Late to the Show Dragonfly (Shadow Darner?)

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I went out the other morning to try to photograph dewy spiderwebs and got distracted by this dragonfly covered with dew. It had it’s head kind of hidden behind an extra twig on this lupine, so for this shot I had gently lifted it up, broken off the twig and put it back down. I saw it hunting later in the day, so it came to no harm, though it did wipe it’s eyes afterward as if wondering what had been happening.

Specific Feedback

I noticed after stacking that I hadn’t gone far enough and had missed the one wingtip and the very tip of the tail. Is that a killer for the image?

Technical Details

Sony A7Riv, FE 70-200 +1.4 TC @ 280 mm, tripod with ball head, f/11, 1/15, iso 320, 19 image stack in Helicon Focus. Minor processing in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 9286x5552.

1 Like

Whoa, dew and all Dennis. What a great shot. No deal breaker to me, on the stacking. I love his position, and the color palette is wonderful. Just a great shot, in my opinion.

Cool - the dewy wings are beautiful. The tail and wingtip don’t bother me. The rest of it is so sharp, the slightly OOF bits aren’t that noticeable.

Dennis: Oh this is really cool! It never gets cool and moist enough here to see any dew covered dragons. And to top it off it was still enough for you to do a stack. Superbly crafted image. >=))>

Hi Dennis, nice head on view and looks great with the dew. Details look good to me - nice job with the stacking. The BG is complimentary to this species. Well done.

The dew is killer! Fantastic find. I like the many directions here in the wings and the body. The perch is a nice indication of season as well as the bg and the dew itself. Certainly rounds out the story of their lifecycle and how much they have to cope with.

We don’t get many around here. I keep hoping some will find our little pond, but so far none have. I have found one or two out on the local prairie preserve on October mornings when they were frost covered. I need to get out there on some frosty mornings next month.

Dennis, this is a fine look at this dragonfly. The heavy dew is special. Pretty amazing that you could pick it up, manipulate the perch and replace the DF (and obviously quite chilly). Besides all of the dew, I like the purplish color and other details in the eyes. Was this a manual focus stack? I see one very thin area of softness angling across that upper right wing behind the soft tip.

Yup. Manual focus. Sony hasn’t seen fit to put focus bracketing in their cameras until the A7Rv (I think that finally got it). Lot’s of griping on the internet about that one.

Holy COW!! You hit this one out of the park! Detail, color matching perch and BG, dew – 12/10. And you were able to pick it up, remove a distraction and put it back down. I am groveling on the ground at your feet!

Dennis–This one is awesome. I was not moved by the thumbnail, but the large versions are excellent. You also missed a little bit of info on the stack on the prothorax. Always take more images than necessary when stacking. I don’t these are deal breakers, but will be revealed when viewing larger portions. Still very good results…Jim

Denis …the large version has it all. Beautiful work, and love those droplets which make the picture.

Balan Vinod