Early Riser

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Because of the persistent oppressive heat we’ve been enduring we have to water the garden every day in the areas our sprinklers don’t access. I handle my share first thing in the morning and one of the side benefits is that the dragonflies are just starting to arouse themselves. This Green Darner kept wanting to perch in the grass or on some brick bordering blocks but finally went a bit higher and landed on this azalea. Been having quite a bit of luck with the 70-200, 2x and XT rig. All comments welcome. >=))>

Technical Details

Sony A7RII
Sony 70-200 OSS GM II , 2x TC, 10mm XT @ 400mm
ISO 400, 1/50 @ f16, HH

Wonderful capture with such nice sharpness – that’s a great “macro” lens! And excellent to handhold at 1/50 sec! I wondered about removing some of the red in the BG so gave it a try – just a Hue-Sat layer with Reds pulled all the way down. That gave some less-than-smooth edges due to the overly-sharp (or precise) color selection so I feathered it a little by pulling the slider at the bottom to include more colors. I was able to do that without getting too far into the colors in the plant.

Also removed two sensor spots. Then I got carried away and did a little 50% opacity cloning to soften some of the BG detail. Just tossing it out for ideas – I don’t know how you normally process.


Hi Bill, so tough to catch these female pondhawks on a good perch. Great that she cooperated and you got this fine shot. Details look great and I love seeing the topside view. Well done.

Bill, so glad to see that you are getting rewarded for watering your garden. I do like the colors dimmed down in @Diane_Miller version. It does look like though that the limb at the right was cloned out, but continues on into the image, which looks a bit odd to me, but it would be hard to clone out under the wing. Maybe just crop in closer, maybe a square crop. Just a thought. Looks like you got nice details in the DF, but I was unable to enlarge the image for some reason. So glad you are able to get a few shots off now and again. I haven’t been out shooting as much lately as I had to have chemo cream on a couple places on my nose for 4 weeks, and when I put the camera up to my face it took the cream off! I am done with the cream so I am watching for photo ops in the garden. It’s pretty hot here too, but nothing like down your way.

1 Like

Great shot, Bill. Must admit I am totally jealous that you can water. We are on water restrictions that only allow for outside watering once a week every other week. Needless to say, we have no flowers or bugs for that matter. Hoping for a better fall/winter!

Bill, the sharpness in this dragonfly is striking, especially the wing viens and the black and white abdomen. The greens look great as well. This is an Eastern Pondhawk, either an immature or a female.

Mark & Allen: Thanks for the ID help and your comments. I just got a new ID app and agree with your assessment. Thanks again for the assistance. >=))>