Blue Dragonfly

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

Dragon fly or Damselfly?

Other Information

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Image Description

Blue dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) resting on a weathered boardwalk along McHugh Creek near Anchorage, Alaska. This species belongs to the skimmer family. It is commonly found in the United States and is widely distributed across its regions. Identifying characteristics include the following: wings open at rest, front wings and back wings different in shape, eyes touching at top of the head (there are some exceptions)

Technical Details

Canon EOS 5D II; EF 200-400+1.4x @ 533mm; f/9 @ 1/125 sec, ISO 100; handheld

Specific Feedback

Whatever you wish, positive or not.

Crazy similarity between it’s coloration and the board walk, Bob. It makes it look like the thorax is missing. Very nice detail.

Interesting observation @Dennis_Plank . Thank you. I was a bit harried trying to get my extreme telephoto lens setup to make this intimate capture—I was actually there to capture some eagle photos. The good point was I was far away from him and I was provided the time without disturbing him. He did fly away after I made the capture.

Bob, I agree with @Dennis_Plank about the colors and that it does look like the thorax is missing. Long lenses do make for macro shots of dragonflies, butterflies, and other insects that aren’t too tiny. And like you said, it keeps you at a distance where you aren’t likely to disturb them. I hope you got your eagle picture too!

Thank you @Shirley_Freeman for your confirmations. No, I did not get any eagle photos that day.

1 Like

Bob: Love the color contrast for sure and the shadows of the wings on the wood. I’m a little distracted by the softness in the wood and might have been tempted to bump up the ISO and go for some more DOF but the dragonfly itself is acceptably sharp and that’s what matters. Good technique to get that level of sharpness handheld at that magnification. >=))>

Thank you @Bill_Fach for your generous comments. It is not a hardwood path though that is not likely what you meant by "softness of the wood. The DOF is limited at f/9 so I made sure the fly and its wings were as sharp as practical. The best I could do under the circumstances.