.

The most important thing is to move slowly, no sudden moves. Pre-focus is not practical, but it is better to stand back a little and use your zoom, as getting much closer than three feet without disturbing your subject is almost imposable.

The next thing to bear in mind is your shadow: if you get between the sun and the dragonfly, it will probably fly off. This being the case, if possible take several shots as you approach, if you choose to try this the odds of getting a good photograph are much higher.

The photograph with this was taken with those rules in mind. It was very fortunate that this co-operative creature landed on the footbridge over a stream; the wires are the anti-slip precautions put on the bridge by the forest wardens.

Fortunately, this gave an excellent view of the subject, especially the wings that are sometimes difficult to see if your quarry lands on the plants growing on the banks of the stream.

The last thing is to take a few shots rather than just one in case the autofocus1 decides you are taking a photo of the undergrowth.

Enjoy your camera.

View from My Window Archive


19.03.18 Front Page

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1 It is best to use manual focus in close-up work.

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