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how do you get those dragonflys?

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by karma2, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. karma2

    karma2

    133
    Mar 10, 2006
    Idaho
    I have seen some amazing shots on here of beautiful dragonflys. I see these dragonflys flying around my yard....but I can't seem to figure out where they land or how to get them to land! :confused: 

    Any tricks? Is there a particular type of plant they especially like? I keep chasing them around my yard with no luck! :rolleyes: 
     
  2. Spectre

    Spectre

    Feb 20, 2008
    Oregon
    Karma,
    The first thing is patience. If you chase them or approach them too quickly, they will take off. If there is an area where the dragonflys tend to frequent, walk out and stand there. They may take off at first but they will more than likely come back, since they are territorial. Let them get used to you. If you see them land, approach slowly, if they appear agitated, stop and wait, then move toward them slowly. Generally they will let you get fairly close.
     
  3. Randy

    Randy

    May 11, 2006
    i wish you had a pic of that :smile:
     
  4. yah yah - what spectre said - that's all I do when I go shooting them
     
  5. tojor

    tojor

    Jul 27, 2005
    Denmark
    As Paul described it - patience. Although they fly a lot they also rest sometimes. Some of them are very shy and will escape just by the movement of the focus ring. So very slow movement is another important thing. I don't think you can get them to land. :smile: Different species have different ways to perch - in trees, on sticks, in the grass, on the ground or on a rock. Good luck.
     
  6. turtile

    turtile

    416
    May 12, 2008
    Delaware
    Dragonflies are most active during the day around 10-2 (extends to 4 or 5 depending on the length of the day). So they'll be harder to approach during that time.

    Dragonflies are attracted to flying insects. During the day, its easiest to approach them while they are eating. You can tell when they catch their food when they fly extremely fast for the catch and land.
     
  7. As everyone else said - patience. I'll chase them but it will be like a steam engine slow race! Some species won't let you get within 10' of them most of the time, others are much more tolerant even to the point of not moving if you pick them up (rarely!). Also get out to where they are. The more there are the more likely you will find one perched. If they are feeding they land to eat and often while eating they will disturb less easily.

    Good luck

    Larry
     
  8. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    Oregon
    Find water and reeds, ponds and lakes, and then setup and wait. Sometimes they even seem curious. Also something like a 300 AFS, or perhaps a 70-300 VR - you need close focus and for me a long lens.
     
  9. I shot at a friends pond last week. I posted some so so pics from that, the wind was rough.
    QUESTION!! I thought that day that if I placed some small hardwood limbs sticking out of the ground, near the water, that they may use them for a guard roost. The limbs would not sway in the wind as much as grass. Does anyone think this might work????????
     
  10. I shot at a friends pond last week. I posted some so so pics from that, the wind was rough.
    QUESTION!! I thought that day that if I placed some small hardwood limbs sticking out of the ground, near the water, that they may use them for a guard roost. The limbs would not sway in the wind as much as grass. Does anyone think this might work????????
     
  11. Tom the pond I have been shooting at has plenty of sticks that they perch on, I suspect it would work well. Let us know...
     
  12. karma2

    karma2

    133
    Mar 10, 2006
    Idaho
    Hey thanks guys for all the responses! I have a man-made pond behind my home that I was perched on a rock by the other morning. I saw a dragonfly just sitting on a cattail but I couldn't get position to shoot it without falling in to the pond. I keep seeing one hover around my driveway of all places....concrete. He actually kept buzzing by me and even stopped mid-air very near me to 'check me out'.

    My neighbors probably think I've lost my mind as I keep circling my house with my camera in hand! But I'm not giving up yet...

    Here's a quick one I caught with a short lens and extension tube - not so great of a shot but I was excited to just get one.

    dragonfly_filtered.
     
  13. Getting close to dragons.

    There also seem to be huge variations in different types of dragons and how close they will let you get. I live in Virginia, and the dragons here are very skittish and I find it very hard to get decent shots. I spend time up in Cape Cod, Mass, and the dragonflies there are much more tolerant. They sometimes let me get within a couple of inches of them.

    Check out this shot:
    original.
    NIKON D200    ---    90mm    f/20.0    1/250s    ISO 100


    I was really close to the dragon in that one, and it didn't startle.

    One thing I've noticed is that they tend to return to exactly the same perch. If you approach one and it flies away, stand still and keep your eye on the same spot. They are quite likely to return there.
     
  14. karma2

    karma2

    133
    Mar 10, 2006
    Idaho
    Wow, great shot Duncan.

    I was out mowing the yard this morning and that same one was hovering around the driveway....I think he is teasing me now! I swear I saw him buzz by my head a couple of times! I will get him one of these days...
     
  15. Great eye shot!!!
     
  16. Great shot! I could swear one I was watching kept opening and closing that huge mouth but no luck getting a shot with it open.

    I too have noticed in my very limited experience that they do return over and over to the same spot exactly. Something that would really help should I try tripod work.
     
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