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First Dragon pics... enjoy!

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by HurleyGirl, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Hello everyone. My name is Amanda, and I am VERY new at this whole thing, please be patient with me, but also honest. I can handle whatever you have to say to me. Tips will help! =) I was out today around the pond, and had some Widow Skimmers flying around, took some pics, please let me know what you think! =) Im shooting with a D60.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2008
  2. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    Hi Amanda, welcome to the cafe and thanks for contributing to the community.

    Firstly, I'm not too sure why your images have come up as thumbnails. I expect that you've linked to the page on which they are stored as opposed to the image itself. To get them to appear at full resolution you need to pull the url of the image from the website (normally via image properties) and then put that into the IMG site syntax.

    As for the images they're pretty good, I'm not an expert at this kind of shooting so I can't really give you much advice. My favourite is no3 because of the composistion and the way that the background has been reduced to a blur.

    On a technical note the first image seems a little underexposed (maybe post processing could recover this) and in several of the others the focus is very slightly off.

    Overall however great job for a first time out, I look forward to seeing more!
  3. Spectre


    Feb 20, 2008
    Hi Amanda,
    First, Welcome to the Cafe.

    Nice dragon. Your shots are good, but have the potential to be great.

    If you don't mind, I would like to make a few suggestions.
    1. Try and get the focus on the eyes. The image will have more impact.
    2. Instead of using AF, try MF .... makes a world of difference.
    3. Instead of hand holding, tripod mounting will give you a much clearer image. I'm not sure if the D60 has Mirror lock-up (I have never used a D60) but if it does... use it.
    4. The use of a shutter release will help as well.
    5. DOF - Stop Down to f/8 - f/10 or so.

    Maybe looking at a few of mine will help (or maybe it won't).... so here a few links to some.

    Dragon Link 1
    Dragon Link 2
    Dragon Link 3
    Dragon Link 4

    If you would like to see some of the other great Dragon Shooters here at the Cafe, look for posts by: tojor and j.ankanpaa

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  4. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee

    Welcome to the Cafe! You're gonna love it here! Lots of good advice and enocuragement.

    #1 is my favorite. This year is the first time I've shot dragonflies, so I'll just leave suggestions to the experts!
  5. I really appreciate the comments and suggestions. I will very much enjoy myself on here, and also I am here to learn alot. So please keep the comments coming!
  6. Welcome, Amanda.

    I hope you are willing to put up with the addiction of dragon shooting!

    You are off to a good start. Paul (Spectre) has given you good advice which bears repeating, try to get focus on the eyes. Manual focus is the only way to go.

    I looked at your exif data: If you are shooting hand-held you might want to increase your shutter speed by upping your ISO. 1/125 second is a bit slow for the focal length you are using unless you have VR. (is this the 18-200 lens?) and this shutter speed won't stop much motion in the the dragonflies. A tripod, while awkward for this type of shooting gives you a better chance of a sharp pictures.

    The lighting in shots 2 and 4 was tough. Adding some exposure compensation when shooting would have brought up more detail in the shadows, but the highlights would have blown out. Try using your flash to fill in the shadows. You can lighten the shadows in these in post-processing.

    The diagonal elements are great for composition but a bit of cropping could make them even more interesting.


  7. Hi Amanda and welcome. I don't know if this is really a tip or more a reminder that we may tend to forget. Most of our general shooting is done at distances where a small change in camera position means little as far as background. When you are shooting something like these dflys try and remember that often the the whole background of the shot can change dramatically by moving as little as a 1/2 inch in any direction. In these types of shots background can make or break the shot. Perhaps doing so would have eliminated that white vertical stalk in your last shot. Perhaps not, but you see the idea.

    In macro or near macro remember when you are shooting to first grab your safety shots. Then slowly move in for the 'kill'. That particular dragon is a good one to practice this on as they seem to perch for long periods and do not seem as skittish as many.
  8. That´s a good start! And welcome to the forum, Amanda!

    There´re already a lot of good tips given here. So, I just add that shoot a lot (and I mean really a lot), experiment a lot and enjoy a lot (with these wonderful creatures the last part is the easiest :smile:) .
  9. thanks everyone again. I am shooting with a 55-200mm, have a lot to learn still. But I am having the time of my life. Thank you for all the tips in shooting these lovely dragons, and yes once you start you cant stop!. Hopefully the next time that I post some new pics they will be a lot better.
  10. Rest assured that even your first shots almost blow away the then state of the art pics in my Audubon Field guide to North American Insects and Spiders. c1980
    Not sure if you are using any pic sharing sites. I use Flickr and there are some dragon groups there with shots that like some on here are truly amazing! And quite humbling.
  11. thanks

    It made me smile a lot reading the begining, and than it made me laugh when I read the 1980. :biggrin:

    But that really meant a lot, and hopefully some impressing photos are soon to come.
  12. then perhaps I better not divulge my birth year or you will really break out in hysterics.
  13. Not at all, it was nothing towards you, I thought it was a great comment, than just to see the 1980 just made me think wow, well i have a lot to learn because 1980 is 28 years ago, and you saying they are better than 1980 photos must mean im quite out of todays new world of photography lol. If that makes any sense hehe But I love it, and I love to learn. and thanks for teaching =)
  14. :smile: oops, lol I guess after reading what I posted one could take it two ways.
  15. tojor


    Jul 27, 2005
    Very nice Amanda. You've got some great advice. Looking forward to see more shots.
  16. thanks to all who commented. you have all inspired me greatly with all of your amazing shots.
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