Eye of doom

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Unfortunately this Common Green Darner I found in the yard didn’t make it. Other than this injury to the eye it was perfectly fine, but the damage grounded it and after a couple days something probably found it because I couldn’t anymore. Probably a battle with prey or a predator caused it. Sad because it was a beauty - about 4 inch wingspan. They do live violent lives though, another species of similar size came crashing to earth on the lawn, frantically flapping even though it was completely cut in half with the entire abdomen missing. Poor thing flailed for a while before succumbing.

Specific Feedback

Processing ideas welcome.

Technical Details

Camera on the ground.


Lr for all the processing - wb adjustment and the usual S-curve for contrast. A fair bit of texture and vibrance and some masking to even things out.

1 Like

Kris: I once heard someone say that dragonflies and butterflies don’t see well but pretty much anything that flies has to have good vision to exist and flourish in three dimensional space. This pretty much proves the point. Marvelous find and a compelling story and capture. >=))>

Kris, that is sad, for sure. They do have a very dangerous life. I have even photographed one DF eating another! You did a fine job capturing this. Got right down to eye level with this one on the ground. Well done.

Interesting back story, Kris. I first looked at the image without reading your story and wondered about the eye. I hadn’t realized that damage to a single eye would be so debilitating that it couldn’t even fly, but it would certainly interfere with its hunting. You did a wonderful job getting such a detailed image of it.

Thanks @Bill_Fach, @Shirley_Freeman & @Dennis_Plank - yeah, it was kind of sad watching this poor thing struggle and flail, unable to fly. Not sure how much consciousness they have, but I can imagine a kernel of frustration and confusion there somewhere. It’s the same when they emerge from larval stage and a wing doesn’t expand properly and they just dwindle unless they have the luck to be immediately eaten.

1 Like

I missed this earlier! Amazing find and story and a very good photograph – great detail, good DOF and pose. The perch fits nicely into the BG, but I wonder about bringing up the darkest parts at the top – that area competes for attention a bit too much. The damage looks like a dent in a fender – he must have collided with something hard and sharp. I’d guess that compound eyes rely on an even surface so not surprising the poor thing was grounded – or else starving from not being able to catch smaller bugs in flight.

Thanks @Diane_Miller - yeah, I think the eye has to work as a whole or it doesn’t work at all. Hm…I hadn’t thought of the dark parts in that way and left them dark to show the ends of the wings better…maybe I’ll have a noodle with it.

And yeah, it was starving since they only hunt in the air. Nature isn’t pretty sometimes.